News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

We're community supported and proud of it!

  • Why applications meant to defeat newspaper paywalls are bad.

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants Why applications meant to defeat newspaper paywalls are bad.

    • This topic has 35 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
    Viewing 15 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2372192
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        This is about an issue that, as I see it, is about having the kind of informed citizenship that is vital to the very existence of democracy (as the motto of the “Washington Post” reads: “Democracy dies in darkness”).

        This is also the continuation of a discussion in a different thread and in another forum where this was not exactly on the topic of that thread.

        It is about the existence, and the use, of applications that can be installed in browsers to defeat paywalled sites: sites where one has to be a paying subscriber to have access to their contents. A prime example of this are newspapers, particularly the leading ones, such as: “The New York Times”, “The Washington Post”, “The Australian”, the “Times” of London, among many others.

        The whole idea of developing, distributing and using applications to defeat paywalls is an issue on shaky legal grounds, that has not come to a boil yet, because those who should be keeping an eye from the government’s side have not been paying it a lot of attention. But legal action and the courts might, some day, decide on this legal limbo where the issue lies at the moment.

        https://www.theregister.com/2020/07/21/cookie_clearing_chrome_extension_dmca/

        Why are they paywalled? Here is the reason, clearly stated:

        https://www.quora.com/Is-there-a-workaround-for-the-London-Times-paywall

        Newspapers have always depended to remain solvent and pay for the reporters and the photographers’ work that provided and illustrated the news, on people buying their issues to read, or else subscribing to them. I have never read a newspaper that I just took from a newsstand and then walked away without paying for it; if I had, I very much doubt that everyone there would have been OK with that.

        Newspapers “paywalling” their online editions is not a new thing. Before there were online editions, if you wanted to read an issue, let alone an article, of the then all-paper only editions available, you have to buy it, paying for the one-off issue, or else subscribing, which was also a thing you paid for. That and advertising, was and is still the source of income to keep journalists, investigative ones in particular, in the payroll of newspapers to be able to publish the things people really need to learn about, but. alas! not for free. It’s either you support them financially by buying their issues (some newspapers offer, as an alternative, allowing for the advertising they carry to show) , and have a free press, independent of governments, that does not delve in rumors and conspiracy theories, or you go without and live in ignorance of the things that as proper citizens we all must know.

        And yes: to be able to live in a reasonably free and democratic society costs some money. In mi view, that’s a very good deal.

        It might be possible (I do not know if this has been tried already and found impractical for some reason) to have a system where one pays online for an issue to read it, also online, as if buying it at a newsstand, without having to fully subscribe to the newspaper first. That would be better, in my opinion than paywalling with no alternatives. But still people would pay to read the published content.

        I see supporting free journalism by buying its information as a duty of citizens, same as serving as jurors when their turn comes up.

        Of course, lack of support by readers is not the only big danger today to a free and informative press that publishes the truth without fear or favor: huge publishing empires, such as “News of the World” have been buying up newspapers for decades, particularly those in a shaky financial situation, and converting some of them into yellow-press propagators of misinformation and of banality, such as some of “the tabloids” in the UK, that were once respectable publications.

        But one thing at the tine: the thing here is “applications meant to defeat paywalls are bad.” So let’s discuss that here.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • This topic was modified 1 month ago by OscarCP.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        Sky
      • #2372202
        anonymous
        Guest

        Counterpoint – a newspaper that wanted an effective paywall could easily have one.  Secure login required to see anything more than a few chosen demo articles, easy.   Could even watermark the page so that someone attempting to mirror it could be tracked down.

        Instead, the newspapers want Google to point to their non-demo articles, by showing the google indexing bot the full article and all its juicy keywords.  And they want to serve a few articles to potential new customers.  They choose to let their websites be super leaky and insecure, because they want the Google hits.

        Already we are at the point where the only rational way for a news organization to exist is to have a billionaire benefactor.  The advertising or subscription dollars are minimal and clearly not viable.  Lawsuits won’t change that.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2372219
        Ascaris
        AskWoody MVP

        Anonymous captured it pretty well. There are plenty of sites with content that can’t be seen without a password and account in good (paid) standing, and any of the media could easily do that. The media with paywalls are trying to eat their cake and have it too (makes more sense in that order). If their definition of a new viewer is someone that does not have a cookie saying they visited already, then I guess I am a new viewer each time, and I am not “cheating…” I am playing by their rules by adhering to their own definition of a new user. They chose the definition, not me. I have no obligation to keep a file or data on my computer in order to further someone else’s interests. I don’t keep any cookies or local data, and I am not about to start now in order to help media giants game the system.

