How to hack the New York Times paywall

Discuss

79 Responses to “How to hack the New York Times paywall”

  1. ikegently says:

    I think treating this as a bug and not a feature is missing their intent. They want it to be easy to circumvent. They draw a little attention to the need to get paid. Some people will subscribe. Some will not. The whole NYT paywall zomg is a bit overblown.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t have a problem getting around the paywall because I pay for my subscription. I read it in a standalone reader, and I’m content to pay for it.

    I’m able to afford the monthly subscription. I like what the NYT produces. I like to support journalism. I don’t like to steal.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I stopped visiting the NYT site as well as several others who began spamming articles into various social media outlets only to block the read for a subscription.

    Frankly, there isn’t a thing any of them will say that won’t be said elsewhere, for free, and certainly more objectively.

    The notion that I need any of these outlets to tell me (a) what to think, (b) how to think, or (c) how to interpret what is happening in the world is, bluntly, archaic, and rapidly becoming passe.

    Were they capable of reporting without political/editorial basis, they might be able to win me back; but let’s just say I’m not holding my breath on that count anymore, either.

    It is unfortunate that their I.T. staff (or those who fund them) are unable to appropriately protect their intellectual property; I hardly support actively seeking to take advantage of their lack of competency; this said, if they are going to compete, this is likely a solid lesson in the wisdom of taking the time to learn how to do it effectively.

  4. erg79 says:

    Alternatively, one could pay for a subscription.

    I also agree with ikegently. There are a few reactions I don’t get…the people saying how evil a paywall is and then laughing at what little security there is. Well, it must not be all that evil, right? Also, those who proudly say that since the paywall they no longer read the paper. I’m sure that they’re missing the $0 you were paying them before.

  5. billstewart says:

    NYTimes Paywall? I heard there was going to be one, saw nag screens for a couple of days and shoved my NYT bookmark farther down in the list, but I haven’t seen it since.

    Normally I run ad blockers and Javascript blockers and cookie managers, but the other day my work IT department installed a “new” Mozilla Firefox version that didn’t have them (oops), and I still can see the NYT stories just fine. I’ve had my login there for a long time (with an email address from an email company that’s long been out of business), and I did have to log in to comment on articles a couple of weeks ago, but that’s the only thing I’ve done with it.

    • billstewart says:

      Yow! Are the NYT security folks reading this? On Friday I commented that the NYT paywall system had stopped bothering me without me doing anything, and today it tells me that I’ve read all my articles for the month :-) Maybe it’s because I’m logged in directly instead of through the firewall at work?

  6. chgoliz says:

    I could have sworn I learned this trick from a commenter on a BB thread several months ago, but apparently my google-fu is offline so I can’t prove it right now.

  7. El Zilcho says:

    Almost like they were just hoping that loads of people would blog about them and they’d get loads more visitors or something.

  8. DavidN says:

    I’m with Ratio & erg79. I like to read the paper and think that I get good value for my $11 a month. I’m amazed that the people who apply so much skill and creative energy to bypass this can’t apply it to something else and get paid enough to afford a subscription.

    • amac123 says:

      DavidN, you have missed the point entirely. It is so easy to circumvent the paywall, as demonstrated in the video posted above, that anyone could do it. The “complex hacking” as described is sarcastic in tone. There is absolutely no “skill and creative energy” required to simply delete part of a URL in the browser.

      • DavidN says:

        Maybe I was commenting more about the comments. I counted 9 suggestions of ways to circumvent it (#29 is a long one).

        It’s an interesting topic (the principle of it, did they mean it to work this way, etc), but some effort has been expended to arrive at the bypass solution(s).

        But mostly I think that if you don’t like their terms don’t read it. If enough people do that they will get the message.

  9. Toby says:

    I would guess that the feebleness of the paywall is a side-effect of wanting to expose most of their content to Google et al. (who aren’t fazed by javascript/css trickery).

  10. holtt says:

    Cut kiddie stuff – weak sauce!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Meh, not worth it. I deleted the app from my iPhone and don’t click NYT links anymore. There’s plenty of other new sources out there.

    • Anonymous says:

      my thought as well….a leopard has fewer spots than there are sites to read almost any news item…who needs them!

