Yesterday I reblogged a Reuters post that reports that The New York Times will limit free articles to 10 per month. After the repost I linked to a short video we created a while ago about getting around the paywall. To make sixty seconds short, it shows that you just need to delete everything after the “?” mark in the URL and reload the page to access any article you want.
Here’s some criticism for doing so:
I should say that the criticism is more or less valid. I should also say that my language (“FJP: Paywall got you down? Here’s our 60 second tutorial on getting around it.”) doesn’t help.
Here’s what I should have written if I was thinking at the time:
And so, with that as my backstory to posting a link to a video about how easy it is to get around the NYT paywall, I wrote shorthand about how to do so.
Sometimes when you’re in the weeds you forget the forest for the trees but my link to circumventing the paywall is part of a larger and longer discussion that’s been going on at the FJP about paywalls and how they might work.
The New York Times is very much aware of how leaky their paywall is. It is very much aware that deleting a string from a URL gives anyone access to their content. This is a both a design and business decision that I can’t imagine they’re very much worried about. Otherwise, they’d close this gap.
So, in the meantime, I’ll post again — with the caveat that if you can afford a subscription, purchase a subscription — if you want to view a New York Times article but have bumped up against your monthly allotment, follow the instructions posted here.
If the New York Times wants to shut down this access they can do so quickly and easily. Until then, have at it — Michael
Now imagine if Bon Appetit, instead of The Little Owl, ran with a cover photo of some Kamakaze Kool-Aid Roll from Monster Sushi or wherever. Well, that’s essentially what’s going on here with Groupon, a national brand is giving national attention to a local joint that doesn’t deserve it, and as a result, a lot of people’s money is being misallocated. It’s anti-economic. Groupon is the invisible hand of capitalism sucker punching good restaurants that deserve to succeed and helping out mediocre venues that deserve to fail.