Wikipedia founder: Times paywall 'won't last'

Wales isn't the biggest fan of the Times paywall
Wales isn't the biggest fan of the Times paywall

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has hit out at the Times for putting its website behind a paywall, believing the business model won't work and is making the paper irrelevant on the web.

Speaking to The Wall this week – while publicising the launch of the London office of Wikia, its open source community collaboration site – Wales reveals that putting the Times behind a paywall was the wrong thing to do.

"I think it's not going to last, I think they will give up," explained Wales, citing that if he were to write something for a newspaper, he would "rather write where it is going to be read."

Another brick in the (pay)wall

To highlight his problems with the paywall he notes that he tried to share a Times Online link with his Twitter followers but got replies from people saying they couldn't read it.

As Wales explained: "The Times had made itself irrelevant. [The story] could not be tweeted and it could not be picked up by the blogs.

"No one is talking about the Times, I don't think it will work."

Earlier this month, News Corp head Rupert Murdoch told press that the Times paywall was going to be a success and that we were "witnessing the start of a new business model for the internet."

Given that Wales is a promoter of a free and open internet, it's unlikely he will take Murdoch's side in the on-going paywall argument anytime soon.

Via Brand Republic

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.