The Kansas City Star has notified registered users of its KansasCity.com Web site that effective 9/4/09 it will implement new "Terms of Service" that will include a subscription or surcharge for certain on-line content.
The McClatchy-owned paper has been forced to dramatically reduce its staffing levels, seen its circulation drop and has tried all kinds of methods to generate additional revenue, including dramatically increasing the cost of the paper...
It's not clear what the Star plans to charge for, or why the Star thinks this plan will succeed when all other attempts by newspapers to charge for online content have flopped. What are they going to hide behind a paywall? Breaking news?... consumers will go somewhere else. Feature stories?... I doubt there is enough readership potential to make it worthwhile. Talented writers?... nobody in their right mind would limit readership of writers who have a following.
To read the Star's updated terms of service policy, click here.
Pravda’s Duma must have figured out how to charge for air, TV guide listings or collector, Dear Leader Christmas (oops Marxist oxymoron) Earth Day/Festivus, trinkets.
When Prime Buzz first came out they tried to charge for it, no dice. What they fail to understand is that we go online because we hate the paper and won't buy it. Read the comments below the stories (and particularly the editorials). It's folks telling them how badly they suck.
I suspect that they're going to try and charge for some of their syndicated columnists like Jason Whitlock. Good luck with that.
Actually, it's not just KansasCity.com. Corporate legal had all MNI papers add something like this to their online TOS:
From time to time, and at XXXXXXXXX.com's sole discretion, there may be certain content available via subscription or surcharge, and such content will be clearly marked. Because this is an advertising-supported service, we encourage you to patronize the advertisers that help to make this service possible. Note that currently most news articles remain available for 30 days in the pages of XXXXXXX.com. The XXXXXXXXX's electronic archives may carry a fee per full-text article downloaded.
Your headline is a stretch. This is simply a company reserving the right to do something. Doesn't mean they will, but certainly allows them to without having to change the TOS.
It would be nice, given all the writing talent at these companies, if the lawyers would pass the copy on to a human being and have them re-write it in something that resembles English.
Yesterday(11-9)The KC Star had an editorial that waxed nostalgic about the good ole' days of East Germany. And they wonder why they are in trouble.
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