Related HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9134118
But it's not working reliably for me. Frequently, when I click the bookmarklet, it gets stuck on a blank page. Does it work every time for you?
It uses the functionality of the "I feel lucky" button. It will only work if the site has been indexed by Google, but that's usually the case with news pages that show such fake paywall messages.
Btw. please Google fix your frontpage, you serve an unformatted text message (IE9-11): http://s7.postimg.org/52fu9wbdn/google_bug.png
As @frik noted, it uses "I'm feeling lucky" feature of Google. It requires the page to be indexed to work. If the page isn't indexed then it won't work. But since the pages you'd like to see are indexed almost always, it shouldn't be a problem.
This one needs to "read and change your data on all websites", but with a better extensions architecture could be something much less scary like "read and change your data on the current website whenever you click the extension's icon".
(Though it might not be possible to modify the referer with activeTab alone :/)
Edit: Sorry bud. I gave it a shot, and `activeTab` doesn't allow you to modify the "Referer" header.
code: 'window.stop(); window.location = "http://www.google.com/badurl/' + encodeURIComponent(tab.url) + '";'
window.location = decodeURIComponent(window.location.pathname.split("/"));
At the moment, the ask is that users put 100% trust into some extension from the Chrome Web Store. It's not clear that Google does much to ensure that the companies are even who they say they are. It's a completely unreasonable ask, in my opinion. Then, in other areas, Google is hyper-sensitive about security. Eg. Chrome, under some circumstances, won't even let users download zip files anymore without trying to intervene. (https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=423217)
Selectively requiring authentication (based on referrer, user-agent, cookies, etc.) is not a supported feature of the internet. If you want to go ahead and implement it anyway, that's fine - but it's pointless to get mad when it doesn't really work the way you hoped it would.
This plugin isn't fundamentally different than spoofing a session cookie.
Thus, when someone posts a paywalled link to HN, someone inevitably posts the advice "Google the title and click through." (Other than, say, "If you're a working professional, just buy a WSJ and NYT subscription.")
I would love if I could pay $20 to $30 per month to some aggregator that lets me read articles from Al Jazeera, NY Times, WSJ, BBC, and a selection of other diverse sources.
The alternative would be to not show paywalled content to Google's crawlers, and have them entirely left out of search results.
Screenshots and help here: http://www.renjusblog.com/2010/01/hack-read-wall-street-onli...
(consider reading the source instead of just trusting it)
This time the comments seem to be mostly positive.
Responding to specific criticism from your comments:
> It does feel excessive or cynical or something to install an actual app to work around a paywall. The WSJ organization says, you must pay us $28.99 a month for full access to this content. That's the value they've placed on their content, that's the price they are charging, and that's what people should pay.
> The fact that they also make most if not all of the content available on a "complimentary" basis via Google suggests that they do value occasional visits from non-subscribers.
> However if millions of non-subscribers were to install a paywall avoidance app and access the full content on a daily basis, this would probably violate the spirit of "occasional".
WSJ certainly deserves to set whatever price on their work that they wish, and they also deserved to be compensated according to the value of that work.
However, if the workaround is no more in violation of the "spirit of occasional [visits]" than this publisher practice is in violation of the "spirit" of web navigation. That spirit is that users should not be discriminated against based on their navigation source.
Google search results should not be a representation of content that is not allowed to direct visitors. If WSJ wants to represent to Googlebot and Google visitors that the content is open, then it should be open to direct visitors as well.
If I, a user, did nothing special to access the content, I should be able to pass on the link to a new set of users. This practice breaks that, and, I imagine almost invariably, users will not understand why.
Don't you think we should also have the option to decide not to pay using these "dirty" tricks of the trade?
In my opinion, this tactic is no different than offering it for free but then demanding payment anyway.
Personally, I don't think it's fair that WSJ simultaneously demands money for content but leaves open a loophole so they can get Google exposure, and then complain when people use said exposure. It smacks of wanting to have their cake and eat it too.
The entire point of the Google link and the whole paywall circumvention is so they can get traffic to their site, right? This implies that getting people on their site is more valuable to them than locking their content behind a paywall.
They could always serve only a summary to both Google and to nonsubscribers from other referrers, but this leads to people mentally filing them in the "useless link, never click" bucket along with Experts Exchange and other crappy content farms.
But that's indeed a really odd set of comments. While there is some criticism on this thread here, it's way more down to Earth, nobody is talking about theft or anything.