  12. w000t says:

    I’ve had a bookmarklet to quickly strip arguments from the URL for years. Does that make me a script kiddie?

    javascript:with(location)href=protocol+%22//%22+host+pathname

  13. GorillaBot says:

    Perhaps the light security on the paywall is deliberate.
    Since there is no reasonable way to force people to pay for the content they consume, it only serves to remind those who won’t support the writers and editors that they are actively taking something of value without offering payment in return.

  14. Mantissa128 says:

    This argument cannot be won, methinks. There are two schools of thought about this, and of course the right-thinking people know which is correct.

    In the end though, it doesn’t matter. There is little in the NYT that is special, unless you really like a particular writer. And in that case there’s always the library stacks you can, uh, steal from, with your eyes. News is news, and if the Times won’t let you read it, Al-Jazeera will. And in this day and age, who would rely on a single infospigot for their perspective?

    The Times hasn’t kept with the times. Already we know how distributing something more widely increases profit, it doesn’t reduce it. They should be begging us to read them. Let the baby have their bottle. We’ll go elsewhere.

  15. youkillmymind says:

    You can just turn off javascript, too.

  16. slamNo7 says:

    I have gradually realized more and more since it has been instituted that the looseness of the paywall is totally intentional.

    They let you see whatever you want if you really want to, with a slight pain in the ass and the whole time thinking how much the content is actually worth to you. Now I think that it was sort of genius, and probably worth the money for them.

    I would have thought that was crazy when it started. But I’ve never been closer to paying for it, and there is no way that I would even think about it if it were more secure, I’d just steal it one way or another.

  17. Anonymous says:

    That’s doing it the hard way. There’s a delay before the paywall pops up over the web page. If you hit the stop button on your browser after the page loads, the paywall never pops up. If you don’t hit the stop button soon enough, reload and catch it the next time around.

  18. Anonymous says:

    why would anyone want to read that rag?

  19. Dread Pirate Robert says:

    I thought most people did that already.

  20. GreenJello says:

    I suspect the whole paywall thing is not popular internally with any member of the Times staff, and this sort of poorly thought out and implemented approach is the result. I mean they have NO reason to do this right, and every reason to do it wrong, increasing circulation.

    • Terazilla says:

      Keep in mind this is exact same level of complexity that was used to hack Citigroup a while back. I do believe one of their ‘security experts’ described it as a browser exploit, one that that they couldn’t possibly have forseen.

  21. cratermoon says:

    Careful — wouldn’t that be a violation of the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions?

  22. Richard says:

    Considering that it was the NYTimes that got me to drop javascripting to begin with, it’s nice to know that’s all it takes.

    However since they started charging for their web content, I thought it best to leave their opinionated articles to themselves.

    So I can’t understand anyone spending any time to hack their site to read those things.

  23. gd23 says:

    Not theft of services – they are offering that URL for you to access. You request a page, it returns 200 OK. That is not hacking, that’s surfing the web.

    They are also offering a URL that has some javascript/css popup, but they are publicly offering both versions, and this video shows how to access the other.

    In effect, there are two ways they are asking to be paid. One URL for each.

    There are so many other technical ways of restricting access, where bypassing them would be seen as illegal, but this certainly isn’t one of them. Moreover, it isn’t theft.

  24. Palomino says:

    I’ve never had that pop up, I’ve always had access to the entire paper.

  25. Anonymous says:

    It’s even easier than that. After the text loads, quickly press the stop button on your browser. You have to press stop before the annoying pop-up appears.

  26. W. James Au says:

    There’s an even speedier way of getting around the wall: Use Google Reader. The NYT doesn’t paywall RSS links.

    • Loraan says:

      There’s an even speedier way of getting around the wall: Use Google Reader. The NYT doesn’t paywall RSS links.

      That hasn’t been my experience.

  27. Anonymous says:

    just use Chrome incognito window when you want to view a NYT article, there’s no need to delete cookies or worry about javascript

  28. rollerskater says:

    that video is Internet classic.

  29. AlisonZ says:

    Copy the link of the article you want to read
    Paste it into a new browser window
    Done. You are now able to read the article Even if you’ve eached your max for the month
    I’ve been dling this since march and it works

  30. jphilby says:

    “A journalists spends a few weeks researching and writing an article, and then asks for a few pennies to read the article.”

    IF that was the real story,
    AND he actually asked for a few pennies,
    AND I had the capability to transfer “a few pennies” from an secure e-account (i.e. “micropayment”),
    AND I could see enough of the article ahead of time to know that I wouldn’t be wasting my time reading it
    THEN I’d be very happy indeed to send “a few pennies.”

