Is the NYT paywall this easy to jump?

From techdirt:

As we continue to explore the NY Times’ bizarrely pointless paywall, it comes as no surprise that the wall itself is barely any wall at all. It’s not even a fence. It’s basically a bunch of fenceposts, and someone screaming: “Pay no attention to your own eyes. There is a fence here, and you should go round the front and pay at the entrance… unless someone sent you here. Then walk on through.” That, of course, is bizarre, and it means that most people will never actually see any fence at all. But it gets even more bizarre when you discover that the “paywall” itself has apparently been written in javascript, meaning that when you do hit the wall, the full article you want to read actually loads in the HTML, it’s just then blocked by some script asking you to pay up. That means it’s even easier to remove than many had predicted (no need to even delete cookies or any such nonsense). In fact, that link above points people to NYTClean, a four-line javascript bookmarklet, that makes it easy to remove the paywall with (literally) the click of a button, should you actually encounter it.

Turns out there may be an even simpler way to jump the fence: turn off javascript. I barely know what that means, and I certainly don’t know if it works. But the folks at techdirt do. They’re also worried about the legality of this, whether it violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Beats me. Just in case it does: do not try this. But if you do anyway, let me know how it goes.

Later: If defeating the paywall as suggested at techdirt is, in fact, legal, then the NY Times has implemented a form of price discrimination whereby the technically savvy pay less than those who don’t know any better. And, yes, there would seem to be an arbitrage opportunity in that. Theoretically, it should not work. The paywall should crumble.

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