Is there a name for ethical notions related to whether people make a habit of something, or whether people help make something convenient?
I feel that discriminating based on referrer is wrong. Or IP address. Or geographic location. Or user agent.
More than that, discriminating based on those things is really flimsy.
A website should provide the same content regardless of what browser you're using or where you're coming from.
I don't see the plugin as getting around their paywall. I see it as getting around moronic web development.
For example, if a site has unbelievably intrusive advertising and I install an ad blocker. Or a site pops up a register for our newsletter modal and it's blocking the content and there's no way to close it ... so I open up the console and remove the dom node entirely so I can see the article.
In other words, stupid shit that 99.9% of people don't know how to get around, but a web developer can get around in a few seconds.
That's not hacking or bypassing anything, that's just moronic web development.
If you want to put up a paywall, that's fine. A wall is a wall. If you make a hole in the wall on purpose and people walk through that hole, don't blame the people ... blame the wall.
Would you prefer it instead if WSJ.com just removed themselves from Google? And applied the paywall to everyone? I don't see how that's better. Or is the complaint that any paywall exists anywhere?
That really misrepresents the case. Its not a difference in traffic costs, its a difference in whether the edge provider is willing to send its content over the network to you. And they are willing to do so if you are paying them directly, or you are sent by someone who is paying them with a certain quantity of exposure.
While you could probably formulate a single principle that would support both what you are calling for here and net neutrality, it probably would be a controversial principle even among people who support net neutrality, and wouldn't represent what many people who do support net neutrality support. Claiming that if someone doesn't agree with you on this they must oppose net neutrality is simply wrong, and unhelpful to either your cause of net neutrality.
Net neutrality is about the service provider not getting involved in what the service carries.
A content owner can freely decide who can/cant view their content, that's completely up to them. Same way we have regional rights for video content.
Just because we want it to be equal doesn't take their rights away, regardless of consumer perception, etc.
The content is the same, it's the business model of the publisher that's different: ads vs subscription.
Google is just serving as an index, you can't read it on Google itself so why should they be able to discriminate content providers based on business model?
It's actually free. At least the first paragraph or so is. And a lot of the personal finance articles are totally free. About 99% of the time that's good enough for me.
So I don't bypass the paywall. I go to WSJ on a daily basis and simply read the free intro text.
I enjoy the WSJ enough that I would gladly pay them, except they play the usual pricing games, which I detest. I wish they just gave me their "best" price, and never tried to jack up that price to whatever they thought they could get away with at renewal. On a few occasions I've had a 1 year subscription for IIRC perhaps $99 but at renewal they tried to jack up the price substantially.
They've been playing these pricing games on and off for at least 10 years, if not longer. I have been willing to pay them at least $1,000 over that time. Instead they've gotten at most $200. But they're not alone in this. Most newspapers and magazines follow that pricing model.
For a while, the NY Times was hilariously free. News articles were free, while they charged for their "editorial" content. That was perhaps a good idea for their core NYC demographic, but for other people (like me) the opposite would have been more attractive. How much would it cost me to keep from ever even seeing a headline for anything written by Maureen Dowd? Alas, that pricing model has long since changed.
1) Many people are ethically opposed to circumventing paywalls.
2) Many people are ethically opposed to paywalls treating certain traffic as special or different.
As Jeremy says below:
"What's not so great is creating an internet where if you use our Trusted Corporate Partner™ you're allowed to view a public webpage, and if you come from anywhere less privileged on the internet, you're not. That's not sustainable. Lest we fall into a vortex where you're only allowed to browse the public web by logging in through Facebook. I wouldn't want to be online in that world."
I agree. I think the difference in responses from HN commenters is about which ethical evaluation people are focusing on, #1 or #2 above.
Sorry habosa. You're not popular enough to do disruptive things.
Its fair for many here to complain about some of the online advertising practices of publishers.
However the viable alternative it to pivot to some form of subscription model. Its a hard transition and many orgs are making risky changes to do better.
Extensions like these are a step backwards.
If you value the work you should support it.
See bio for usual disclaimers
Subscription models are great, and paywalls are great.
What's not so great is creating an internet where if you use our Trusted Corporate Partner™ you're allowed to view a public webpage, and if you come from anywhere less privileged on the internet, you're not. That's not sustainable. Lest we fall into a vortex where you're only allowed to browse the public web by logging in through Facebook. I wouldn't want to be online in that world.
This isn't a complicated extension, and it doesn't do anything fancy to subvert any paywalls — and it's not going to. It simply reloads the page as if you had arrived via Google. I think that's a fair thing to do.
