While in the case of the article in question the NY Times appears to have taken a wise legal decision[reg req], such a high profile media outlet blocking online access to one of its own articles – “On advice of legal counsel, this article is unavailable to readers of nytimes.com in Britain” – in this case to avoid accusations of prejudicing a future trial, is a development that may be of concern. It may also be a route which other media outlets will use to avoid future local libel difficulties.. Added this link may work for those without subsFrom the NY Times
Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of Internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, said restricting information fit with trends across the Internet. “There’s a been a sense that technology can create a form of geographic zoning on the Internet for many years now — that they might not be 100 percent effective, but effective enough,” Mr. Zittrain said. “And there’s even a sense that international courts might be willing to take into account these efforts.
Plans were made at The Times over the weekend to withhold print versions of the article in Britain, as well as news agency and archived versions.
But the issue of the Web was more complicated.
Richard J. Meislin, the paper’s associate managing editor for Internet publishing, said the technological hurdle was surmounted by using some of The Times’s Web advertising technology. The paper could already discern the Internet address of users connecting to the site to deliver targeted marketing, and could therefore deliver targeted editorial content as well. That took several hours of programming.
“It’s never a happy choice to deny any reader a story,” said Jill Abramson, a managing editor at The Times. “But this was preferable to not having it on the Web at all.”