Of course the sites in question are allowed to try and raise money from me, and I feel I am allowed to try to dodge this.
More important however, I feel that these serious news sites with their current behavior are contributing to the fake news proliferation as people keep on reading news but since they cannot read serious news sites they are forced to read facebook's and other crappy sources their gossipy, manipulative and spammy propaganda.
I contribute money to The Guardian because of this, they vowed to keep their serious news site open and reward them a contribution for it, I hope more people will for the same reason.
They briefly switched to all access (like the linked "bypass Paywalls Clean" above) but came around pretty quick to go back to their less invasive model.
See this issue thread on the original repo: https://github.com/iamadamdev/bypass-paywalls-firefox/issues...
Hopefully this quarrel between the two devs can be settled without requiring a permanent hard-fork.
Here is the issue someone filed for it on the original repo: https://github.com/iamadamdev/bypass-paywalls-chrome/issues/...
I'll stick with the old one as it requires less permissions. It seems to work as expected.
You seem to be very eager to point out the superiority of the fork. Are you involved in the project?
That's not a big deal, of course. Usually quite the opposite. But usually people here don't try to deflect the question either, so..
It sounds a bit bitter as well. I'd love to see those projects ending up competing in a productive way!
This was about your responses, not your intentions. That's also why I said I judged your response, not your intentions.
> I did judge your responses though.
How would I know your intentions anyway?
If you search for "good luck" in this HN thread you'll see what I'm referring to.
I usually just F12 and remove the offending elements or their styling, so that I can read the article.
There's only two reasons that's possible: Either the developer hated that they block information, and left a way through for people, or they're incompetent. I like to assume the best in people and believe the former to be the case.
Publishers aim for a barrier that is just high enough so that people with less time and more money would rather pay than circumvent them.
It’s the exact same mechanism as supermarkets using coupons to grant people with lower financial means the opportunity to shop with them, knowing that their regular customers would die of embarrassment if their neighbors saw them clipping coupons.
Why not? It’s pretty clear that you’re knowingly doing this in order to exceed authorized access. Why is this different from exploiting a vulnerability?
Accessibility features are not intended to defeat access controls.
Why bring content to the Internet if there is desire to change the rules and norms of how the Internet works? Why not roll a separate version of the Internet with those desired rules? Yes, laws exist to protect copyright, prevent theft, and forbid illegal access, but those laws are insufficiently aware of how the Internet operates with respect to things like client-server communication. In fact, the design of the Internet predates many (if not all) of these laws, and the specifications of how the Internet works are a de facto law expressing how clients and servers interact with one another. Should lawmakers give requirements to the W3C to specify desired and undesired operations on the Internet?
I genuinely ask these questions in good faith: they are simply follow-on thoughts of mine from taking your point as a premise. If my ideas seems extreme or exaggerated, then that’s simply where my mind goes first as opposed to necessarily being criticism.
I actually thought of making a plugin to do this, but decided against it, since I'd rather just keep reading my free articles than making it so easy for everyone to do that they'd be forced to remove that feature, which is a likely consequence of this repository.
Would it be okay for you to exploit a SQLi bug on the website to access the articles just because it’s easy?
You don't "inject" queries, you submit queries as normal. You're "injecting" what you know to be code that will execute, where no code is even designed to execute.
If you use a news website (say the NYT) without plugins like the one linked, it’s blatantly obvious that this statement is not true.
So, if you go out of your way to conceal who you are, or to masquerade as someone/something else (i.e. google bot), in order to trick a web server in to sending you bytes that you know they wouldn’t otherwise send you, don’t be surprised if some people accuse you of stealing.
Those living in glass houses are best advised to refrain from casting stones and all.
This begs the question if altering your browser's User-Agent is theft since some sites actually alter their prices depending on which browser or OS you use it on. Like, if a Mac/Safari user is expected to pay $99, but your Windows/Chrome User-Agent gets you a $89 deal, are you stealing $10?
In some cases they let you start reading it then swipe it away once you are invested in the article, which seems dishonest.
I don't know about the legal aspect, but morally I am fine with bypassing restrictions under those circumstances.
I don't have a problem with paywalls provided the companies involved are completely up-front about it (e.g. putting their entire site behind a paywall, or offering some articles for free searching/reading and others only behind the paywall). That seems much better ethically, and also impossible to bypass.
I'm quite happy paying a subscription to the Guardian for news despite (or because of) the fact that none of their news is behind a paywall.
For example the commonly accepted and used term "identity theft", which does not actually involve depriving the victim of their identity. Similarly, we commonly talk about credit card numbers or passwords or email addresses being "stolen" in a data breach, even though you still have them after they are "stolen".
Actually, even in legal contexts "theft" does not always require depriving someone of the thing stolen. Example: "theft of trade secrets". The person whose trade secret is "stolen" still has the information.
Identities and data can be copied, not stolen. All examples you mentioned are "theft <X>" or "theft of <Y>" At the very least the term "theft of copyright" is somewhat descriptive, and does not equal it to theft, but that was not the descriptive term which was used.
Our law system sees theft as something that need adjusting to technology. So I can say with a straight face that in 2020, theft do include reading article that you didn't pay for.
> How about breaking patents?
We don't call it theft; we call that patent infringement. We have patent laws for that (in at least US and EU and probably [almost] everywhere in the world).
> How about stealing your password?
We don't call that theft, we call it "breaking into computers" (I only know the technical term for it in my native language, not English). If you use a password to log into an account you don't have legal access to, this is breaking into computers. We have laws for that (in at least US and EU and probably [almost] everywhere in the world).
