The end of the free internet?

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“Information wants to be free” has long been the mantra of the Internet. Once a video, a song, or a news story is on the Web, it’s harder to rein in than a roomful of curious cats.

Free introductory offers are a business staple. But as a long-term strategy, “free” doesn’t make much sense: How can content creators afford to keep producing if they aren’t paid?

Advertising is one way to pay the bills. But Web companies are still scrambling to understand and measure the impact of online ads. Meanwhile, many advertisers remain skeptical of the medium and question how heavily to rely on it.

Now both the news and entertainment industries are experimenting again with online payment plans. Someday, 2010 may be remembered as the year when companies finally scrapped the idea of a “free” Internet.

Full Story: The End of the Free Internet? – ABC News