Programmer creates website that lists public links to iPad publication's articles; publisher Greg Clayman not amused
Want to read all of “The Daily” on the web without paying for it? At least for the moment, you can.
The Daily: Indexed, a simple Tumblr website that lists links to access all of the articles for Rupert Murdoch’s iPad newspaper for free, launched on Thursday, with a “very unofficial table of contents.”
Its creator, Andy Baio — a Los Angeles based journalist and programmer — said he created the site because while The Daily offers free, web-based versions of every article for subscribers to share, “without an index, it's very inconvenient to find or link to individual articles from the web. And since the iPad app appears to only carry today's edition, it makes finding any historical articles you've paid for nearly impossible.”
The Daily is not particularly amused by Baio's stunt.
"It's not surprising that people want to share our content," publisher Greg Clayman said in a statement to The Wrap, "but The Daily is designed for tablets, with a lot of rich media and a litany of interactive features and functionality. We are confident that as readers get to know our content, they will be driven to the full, authentic experience."
Baio said beyond the service of the index, he’s also trying to make a point.
“Frankly, I'm very curious about the legal implications,” Baio wrote in a blog post on his own Waxy.org site. “My understanding is that linking to public news articles is unquestionably legal, and I believe that right should never be discouraged. It's also worth noting that Google's slowly indexing all the articles too, and search engines aren't blocked in their robots.txt file.”
If he’s asked to stop publishing the links, Baio said he would gladly comply. But, as Baio pointed out, executives at The Daily press conference effectively encouraged public sharing of their links on the Web.
"For the pages in the application that we can do it, we create mirror HTML pages,” editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo said on Wednesday. “Those pages are out there on the web — they can be shared, they can be searched, you can find them out there … We know there are billions of other people sharing content on the web, and we want to be part of that."