Web newspaper registration debated


Anonymous Patron sends " this from KATC.com. It's a story about how more and more online newspapers are requiring folks to register before they gain access.

The 'free registration' requirement has irked some readers and privacy advocates, led to the creation of Web sites to foil the system, and could be failing to provide the solid demographic information that the system was intended to capture. Industry representatives argue that because their Web readers get the same content as the paper-and-ink edition without paying for it, it's fair to ask them for personal information in exchange for access.

Nothing could kill blogs more quickly.

Rochelle adds: One of the registration workaround sites is bugmenot.com which may be appearing as a link on the main LISNews.com page. Whaddaya think?


There are still plenty of registration-free sources out there. As far as general news goes, I pull headlines from Reuters and the BBC into my aggregator; I have a hefty selection of specialty sources as well. Besides, there's always Google News for a quick fix; it's fairly good about warning you about subscription-laden links, and has dozens of choices for any given story.

Personally, I refuse to read registration-required news articles. I have a dim view of journal/weblog authors who can't be bothered to find an alternate registration-free link for a posting.

We've tried to encourage posters to not link to sites that require registration (the NYT being a notable exception), but to little avail. I try to find non-reg. sources on a good story and don't post registration sites myself, but for those who don't mind them, bugmenot.com might be a decent alternatiave. Too much clicking for me, though.

Dodgeit looks like a pretty handy site to make up an email for registration sites if Bugmenot isn't what you're looking for.

I don't know about Dodgeit, but Bugmenot doesn't work for me. Every site I've tried it on, zilch. It may be just me, or it may be that the registration-requiring sites have figured out that sites like Bugmenot exist and are instituting walls to prevent their efficacy. Not an unfamiliar story, but if Bugmenot doesn't actually work (anymore), it may not be a wise idea to include it as an LISNews link.

I tried it yesterday, and it was just fine. Maybe you're on to something....

OTOH, maybe it's just me not having figured out how to properly use it. I'll try it again.

I generally don't register with US newspapers as I have found that they abuse or sell the email addresses. I do have the ability to set up [email protected] as an email address and then send everything to dev null the next day.

I have registered for 2 newspaper sites in the EU, The Irish Independent and one in Spain I seldom read anymore. It seems that they have never abused the email addresses I have provided them. I am quite familiar with Ireland's Data Protection Act, and I am aware Spain has similar provisions of its privacy laws.

It seems that the US privacy protections change with the wind. If the terms of a site one day say they will not sell addresses, then weeks or months later the terms have changed and I am getting ads for viagra.

Yeah, well. I'd like to encourage my readers to use the expensive databases their libraries are paying for. I looked all over American Libraries (ala.org) for a story I wanted to link to and gave up and gave the link from Academic Search Premier. On second thought, I might just give the DOIs if people are up on resolving them.
We're librarians for heaven's sake. So what if the public site uses registration-- use your library's databases for once!

I think this is more an issue for bloggers, since linking to stories immediately available is what it's all about. No one is going to see a link on a blog and then try and hunt it up on a proprietary database. But yes, those suckers are pricey and need to be used!

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