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Codebreaker

Getting around NY Times paywall is even easier than you thought

John Moe Mar 29, 2011

Now that the paywall is officially up and running, Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land put it through its paces to see what kind of reading makes you hit the wall and what doesn’t. I actually had a lot of fun reading his tweets on the subject last night as he discovered all kinds of inconsistencies. To begin with, links from Google.com trigger the 20 articles per month limit but Google Australia and Google UK do not. Social media sites are not supposed to count but Google Reader and Google Buzz seem to count anyway. Bing and Yahoo count but Ask.com and Blekko.com don’t.
Perhaps most interesting were Danny’s really simple workarounds:

  • Using the private or “incognito” mode of modern browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer
  • Clearing your nytimes.com cookies (and probably just one specific cookie, but I haven’t pinned that down)
  • Using another browser, if you have more than one on your computer.

The upshot is that the New York Times seems to have no consistent plan in place to manage this paywall in a mindful manner. They spent 40 million dollars on it.

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