    Because, even though the web is full of stuff to read, very little of it comes up to the quality of the NYT.

    BUT there is no (well-established) secure micropayment system (decades after it was first proposed) AND that’s really too bad, because then I could pay “a few cents” for “a few minutes” entertainment or education.

  31. legion says:

    This is the state-of-the-art paywall they spent $15 mil on, yes?

  32. Dr jayus says:

    Oh so you’re no longer in it for the lulz, you’re hurting real people now.

  33. cella says:

    Even simpler way than that. Just press stop loading before the page has fully loaded. The story comes up first, then the other content, then finally the adds. Stop loading before the adds come up and you are golden. Can’t believe it was that simple.

  34. Anonymous says:

    it’s much easier than even that. simply read the New York Times in google chrome in an incognito window and nothing will happen.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Please give an older lady a break and explain to me why this is OK, why is it not cheating or stealing? (I’m quite serious!)

    • Ratio says:

      Please give an older lady a break and explain to me why this is OK, why is it not cheating or stealing? (I’m quite serious!)

      I’m willing to bet that 90% of the readers in this forum rolled their eyes when they read your question. “Of course it’s not stealing!”

      No. Around here, the concept of “stealing” has been cleverly re-framed as “copyfighting”: a laudable, heroic battle against those stuffy, bloated, cigar-chewing “old-media” villains who have the nerve — and I am not making this up — the nerve to actually expect us to pay money for things. The crude obstacles these scoundrels like to put between us and our content are known as “paywalls” and “DRM”.

      Now, we Copyfighters position ourselves as champions of the oppressed masses — despite the fact that these oppressed masses are one of the wealthiest and most materially privileged demographics in history. We frame DRM and paywalls as critical human rights issues, which helps some of our supporters further rationalize their sense of victimhood.

      But I digress. To your question: is it stealing? I’ll answer that with a personal story.

      A few weeks ago I was at Denver International Airport with a few hours to kill before my flight. I needed some new reading material, and because the wi-fi service on Concourse D wasn’t working, I decided to go get a newspaper. When I got to the newsstand, I was shocked to see that instead of being behind a locked glass cabinet, every single magazine and newspaper was just sitting there in the open where people could just pick them up and look through them. No security whatsoever, save for the dull gaze of the proprietor, who at that moment was looking the other way. So I just grabbed a couple of magazines and slipped them into my shoulder bag. And as I strolled out, I chuckled to myself at how easy it was for me to teach that cretin a lesson.

      • Anonymous says:

        I call Trollnanigans!

      • travtastic says:

        That’s a funny story. I wish it was relevant.

        • Ratio says:

          That’s a funny story. I wish it was relevant.

          I wish you would explain why you think it’s not relevant.

          Scenario 1:
          A newsstand owner isn’t very good about guarding his inventory. I take a newspaper without paying. It’s easy and I won’t get caught.

          Scenario 2:
          A news site isn’t very good about guarding its content. I circumvent the paywall and read without paying. It’s easy and I won’t get caught.

          • travtastic says:

            For one thing, you’re talking about stealing a physical item, which no one else is.

            For another, you’re talking about stealing from a distributor, when this is clearly about a content creator.

            For yet another, you’re calling it stealing, because you’re consciously trying to steer the conversation into the land of your narrative. Illegal or not (almost certainly not, practically speaking), it still wouldn’t be stealing.

            Also, did you notice some shiny little pictures floating around? Those were ads. That’s your payment.

            And finally, no. I am not getting into a drawn-out discussion about this with you. I know what you’re about, and you’re not going to change my mind.

          • Bottle Imp says:

            “For another, you’re talking about stealing from a distributor, when this is clearly about a content creator.

            For yet another, you’re calling it stealing, because you’re consciously trying to steer the conversation into the land of your narrative. Illegal or not (almost certainly not, practically speaking), it still wouldn’t be stealing.

            Also, did you notice some shiny little pictures floating around? Those were ads. That’s your payment.”

            Okay, I know you’re trying to step out of this conversation, but I’m sorry, I just can’t pass that up. Warning, this got way longer than I intended.

            And I want to set aside the paywall because it’s stupid, they shouldn’t have implemented it, and it is one of the worst conceived ideas I’ve ever seen. But let’s just talk about your view on what is and is not stealing.

