New York Times Op-Ed Page No Longer Available For Free Online:
My thoughts on this are pretty similar to Kieran Healy's.
Dr. Reo Symes (mail):
Furthermore, I understand Krugman's corrections will require and additional fee, and an upgrade to broadband.
9.19.2005 7:32pm
Actually, I believe the Internet 2 was designed to handle Krugman's corrections. However, he still doesn't seem to post them. For me, the only reason I checked in on the NYTimes opinion site was to read the headers on the columns, I haven't felt the need to actually read a column in years, I know what they're going to say anyhow. Now, I don't even need to do this.
9.19.2005 7:50pm
Stephen Macklin (mail) (www):
How much do you think I could get for a username and password on eBay? I figure at least $2 or $3.
9.19.2005 8:18pm
erp (mail):
I'll muddle through somehow
9.19.2005 9:53pm
Pete Freans (mail):
I must now pay for the likes of Dowd &Krugman, whose mantric views I can predict anyway with alarming accuracy? I think we owe the NYT a debt of gratitude.
9.19.2005 9:56pm
John Jenkins (mail):
What's the over/under on how long this will last?
9.19.2005 10:16pm
The General:
Why pay for the NYT when you can ignore it for free!
9.19.2005 10:36pm
Jim Rhoads (mail):
Way to build influence in 21st Century communications. What are the chances that Ben Franklin would have made such a decision if it were up to him? I say he would love the blogosphere.
9.19.2005 11:06pm
Had you not told me, I would never have known.
9.20.2005 2:02am
therut (mail):
Are they so ashamed of them they are hiding them from the masses. No I didn't think so. I guess they are only good now for the rich white liberals. They need an echo chamber for awhile to stroke their ego.
9.20.2005 3:21am
Patrick McKenzie (mail):
Take the scorn out of that position and I think you're mostly right. The New York Times is gradually repositioning itself away from being the Paper of Record and more towards being a declared crusading liberal newspaper, something like a Fox News of the left (where the news isn't just slanted by accident but where the slant is tacitly or openly acknowledged and certainly embraced as a branding strategy*). The reason you would subscribe to it is partially because you enjoy reading people who agree with you (or because the writing is top-notch, etc) and partially because being a NYT subscriber allows you to form and (importantly) show your identity, much like you have an identity as a Cub fan because you attend their games or a sophisticated Starbucks drinker because you could never tolerate coffee that cost less than $3 per cup. Many magazines are similar products -- high-brow publications, for example, are as much about being high-brow yourself as they are about any content actually written in them. Or the National Review, which I personally subscribe to for $20 a year while I can get essentially the same information elsewhere for free. etc, etc
9.20.2005 3:53am
John Tabin (www):
You can still get the columns for free if you look for them.
9.20.2005 5:11am
All the NYT Opinions that are fit to read are still available for free. (Apparently none.)
9.20.2005 8:57am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Where are the ads when you need them? I have been seeing the same NYT ad for quite awhile - a woman suggesting that the paper has all you need to live in the city.

Obviously, they mean NY City, as I can't see that paper being all that useful for living in other cities. Rather, I would expect the local papers to be more so.

My point though is a question of whether they are retrenching into being a local paper again. They had made a stab at being national, with, apparently, half their subscriptions being non-local.

But I would add in that there is still a bit of a snob appeal having a NYT subscription. The people I know here in CO with subscriptions I think want everyone to think that they are cosmopolitan enough to still go into the "city" occasionally, etc. And to be highbrow enough to appreciate a newspaper of class.

Personally, I am like most here - am perfectly happy not to have access any more. But, then, I don't like NY City. I don't like going there. I don't think that it is the seat of all civilization (excluding Europe, esp. England), etc.
9.20.2005 10:23am
All scorn for the New York Times aside (I have plenty, particularly for the opinion columnists, but I don't think it's productive to express it here), why would they do this?

It seems to me that they're sacrificing a big chunk of their readership and their relevance, as well as some of their advertising revenue, in exchange for a few bucks from paid subscribers. I think that the NYTimes trades largely on its relevance as the "paper of record," and that decreasing access in this way will only hurt it. I suppose that the actual news will remain accessible for free, and people who are used to reading the print version of the Times won't be affected, but a lot of the circles that used to discuss NYTimes opinion columns will probably move on to other stuff.

Do they think this will turn a profit?
Do they think that their columns will still circulate just as much as before because the paid subscribers will pass them around on e-mail?

Or, as some commenters seem to imply, has the paper given in to the notion that the deluge of opinions available elsewhere on the internet has largely supplanted the NYTimes, such that only diehard loyalists (i.e. those who would gladly pay for it) read the online Times op-eds anymore?
9.20.2005 11:30am
Perhaps it's not such a big deal after all. Balkin notes
that there's a service out there that could make most of this moot.
9.20.2005 9:05pm
If Professor Kerr thinks the NYT should give away its content to be more influential, maybe he should make the suggestion to Professor Volokh. Volokh has a recent post defending the practice of receiving royalties from the students who pay his salary.

Under Kerr's theory, Volokh should just put his First Amendment textbook on the web for students and professors to download for free. That would save all the publishing costs, and Volokh could increase his influence.
9.21.2005 12:42pm