        Any site that considers my identity evens somewhat important will ask me to register an account. There’s a reason that sites like this one don’t just set a persistent cookie when someone chooses a username on their first visit and consider that sufficient to establish a person’s identity from that point forward (with no email address or password needed).

        If a paywall can be defeated by deleting cookies or not running certain scripts on the host page, the content owner has chosen to make the content insecure, deliberately. My browser, including its addons, act in my interests, and since it is my computer, I can pick and choose any software (including scripts) that run on it. Their server acts in the interests of its owner, and is fully capable of denying access to all but paid customers in the same way AskWoody.com makes sure that a post from a given user is actually from that user… by use of a unique identity and a password. I would not try to “crack” that, with an addon or otherwise.

        There is no real difference between using an adblocker or script blocker and using one of these paywall-defeating addons. They do the same things, just with more of a specific focus. All of the actions they take are well within the prerogative of the site visitor.

        I’ve never used any of the addons to try to break a paywall at a news site, as they fall so far short of the sacred duty you mention that I don’t even want their content for free. I have used addons to break through the “you must disable your adblocker” walls, though. As long as ads come with trackers, I am not going to allow them, and since tracking is unethical in the first place, I have no problem whatsoever blocking their income source when it involves tracking. You try to line your pocket by tracking me, all bets are off.

        Web advertising has been broken, probably beyond repair, by the surveillance capitalists, and a new model for payment is needed. It would be one thing if the ads were like the ads in the aforementioned publications when they were in print (just ads… no tracking or analytics), but that’s not what we are talking about now. Google, Facebook, Amazon, and the rest have convinced the world that advertising includes tracking, so now the idea of web ads without tracking seems like an oxymoron.

        I make exceptions for those few sites I really want to support, including some independent news sites. Askwoody.com was also one of the chosen few when it had ads, but for most part, I refuse to see ads on the web, full stop. If a site has an ad that penetrates my adblocker, I will either figure out how to block it so that I can see the content, or I will leave the site and put it on my mental blacklist.

        Newspapers never made much on subscription costs. The vast majority of the cash was from ads. Ads that didn’t track you! I’d rather have that than the web version that tries to force me to accept tracking. But for now, I must presume that the presence of an ad in electronic form indicates the presence of a tracker. If this were to change, I would have to re-evaluate.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.3 User Edition)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2372220
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Interesting counterarguments. They do not correspond to my own experience, at least with the newspaper I subscribe to.

        For example, maybe until two years ago, the Washington Post gave the would be reader the choice or either allowing for ads to be shown, or to subscribe. Of late, its only one choice: to subscribe or do without reading the WaPo contents.

        As to cookies: I do delete all cookies regularly and make no exceptions for the WaPo. After I do that, I still can login and access everything in the digital edition, as if I had never deleted those cookies.

        And while the counterarguments, so far, have some weight, they do not address the main point of my comment: to quote again the WaPo motto: democracy dies in darkness.

        It may well be that newspapers no longer support themselves only on subscriptions and ads: to me this is not their fault, but the nature of the Internet-driven world the newspapers and us are still now surprised by its overwhelming and subversive influence in every aspect of our lives and, in historical terms, happening all of a sudden.

        And I find no counterargument to the main point of this thread: that there is no good enough reason for not shelling out money in exchange for an issue one wants to read by using a paywall-leaping application, any more than there is for the proposition that it is OK not to pay for a copy of a printed newspaper at the newsstand. Plus the larger implications to the survival of democracy and the duties of citizens to inform themselves properly of what is going on in their own country and, to some extent, in the world at large.

        To conclude: there is a lot more at stake here than dealing with cookies or tracking. Those are not trivial issues, but it is clear that I have on this issue priorities that are different from those of the previous commenters I am answering here.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • #2372244
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          As to cookies: I do delete all cookies regularly and make no exceptions for the WaPo. After I do that, I still can login and access everything in the digital edition, as if I had never deleted those cookies.

