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    Re: [OT] Browser trick
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2020 Mar 1, 13:22 -0800

    I have re-tagged this thread as "OT" for off-topic. Last month, since NavList traffic was very low, I did not worry about off-topic or peripheral discussions, but we should wind this down. I apologize to those of you who are annoyed by this discussion. I do find that many NavList members live on the margins of the online world and often miss out on basic tricks, and I think there's some merit in occasional tips like this.

    Woflgang, I agree that one should be careful about intellectual property rights. But setting a cookie in a browser does not create a contract. Nothing at all requires an end-user of a website to respect the integrity of cookies set by that site. If a website wishes to use cookies as a marketing tool to encourage subscriptioins, then they do so with the full understanding of the limitations of cookies. And the law is explicitly on the user's side. In fact, the EU began enforcing GDPR last year that requires all internet sites to explain and justify all use of cookies, and it also ensures that users are given clear control over cookies and other data stored by websites in their browsers. This procedure that I have described is completely legal. Note that if you, Wolfgang, should happen to delete cookies in your browser for some independent security reason, you would immediately have access to news websites in the way that I have described, just as if you are a new user. Would you feel guilty? You shouldn't. 

    Finally, I am not worried about the financial success of most major news media sites like, for example, The Washington Post. WaPo is owned by Jeff Bezos, who has a personal net worth of something like $100 billion and was recently described as "far richer than anyone on the planet" (seems like hyperbole!) and the "wealthiest person in modern history" (but not inflation-adjusted). The poor man probably lost $10 billion last week but not a penny of it was driven by website subscriptions... It's actually a bit of a mystery: why does Bezos, who has clear political and public policy interests, insist on maintaining the financial independence of the WaPo? He could give away its content for free to all subscriibers and exploit his influence. 

    Frank Reed

       
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