The New York Times is poised to stop charging readers for online access to its Op-Ed columnists and other content, The Post has learned....It was always such a bad idea. Why did they even persist this long? It's been so annoying not to be able to link to things, and I even cut down on reading the things I couldn't link to. It was particularly absurd that they put their bloggers behind the wall. But the ultimate absurdity for me was writing a guest column and not being able to link to my own column.
While other online publications were abandoning subscriptions, the Times took the opposite approach in 2005 and began charging for access to well-known writers, including Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich and Thomas L. Friedman.
The decision, which also walled off access to archives and other content, was controversial almost from the start, with some of the paper's own columnists complaining that it limited their Web readership.
August 7, 2007