            You don’t want to call it stealing because it doesn’t involve a physical object? Fine, call it theft of services, which I would bet money on being in the books of every state in the U.S. The NYT provides a service of aggregating (or, if we’re feeling charitable, researching and writing) news. They then put it up on the internet. For that service they request that you pay them money if you use it x number of times a month. If you decide not to pay them, but use it anyway, you have taken a service for which they requested money, and you did it without paying. Theft of services.

            They have ads? That’s their payment? How nice of you to decide that by running ads they forfeit any other potential payment. If a taxi cab had ads on the inside, would you tell him you wouldn’t pay for the ride because looking at the ads while he drove was his payment? You choose whether to read the article yourself. If you don’t like the fact that they want to be paid, then don’t use the service. They will then be forced to find a way to make money in a way you can deal with, or they will go under.

            Also, tucked away in there is “Illegal or not (almost certainly not, practically speaking)…” Are you saying that if you don’t get caught, it’s not illegal? I mean, practically, yes, you won’t get caught. But illegality and your chances of being caught are not the same thing. There are tons of insane and stupid laws on the books, and people break them all the time without getting caught. But the act is still illegal. I may be misunderstanding you on this one bit. My apologies if I’m reading too far into this particular issue. Is it something about the fact that lots of people will do it, so it would be unfair if some tiny fraction of them get caught and charged? That’s a sympathetic argument. But there are other laws, like running stop signs, that people routinely violate, but which we all want to remain illegal, because the consequences that sometimes occur when someone runs a red light are so bad. So then we’re left with “well, yeah, but this particular law is stupid.” Maybe it is. Hell, maybe a little civil disobedience is in order. But let’s not gussy this up too much here. Civil disobedience is still breaking the law, even if it’s breaking the law to make a much needed point.

            And one more thing.

            “you’re consciously trying to steer the conversation into the land of your narrative”
            “And finally, no. I am not getting into a drawn-out discussion about this with you. I know what you’re about, and you’re not going to change my mind.”

            That’s the same as “you’re using words and thoughts to try to convince others of your viewpoint instead of just accepting my narrative.” I think you’re trying to say that he’s using dirty, dirty spin in an unfair and manipulative way. But you come off sounding like someone challenged your viewpoint and now you’re threatening to take your ball and go home. You engaged him with a sassy remark, he challenged your sassy remark, and now you sound pouty trying to take the “but I didn’t even want to get into this conversation because you’re not changing my mind” route.

            Similarly, I’m sure I’ll come to regret posting this whole diatribe, but I’ll try to check back because now that I’ve poked the big ‘ol internet dragon, it would be unsporting of me to not at least deal with a little of the fire.

          • Bottle Imp says:

            Man, that was long. My appologies everyone.

            Here’s the tl:dr

            Theft of services. Creators get to decide how they ask to be paid for stuff, and if you don’t like their method, don’t buy what they create. They’ll change their mind about it when they get hungry. But if you take what they create while they’re getting hungry, don’t fool yourself, it’s still theft.

          • travtastic says:

            The act of deleting a querystring is not theft, no matter how much you want to try spinning it. The page loads, with or without it. These designers are not stupid people, and it’s not an accident.

            Is it theft of services when I power through AT&T’s pre-paid system phone tree? After all, they designed it to take three minutes or so, and I do it in one. That’s money they intended to collect from me.

            Hacking into NYT servers and creating fake paid accounts, that might be theft of services, depending on your viewpoint. Doing what is described above is no more theft than when I remove the referral data from my reader links with bookmarklets. Am I guilty of stealing services from Netvibes and the target sites?

          • Bottle Imp says:

            Deleting the query string isn’t the act in question though. The act is taking the information after deleting the query string. You can delete the query string as often as you want. Go ahead, on me. But that doesn’t address the issue of circumventing the attempt to get paid and then using a product.

            As to the AT&T, it depends. Does AT&T make your continued use of their service conditional on you spending the whole 3 minutes? If they just expect it would take you 3 minutes, but you manage to make it through in 1, I don’t think that’s an analogous situtation.

            If you think that the paywall is intentionally designed to be circumvented, and they don’t expect to actually be paid for it, that’s another thing too. I mean, the thing is so poorly designed that there’s a fairly strong argument they don’t expect it to work to begin with. If they don’t expect it to actually work, and thus it isn’t part of the requirements they’re trying to impose upon users, then, yes, you are right and it isn’t theft. But despite the paywall being the worst song, played on the ugliest guitar, I think someone at the Grey Lady expected it to work.

