Wednesday, March 30, 2011

PSA on the NYT Paywall

I am somewhat embarrassed that it took me from Monday until this morning to slam into the New York Times paywall. This means that as a researcher who studies news, I obviously spend far too little time consuming news. But having exhausted my 20 free articles less than three days into the month, I was faced with three options: pay for the digital subscription, pay less money for a print subscription I am unlikely to read in print so that I can access the NYT online thus killing trees for no good reason, or I could use a workaround to get around the paywall.

I had prepared for this by adding NYT Clean to my bookmarks toolbar, curious if it would work. It essentially strips the Javascript that creates the text box over the article that says you have to pay. (Or something like that. I don't really understand the computer stuff.) It works fabulously and effortlessly. 

Now, the NYT has made it clear that they know these workarounds exist but they do not intend on shutting them down. The NYT, however, has also made it clear that using these workarounds is comparable to stealing a newspaper from a news stand. 

You can decide how you feel about all this, but I figured I would just let all you trusty blog readers know that NYT Clean is awesome. Now you can decide for yourself if you want to go steal newspapers.


At 4/1/11, 9:40 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Just so you know, your university probably subscribes to an online version of some kind, but it might just be plain text anyway, and probably is more annoying to search.

Your friendly Columbia librarian ;)

At 4/1/11, 2:26 PM, Blogger Eli7 said...

You are, indeed, correct. And, in fact, I can also access the NYT through Columbia libraries as an alumna. However, this is through ProQuest, which is ugly and hard to read and so a poor substitute for the NYT website.


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