NYT: You Can Access Our Site For Free From Twitter, But Don't Tell Anyone That

from the say-what-now? dept

It's becoming more obvious every day that the NY Times itself doesn't know quite what to make of its own paywall. It's letting people view articles for free if they come from other sites, especially Twitter. The idea, of course, is that they want to encourage people to share stories and visit the site. But, apparently, there are limits to how they want you to share stuff. Specifically, the NYT has asked Twitter to block a user account called @FreeNYTimes, which used the NYT's own API to tweet every headline. Of course, this is admittedly pointless. The NYT, itself, already does that. But, so what? If this gets more people reading the site, is that really such a problem? The NYT, of course, will claim that this is just about the "trademark" issue, but is this really a "use in commerce"? It seems like a perfectly accurate descriptive use. And, really, once again, so what? How does this matter? If you don't tweet the NYT's links in a manner they approve, will they ask Twitter to shut you down? Perhaps the folks at the NYT should focus on actually providing more value to people, rather than worrying about things like this.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:11pm

    The real question is if Twitter will shut down such a useful account. If they do, the usefulness of Twitter itself will become a question. (Or even more of a question, for the Titter-haters.)

     

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  2.  
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    brent ashley (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:24pm

    Dastardly

    If NYT and their dog Muttley would stop sawing through axles and switching road signs and instead turn their considerable efforts to updating their jalopy, they might just catch up and have a chance of winning this race.

     

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  3.  
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    Reverend Dak (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:28pm

    NYT, and others, keep forgetting that viewers are a good thing, and the more viewers (hits and clicks) the more valuable advertising space is. That business model has not changed.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    Mike, I think you need one more NYT story today. You aren't giving them enough exposure. Obsessed a bit?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 8:42pm

    Further proof that NYT has no clue on how to price their paywall: http://bit.ly/gToBUe

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Re:

    Your irony is top notch today, TAM. Keep it up!

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 9:09pm

    So does Twitter violate the anti circumvention law?

     

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  8.  
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    Atkray (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 9:28pm

    Re:

    There seems to be a growing belief that twitter hit it's apex somewhere during the summer/fall of 2010. This appears to confirm that.

     

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  9.  
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    faceless (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 9:43pm

    how many tweets with links does it take to be in violation of their trademark? i mean, is it 10? 20? half of their daily content? "when we see it, we'll know"? is there even a line?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 10:38pm

    Re:

    (is twitter a circumvention tool?)

     

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  11.  
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    scarr (profile), Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 11:03pm

    Hopefully Twitter will decline to take it down, on account of feeling guilty for reading the NYT's request without paying for it.

     

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  12.  
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    Michael, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 4:01am

    Re:

    The trademark issue would be on the name of the Twitter account (@FreeNYTimes) which could be an issue. As Mike pointed out, the use is pretty descriptive here, but it is probably not worth fighting and will just get renamed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Jeff, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 4:29am

    No Java Script No Pay Wall

    If you disable java script their pay wall does not work @ all

     

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  14.  
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    InsanePenguin, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 5:35am

    Take down that wall...

    I have this wall around this awesome area but you can't get through unless you use my "special" toll bridge. Don't pay attention to the unlocked door, or the window, or the big gaping hole, or the fact that the wall is only 5 feet across made from VERY strong tissue paper! But that's not the point!

    Sounds like the paywall is there to capture people who aren't internet savvy. "Oh noes, I have to pay? Well darn, I will have to go get my credit card since this is the only place to get news. Dang computers are what's wrong with this country. Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!!"

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re:

    As is his hypocrisy.

     

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  16.  
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    FuzzyDuck, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:07am

    Insane

    The NYT can itself ban incoming visits from the freeNYTimes account on Twitter (I mean by that not make it circumvent the paywall). Why ask Twitter to block it?

    Oh I forgot, it's always someone else who is responsible and has to fix your problems.

     

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  17.  
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    WarOtter (profile), Mar 24th, 2011 @ 6:28am

    Re:

    So wait...
    You can get the full digital access for $35, or you can get full digital access plus home delivery for $12-15.

    I just woke up, and the dream where I was trying to return a truck after borrowing it to go to a hardware store to cook a flambe using a blowtorch and trashcan makes more sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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