            “no matter how much you want to try spinning it”

            That’s some excellent spin you’ve got going there yourself. I doff my hat to your efforts.

          • travtastic says:

            So the crime has now become improper reading? What a strange world you must live in.

            The bottom line here, is that any method involves going to a publicly available web page, which the NYT servers freely give to you. This is basically scraping, which has never been illegal, to my knowledge, anywhere. Is Google committing thousands of illegal readings, along with the other search engines and indexers?

            This isn’t really even about the definition of theft. It’s about you and a couple of other people here not understanding how the web works. Their servers give you this data without verification, without login, simply when you request it. It’s not theft, it’s not illegal. You’re not hacking anything, posing as anyone else, cracking login keys, stealing physical objects.

            You’re navigating to a webpage. Your browser is asking the NYT servers, ‘Hey, send me your HTML and media files for this URL.’ They receive your request, and they say ‘Oh, hey dude! Here’s your stuff!’ You read them, that’s it. End of story.

          • Anonymous says:

            >The act of deleting a querystring is not theft

            It’s the simplest exchange of service for money. A journalists spends a few weeks researching and writing an article, and then asks for a few pennies to read the article. They clearly post a sign saying “content for sale here, 5 cents” on the lawn. If you take exceptional means (eg: hop their fence) to take their article without offering the payment, it’s theft.

            It’s not hard to get away with, and you can always say “well, their fence was only 3 feet high, and not secure.” to make yourself feel better, but you did make a conscious decision to take someone’s hard work without offering anything in return.

          • Ratio says:

            The act of deleting a querystring is not theft, no matter how much you want to try spinning it. The page loads, with or without it.

            A newspaper vending machine displays the front page of today’s edition through a little window. That window is part of a locked metal door. A coin mechanism permits a person to open the door and remove a newspaper when they deposit $0.75.

            It’s widely known throughout town that the locking mechanism on these machines is badly designed and easily bypassed: pulling the door handle exposes the latch through a gap that is wide enough for a person to slip their finger in, trip the latch, and open the door. After the door is opened, you can take a paper. You could even take all the papers if you wanted to! No payment required.

            I use this method to take a paper from the machine every day on my way to the office. Am I stealing? Absolutely not, because tripping the latch is not illegal. Moreover, the people who made the machine must know how easily the lock can be circumvented. I’ve never met them, but I know they are not stupid. This is proof that they actually want me to take a paper without paying for it.

          • chgoliz says:

            1) The people who create and maintain the boxes may not be the people who create the newspaper. For that matter, the people who distribute the newspaper may be a separate contractor as well, these days.

            2) The more appropriate analogy would be that you trip the lock, read the rest of the page that was partly blocked, and then close the box back up. You don’t TAKE the newspaper; no one who wishes to buy the paper is inconvenienced in any way.

          • travtastic says:

            Come on. Seriously.

            Let’s follow your tired, strained-nearly-to-death metaphor, and try to make it actually fit the situation, instead of being some kind of ridiculous red herring.

            You refuse to pay for the bundle of actual, physical papers, which can be bought by the next person, and thus represent a lost sale, scarcity. So you find the other door, the one on the back. It’s not locked, and inside this back door is a sign that says ‘K, whatever, take one’. So you take it.

            Please, stop comparing apples to oranges. It’s insulting to everyone else here, myself included. I predict that your next argument is going to be that this is like going over to your neighbors’ for dinner, and stealing everything they own.

            You were only supposed to take the dinner, pirate!

          • Ratio says:

            You refuse to pay for the bundle of actual, physical papers, which can be bought by the next person, and thus represent a lost sale, scarcity. So you find the other door, the one on the back. It’s not locked, and inside this back door is a sign that says ‘K, whatever, take one’. So you take it.

            Travtastic, here, in my opinion, is the central question.

            When someone offers you a service, and asks you to pay for that service, is it wrong to use that service without paying for it?

          • travtastic says:

            This is not a hypothetical situation. This is reality.

            If they don’t want you to read an article, they will not serve it to your browser. End of story. You’re just wrong, and I can’t think of a more polite way to say it.

