paywall crumbles

2011 03 20 paywall crumbles

the New York Times is piloting their paywall system in Canada. I thought I’d click around the website until it got triggered. Eventually, I got a warning pop-in, saying I had only one article left. Click. You must subscribe to see more.

I don’t actually have a problem with their paywall model. It’s their newspaper. It’s their content. It’s their website. They can do what they want. But, it was a ridiculously trivial process to thwart the paywall and regain full access to the NYTimes without subscribing. A couple of CSS overrides, and a javascript toggle.

I have no intention of leaving my blockerblocker in place. It works fine, but I don’t really have much use for full access to the NYTimes website. As others pointed out, it’s also trivially possible to bypass the paywall by enabling “private browsing” mode in a browser. Not an impressive way to design the “drm” to base the fortunes of a multimillion dollar news enterprise on.