W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > December 2011

Re: Does the NY Times Paywall Misuse HTTP GET?

From: Eric J. Bowman <eric@bisonsystems.net>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2011 16:37:09 -0700
To: "Martin J. Dürst" <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Cc: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20111214163709.bbaf85ab.eric@bisonsystems.net>
Well, sure, nobody's claiming fraud here, just protocol abuse.  :-)
Yes, NYT should use different wording like "up to 20 free articles",
because as it stands they're making a promise their implementation, HTTP
GET, can't keep.  It's bad design which would be disastrous PR-wise if
used to charge per article.  Do it right, do it once... and have the
flexibility to change billing models without re-coding the website.


"Martin J. Dürst" wrote:
> On 2011/12/14 13:23, Noah Mendelsohn wrote:
> > On 12/13/2011 11:10 PM, Eric J. Bowman wrote:
> > I think that calling this a "hit counter" is in the same spirit,
> > though not as extreme, as calling something that decrements my back
> > account a "hit counter".
> >
> > Every month the New York Times gives me 20 units of value to spend.
> > They happen to be accesses to their published articles. Each time I
> > do a GET to one of those articles, my account is decremented.
> This is not a technical argument, which means it may be OT for this 
> list, but:
> There is a saying "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.". If you 
> actually paid for these 20 units, I could understand your complaint
> much better. But it's not that you acquired a right, it's just that
> you get something for free.
> It's not that the NY Times wants to assure that you get your 20 units 
> without mistake, it's that they want to make sure you don't get more 
> than 20 units (and both they and you know there's ways to get around 
> it). And they probably also don't want to invest too much into an
> area where they don't make money, nor do they want to bother casual
> users with having to say "yes, I want something for free again" every
> time.
> Regards,   Martin.
Received on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 23:40:15 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 22:56:41 UTC