One prominent authority, Richard Posner, suggests a solution to the dying industry is to expand copyright law so that newspapers can charge others for linking to their online content. As the rules now stand, linking to non-gated sites, or even reuse of material in gated sites, is effectively covered by the “fair use” doctrine, which is a defense in an infringement action.
I believe that Posner didn’t get it right when he claimed that Web free-riders will kill the newspaper industry. Why? As between a blog that “free rides” on the NY Times, and the NY Times site itself, web readers would rather go to the latter as the trusted content provider. But the “infringing” blog has actually generated interest in what the NY Times had to say, which adds value to the NY Times franchise.