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No Linking To Japanese Newspaper Without Permission 134

Posted by timothy
from the thank-you-for-visiting dept.
stovicek writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica about the Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun, or Nikkei (English language site, so far apparently unaffected): "Nikkei has taken efforts to preserve its paywall to absurd new levels: anyone wanting to link to the site must submit a formal application. [...] The New York Times, which reported on the new policy on Thursday, notes that the newspaper market in Japan is radically different from that in the US. Although some smaller outlets are experimenting with new ways of reaching readers, most papers require subscriptions to access online content, and the barriers have kept circulation of print editions quite high compared to the US. Nikkei management appears worried that links could provide secret passages to content that should be safely behind the paywall, and this fear has led to the new approval policy."
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No Linking To Japanese Newspaper Without Permission

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  • If (RefererURL is not OurURL) or (ReferURL is Authorized) then {show denialpage;} else {show content;}

    It's their site and they can do it if they want to... paywall nets cash but costs views and ad yen. Let's see where this ends up.

    • Hate it when I write a bug... there's a missing "not" somewhere in there.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:19AM (#31798424)

        Where would you add the not? That code is messed up. If you do "is not Authorized", it is still broken as OurUrl = false, Authorized = true would still cause denialpage. And now I assume that if OurUrl is true then Authorized will be true too. Let me suggest:

        If (RefererURL is OurURL) or (RefererUrl is Authorized) then { show content; } else { show denialpage; }

        In this solution we avoid unnecessary negation and I would think this would be clear for all readers. A thing to note about this approach is that this is "deny by default". Alternatively:

        If (RefererURL is not OurURL) and (RefererURL is not Authorized) then { show denialpage; } else { show content };

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ultranova (717540)

          If (RefererURL is Authorized) then {show content} else { make your site look bad}.

          There is simply no point in hardcoding a special exception rather than handling it all in "is Authorized".

      • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:26AM (#31798436) Homepage

        There's a bigger bug than that: you can't trust the referrer. It's completely controlled by the browser, not the page the link was on. Users can easily set the referrer to any string they wish, e.g. with the RefControl extension for Firefox, which will happily set it to the address of the current page—or the home page of the site—by default.

        If you really want to know whether the user is authorized to view a page you need to track their session, either with (secure) cookies or (secure) URL parameters. Better yet, use standard Digest authentication and let the browser take care of the credentials. The referrer string has no place in a proper authentication protocol.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by init100 (915886)

          Better yet, use standard Digest authentication

          There is one downside of Digest authentication compared to Basic authentication over SSL. Since Digest authentication generates a random salt which is hashed together with the password and sent to the server, the server must keep the password in plaintext in its user database. With Basic authentication, the password can be stored as a hash on the server, and with SSL the security issue with Basic authentication goes away.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by LucidBeast (601749)

            Not quite. Digest is calculated using hash from concatenation of username realm & passwd.

            request-digest = See below for the definitions for A1 and A2.

            3.2.2.2 A1 If the "algorithm" directive's value is "MD5" or is unspecified, then A1 is:

            A1 = unq(username-value) ":" unq(realm-value) ":" passwd

            So you can store A1 hash and forget the username & password.

            see RFC 2617 for details.

            • by init100 (915886)

              I can see that now. I'll have to take it up with my colleagues. We had a discussion about this regarding digest authentication in SIP (which is essentially the same as digest authentication in HTTP), and I was told that storing a hash in the database would be impossible, because of the reason I mentioned in my previous post. Obviously this was because of a misunderstanding in how the digest authentication operates.

              Thanks for the clarification.

          • by shentino (1139071)

            So it would be a reader's digest?

        • by bytesex (112972)

          So you build a session with an unpredictable consequence of identifiers passed on by each page, the first one of which can only be acquired by the paywall entry.

    • rms@susebox:~> wget --referer="http://www.theirsite.com/" "targetURL"
    • by nospam007 (722110) * on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:07AM (#31798690)

      "The New York Times, which reported on the new policy on Thursday, notes that.."

      Since the NYT will disappear behind a paywall as well soon, they will be able to sort that out in the VIP room, where none of the unwashed masses will read it.

