I hate it. Absolutely.
This is because the publishing industry hasn’t focused on the monetisation model. Paying $30-40 USD for an article? Or buy the individual subscription? Are they insane?
Why isn’t micropayments accepted for the same? If the content is compelling, people will automatically “tip” the publisher. This is because the content is reviewed for free anyway. How many journals actually credit the reviewers?
Yes, I agree that there are real people behind the scenes. Real lives dependent on these income streams. Yet, if the major publishing houses slice and dice the market for different “niche areas”, they are bound to get repetitive papers. Each one of them then serves as an echo chamber for others.
Its important to move towards decentralisation of academic publishing; something like arXIV and let the “wisdom of the crowds” mark the content with “tipping”. A federated resource is likely to benefit more.
This is an evolving post and I will revisit this at a later date.