            Maybe you think that your browser is grabbing data from them, but the internet does not work like that. If someone sends them a naked URL minus the querystrings, their programmers are allowing a connection and a return of information.

            You are being given this data, by the content owners. If you want to ride in on a shining horse to a discussion on BT, IP infringement, or something of that nature, feel free. This is not that situation.

      • Mantissa128 says:

        Once upon a time, there was the spear. Life was hard, but good.

        One day, someone invented the bow and arrow. It was so much better than the spear, and the inventor and her family prospered. But then, someone stole the idea from this person, and gave it to everyone. The inventor and her children went hungry and died, and all the people suffered.

        Oh, wait. It didn’t happen like that.

        Ratio, it is a comparatively new philosophy that art, music, writing, design, ideas, molecules, and clicking on one button to purchase something are things that can be owned. We suffer from lack of long perspective, and some of us have fallen for the press releases of those who wish to sit on bow-and-arrow technology and obtain profit for it. Those press releases tell us all of society will fall apart because of… uh, stealing.

        There is an incredibly simple way for content ‘owners’ to protect their work. Keep it to themselves!

        • dbarak says:

          “There is an incredibly simple way for content ‘owners’ to protect their work. Keep it to themselves!”

          “Sorry, we’re not going to pay you for the hours you put in at work today.”

          “Don’t mind us, we’re just here to steal your TV set.”

          “Yep, we transferred funds from your bank to ours without your permission. So?”

          It’s a creator’s or owner’s right (physical item, intellectual property, or whatever) to determine whether to charge or not, and it’s an end user’s right to decide if they want to steal that content or not. In short though, taking without permission is stealing.

          • Mantissa128 says:

            “Sorry, we’re not going to pay you for the hours you put in at work today.”

            “Oh, well we had a signed agreement that you would pay me money in exchange for the work I did for you. I will talk to my lawyer now, and stop doing any more work for you.”

            “Don’t mind us, we’re just here to steal your TV set.”

            “You are depriving me of a physical object which belongs to me. I will no longer be able to use this object which I formerly controlled. I will call the police now.”

            “Yep, we transferred funds from your bank to ours without your permission. So?”

            “I have entered into an agreement with the bank in which they pledge this kind of thing will not happen. I am removing remaining funds from my bank and will be contacting the police and my lawyer now.”

            Huh. Lessee…

            “I read an article one of your employees wrote without paying you a subscription access fee. Problem?”

            “We can no longer survive on advertising revenue alone, as not enough people read our newspaper. We will hide our content even more thoroughly from online access now.”

      • settle4 says:

        It is (obviously) stealing.

  36. milsyobtaf says:

    something something HTTP is stateless something. almost as if the creators of the internet wanted information to be free or some such.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I delete everything when I delete my browser history upon exiting. I have never hit this paywall. What is “stealing” or “circumventing” in this behavior.

  38. genre slur says:

    The holy economic grail for philosophical materialism, hyuk. “Here’s a good idea — convince people to reify information. Then they’ll think it’s Stuff. Then they’ll think they’re sinning if they don’t make ‘offerings’ in order to use it. Brilliant!”

  39. MrJM says:

    Look, mom! I’m a hacker!

  40. traalfaz says:

    Believe it or not, that right there is illegal. Or so some idiotic judges have said. You’re circumventing access controls.

  41. shadowfirebird says:

    Here’s a new spin.

    I’m on the NYT site now, reading it. I’m not a paid subscriber. Neither have I fiddled with the URLs or done anything else anyone suggested above.

    I have no idea how this paywall thing is supposed to work, but it’s not come up. I’ve even clicked my “temporarily allow this site to do what it likes” button (Noscript). Nothing; I’m still fine.

    In short, I’m just reading this site in exactly the way I look at the rest of the internet, and the paywall has not come up.

    To Ratio, et al: Am I “stealing’ the newspaper? Why?

  42. umstbcrzy says:

    OR

    (In Firefox)

    File > Options > Privacy > Remove Individual Cookies > “nytimes” > press delete button

    Easier than deleting the individual URLs and good for reading the only worthwhile thing on the site, the “Lens” blog…

    • Anonymous says:

      Also, FF Privacy Mode.

      I am operating under the assumption that the generally crack technology team they have at NYT left this blatantly insecure on purpose. CF “Nudge” by Thaler. The idea isn’t to stop people from reading for free, it’s to make it a) slightly less convenient and b) feel slightly less forthright than paying.