          That’s the key: you log in. The addon would be powerless to access anything that requires you to log in. That’s how the AskWoody Plus newsletter is. The addon would not allow anyone to read that without logging in with a Plus membership.

          That is not what these addons do, or are meant to do. They do the same things as the privacy addons many of us use, like cookie removers, script blockers, and ad blockers. They just do it in a way that is focused on a specific task (preventing tracking by sites that have paywalls) rather than a general one (preventing tracking by sites).

          And I find no counterargument to the main point of this thread: that there is no good enough reason for not shelling out money in exchange for an issue one wants to read by using a paywall-leaping application

          It’s not a question of shelling out money vs. using a paywall-breaking addon. It’s a question of reading the thing for free or not reading it at all. And given the esteem in which I hold WaPo, (their motto is more of a mission statement, as far as I am concerned), I emphatically choose the latter, as I do with the other paywalled sites I’ve occasionally encountered. It’s why I never considered using one of these addons. I don’t want what the paywalled sites offer even for free.

          any more than there is for the proposition that it is OK not to pay for a copy of a printed newspaper at the newsstand.

          If the newsstand owner had a policy where they would give away a free newspaper to anyone who has a rubber duck on their head, someone who put a rubber duck on their head to get a free copy would not be doing anything unethical or wrong. It would be very much okay to not pay if the owner willingly gives you the product because you have met his terms. The person who put the rubber duck on his head is not cheating the system– he’s complying with its transactional terms, just as much as he would be if he paid for it. The newsstand owner is willingly handing the product over.

          These publications do something similar. They willingly give away a certain number of article reads per month not to someone that has a rubber duck on their head (they can’t see you, so they would not know one way or another), but (to name one method of several) to a person who lacks a cookie from that publication’s site in their browser. The lack of that cookie is what determines eligibility, so if a person took action to create the condition that defines eligibility, in this case deleting the cookies, they’re in. It is the site admins who chose that definition, not the reader.

          This would only affect you if you did not log in. That is a completely different animal. That gives the site a persistent ID with your participation, and thus with your explicit consent.

          The idea is, from the publisher’s end, to allow a certain number of free article reads per month per person. They don’t need to know a person’s name for that, but they would need some form of persistent ID, even if it is just a random number that is reliably connected to that individual.

          If it sounds familiar, it should, because establishing a persistent ID is the backbone of surveillance capitalism. It can’t exist without it. There is quite literally no difference in how a news site establishes your “identity” to determine whether you have reached your free article limit and how Google or Facebook would establish your identity to continue to slurp up your data while you are not logged in.

          Personally, I resist tracking (aka creating any kind of persistent ID other than the one I give them when I log in) across the board; I do not willingly allow anyone to track me, friend or foe. I am certainly not going to make an exception for a major media company that’s trying to game the system by having their content indexed as if it were free and clear when it isn’t. Resisting tracking and browser fingerprinting is exactly what th

          Plus the larger implications to the survival of democracy and the duties of citizens to inform themselves properly of what is going on in their own country and, to some extent, in the world at large.

          The people using the tools to bypass paywalls are attempting to do just that, are they not? They are trying to be informed, despite the efforts of the publisher to block them. Again, it’s not a question of paying for a site vs. using a paywall breaking addon. It’s a question of using the paywall breaking addon or not using the site. The people who would pay and those who would use a paywall breaker are largely not the same group.

          There are other sources of news, and certainly better ones than those that have paywalls. I’d consider democracy to have a better chance if the big media companies dried up and blew away. I think they are the single biggest threat to it at present.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.3 User Edition)

          • #2372245
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            The explanation of how I can read the newspaper I subscribe to without the newspaper cookies is a helpful one. Thanks for that, even if, as I see it, you miss the point of this thread: the newsstand owner you hypothesize may give the newspapers for free, if he or she so chooses, but they won’t stay in business for long if they did that. We need newspapers to endure. And they are businesses that need to make money to stick around for long. Paying or going without should not be the only alternative a reasonable and concerned citizen needs to consider. Whether wearing a rubber duck as head gear or not.

            And to end, a common place that seems, nevertheless oddly appropriate: “freedom is not free.”

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2372221
        Geo
        AskWoody Plus

        Not to mention  after you get your free 4 or 5  articles you can go in and delete the newspapers cookie stored on your computer and start over again.