    • by DrXym (126579)
      It's not trivial to set up a paywall but it is still relatively straightforward. Any application server could be configured to intercept and validate a request. Typically it will be done with session cookie(s) holding encrypted data of some kind. If the cookie is absent or expired or invalid you redirect the browser off to the login page. If the cookie is valid, you send the browser off to the requested content. I imagine a paywall site would also have to do some kind of IP validation to prevent 1 guy buyin
      • I imagine a paywall site would also have to do some kind of IP validation to prevent 1 guy buying access and posting up the info online for everyone else to use.
         
        You can run into problem there due to NAT (hundreds of potential unique subscribers can appear to be at one single IP address) and DHCP (my IP address right now may not be the same as it was 30 minutes ago).

    • by nstlgc (945418)
      Except for that a referer URL isn't something you'd trust, since it's so easily forged...
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Saturday April 10, 2010 @02:47AM (#31798322)

    I remember when I was willing to shell out a few bucks a year for a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, our American business paper. And then Rupert Murdoch bought it and turned it into Pravda with better paper.

    Now, I'm not saying that the Japanese Nikkei is any better (yes, I am), but you have to understand that in Japan there is a strict code of honor that everyone implicitly abides by. This is why there is so little petty crime and violence there compared to the U.S. It's also why people are willing to pay for music rather than download it. The penalty for disobedience and "going your own way" is social ostracization.

    So it makes sense in the Japanese worldview to demand a virtual face-to-face meeting in order to link to information and stories. The linker is a supplicant who must throw himself at the feet of the information "daimyo". To do any less would shame both the supplicant and the lord.

    I'm not saying it's a good thing, but it's how it is over there. Over here, we're free to say stuff like "FIX YOUR FUCKING WEBSITE, YOU IDIOTS! IT'S BEEN BROKEN FOR HOURS!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If there's a strict code of honor that everyone abides by, why does the Yakuza exist?

      Individuals are still individuals even in Japan.

      • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:01AM (#31798364)

        The Yakuza is part and parcel of that code. It isn't an aberration at all. It is a product of the same culture that brings you pedophilia dressed up cartoon outfits, hugely xenophobic attitudes towards other races, hivemind-like business practices, a deep insecurity of own culture, the equating of product defects with moral defects, institutionalized misogyny, and widespread depression among males.

        It's a fucked up, oppressive culture that creates many terrible things, but at the same time many beautiful things. You can't separate the Yakuza from Japanese culture, just as you can't separate the geisha or sushi or cherry blossoms or Honda cars from it.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by timmarhy (659436)
          " It isn't an aberration at all. It is a product of the same culture that brings you pedophilia dressed up cartoon outfits, hugely xenophobic attitudes towards other races, hivemind-like business practices, a deep insecurity of own culture, the equating of product defects with moral defects, institutionalized misogyny, and widespread depression among males."

          you just described my impression of america.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Tromad (1741656)

            This is straight up bullshit, I don't know if you live in Klan Country but I have lived within the US in California and Arizona and I'm not sure if a more diverse set of people live anywhere else in the world. In the middle of Republican Arizona I can get some of the most awesome authentic Afghani food available. There are entire communities of people from nearly everywhere in the world that exist in major cities here. Greek fairs, Asian fairs, Russian fairs nearly every week a culture celebrates themselves

            • by pmc (40532)

              This is straight up bullshit, I don't know if you live in Klan Country but I have lived within the US in California and Arizona and I'm not sure if a more diverse set of people live anywhere else in the world.

              I would say England is more diverse - in London there are more than 300 different languages spoken in schools (and an estimated 700 spoken in all). For comparison in Los Angeles there are 92 spoken in schools (and 224 in all).

              I agree though - anyone who thinks the US is not open to other cultures has strange opinions.

              • What's your languages spoken source? Anyway, I would think Washington DC is the appropriate target for comparison. Based on past stories of ethnic diversity that I have heard.

                C//

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Even our immigration policies are more open than our neighbors (Canada in particular).

              This is just false. As a foreigner looking for immigration options, I can assure you that Canada is much easier and friendlier to a skilled immigrant than US. For one thing, it does not have country quotas!

