I've been pointed to a discussion about the journal "Internet Archaeology" by a friendly colleague. The journal IA has recently dropped its paywall and is now free access for everybody - to which I say Hooray and Thank you.
However, as someone in the discussion on Antiquist points out, it's not all free. The journal is financed by an "author pays" scheme, which means you need to be able to pay for having your paper published. The discussion quickly goes off into other terrains where there are problems in data access, but for me, the interesting bit is that one of the contributors says that "author pays" is not a problem, since nobody pays for that out of their own pocket anyways.
To which I say... not true. Definitely not true.
I would never publish in an author pays scheme, not only because I am a firm believer in the principle that the money flows towards the author, not away. I would also not be willing to shell out even more money for an experiment, thankyouverymuch. As a rule, I pay for my experiments myself, because getting funding for them? Difficult. Having an institution behind you makes things easier, but even then it's not guaranteed that you will get funding. Plus the time you have to spend on trying to secure said funding... never underestimate how much of your time, and energy, applications can suck out of your life.
I had plenty of experience with that topic when I tried to secure funding for my phd thesis (hint: I didn't get lucky). You have to do a new application package every time, then it takes ages to go through the system, and finally if you don't get funding, you have to deal with the emotional fallout. (At least I did.) At the end, I estimated about two to three weeks' work worth for each application. There's quite a lot of times that I've heard people complain that they are not getting around to really working, because in order to secure further funding so they will not lose their job, all they have time for is write one grant application after the other.
At some point, especially if the experiment is more work-time and not too much monetary investment for the things you need, you might decide it's not worth the effort to go for funding, and just go ahead and do it. Then, at the end, if all went well, you have an experiment and some results... and there you are. The thing should now be published. The last, very very last thing that I, personally, want to do in that case? Pay the journal.
So who is going to pay the people working at the journal? Actually, I would be fine with a paywall for journal articles - let the reader pay. With one caveat, though: make the prices reasonable. 30 or 50 USD for a 10-page article? You bet that nobody who can get around paying that will pay. However, if you charge 10 or 15 USD - that would be much more reasonable.
And for things that are older than, say, 2 years? If the journals would just charge one or two dollars, you can bet that I would not take the trouble to get the article via the library, or maybe ask a friend who has access. I'd pay, just for the convenience of having it at once. Because it's not a high price, and I'd be comfortable in paying that. Probably a lot of other folks would think exactly the same, and do exactly the same.
Oh, and in my ideal world? The author should get 10% of the income that the article generates. Fair pay for the work that went into it.