        • #2372258
          anonymous
          Guest

          Some news sites I frequent have already figured out a way around this workaround, perhaps by looking at my IP address or something. A VPN could then be used to bypass this.

          Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing ads and even being tracked by them, if it meant I could continue to receive fact-checked, truthful, and reliable journalism. There is one news site I do have a subscription for, and I still see ads while logged in. I don’t mind them because I know how hard it is for real journalists to make money.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2372505
          Geo
          AskWoody Plus

          None of the sites that I read.  The cookie delete  works on all of them.  Put ads on the sites then I’ll read them without doing the work around.  Some of the new free video movie sites like Tubi added ads so I watch them.

      • #2372229
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        But legal action and the courts might, some day, decide on this legal limbo where the issue lies at the moment.

        As I said (in the other forum) anti-paywalls are no different than anti-ads, and ads blockers apps/extensions has won numerous times in courts vs ads companies/newspapers.

        Sites make money from ads, tracking… just like newspapers make money from paywall and ads.

        As other has said, newspapers can ask readers to register with user/password, TouchID, FaceID…

        • #2372237
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Sorry Alex: newspapers are also businesses that have to make money to continue to exist, and citizens need newspapers to be informed on the issues they must, as citizens, know about and understand to inform their own opinions.

          Cookies and tracking are important issues: proof of this is that they have been discussed here, in AskWoody alone, very many, many numerous times in very many, many numerous threads.

          But the topic here is whether it is OK not to pay to read a newspaper online that one would pay to read in order to get it from a newsstand. In other words, if it is OK to get something for nothing, in particular when the something is essential for the proper workings of a free and democratic society. Please, if you have any doubts about this, go to my initial comment that started this thread and read the Quora article I have linked there.

          As to cookies and tracking: those who are interested in cookies and tracking, please start your own thread on cookies and tracking, and leave this one free for those who may be interested in discussing newspapers’ paywalling and the moral significance of developing and using paywall busting applications. Which also happens to be the topic of this thread.

          Thank you.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • #2372271
          Fred
          AskWoody Plus

          But legal action and the courts might, some day, decide on this legal limbo where the issue lies at the moment.

          As I said (in the other forum) anti-paywalls are no different than anti-ads, and ads blockers apps/extensions has won numerous times in courts vs ads companies/newspapers.

          Sites make money from ads, tracking… just like newspapers make money from paywall and ads.

          As other has said, newspapers can ask readers to register with user/password, TouchID, FaceID…

          Alex5723: Perhaps it’s permitted to answer you, there are new laws coming, GDPR like in the EU, and they might limit the (mis)use of profiling, following and tracking individuals by their specific caracteristics that the (data)companies collect by the socalled privatised algorithms. Paying by the article is not new here for some four years, The issue is creating and presenting good information, and not only some opinion of one individuals.

          [Moderator edit] fixed formatting

          ~
          • #2372311
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Fred, Something went wrong when you posted the above comment and cannot be read and understood, because only the first half of each line is visible.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2372341
              Fred
              AskWoody Plus

              yak, what about that? I don’t have a clue how that’s possible.
              Will try to correct…

              ~
          • #2372404
            Alex5723
            AskWoody Plus

            I think that Australia and France has solved nicely newspapers lack of income by forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news.
            The same should apply for WaPo and NTY and…which should bring the paywalls down.

            • #2372547
              Paul T
              AskWoody MVP

              That solution does not pay the journalists, it just adds some revenue where there was none.

              cheers, Paul

      • #2372238
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        Print media have in the main not handled the rise of the Internet very well. Part of the reason I attribute to the “get stuff for free” attitude that is so rampant on the Web. The notion that “information wants to be free” is taken too literally by too many people, who have become accustomed in recent decades to getting news without offering anything in return to the people who gather and disseminate the news.

        Newspapers and magazines have tried to deal with this widespread attitude in a variety of ways, but (as far as I can tell) thus far none of those strategies has been eminently successful. Ads are scorned and despised by the public, while on the other hand paying $10 a month for subscriptions to websites starts adding up really fast as you try to increase the variety of your news sources. Why should I take out a $9.99/month subscription to a website where I’ll read maybe 2 or 3 articles a month?

        I’ve said this before: to my mind, the solution will lie in the development of practicable micropayment systems, where you pay pennies (or fractions thereof) for each click on a given website and the process takes place seamlessly in the background.

