To borrow a line from THE FALL AND RISE OF REGINALD PERRIN, media magnate Rupert Murdoch "didn't get where he is today" by giving it away. That's one of the reasons the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal is one of the few publications that doesn't let you read its printed content online for free.
At least, not intentionally…
Until recently, you'd have to fork over a yearly fee of US$103.00 to save a few trees by electronically reading the WSJ. But the paper, not wishing to be entirely shut out of the 21st century, recently released its own free-to-download iPhone app.
…and discovered, much to their chagrin, that Apple hasn't yet figured out a safe or easy way to charge iPhone users for the things they do within apps sold at its App Store. So not only is the app free, the online WSJ content you read via that app is also free.
Holy loopholes, Alan Greenspan!
According to the Columbia Journalism Review, Murdoch has made his displeasure over this technological oversight very, very clear to those responsible. Unfortunately, it won't be until the Fall of '09 before the WSJ has the means in place to charge for iPhone-able content, at which point end users gorged on free financial news may well say "See ya, Rupe."