So the New York Times is free online. I won’t bother linking to all the blogs talking about this decision, or opining whether this is a good or bad move financially for the Times. I’m on the fence about this, since I don’t think advertising alone can keep a huge for-profit newspaper running.
One thing I will note, however, is its effect on subscribers to the NY Times wire service. Currently, small newspapers around the world (including The Gazette) run feature stories from the Times in their newspapers (The Gazette even has a page in its Sunday section dedicated to reprinting a Times feature). But the licensing agreement doesn’t allow free web publishing of these articles, to prevent a Maureen Dowd opinion piece to be available free on some small-market daily when the Times was trying to sell it on its TimesSelect service.
As a result of this change, will these papers now be able to publish these pieces on their websites? And perhaps more importantly, will these papers still be as eager to republish these pieces in their print editions now that they’re available free online?
All kinds of people rely on print media for reading-as-entertainment, particularly when those 10-page features strain the eyes. Separate audiences, I think.
And, honestly, it’s not like papers are shy about repeating the tritest celebrity happenings days after they splash onto Perez Hilton, etc.
But, to answer your question, I don’t think opening reader access means web reprint access will also be changed.