It's a pretty interesting subject in my opinion because I can easily see arguments for both sides, and if we compare it to the real world we have the exact same "issue.
I can read an article that's on the newspaper's first page when it sits in the newsstand but I can't open it and look for any other articles without paying for the paper.
I think the real solution has to come in the form of a better subscription model. I usually get to paywalled sites wanting to read a single article so a subscription is a bit too much for me. If there was a way for me to get what I want by paying quickly, maybe using some sort of a federated payment platform (much like downloading apps doesn't require subscribing) I'd be more inclined to pay.
Isn't this what Flattr tried (and failed) to do?
... if you use our Trusted Corporate Partner™
Its not publishers saying use Google over Bing over Yahoo etc.
Lest we fall into a vortex where you're only allowed
to browse the public web by logging in through Facebook
and it doesn't do anything fancy to subvert any
paywalls — and it's not going to
I think that's a fair thing to do
Of course I understand that the publishers don't want to cut themselves out of the conversation.
But why must "the conversation" be limited to powerful internet companies? Do we not converse about news articles in blog posts? Comment threads? Up and coming social platforms that don't have Facebooks media clout yet?
It's simply unfair to treat a visitor arriving at your site from Google differently to a visitor arriving at your site from anywhere else. It runs against the grain of the web. To that end, if I hadn't published this extension, someone else would have made it. If Google removes "Referer" privileges from Chrome extensions, someone will fork Chromium to allow them again. Let's build a better — a more fair — paywall.
It would not be hard for Google to append one-time, time-limited tokens to SERP links to get searchers from Google to NYT (or other big publishers). Google would just need to provide an invite-only API for the publishers to check the tokens against in real time. At their scale this would be pretty trivial. This would have the neat effect of breaking your extension, and locking in special treatment.
Google would not bother to do this right now, because the referrer trick largely benefits Google (the typical advice is "just Google the headline"), and is not widely abused. But if people start widely circumventing both Google and the paywall (with something like your extension), then the interests will align and Google and the publishers will act together.
Google executives have said repeatedly and publicly that they want existing news organizations to survive and feel a responsibility to help them do so.
and hasten the death of print journalism
Links published --anywhere, not just Google-- for content behind paywalls are called ads.
If news orgs value their journalists and the future of the profession, they should experiment with more daring models, rather than ones that simply maximally enrich the org under the same old model
EDIT: imho a model that falls apart legally under a browser extension that fits in a 40-line gist is nothing on which to base the livelihoods of a bunch of people
I'm not asking for you to dream up an alternative solution, but don't assume this is a problem that has not been given a lot of thought by many organizations.
This is partly why we are stuck with things like "native advertising" and pretty shit IAB ad units.
Which is why the "All Digital Access" subscription costs more than Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now combined. Give me a break.
Web + Smartphone: $3.75/wk $16.25/mo $195/yr
Web + Tablet: $5.00/wk $21.67/mo $260/yr
All Digital Access: $8.75/wk $37.92/mo $455/yr
7-Day Home Delivery: $8.90/wk $38.57/mo $463/yr
Web + Smartphone & Web + Tablet are identical except
for device type but Tablet is 33% more.
Web + Smartphone plus Web + Tablet cost as much
*together* as All Digital Access (and are feature
7-Day Home Delivery *includes* All Digital Access and
costs about the same. Paper is free?
EDIT: Went back to look at the numbers... They have tons of online eyeballs - those eyeballs just don't make much money. They manage to double their digital revenue with the paywall. Even so, it's dwarfed by the print revenue.
This may shift as advertisers see the value of targeted online user groups... I could totally imagine the NYT of the future being a collection of blogs dealing in Tech, Biz, World News, Local News, etc. Ads on the Biz site would be targeted differently than on the World News site. This might give advertisers what they want in terms of a differentiated audience.
From the 2014 Annual Report:
Average Paper Circulation in U.S. (Int'l)
648,900 (219,500) for weekday (Monday to Friday)
1,185,400 (220,500) for Sunday
Paid Digital Subscribers
910,000 as of December 28, 2014
Monthly (Annual) Digital Readership
31MM (372MM) unique desktop/laptop visitors (U.S.)
42MM (504MM) unique desktop/laptop visitors (WW)
28MM (336MM) unique mobile device visitors (U.S.)
