With The New York Times' controversial paywall set to go live this afternoon at 2 p.m., discussion of the move has made the natural transition to methods of bypassing it.
Much of the criticism over the newspaper's plans is reaction to its complexity. While users are limited to twenty free articles a month, links from blogs, Facebook, and Twitter don't face those limits. The Times will also impose a five per day restriction for users accessing articles via Google, Bing and Yahoo's search engine. Readers have criticized the plan for forcing them to pay for something that they received for free previously.
As expected, a number of loopholes and hacks have appeared. One of the more notorious methods appeared almost instantly. Using a Twitter account named @FreeNYT, an anonymous user aggregated every article the newspaper posted the Twitter. The site caught The Times' notice and before long, The Times requested that Twitter suspend the account, arguing that it violated its trademark.
As said previously, as with any paid product, we expect that there will be some percentage of people who will find ways around our digital subscriptions. We will continue to monitor the situation but plan no changes to the programming or paywall structure in advance of our global launch on March 28, a Times spokeswoman said.
Calling digital subscriptions an investment in our future, The Times hopes the new system will entice enough readers to pay for access to the newspaper. So far, reactions from reader and potential customers have been lukewarm.
The launching of our digital subscription model will help ensure that we can continue to provide you with the high-quality journalism and substantive analysis that you have come to expect from The Times, the paper wrote earlier today.