Oh, the "entitlement to free" thing is real, but not in every case as this person appears to be suggesting. In Second Life, I've seen people react with rage if a business does not put out a few free items, almost like they believe that there is some kind of strict moral obligation to do so.
Though, now that I think about it, they tend to be people with psychological problems, where they go into a rage if they don't get their way or if you don't bend over backwards to kiss their ass. In Second Life, we call such people "Drama Queens".
What if the actual situation is not that the NY Times management wants a paywall... but that their shareholders are demanding a paywall because they're desperate for returns on what is no longer a good investment.
I'd say the $300 is a reasonable fine. The goal of most punishments is to teach the person a lesson in order to prevent them from committing the crime again.
The fines we have in the US? If I'm correct in assuming that the fines are all paid to the copyright holders, then the heavy fines we have are little more than a money-making scheme that the MAFIAA got through heavy lobbying/bribing.
And I wonder... how much of those heavy fines do the artists get to see? Or does 99% of it all go to what I am assuming is the MAFIAA's gold-plated money vault?
This suddenly reminds me of a law that George W Bush had snuck into a bill that would make it illegal to be annoying online. Since anything and everything can annoy someone, you can easily see the stupidity of the law. As if we'd expect anything smart to come from Dubya's head.
This law is arguable worse, though, because a person can just SAY that they are humiliated or embarrassed in order to get someone thrown in jail out of spite.