         

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2372239
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Cybertooth: “I’ve said this before: to my mind, the solution will lie in the development of practicable micropayment systems, where you pay pennies (or fractions thereof) for each click on a given website and the process takes place seamlessly in the background.

          Absolutely. It is about time for this idea be taken seriously and put into general practice. I wonder what it might take to get something so reasonable — and doable — to become a fact of everyday life.

          As it applies to newspapers, I would translate this as: to pay for an issue in order to read it, the same as one would do at a newsstand. One does not need to subscribe to a newspaper in order to go to a newsstand and buy the latest issue there, paying accordingly for just one and not 365 issues, emphasis on “paying.”

          And when it comes to ads, I would have no objections to them, if they were the old-fashioned, static ads that do nothing clever to get one’s attention Harry-Potter-magically-animated-newspaper style, or opened up a hidden machine for Hoovering the reader’s information — and if the ads took, discretely, only a small portion of each page. There is no law of physics that prevents newspapers from doing these things. As Cybertooth mentions, they are not making the transition to the real, present, Internet-dominated world all that well.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2372241
        Carl D
        AskWoody Lounger

        I don’t know about other parts of the world but here in Australia I’ve yet to come across a paywalled article that I haven’t been able to read at other non paywalled sites.

        Gigabyte GA-B250M-D3H Motherboard, Intel i5-7600 CPU, 32GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1065 Graphics Card, 1x Samsung 870 EVO 250GB SSD, 1x Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD, Windows 10 Professional 21H1 64bit.

        • #2372242
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Carl D: It happens sometimes here too. But not with articles from “The Washington Post”, my newspaper. It could be that, as has been mentioned here earlier by Cybertooth, newspapers, some worse than others, are still not handling the Internet all that well and, in this case, for example, are leaking material. Also it could be that some newspapers allow certain articles of great public interest to be free for anyone to read, as opposed to the whole newspaper. I think “The New York Times” does this here.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2372266
        Mele20
        AskWoody Lounger

        Of late, its only one choice: to subscribe or do without reading the WaPo contents.

        You must use IE or Edge as I have no problem accessing all the articles at WP on my browsers…ALL of them work just fine. Plus, I don’t see ads anywhere. I don’t have problems at any sites that have paywalls. But then I NEVER run current versions of any browsers nor do I ever run the latest version of Windows 10. If I were to have a problem, I would just switch to my other computer than runs Windows 8.0 (NOTE: NOT 8.1) and any problem vanishes. I don’t use the “popular” browsers.

        • #2372310
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          I use Waterfox Classic, latest version. Firefox works also. But I am a subscriber. Otherwise I am asked to login to read any articles. Although I might be allowed to read one “for free” without logging in and so identifying myself as a subscriber, before the Paywall Curtain comes down and stays down, unless I log in.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2372283
        anonymous
        Guest

        Put something online and it’s free to view, free to take.  The services serious about stopping users from taking their content have extreme security measures in place.  Online video services, for example, and they prosecute heavy abuse.

        WaPo, yeah WaPo.  I have an account and had posted thousands of good comments (not a troll) until two years ago or so, when they put up a paywall that couldn’t be bypassed without extraordinary measures.  Why bother, there are many many WaPo equivalents out there to read.  A few months ago, I followed an AlterNet link to WaPo and was able to login and post.  Now I can’t.

        Their paywall told me my adblocker was preventing access; same thing with it off.  The issue was probably OS and browser location disabled along with advertising ID’s.  They want me to subscribe but I can’t get past the paywall to do so.  My IP address has been the same for years, they can know it’s me but do they care?  Bots don’t care, No.

        I could write ten more paragraphs about how comically childish paywalls and anti-adblocker screens are but they will continue “We’re doin’ something about it, J.B.!”  I doubt WaPo itself has anything to do with their silly filters, they come and go and never work in a way that encourages anyone who want to pay, to do so.  Many WordPress sites are similar, apparently no humans are involved in the process.

        Same too, the argument about the awfulness of paywall bypass extensions.  Most don’t work well or at all; developers have to constantly keep up with their apps being defeated, a big job that gets boring quickly.  Most users have no idea what browser or even OS version they use or how to use extensions beside malware ones with cute emojis that get reported and removed.

        Sure, publishers should be payed, no question about that but expecting more income by blocking traffic when income and site engagement are positively correlated makes no sense.  Last century thinking from WaPo, a company owned by the richest person on earth; think about that.