          • by russotto (537200) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @09:30AM (#31799402) Journal

            you just described my impression of america.

            Nice troll. America lacks almost completely the equating of product defects with moral defects. It lacks a deep insecurity of its own culture (quite the opposite, Americans take American culture so much for granted that many are often surprised when it doesn't exist elsewhere, and we export it without even trying) Institutionalized misogyny is largely absent; the places it holds out are generally places considered either morally suspect or low class or both (car sales, and particularly used car sales, being one such holdout.). Hugely xenophobic attitudes towards other races are held by a minority of the population, again usually not well-thought-of by the rest. Hivemind-like business practices? Uh, no. Even in the bad old days of legal cartels, there was nothing resembling a hive mind. Pedophilia dressed up in cartoon outfits? Again, no. So that leaves widespread depression among males. Judging from the drug commercials, I'd say you've got that one. One out of seven.... you must be European.

        • by mdwh2 (535323)

          pedophilia dressed up cartoon outfits

          I'm curious what you are referring to here? Pedophilia is about children, not cartoons - which are, you know, fictional.

          It is a product of the same culture that brings you hugely xenophobic attitudes towards other races

          Oh, the irony of this post.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Arancaytar (966377)

        The mafia has a strict code of honor, too.

        It's one reason why "MAFIAA" is kind of a misnomer for the music industry.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      All good in meatspace. But now they have to deal with the whole world that doesn't necessarily fit their mold. Best that they keep their damn paper off the net and just email a copy to their subscribers.

    • by timmarhy (659436)
      lol. you've watched one too many anime's my friend. Yes the japanese are more polite then american's in general, but so is every other country. if you explained the retarded nature of this to most japanese people they would think it's stupid as well.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

        No, try explaining it to them without describing it as "retarded". See how many will say, "Yeah, that makes sense. Only paying users should have access."

        If you explain it with a certain bias, you'll find them agreeing with you, whether they hold that opinion or not.

        • >>>"Yeah, that makes sense. Only paying users should have access."

          You think it's only Japanese that think that way? I'm American and that phrase was running in my mind, and I bet there are some Europeans who also think along those lines. Reporters produce articles - that means they need to be paid - what better way to ensure that labor is covered then to charge for it?

          I honestly don't see how reporting can continue in a world where their labor goes unpaid (i.e. papers are free online). It would

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Except this isn't about paywalls and whether they are good or bad in any sense, it is about trying to prohibit people pointing links at your pages without permission. You can refuse t serve up a page if you like, or redirect people to a different page, but you can't object to someone pointing a hyperlink at anything they like. If your paywall is broken, that's your problem, not the rest of the world's.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mashiki (184564)

      Nikkei is by and far better then most NA papers. But saying that there's little to no petty crime isn't being true, there's plenty of it. The old centralist code is going poof, as by seen by the current generation of college and grade-schoolers. Want a heavy dose of honor-bound-things that people abide by Korea is where it's at. Everything else is turn your eye away from it, break the rules there's ways around it. Petty crime for the most part I agree, but I figure it has to do with the police not taki

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        I give up posting while jet lagged too. Ugh 12hr time shifts kick you in the face...what a mess that post is.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's also why people are willing to pay for music rather than download it. The penalty for disobedience and "going your own way" is social ostracization.

      I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of me downloading gigabytes upon gigabytes of Japanese music from Japanese file sharing services.

    • by ultranova (717540)

      So it makes sense in the Japanese worldview to demand a virtual face-to-face meeting in order to link to information and stories. The linker is a supplicant who must throw himself at the feet of the information "daimyo". To do any less would shame both the supplicant and the lord.

      So... Do Japanese newspaper owners disembowel themselves when they're shamed? Or are they only daimyos when that happens to benefit them?

