Estranged academics, individuals in the private sector, and the public at large can rejoice (a bit) as JSTOR has officially announced that it will make American articles and journals published before 1923 publicly available. Journals published prior to 1870 in other countries will also be made available.
The official announcement states:
I am writing to share exciting news: today, we are making journal content on JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere, freely available to the public for reading and downloading. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, representing approximately 6% of the total content on JSTOR.
The journals and articles are available to anyone in the world that wishes to access them. This seems to be a quite positive development given the recent attacks on the business of academic publishing (see here and here).