Breakdown the Paywall? Sure? Infringe our Trademark? No way!
It didn’t take Canadian computer coder David Hayes long to find a way around The New York Times paywall. It also didn’t take The Times long to respond with a cease and desist letter demanding he stop using the letters “NYT” in the title of his “NYTClean” bookmarklet. The Times in-house counsel claim this was a clear violation of their trademark.
Trademark violations aside, The NY Times paywall is so easy to evade it is almost laughable. This article shows how by just using your delete key you can easily get around the 20 free articles per month limit. The fact that the paywall can be hacked so easily is a clear indictment that measures such as a paywall have no place in the current media environment.
The NY Times has somehow missed the last ten years of digital distribution, which has crippled industries from music, to film, and especially to newspapers. News content is available everywhere. We can watch it on TV for free. We can listen to it on the radio for free. What does The NY Times offer aside from quality journalism? To be honest, not enough to be willing to pay for it.
The NY Times entire business model is built upon the concept of them holding a monopoly on the distribution of their news. That monopoly has eroded and disappeared. And the paywall is not going to change that. What The Times needs is creative thinking to utilize alternate distribution methods to maximize advertising revenue in an online environment.
Regardless of how many cease and desist letters their attorneys send out, people will still find a way around the paywall. You can’t compete with free, and any money you spend trying to is wasted.