      I would also like to add that, in Japanese traditions, a businessman - a member of the mercha

  • It sounds like this site requires that user be logged in to view articles, and so links to the articles shouldn't hurt them anyway. But they don't think their security is up to snuff, and so links might be able to get around the paywall, and they work around this with unenforceable linking policies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drolli (522659)
      I work in a Japanese company. And i understand fully why they dont thrust their security. The main problem is that if the (incompetent) admins explains that something is in that way, then the boss will believe him.
  • Seriously while I agree collecting news and dispersing it is quite costly, the realistic value of MOST of the news out there is next to nothing.
    For example a news article about a news site charging money for news. WOW that is news to me.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

  • by angus77 (1520151) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:02AM (#31798368)
    Ummm..."the barriers have kept circulation of print editions quite high compared to the US"...? Circulation of papers in Japan has always been ridiculously higher in Japan than in the US. Some of those papers have daily circulations of eight figures---no American paper has ever achieved circulation figures like that, past or present. The local paper that I get (the Shizuoka Shinbun) has a daily circulation of over 700,000 (vs 900,000 for the New York Times), and it's not even read nationally like the Yomiuri, Mainichi, Asahi, Nikkei, etc.
    • Japanese are incredibly protective of their copyrights and deeply dislike giving anything away for free - they want to get paid for what they do. Also, the newspaper culture is huge here (as the parent said) and despite Japan's image of being on the cutting edge of technology, people prefer having a paper in front of them rather than having to sit in front of a computer (most homes typically have only one).

      • I would assume that such circulations are due to the hight population density (10 times higher in japan, according to wikipedia).
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MidnightBrewer (97195)

          Density doesn't necessarily drive popularity. However, Japan is unique in its group mindset, where a lot of people are happy to do things just because everyone else does.

          Also, Japanese are strongly traditional and have a cultural appreciation for things like newspapers. They like to share, for one; they can clip articles; and a paper is viewed as more economical and frugal (doesn't require electricity).

          • by Lakitu (136170)

            Also, Japanese are strongly traditional and have a cultural appreciation for things like newspapers. They like to share, for one; they can clip articles; and a paper is viewed as more economical and frugal (doesn't require electricity).

            Isn't that the equivalent of linking? I don't get it.

        • I would assume that such circulations are due to the hight population density

          I'd have thought it was to do with high population. Common sense would indicate that ceteris paribus more people would buy more papers.

          However I'm at a loss as to how packing them closer together would make any difference whatsoever.

          • > However I'm at a loss as to how packing them closer together would make any
            > difference whatsoever.

            High density combined with cultural uniformity means that everyone is interested in the same stuff and so they are all more likely to read the same paper.

            • by angus77 (1520151)
              Which doesn't even begin to explain the huge number of papers in Japan, *each* of which has a huge circulation: Yomiuri 14 million; Asahi 12 million; Mainichi 5.5 million; Nikkei 4.6 million; Chunichi 4.5 million...what you're saying would make sense if there was one paper to rule them all in Japan, but this is clearly not true.
          • by aix tom (902140)

            When the "reading material" you carry stabbed into your side in the packed subway a paper newspaper hurts less than a e-book.

            On the other hand, you can hit the person next to you groping you better with a rolled-up newspaper.

      • by linzeal (197905)
        Maybe for 40+ year olds, which I suppose is most of Japan, sadly. The Japanese I know in their 20's and 30's get all their info from news readers and aggregators like we do and I would imagine the amount of the younger generations who can read/write/speak English might be part of the reason for that, considering that English News Dailies in Japan [japantimes.co.jp] are still mostly free.
        • I suspect it comes down to who you hang out with as to how your views of Japan are shaped. Many of my friends are in their 20s and 30s and get their news from the paper or television. Even my computer-savvy friends hardly use RSS at all; the only aggregators they frequently use are what they can get through Yahoo! Japan and YouTube.

          I've been here 8 years and taught at several high schools, and young people with no wherewithal beyond their cell phones also rely on the paper for their news (if nothing else, f

          • Trust me, most young Japanese people below college age have no idea what the Japan Times is

            Most young people below college age everywhere have no idea what newspapers are.
    • Circulation of papers in Japan has always been ridiculously higher in Japan than in the US. Some of those papers have daily circulations of eight figures---no American paper has ever achieved circulation figures like that, past or present. The local paper that I get (the Shizuoka Shinbun) has a daily circulation of over 700,000 (vs 900,000 for the New York Times), and it's not even read nationally like the Yomiuri, Mainichi, Asahi, Nikkei, etc.