  43. CLP says:

    That’s not complicated to me, and it’s not complicated to most of you, but it would be complicated to the growing segment of users who don’t understand URLs and rarely touch the address bar. Remember the kerfuffle about ReadWriteWeb being confused for the Facebook login. That happened because a lot of users don’t go to Facebook by typing “facebook.com”, but Google “Facebook login” instead. The users that were confused by the ReadWriteWeb page are not going to be up for this kind of trick.

  44. jonathanpeterson says:

    I’m no lawyer, but I don’t know that illegal would pass muster.

    if you read through google reader (they’ve decided to publish the RSS in a manner that allows circumvention).

    if you have javascript turned off as there are server side solutions that they could have used.

    the fact that the URL is exposed and editable in all web browsers pretty well makes manipulating it part of the standard functionality. claiming that using basic browser functionality to circumvent is like arguing that I’m not allowed to change channels on the TV to avoid watching a commercial.

    I assume they spend their money on the payment acceptance and publishing side – they have chosen a very weak restriction technology to poke people for money, not to force the issue. They can always put in something tougher later.

  45. Anonymous says:

    The only thing more stupid than the NY Times paywall implementation are the people who say “who would bother with that to read that rag anyway?”

    And they think they’re being clever while broadcasting their ignorance too.

  46. dbarak says:

    Any chance you folks at Boing Boing can post a video about bypassing your ads?

    Yeah, I know, there are scripts for that, but sheesh, why should my eyes “pay” you when you’re telling us how to avoid paying another website? I think I’ll install an ad-blocking script just for y’all’s website.

  47. goldmineguttd says:

    In google chrome, “open tab in new window” seems to bypass this.

    I wonder, if you use adblock, and bypass the paywall… why do you expect news to be free? I mean, there has to be a revenue stream at some point down the line. I don’t think they chose a good one, but snarking at the very concept of them wanting to charge money for journalism is a bit ridiculous.

    That said, I bypass the adblock regularly, I just don’t try to morally justify it. If they had more reasonable subscription plans I’d reconsider, but I can’t afford it.

    • Loraan says:

      why do you expect news to be free? I mean, there has to be a revenue stream at some point down the line. I don’t think they chose a good one, but snarking at the very concept of them wanting to charge money for journalism is a bit ridiculous.

      Straw man. I submit that few opponents of NYT’s paywall argue that the news should be free. The argument I have heard, and that I support, is that the paywall is a shitty way of making money. If NYT had highly exclusive, highly desirable content, they could make money with a paywall. They don’t. Anything that reduces their page impressions is probably costing them more money than it’s making them.

  48. travtastic says:

    Alternatively, use AdBlock, the Element Finding Helper addition one. Two clicks and you’re good forever.

  49. Anonymous says:

    No JavaScript needed – the paywall can be disabled with CSS alone. Get an extension that allows you to apply site-specific CSS, e.g., User CSS for Safari, Stylish for Firefox, or Personalized Web for Chrome (there are others). Then you never have to see or deal with this again – at least until they modify their code.

    In the User CSS Safari extension create a new template with:

    Domains:
    http://*.nytimes.com/*
    http://nytimes.com/*

    Styles:
    #overlay, #gatewayUnit {display: none !important; visibility: hidden !important;}
    body {overflow: auto !important;}

    In Firefox you actually don’t need an extension if you want to write a userContent.css file using Mozilla’s -moz CSS selectors. The disadvantage is that you have to restart Firefox if you want to make any changes to the file or disable it. Put this snippet in either your userContent.css file or as a new Stylish style:

    @namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
    @-moz-document domain(‘nytimes.com’) {
    #overlay, #gatewayUnit {display: none !important; visibility: hidden !important;}
    body {overflow: auto !important;}
    }

    User CSS extension for Safari:
    http://code.grid.in.th/

    Sylish add-on for Firefox:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/stylish/

    Personalized Web extension for Chrome:
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/plcnnpdmhobdfbponjpedobekiogmbco

    About userContent.css:
    http://www.floppymoose.com/

  50. Anonymous says:

    WE ALREADY KNEW! We were enjoying reading articles without paying and then you came along a ruined it all. Now the NYT will surely revamp it’s paywall.

    THIS IS WHY WE CANNOT HAVE NICE THINGS!

    -RTM

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