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Starbucks' free Wi-Fi will let customers get around paywall sites for free, too

We've all seen dying media companies try to patch up their sinking ships by putting their content behind paywalls. Rupert Murdoch's papers, including the Wall Street Journal, are probably the most famous examples, and even the New York Times is planning to launch paid content soon. While the paywall is probably only hurting media businesses, it might turn into a good thing for Starbucks. The coffee chain just announced it will offer free access to a whole slew of paywall sites along with its new free Wi-Fi.

Starbucks has announced some content partners for its new Starbucks Media Network, but the exact offerings from each one aren't clear yet. The Wall Street Journal will let Starbucks customers read its paid content for free, and the other partners are Apple's iTunes, The New York Times, Patch, USA TODAY, Yahoo! and ZAGAT. Free downloads for smartphones connected to Starbucks Wi-Fi might be part of the package, too, especially if iTunes is involved. The service is expected to launch in Fall of 2010, according to ReadWriteWeb.

Tags: free, new york times, news, NewYorkTimes, paid content, PaidContent, paywall, starbucks, wall street journal, WallStreetJournal, wifi, wsj