$667.5MM from print subscribers
$169.3MM from digital subscribers
$483.5MM from print advertising
$178.8MM from digital advertising
There is a method to this madness :)
The NYT has experimented but is still clinging to the past.
I support him because it shows me there's someone inside who's pragmatic and not letting themselves be deluded by group-think. (I am genuintely not implying you are. I don't know you.)
Paywalls aren't going to work as-is, and I'm excited to see a clever wink to that sentiment internally -- it gives me confidence that something better might come from inside players
> I'm not asking for you to dream up an alternative solution
And not my idea, but just in case it's not on your radar: http://wiki.bitshares.org/index.php/Potential_DAC_Ideas#Asso...
Otherwise, if people saw truly unique content from you (and others), they would be paying in one or more of the options you mentioned. They obviously don't see the point, however, because very little on the web is truly unique.
This seems like more evidence of the thing we all already know... large news/opinion organizations, especially those who started in print and are trying to maintain their business models, have become irrelevant.
...have become irrelevant
"Cuomo Orders Emergency Measures to Protect Workers at Nail Salons"
That response by a state governor was in due to an article in The New York Times from a week ago.
Also, do not underestimate the amount of original content that these orgs churn out that other sites repackage and repurpose.
Irrelevant? Do some measure of homework.
> original content that these orgs churn out that other sites repackage and repurpose.
What percentage of their content are truly original, first-to-break stories? Really, be honest. Now how much of their content are fluff/opinion pieces, rehashes of the last month of stories, and info that has been 'repackaged and repurposed' from the internet? If you try to claim the larger percentage is the former, you're just being obtuse.
You're quick to defend traditional media, but you totally glossed over the other points I raised. It's obvious (based on your comments here) that you have a bone to pick with anyone who doesn't believe your employer (and others like it) are worth what they think they are worth.
Again, it's clear based on market force that the PUBLIC doesn't agree with you. If they did, you would have seen success in the methods you mentioned.
> Micro-payments, dumb 'capthcha' based models, memberships, events, "premier access"
Whether you personally agree with me or not, the public is speaking, and they are telling you that your business model isn't worth what you claim.
I don't buy that. Many new media sites don't even have reporters in the field - just lots of writers in a room that rewrite what these "legacy" orgs do. So if they disappeared people absolutely would notice, the connection just isn't apparent yet.
News costs money. And a functioning media is important to society. That people are not currently willing to pay for it doesn't mean that it's irrelevant, just that the correct business model has not yet been found.
> That people are not currently willing to pay for it doesn't mean that it's irrelevant, just that the correct business model has not yet been found.
Just like the MPAA and RIAA a decade ago, they have been fighting market pressure rather than taking the hint and changing their business models. They want to keep the same profits they received from their captive audiences of yesterday, and they don't understand that people don't need to pay historical rates for the vast majority of the information they offer.
If the NYT fits that description, then I would love to see a reason why my conclusion doesn't apply to them. They certainly aren't relevant because of their name alone, are they? So I would truly like to know what percentage of their content comes from the real NYT reporters in the field, versus internet research, AP feeds, rehashes of yesterday's news, etc.
Joe Q. Public certainly doesn't miss out when he avoids paywalls. He typically gets better (and faster) information through his RSS feed than he ever has by reading the NYT directly. They might offer a unique opinion, or an extra line from an interview, but it's rarely vital information. He's not going to pay monthly for the privilege of reading an article written by a 'distinguished journalist' when it's really all about the information, not the prose. So what does that leave? Exclusive photos? Infographics? Op-ed?
I really don't mean to imply that journalists who go into dangerous situations aren't worth being paid. They certainly are doing important work. But to imply that the ones employed by one news corporation are any better than the others is just silly. They are all witnessing the same event from different angles, and I now have the ability to see the situation from the eyes of ALL of them through multiple sites (often within hours), not just the one who graces my newspaper's front page every morning.
So in the end, they have built a business on being a person's sole channel for world news, but the average person has many many many more channels available today. If they don't change their business model (indeed, their entire way of thinking about news), they will become unnecessary, extraneous, pointless... irrelevant.
You say that there is little unique content out there -- but this a false statement if we're talking about the WSJ and NYT. If you are talking about the web as a whole, then you've changed the subject, and you're talking about an unbounded thing.
Saying the NYT is irrelevant is also completely false. Endangered? Fearful? Sure. A mouthpiece for the establishment? Often. Caught in their own thought-bubble? Sometimes. But not irrelevant.
