Hmm... wonder if their business model is to charge for the RG forums after a brief "honeymoon" period.
Funnily, I might have paid something before the recent net fascism kicked off some of the best posters. Although it can be argued that tough policing increases quality, I would be less likely to pay for something which is less open.
There is an analogy with a UK based mailing list called Professional Imaging (PI). This was set up after people became slightly alienated with the tough policing of another mailing list at www.prodig.org
, though I must admit I think prodig operate an appropriate level of content control and to my knowledge haven't banned many (if any) posters. In the case of PI, I am happy to pay a small contribution for the option of occasionally posting off topic and not getting an email from the net police. I still recognise prodig as the foremost communications channel for professional imaging pros. But I do like to "hang out" in a less precise atmosphere at times.
Perhaps the new owners of the RG forums have a bit of a branding problem, as they are still branded as the RG forums and the idea of being linked to something so specific as wedding photography would seem to affect the whole branding.
Perhaps they will buy a new more neutral domain and move the forums there. It might be wise.