The media debate of the last six months has been on the issue of whether people will, or should, pay for news content online. This afternoon this post by the news executive producer of Ninemsn, Hal Crawford, suggests that organisation at least will not be joining Rupert Murdoch and News Limited on the front line of the battle.

That’s no small thing, given that Ninemsn is (depending on how you count) the most popular news website in the country.

In a distinctly bolshie piece, Crawford argues that Rupert is not only wrong in the sense of a poor business decision, but morally wrong, because preventing others from using News Limited content online would necessitate oppressive changes to copyright law that would prohibit Ninemsn, for example, from paraphrasing and publishing the guts of a story broken by a News Limited newspaper, no matter how great its public importance.

Thus, argues Crawford, the paywall push is a big threat to freedom!

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That sounds ridiculous. If the man proposing it was less determined, it would be laughable. But Murdoch is going to give it a red hot go

The comment thread is already pretty lively.