        The whole situation is beyond broken and needs to be fixed.  Maybe so called Tech could start with trust; they have worked arduously to remove trust but couldn’t care less.  The biggest Tech companies combined have market capitalization about the same as Japan’s GDP; only legislation has a chance of spreading the wealth and putting some brains back into the online world.

        • #2372309
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Anonymous: “The whole situation is beyond broken and needs to be fixed. Maybe so called Tech could start with trust; they have worked arduously to remove trust but couldn’t care less. The biggest Tech companies combined have market capitalization about the same as Japan’s GDP; only legislation has a chance of spreading the wealth and putting some brains back into the online world.

          I do agree, and there is, for example, the idea outlined by Cybertooth, further up, about a reasonable way for newspapers to improve their online operations charging per use with a minimum of fuss for the would-be casual reader, without having to subscribe first for the whole year. As I see it, one can go to a newsstand and buy a single issue there when looking for something about some topic of interest to oneself in the day’s news, without having to pay in advance for 365 of them. Why not to arrange things to allow the same thing to happen online?

          Of course, newspapers prefer people to subscribe, because this makes their financial situation more predictable and helps them plan how to manage their operating budgets, employing personnel and investing in new equipment, in the months ahead. But they have been making a sufficiently good business selling single issues at newsstands for them to keep on doing it, so that should be something that, properly implemented, should work on line for them just as well.

          As to the WaPo being owned by the richest person on Earth: Amazon’s Bezos, maybe he is the richest, maybe not. But a recent attempt to unionize one of the warehouses, that he firmly opposed, was reported repeatedly, during the whole episode that played out over weeks, in the WaPo!, in terms not one bit flattering to Mr. Bezos. So maybe there is such a thing as an enlightened plutocrat — and journalism with a spine?

          I subscribe to the WaPo because it is the main publication in my area, to read also news about what’s going on in my County and State and, more generally, around where I live (particularly now that the County weeklies have long since expired around here —  as I believe they have in many places elsewhere) . I do not live in New York or Los Angeles, so I do not subscribe to “The New York Times” or to the “Los Angeles Times”, for example. Although I am thinking about subscribing to the former. There are also other news sites that are not paywalled, such as the BBC and the Associated Press ones. Over the radio, I also get news from PBS, so I support financially my local station. Because “freedom is not for free.”

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2372357
        Fred
        AskWoody Plus

        Fred, Something went wrong when you posted the above comment and cannot be read and understood, because only the first half of each line is visible.

        [#]2372229 Thank you Oscar,
        this Atlantic Ocean is peculiar sometimes, and perhaps the
        “latest ‘repair’ update” (kb5004476) from Microsoft has something to do with resolving this messing-up? (anybody, please enlighten me)

        Perhaps it’s permitted to answer you here.
        But there are new laws coming, GDPR like in the EU and extended in the EU aswel; they hopefully may limit the (mis)use of profiling, fingerprinting, following and tracking individuals by their specific arbitrary caracteristics that the (data)companies collect by the socalled ‘privatised’ algorithms.
        Yes, they (Main Stream Media) do this all over the world.
        A short while agoo a special group of investigating journalists
        made it clear that literally everybody uses these profiling
        techniques, not only the Googles and Amazons…..
        This extended “datahunger” of the many and various companies is used for targetted advertising, moneymaking and very often for manupulation smaller or larger specific groups of people; so called “anonymized-data” has turned out to be a myth. The “Cambridge Analytica” use of datasets has become common practice everywhere(!),
        It is good to be aware of this.

        That’s why it is so important to read news from many different
        sources all over the globe, and the few very good known journalists that are trustworthy in their independant writing:
        the cold factual facts and the opinion sidelines.
        Well, that’s more work than a day job is, and gives something to do.

        Paying by the article is not very new here for some four years.
        The issue is creating and presenting good information, and not creating only some opinion of one individuals.
        Only it is very difficult to collect a large group of readers to make a living.

         

        ~
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2372368
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Fred: “Paying by the article is not very new here for some four years.

        That is something that Cybertooth has brought up earlier in this thread as an idea he has had for sometime, which is fine, but the thing is to have a way to implement it that works well.

