I'm willing to pay for special features, e.g. the New York Times Crossword Puzzles, but it's a yearly subscription. While I'm there at the NYT site, I read the opinion pages for free. If they change that to a subscription, however, I'll stop reading the rest of the paper even though I cannot get the paper where I live.
Many years ago there was a huge battle between the newspapers and the union representing their typesetters; you know, the folks who put little hunks of lead with letters on them into frames to set the type for the newspaper's next edition. The newspapers wanted to switch to lithography and after a long struggle and lots of concessions, they made it. Every single innovative proposal made since has met with the same resistance -- doing something new would eliminate union jobs that had been in place for a long time.
I think that was an important factor in their failure to even consider innovations.
Seems to me that this rule should apply to mail as well, i.e. the post office refuses to deliver mail to recipients of multiply infringement accusations. To generalize then, if you are accused of using a medium of communication to infringe, you lose access to that medium.
Nova Scotia tried this a few years ago with precisely the expected result: RVs stayed away in droves. Now I see on RVTravel.com (http://www.rvtravel.com/rvforum/viewtopic.php?p=26196) a topic featuring a letter from someone in the government of NS assuring the writer that parking in Walmart parking lots is perfectly legal. Maine, if this legislation passes, will have precisely the same experience. RVers communicate with each other via several forums -- prospective tourists will know to stay away in no time.
Unfortunately, even universities are locked into patenting everything they can find in their ongoing research. Biologists are patenting genes and strains of test animals. Contrary to their beliefs, however, I think there are very few cases in which these patents have earned their holders much money -- they simply aren't developed -- but they do stifle further research by others and have really quenched original research in the USA.
Yet another journalism professor..... How old is this guy?
Perhaps he remembers that for the early steam cars: "a backlash against these large speedy vehicles resulted in passing laws that self-propelled vehicles on public roads in Britain must be proceeded by a man on foot waving a red flag and blowing a horn." (from the BambooWeb Dictionary)
Economic models share their shortcomings with weather forecasting. Weather is chaotic, i.e. extremely sensitive to initial conditions in the prediction calculation, but nonetheless, weather predictions are worth the effort. Economic models can also be extremely sensitive to initial condition assumptions and can be easily influenced by those assumptions. Unfortunately, most economic predictions don't include the assumptions on which the prediction is based.
The root of the problem is that keepers of on line data don't seem to understand that securing that data is an ongoing problem; they buy or lash together a solution that's adequate briefly but soon yields to more sophisticated probes.
This is not new at all -- When Watt improved Newcome's steam engine and eventually conceived of making it double-acting (pressure driven in both directions), he needed to convert the motion of the rocking beam into straight-line motion. Unfortunately, in order to avoid patent rights already claimed by another party, on the use of the crank and cross-head, he adopted an epicyclic sun and planet gear system, only later reverting once the patent rights had expired to the more familiar crank seen on most engines today.