It's taken well over a year from when it was first announced, but the details of the NY Times' paywall are finally leaking. It seems to mesh with whatever hints NYT's execs have been making over the past year, in which they're trying to come up with a system that doesn't really piss off too many people -- and the end result sounds like an offering that isn't that appealing. It starts by rewarding the print subscribers -- getting the basic equation backwards. People who subscribe to the paper edition get stuff for free. But from there, it focuses on the iPad edition, which the NYT, like many other publications, seems to be betting on as the savior platform. The iPad app -- which is currently free -- is going to start costing money. The website itself will also cost money, but will let you visit a few times for free (like the Financial Times) and will let you visit via a Google search (like the Wall Street Journal). Basically, it sounds like there are so many holes in the paywall that the only people who pay will be folks who don't really care and would pay anyway. It almost makes you wonder why they don't just set up a donation bin instead, because people who are paying are effectively donating anyway.
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