After a year of so-called trial and error, Readability is finally shuttering its wildly controversial publisher payment system.

Of course, even that can’t be done without adding fuel to the fire.

See, Readability is sitting on $150,000 in unclaimed royalties, and — because the company requires publishers to physically opt in to their service before collecting any earmarked shares (upon which Readability had the further audacity to place a time limit) — all but 2,000 of the stated “millions” of affected publishers have actually registered to collect. Thus, the money is being donated to a few charities of Readability’s choosing. And that’s not exactly what was promised to all the well-meaning users who spent money on the service under the false premise that their cash was going to the publishers of the articles they read.

Readability calls this an unforeseen and unfortunate conclusion. Of course, to any thinking person, this was bound to happen, and it’s hard to give Readability the benefit of the doubt (especially after pulling stunts like this). While many call the company’s efforts a noble attempt to positively alter the financial landscape for online writers and publishers, the reality is that most of Readability’s content — 90 percent of it, by their own estimation! — was effectively stolen. It shouldn’t have taken a physical trial to understand that this model was inherently flawed from the start.

Readability called it an “experiment.”

They should’ve stuck to this.

Source: Readability