Pretty huge news:
The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night, reflecting a growing view in the industry that subscription fees cannot outweigh the potential ad revenue from increased traffic on a free site.
The move comes two years to the day after The Times began the subscription program, TimesSelect, which has charged $49.95 a year, or $7.95 a month, for online access to its columnists’ work and to the newspaper’s archives. TimesSelect has been free to print subscribers to The Times, and to some students and educators.
In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain.
I’m sure they’ll make much more money on the advertising revenue. Imagine Googling a topic and pulling up an original 17-year-old article from the New York Times.
Of course, I’ll have to stop telling my students that they can’t Google their research papers.