Has the revolt begun against Apple’s iPad app fees?

This morning’s Observer column.

How things change. It seems only a few months ago that magazine and newspaper publishers, maddened by the fact that the Big Bad Web enabled readers to access their content for free (and sceptical about the effectiveness of paywalls), decided that Apple’s iPad was just the ticket. Henceforth, they would publish their stuff not as web pages but as iPad apps. Not only did this offer them a shiny device that would display their wares in glorious living colour, but it would also force cheapskates and freeloaders to pay real money for the privilege of accessing them. This was possible because nothing happens on the iPad without going through Apple’s iTunes store, and Steve Jobs knows your credit card details. Thus the “free riding” that was commonplace on the web would become a thing of the past.

Accordingly, publishers fell like ravening wolves on the iPad, investing large amounts of money and effort in developing apps to run on the device…