Interesting point from Brett Kelly, wondering how read later services can impact the bottom line for sites that sell features like single page views and PDFs. Kelly notes that last year he bought an Ars membership just to download the Siracusa review in a single PDF, but this year he doesn’t need to buy it because Instapaper will grab all the pages.
I can relate to the problems caused by all the tools available on the web when I designed the paywall for this site. I quickly came to the realization that no matter what I did there would be ways around the paywall — that’s just a fact. And as a publishing entity, once I realized that I just embraced that fact. Any member can share a link to a paywalled post, that allows those that click on the link to read it — so instead of banning that behavior, I just embrace it as a way to attract new members.
And I think that realization is applicable in this case: if someone wants to circumvent paying you, then they will always find a way, so best to just not worry about it.