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Compared to a TransactionFee however, magazines would like a stable source of income, and a stable audience that they can rely upon to at least sell to advertisers. Moreover, they would like a stable demographic for which they have rich statistics to sell to advertisers, including the associated mailing lists of their readers they can also sell. Thus, magazines offer yearly subscriptions to interested readers, often at a dramatic savings from the cover price.

As an EconomicSolution, a SubscriptionFee provides the magazine a fair degree of control. For one, they have identifying information of their subscribed readers, like their real name, mailing and billing addresses, credit card information, personal bank, and so on (not necessarily all). This makes anonymous access very expensive, tantamount to constructing a fake identity. If you have a UseRealNames policy, a subscription fee is an way to secure that policy.

Second, by definition a subscription service is an ongoing service, which is the normal case for OnlineCommunities. If you provide a Terms of Service agreement with the subscription, you can nullify or fail to renew a subscription for inappropriate behaviour, and thus cut someone out of your community. Coupled with the access to the person's real identity, this will dramatically reduce a person's desire to run afoul of others.

Given that a subscription is an ongoing, necessary, and totally controlled form of access, this is HardSecurity. However, one can soften it by trading better access for a subscription, rather than making it all or nothing. For instance, subscribed users would not be subject to a (likely very tight) SurgeProtector, although unsubscribed users could still access the site, though less conveniently.

Caveat, if someone sufficiently hates you, is deranged, or is a former friend turned enemy, they will pay for a subscription and still attack, except you might have less leverage to terminate their access since they paid for it. In particular, since they will be denied access to their LifeInText, they may want to reclaim it à la the RightToVanish. Even if you have a copyright license stronger than the DefaultCopyright that grants you the right to maintain a copy of their text, they may still become very agitated by this prospect and then consequently attack. Therefore, it would be a good idea to grant the RightToVanish to anyone whom you ban (whether they request it or not).

Certainly if you do arbitrarily (i.e. without a legal legitimization) terminate people's access, other subscribers will have a legitimate complaint that you might do this to them, and you may open yourself up to accusations you took money without providing services. Offering a refund as part of termination would be a good idea.

It may also be legal to make the subscription actually a "contract" renewed month-to-month between the host and the reader, so that it may be arbitrarily denied by the host (as the host does not have to sign anything he or she does not want to), but it may not be legal if a website is considered a storefront and you are therefore required to grant access to the public at large.

An AccessFee. Compare TransactionFee.



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