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Show HN: Read any story on Medium for free (chrome.google.com)
12 points by swapagarwal 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

The short story of how this works.

- Take an arbitrary article as an example: https://medium.com/popular-science/twitter-is-killing-its-te...

- Extract the article id 58d900b2ac8.

- Hit the url medium.com/p/58d900b2ac8/notes which returns a JSON-ish object.

- Find the webCanonicalUrl. In our case it looks like "webCanonicalUrl":"https://www.popsci.com/twitter-mac-app-dead-applications-rep...

- Go to that instead.

Neat trick.

Edit: Medium appears to have caused webCanonicalURL to always be empty in response to this.

Wait, since when do posts on medium cost money? I haven’t encountered a paywall other than one encouraging me to log in. But I do vaguely remember an announcement by medium regarding charging for articles and revenue sharing with authors. Have they implemented this?

It looks like they've been phasing it in. This is from March last year: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/22/medium-debuts-its-paid-mem...

There are a number of paywalls / registration walls that have been going up over the past year or so. Yonatan Zunger is an author who uses Medium, who occasionally makes his content member-only. You need to register an account (or be able to authenticate to one -- I'm not sure if cypherpunks/cypherpunks works) to be able to read those.

As with HN, his G+ threads to such articles tend to be dominated by discussion of the paywall rather than the article. The evidence is convincing that information generally ought to be a public good and be provided (and paid for) as same. See in particular Joseph Stiglitz on this:

*Today we recognize that knowledge is not only a public good but also a global or international public good. We have also come to recognize that knowledge is central to successful development. The international community, through institutions like the World Bank, has a collective responsibility for the creation and dissemination of one global public good—knowledge for development.

Though I could cite you any number of other experts on this -- Pamela Samuelson, copyright law specialist, comes to mind: "Copyright has become the single most serious impediment to access to knowledge."

http://sfgate.com/opinion/article/Aaron-Swartz-Opening- access-to-knowledge-4224697.php

I don’t like it. It’s clearly against the intended use of Medium.

IMHO, if you don’t want a paywall, you either pay for the product or leave the website.

I don't think this particular implementation is unethical. It's not bypassing the paywall so much as it's querying Medium for another site where the article is published and probably isn't paywalled. No different than Googling the article title and finding the original.

For content owned originally published by Medium you're on their regular free trial system.

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