> Our law system sees theft as something that need adjusting to technology.
No, it does not, it has different laws for all the three examples in this discussion, two of which you brought up.
You clearly do not know or understand how your law works. The respective Wikipedia articles explain the differences.
I took it as you trying to justify something. Like saying that one is not as bad as the other. So I answered that they all can be sued for damages and are the same morally (given law as a base).
The laws and punishments are different precisely because they are not the same morally.
You don't have to compare copyright infringement to theft to make your point. Copyright infringement can be proven to cause damage on its own merit, with its own law.
Articulating these are different does not equal saying the law is insignificant, that's a straw man.
Besides that, we're talking about alleged copyright infringement.
You need to start using the appropriate technology if you want your point to be taken seriously.
If it does not interest you to be correct when you're speaking about law, please refrain from making statements regarding law.
Conflating depriving someone of their property with copying someone's work is bad -- it is not the same thing.
They’ll happily let Google index the pay walled articles but won’t let you read them for free, thus polluting search results.
The expectation is that anything you see on Google (aka what the Googlebot was able to access without authentication) should be accessible for free without login or signup. These websites break that expectation, making search result pages unusable.
Publishers want this behaviour, so they implement their paywalls in such a way that they trigger on browsers but not for search engine crawlers (usually because they are JS-based and simply obscure the content below it). This extension exploits that fact. Publishers are free to implement a true paywall where the server wouldn’t serve any content without auth (thus defeating this extension) but this also means restricting search engines, something they definitely don’t want.
Finally, the “ethical” option of paying for the content is also out of the question for many due to privacy concerns. Many publishers have Facebook, Google Analytics and similar spyware on all their pages regardless of whether you’re a subscriber, so they will still track you except now you need to pay and provide validated billing details.
In that case you’d still be excessively paranoid, but at least consistent about it.
So I don’t quite see the hook for your Schadenfreude here.
I used to read the German Spiegel weekly, first the issues my dad bought, then later as I grew older buying their magazine. I stopped buying it years back, as it stopped being worth it, as the quality of the articles and investigative work plummeted, and article research turned into op-ed pieces.
We can all agree that professional and ethical journalism is a necessary part of a well-functioning democracy as you point out. We can also agree that journalism has been decimated, especially at the local level, as you also pointed out. The observation that 'peteretep made about music piracy and its effect upon how music is monetized today is a fact: today, we have multiple streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, among others) and music stores (Apple Music, Beatport, Bandcamp(?) among others. The situation in the music industry remains imperfect, but 'peteretep’s claim that music piracy combined with new technology acted in concert as a forcing function to move the music marketplace closer to where producers and consumers want it to be seems sound.
I for one consume the vast majority of my US political news from Hasan Piker knowing full well that he is a leftist . He’s a full-time political commentator that streams on Twitch. Ever since I learned about him a few years ago, other political streamers have started streaming on Twitch and other platforms like YouTube. I bemoan the death of the local newspaper, but only because of the lack of coverage. Why can’t people with cellphone cameras stream a townhall or a city-planning meeting and let viewers decide the value of the livestream and any associated commentary? The long-celebrated journalistic institutions today have all in some way, shape, or form been “captured” by the political forces of the day. Did your organization report too much controversial news concerning the political sacred cows? Well then, you lose access, which is a death knell for such burgeoning organizations with high headcount and fixed costs. One last question: who hands out these press passes anyway because it’s not like you need a license in journalism to report the news?
If all they wanted was information about what articles were doing well it'd be... okay, sure I guess though I wish they didn't decide what to publish based on that. But knowingly allowing their paying subscribers (and we're talking over a hundred dollars a year here for web-only) to be tracked by third parties is going too far.
What's the point in paying for a subscription if they're going to sell my private data for pennies even when I'm giving them decent money for access? It's insulting. Now I just delete their cookies and read for free (and without tracking). I'd rather give them money, but after two years of paying for a subscription I don't feel too bad about it.
I made clear to them why I was canceling my subscription -- if I'm paying you I'm not okay with you double dipping to sell my personal information. People viewing for free, okay, sure, I get it you want to make a little bit at least. Don't subject paying customers to this though.
... I say as I place orders on Amazon.
Oh well. Being half way self-consistent is better than not at all.
I also have issues with this on a news site where I pay for. If I pay, please quit tracking me. It provides incentive to subscribe, and shows a honesty in the matter.
But if they can't spend the effort to do that, I guess their loss. Or gain, I doubt they lose many subscribers over this. Probably they just figure no one cares and they're probably mostly right.
Google ran a trial to let you opt out of ads and pay the difference, exactly what people in these online discussions have always proclaimed to be waiting for.
They got around a hundred takers. Turns out, nobody is willing to pay what it actually costs to produce the content they want to read.
Local journalism is already dead in many regions, and there’s a study out there showing that corruption tends to increase in these cities, costing several times as much as the local paper ever did, not even including the non-monetary damages of the hollowing out of society.
There is nothing stopping these sites from creating login-only paid portals.
They don't. Why? Ranking and the benefits.
It seems like a "have my cake and eat it too." strategy, and i'm not too keen on supporting it, personally.. even more so given that many of these sites are just simply AP 'spin®urgitate' sites.
I'm waiting on big G to hit paywall sites harder in rankings, but I don't really see it in the cards. Here's hoping.
Serious websites like the Financial Times just block you from reading articles altogether, without letting you first read the lede or anything.
They still give archivers access because it's an effective form of price discrimination, but they have complete control over what they're doing.