      Just an observation: the biggest newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat, has daily circulation of little over 400,000 copies - and the population of Finland is just over 5 million people. I suspect there aren't many newspapers with higher circulation/population ratios. (Yeah, other papers have high circulation figures here, too, always have.)

      And they also have both free and paid content - but no problems against linking to the latter, rather the opposite: they hope links will bring more subscribers.

      • by angus77 (1520151)
        maybe even more interesting is the fact that the Shizuoka Shinbun, with circulation of over 700,000, serves Shizuoka Prefecture with a population of 3.5 million---despite the competition from the Yomiuri, Asahi, Mainichi et al. Also, they don't have paywalls. Neither does the Yomiuri. Maybe this is really all about what pricks they are at Nikkei, and not at all about "Japanese newspapers" or Japanese culture/mindset/whaatever.
  • Wait just a minute (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Superdarion (1286310) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:04AM (#31798378)
    There are certain forums (free as in beer in many cases) that require registration to even read. If you reach one of their pages thru a link, you are redirected to a "You have to register to see this" page.

    I'm talking about free forums using a template in many cases.

    So this newspaper in Japan that is being paid cannot do the same? Is their IT department full of idiotic monkeys in crack so that they can't implement a simple check to see if the user is logged in (thus paying) or not?
    • but you can normally still access the content using google cache on such forums without registering

  • by In hydraulis (1318473) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:07AM (#31798382)
    Perhaps my understanding of the World Wide Web is flawed, naïve, or both, but I don't think it works this way.

    Wasn't one of the premises of the WWW to be able to hyperlink to anything you want, anything at all, and the underlying technology designed to reflect this idealogy?

    If I'm wrong, please educate me.
    • No you're right. It just so happens that one of the things you can reference with this advanced hyperlinking technology is a funnel [wikipedia.org] to piss your money away.
      • Replying to myself. This is the same notion in establishment media prevalent in most corporate institutions. Manifesting itself through their desire to artificially manufacture economic or intellectual scarcity [wikipedia.org], this brand of trust essentially postulates their own value irregardless of supply and demand. Furthermore, their grossly misrepresented value is perceived as actual value due to regulation [wikipedia.org] and therefore accounts for their phenomenal circulation. Do not confuse that perceived value with real rede
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:26AM (#31798442)

      That's like it was when the internet was ruled by the techies. Now it's ruled by the beancounters.

      • No its not, and that is scaring the shit out of the beancounters. You may not use all the free content out there but trust me there are at least 1000:1 free:paid content out there atm even if it is mostly people's blogs about their cat's sleeping habits and free Mp3s from really bad hipster bands. There are still awesome repositories of information for people like arxiv.org and wikipedia.
    • by Fumus (1258966) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @04:06AM (#31798534)

      You are free to hyprerlink to it, but the server itself is free to ignore or block your request. Their site, their rules.

      This should be a non-existent story. Site wants users to pay for viewing it - site blocks unlogged users from viewing content. Why would anyone want to prevent linking to the site if it's behind a paywall already? Even crappy porn sites are confident enough in their protection system that they allow anyone to link to any part of the site. They just redirect you to the "Please pay" page and are happy you came over from a random link.

      • by Spad (470073) <slashdot AT spad DOT co DOT uk> on Saturday April 10, 2010 @05:22AM (#31798734) Homepage

        The story isn't that they have a paywall, it's that they're demanding formal requests to be made in order for anyone to *link* to their content just in case someone finds a way around their paywall.

        It's like me demanding that people submit formal requests to me if they want to tell anyone my address, just in case someone finds a way to break into my house; it's not exactly the world's greatest anti-theft protection.

        • by Fumus (1258966)

          And as I said: even crappy porn sites are confident enough in their protection scheme to allow links. If they really believe someone can bypass their paywall then they need to hire some new IT staff.

  • Absurdity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by izomiac (815208)
    So, if the address of their website cannot be published without a fee, the what of their physical address and phone number? Do students and scholars also need to pay to cite them in a paper?

