Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Price barriers as influence barriers

Mike Masnick, Why Newspaper Archives Remain Fee-Based, a blog posting on today's TechDirt. Excerpt: 'Mark Glaser's latest article for the Online Journalism Review takes a look at the debate over whether or not newspapers should open up their archives for free. It includes a quote from Martin Nisenholtz, CEO of New York Times Digital, scoffing at the idea they should open up their archives: "We're not about to give away something that the marketplace is paying a huge premium for already -- unless you could get a lot more than that premium in some other way, which you can't, believe me, there's no way. There's no analysis to show that Google AdWords gets you anything close to what we make on archives on the Web -- never mind all the money we make on the after-market sales. It's so ridiculous as to be laughable." Of course, that's making a few assumptions, which might not prove to be true, such as the idea that the only way to get other revenue out of free content is Google AdWords. Google AdWords is one solution, and an easy one, but like most easy solutions, it's probably not the most lucrative. If that's all the NY Times is considering, they need to hire someone with a bit more business sense. It also doesn't take into account the importance of how much influence a news organization has, and how they can lose much of it by closing off their content.' (PS: How much of this analysis --Mike Masnick's or Mark Glaser's-- transfers to scholarly journal publishing?)