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Posts Tagged ‘NAA’

NYT, Gannett And Others Join AP Suit Against Meltwater

Several of the biggest names in the daily news business joined the AP in its fight against online news clipping service Meltwater News this week. The publishers coming to support AP by filing an amicus brief in its ongoing lawsuit include the New York Times Company, Advance Publications, Gannett, The McClatchy Company and the Newspaper Association of America (which represents 2,000 organizations).

Last year, the Associated Press filed a lawsuit against Meltwater claiming the service — a paid electronic clipping service that monitors and delivers news stories on keyword-specific topics to its paying customers — violated AP copyright and competed directly against AP by illegally selling its content. Since then, the back and forth battle over fair use and what’s fair on the Internet has intensified, with supporters on both sides.

This week, the newspapers weighed in and filed an amicus brief supporting the AP (download the full PDF of the brief, which is worth reading). Here’s their take on the issue and what’s at stake:

It takes no friend-of-the-court brief for the Court to know that the rise of the Internet has been highly disruptive to the nation’s news organizations, as their readers and advertisers have migrated to the Web. In response, the nation’s news organizations, including the amici on this brief, have at considerable expense developed their own Websites and digital businesses to carry their news reports. These digital businesses are supported by electronic advertising revenue, electronic subscription revenue, and licensing income from other publishers and users and aggregators. None of these revenue streams can be sustained if news organizations are unable to protect their news reports from the wholesale copying and redistribution by free-riders like Meltwater.
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Paywall Pace Increases, As More News Sites Limit Free Articles

If you read your local, hometown or regional newspaper online chances are you’ve hit or will soon be faced with a paywall. That’s because an analysis of Newspaper Association of America data by EByline shows news sites have picked up the pace of paywall adoption in recent months. Previously, they found that larger newspapers, especially, have erected paywalls to try and capture some digital revenue after years of fee-free online reading.

Here’s what EByline’s Susan Johnson found:

A few trends pop out of the data (which has a few holes but is otherwise pretty comprehensive): meters galore, discounts for print subscribes are overwhelmingly popular and, most significantly, an accelerating pace of adoption that peaked late last year but is picking up steam again. This suggests that while experimentation with paywall specifics continues, the journalism industry believes they ultimately have a solution to their digital problem.

According to EByline’s reporting, 84 percent of the papers listed in the NAA database as having payrolls use a metered paywall approach, where they let visitors sample a limited number of articles without paying for access or subscribing.

Johnson’s analysis found the average number of free articles a news site allows readers is 11.2. You’ll remember, the New York Times recently lowered its free article count from 20 to 10. So maybe that really is the sweet spot?

Poynter also looked at the data and has some more details about which organizations have instituted payrolls, and who’s at the low end (3) and the high end (25). It notes 156 papers have adopted paywalls, with more already announced but not yet implemented.

The full Ebyline post is worth reading for more information on their analysis and predictions.

YOUR TURN: What do you think of the paywall approach? Inevitable, or annoying? Saving journalism, or hastening its demise? Tell us in the comments, or @10000words