The NY Times has every right to charge for their old stories, but I wish they hadn’t.
I’ve been collecting links for a couple of weeks in preparation for a series of posts on media and the broadband access monopolies. It turns out that the Times moved a bunch of really useful stories behind the barrier. If you want to read them, they’ll cost $2.95 each, which I doubt you’re willing to pay.
I think most publishers would get a higher NPV if they just gave their archives away, but the Times is a special case — at least in 2003. I’ll be more careful in the future about linking to them in the future. The SF Chronicle’s Gate doesn’t charge (for now), so I’ll try to give them a little more link action.