Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Paywalls continue to grow

The news that Google is to limit the amount of free articles that a user can download from its search engine will be seen as another step towards the building of paywalls.

The announcement follows a sustained attack by News Corp and Rupert Murdoch in particular over the service essentially living off the back of free access to online information.

Google announced the move on its blog overnight and according to Josh Cohen,its senior Business Product Manager,

One way we overcome this is through a program called First Click Free. Participating publishers allow the crawler to index their subscription content, then allow users who find one of those articles through Google News or Google Search to see the full page without requiring them to register or subscribe. The user's first click to the content is free, but when a user clicks on additional links on the site, the publisher can show a payment or registration request.

Of course as Guardian media point out

It remains to be seen whether this will placate Murdoch, who told the US Federal Trade Commission workshop yesterday: "Producing journalism is expensive. We invest tremendous resources in our project from technology to our salaries. To aggregate stories is not fair use. To be impolite, it is theft.

So look out for the registration page

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