        At the very least would be great to pay for one online issue the way one buys one paper issue at a newsstand, a place that sells newspapers and magazines, without being a subscriber. So paying for one issue, not 365 issues.

        Now per article would be fine, although one wold have to know an interesting article exists before buying it. Or else buy the whole issue to find out what is happening with a particular thing one is interested in that is supposed to happen that day. For example, it is July 16th, 1969 and you’ve heard that some people were going to the Moon, starting today, so you want to know if they went and, if they did, how was it working out for them, so far. And you go and buy a newspaper, even if you are not a subscriber, because it is most likely that is going to have some information about that.

        Perhaps you might explain how this paying per article is done over there, from a technical point of view?

         

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • #2372371
          Fred
          AskWoody Plus

          “De Correspondent” since 2013

          https://decorrespondent.nl/over

          only Dutch, sorry

          ~
          • #2372383
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            I had a look in there, and can see that they are partly crowd-funded and do not rely on advertising, but while it is a nice thing they are doing, I can find no reference to the payment mechanism they have for people that want to buy one article, and that is what I would like to see

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2372399
        Mele20
        AskWoody Lounger

        Geez, you guys. The obvious answer in the USA is your PUBLIC LIBRARY. Go there and you can read today’s papers, yesterday’s, back papers, etc from many sources. The collections usually include large papers such as the NYT, WaPost, Los Angeles and San Francisco papers, papers in your state and your local paper. The archives usually go way, way back.

        Hawaii has some of the finest public libraries in the nation as they are all part of the Hawaii State Public Library system and we have wonderful collections of newspapers. (The public library system in this small state in the middle of the Pacific ocean is very impressive and was a main reason I decided to stay in Hawaii after the one year temporary position I took was over).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2372511
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Mele20: Thanks for mentioning public libraries, that are a good source of information perhaps not properly valued by the public. Actually the discussion here is about paywalling, so it is also about accessing publications online, which is what many, perhaps most people do, as paper issues of newspapers are not as readily accessible as their digital editions online.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2372446
        Wayne
        AskWoody Plus

        Being Canadian permanently here in Europe, I’m a BBC and CBC viewer but I try a couple (or one these days) NYT stories on occasion before the shutout. I don’t want to pay for a subscription because there’s too much I’m not interested in, e.g., sports or local NYC news, but I tend to pick a headline story and then move on to related stories or most-read articles. I used to continue article hopping for quite a while, especially opinion pieces, but the limit got squeezed to three and then one.

        A per article pay system would suit me just fine if it worked automatically, maybe after a daily login (I boot up every morning and my cookies are cleared when I shut down the browser so I usually get the minimum allowance) when I feel like a paper-browsing session to flesh out my two standard sites or to catch up on my favourite columnists.

        I suspect a per-article fee would soon add up to more than a monthly subscription, never mind all the stuff I didn’t read anyway. Does anyone have a proposed price per article? Two for a penny? A nickel or dime each? What will the market bear?

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2372491
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Wayne: The pricing and the paying mechanism are two interesting points that I hope can be clarified in this conversation. Cybertooth was the first to suggest it, but the devil is in the details, so meaningful and practical details are welcome.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2372522
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        Wayne: The pricing and the paying mechanism are two interesting points that I hope can be clarified in this conversation. Cybertooth was the first to suggest it, but the devil is in the details, so meaningful and practical details are welcome.

        The pricing will be a process of discovery, as some sites try rates that run out to be too high or too low, other sites get it about right from the outset, and then the rest begin to converge around a price level that offers a balance between “profitability” and “eyeballs”. I expect there to be a mix of revenue structures, depending on how “evangelistic” each site feels about getting its viewpoint out, and of course depending on whatever other sources of revenue each site enjoys.

        As to the mechanism, the technology is nearing the point where a micropayment system becomes practical. One approach might be to tie the payments to a credit card, while another could involve some kind of cryptocurrency. The folks who develop the Brave browser haven been working on a hybrid solution. The last time I looked, the setup was still a rather geeky process, but the idea was to give users a way to automatically contribute to their favorite sites.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2372562
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        That solution does not pay the journalists

        And paywalls subscription does ?

        • #2372706
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Alex, do you know something we don’t know? If you do, then out with it; please, don’t keep us guessing.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

    Viewing 15 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, no politics or religion.

    Reply To: Why applications meant to defeat newspaper paywalls are bad.

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.