Experiments in non-free news publishing: iCopywrite

When I first saw this article, A Licence to Print Money For Canadian News Sites – Torontoist, I thought, this won’t work. Well, according to Toronoist

“..news organizations everywhere have been experimenting with different sources of income, such as licensing. For more than a year now, CBC.ca, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star, have been using iCopyright…

Here’s how iCopyright works: if you want to print an article from your printer, just click the little print icon beside any story, and an iCopyright window pops up asking you how many copies you’d like to make. Printing is free, as long as you’re making fewer than six copies. If you want to print six or more, iCopyright asks you to pay per article. The system works the same way if you’re trying to email an article, and it can also be used to quickly purchase republication rights.”

Now, technically this is trivial to get around. But it could still make money if larger organizations such a school boards mandate that teachers must pay for such things. This may not make sense to individuals, but large organizations sometimes will make such a call. And not just public organizations, but private ones as well.

I don’t believe it will make alot of money, and it won’t stop the march towards a new journalism that recognizes that people will no longer pay directly for news. But it could be more successful than one might think.

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