How I beat the New York Times’ paywall

NYT paywall noticeA big part of my study time is following links from my RSS reader. You can say what you want about Twitter, but I still find RSS to be the best way to keep track of what people are writing in my beat. A lot of those links go to the New York Times.

The Times, however, has introduced its paywall, and part of the deal is you get access to 20 articles for free per month. After that, you’re blocked and need to pay up. The exceptions are links from social media giants Twitter and Facebook. The reason is simple: the Times wants no part of losing audience for advertisers, which is what has happened with other paywall experiments.

But I’ve thought the same exception should apply to RSS, and I’ve complained about it via Twitter.

Today, I ran into my first blocked story, so I simply tweeted the URL of the article:

turning the Times article into an exception

That link allowed me past the paywall.

This is silly, but it shows how easily the Times wall can be breached. Frankly, it makes sense that the paper’s paywall should allow inbound links from anywhere, but that’s probably impractical. Why have a paywall then, right?



  1. There is an easier way:

    Chrome + Google Reader + Super Google Reader

    Full contents feeds and no paywall on NYT.

  2. OK several things I don’t understand. A few days after their announce, a pop-up indicated on NY Times that Lincoln (the car maker) had made it possible for NY Times to be free for one year. On my computer at work, I’ve accessed way more than 20 articles. And I’ve never seen another Lincoln pop-up. At home I got a warning saying I had reached my 20 so please sign up. But I clicked on a log-in button to an account I created for saving articles (don’t think you can do that anymore) and was able to continue accessing articles at home as well.

  3. Soren, I love my desktop reader, but I may have to switch. Thanks.


  1. […] Terry Heaton found another (perhaps more convoluted) way around the Times’ system, tweeting links to Times stories that he can’t access. And elsewhere at the Times, the […]

  2. PS Vita says:

    PS Vita…

    […]Terry Heaton???s PoMo Blog » Blog Archive » How I beat the New York Times’ paywall[…]…

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