    Stuff like this makes me wish the Referrer and User-agent HTTP headers were disabled by default. It seems like they have zero benefit for users, and are merely used as stupidly weak forms of access control.
    • The article quotes que newspaper:

      Generally, links from one's own website to the front page of our website are acceptable

      This suggests that you can still link to their front page, so you can't compare it to their physical address or phone number.

      Of course, the "Generally" suggests they might forbid it in certain cases, but I don't see that happening since links to their front page are nothing but free publicity.

      • > This suggests that you can still link to their front page...

        Yes, but it appears that they still want you to ask for permission before doing so.

  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail. c o m> on Saturday April 10, 2010 @03:31AM (#31798450) Homepage

    I'll just keep reading other english/japanese dailies like MDN [mainichi.jp] which have better content. Or any of the local papers which you can google out, not to mention actual commentary about what's going on. I think the last time I read Nikkei related was in 2001.

  • There are *secret passages* in them thar intertubes [wikipedia.org].

  • by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @07:26AM (#31798992)

    Nikkei has had many many failed internet ventures, and this is just another one of their bad ideas that passed through their over-aged internet-illiterate bureaucracy.

    I suspect this is more about politics within the market and about them preparing to strong arm those they think can be strong armed... It isn't like they're going to put up a notice, and sue all the referrers.

    In the old days, a ton of Japanese web sites would have "link free" or "links not permitted" notices on their sites. For some reason, many felt the web was linked with permission, and that they had a say. As if anyone could do anything about outside links, when I would tell them the internet was all about free linking, and that you wouldn't put pages up that you didn't want linked in the first place, people would seem to get the idea...

    This Nikkei thing is not about individuals linking to news articles. There site is practically unlinkable because they keep deleting stuff anyway.

  • "Secret passages" to content that should be safely behind the paywall? What are they on about? You can't magically link to a full article that's behind a login / subscription unless their site security code is very broken.

    If there we doing this right then for non-logged in users they would show a brief intro to the article and a link to the login / subscribe forms.

    • by tepples (727027)

      their site security code is very broken.

      Bingo. Or as the summary put it: "management appears worried that links could provide secret passages to content that should be safely behind the paywall".

    • by Skapare (16644)

      Better yet, put the login form right under the article teaser. Oh wait, they don't hire real techies at big corporate newspapers. Never mind.

  • I suggest to read the comments on Ars Technica - and even better follow all the link the said Newspaper:

    http://www.nikkeieu.com/index_e.asp [nikkeieu.com]

    http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100409D09EE596.htm [nikkei.com]

    http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20100409D09EE593.htm [nikkei.com]

    http://www.nikkei.com//news/headline/related-article/g=96958A9C9381959FE2EAE2E7E28DE2EAE2E6E0E2E3E2E2E2E2E2E2E2;bm=96958A9C9381959FE2EBE2E6938DE2EBE2E6E0E2E3E29494E0E2E2E2 [nikkei.com]

    For me this sounds like a sure way to get lots of those "illegal" inbound links very fast.

  • the barriers have kept circulation of print editions quite high

    Oh really? How do they know that? Citation please. This statement leapt out at me as wishful thinking. Of course the NYT would like to believe barriers will improve print circulation, as they are about to try it. I looked a little to see who made that statement. It seems the NYT was a bit more cautious and doesn't quite say that, it's Ars Technica's regurgitation that says that.

  • Ever heard of it? You know, that thing which forces a password check for a user session to anything contained in the directory tree...
  • "the barriers have kept circulation of print editions quite high compared to the US." I am guessing the 2 or 3 pages of pr0n in most Japanese print newspapers doesn't hurt circulation either.
  • the newspaper market in Japan is radically different from that in the US. Although some smaller outlets are experimenting with new ways of reaching readers, most papers require subscriptions to access online content, and the barriers have kept circulation of print editions quite high compared to the US.

    Another factor may contribute to stronger print circulation. Most Japanese commute to work by train, an environment that is very conducive to newspaper reading. Most Americans, in contrast, commute by car. One cannot comfortably or safely read a paper while driving. So Americans are more likely to read their news at their desk -- making internet often their preferred media.

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