I read an article on the BBC site recently about Google limiting free news access to sites where you normally have to pay for content. The idea is to limit users to a maximum of 5 free articles per site for sites that participate in the First Click Free programme. After that, users will be redirected to register or pay. Apparently, Google is doing this because the newspaper industry is concerned that Google is benefiting unfairly from newspaper content. How so?
Some readers have discovered they can avoid paying subscription fees to newspaper websites by calling up their pages via Google. This is because Google searches frequently link directly to newspaper articles, bypassing some sites’ subscription systems.
So whose fault is it that users are able to access content for free that they shouldn’t be able to? Is it Google’s because they link directly to articles? Or is it the fault of the news sites for not getting their web developers to create their sites more securely? Have they heard about password control?
What’s your view?