The New York Times, finally cottoning to the notion that information wants to be free*, has abandoned its pricey TimesSelect program and made all current web content free--including columns by Tom Friedman, David Brooks, and Maureen Dowd--as well as all archived material back to 1987. The change took effect this morning.
If you start noticing more advertising on the site, it's no coincidence.
Now Rupert Murdoch, new owner of the Wall Street Journal, says he's "leaning toward" making WSJ.com free as well. Full online access currently costs $79 a year. Like his counterparts at the Times, Murdoch would expect to make up the difference, and then some, in ad revenue.
* From remarks by Stewart Brand at the first Hackers' Conference in 1984. Brand's full quote: ""On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other." Link.