Information and quality analysis have value - this is obvious. Coming around the other way and saying that because publishers are failing to extract the value, that therefore the news has no value, is a fallacy. Markets can fail to price correctly for many reasons.
Clay Shirky's original 2009 essay on "Thinking the unthinkable" (http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2009/03/newspapers-and-thinking...) was plenty frightening for publishers, and it did not need to exaggerate to make the point.
What does the size of the "hack" have to do with anything? Simple execution doesn't make something ok by the fact of being simple to execute.
As far as I'm concerned people that let google index their site and try to paywall everyone else are the ones abusing the system.
I'd be all for this extension not needing to exist if these website owners would simply fix this obviously broken behavior.
Have you ever considered doing cross-promotions through other channels, such as the ability to round-up my Starbucks purchases and have the excess go toward a subscription?
I love printed media.
Printed media is also dead.
I wish this were not the case, and I know lots of folks are trying really hard to prevent its complete destruction, but heck if I can see a way forward.
Google is not the magic gateway to the internet, and sites that treat it like it is will have this happen to them, just like the sun follows rain.
I do not enjoy pointing these facts out, and I worry tremendously about the quality of journalism, writing, and online discourse. But the facts are the facts. This has been a losing battle long enough for all of us to figure out how it ends.
Perhaps a better extension would be to hide organic search results in Google for pay-walled content providers, while leaving AdWords links intact. In the interests of protecting profit-based interests.
Additionally, Facebook should require paywalled content providers to pay users that use their integrated comments or click a like button, as we certainly don't want free buzz, as that would violate the profit-driven flow of information.
Why should it be ok for Google to discriminate which content is shown by the host's business model instead of the relevance and quality of the content?
As far as Google is concerned, they're a business, not a public utility. If a content provider can choose what and whom to show to, so can Google.
The ethical approach would be to not be indexed by Google, but rather, use a pure paid ads approach (or a revenue sharing model).
To not have a universal interaction model is deceptive. (I search on Google, see an article, click, and use your nifty sharing widget, but those I share with are prompted to subscribe, and now I look bad)
In this model, I consider the whole tactic to be publishers relying too much on Google's policy in the first place. If they change that policy, said publishers are screwed. Anything that depends on a third party is doomed to begin with.
These things are temporary income at best. Publishers should not just "take the win and go home"; keep looking for other, better solutions.
Nonsense. Users want everything for free, instantly and with no ads.
I would like my sandwiches from the shop downstairs to be free all the time. But it's not cool to forge stamps on a loyalty card.
And where's the source to that little strawman of yours?
I'm sure users also want hot threesomes and a million dollars.
The fact is that the internet makes things very easy to take without repercussions. Physically walking into a store and taking something has consequences but a quick hack on the browser is basically unnoticeable. The abilities and democracy of the internet architecture facilitates the extraction of content without compensation. Just because it's easy though, doesn't make it "right".
If something is both easy and rewarding for those who do it, don't base your business on trusting people not to do it.
Consequentially, don't base your morality code on a notion of "people shouldn't do it". They shouldn't do it because it hurts businesses, but it only hurts businesses because they're foolish enough to make the first mistake.
"People shouldn't do it" is the fundamental way laws and regulations work. You shouldn't damage property or steal items or assault people. But you can. Very easily. And depending on when/where/how you can probably get away with it. Does that make it ok?
Actions in the physical world have very lasting effects and, these days, leave a big trail which allows the proper authorities to catch the bad actor and dispense justice (the topic of what is proper justice being out of scope for this thread). The digital world is much harder with things happening instantaneously with very little if any trail. If publishers could catch you, they would. Realistically, they just can't. But this lapse in their abilities does not empower and justify your abilities to do what should not be done.
Business models are a completely separate topic and, yes, it's usually good to align the model with normal consumer action. However, human nature is to always take with the path of least resistance and in the case of "value", to acquire it for nothing in exchange if possible. Most businesses work because they can block any access to that value without a proper exchange. Internet publishing however is very unique in that the very structure of the web which makes it so open is also what makes it impossible to stop and effectively filter anyone. The paywall is one such filter but they have this opening for access to Google listings and let a few users be randomly awarded free content. If there was a way they could be listed on Google without losing their paywall, they would, and this whole situation would be non-existent.
With that in mind, why should a rational human choose to apply morality to an entity that has no obligation to do the same in return?
(This is not a value judgement on WSJ in particular, more a general statement as to the way of the world)
The way I see it, there are two arguments for this plugin to not exist:
1) "What if everyone does it? If everyone does it, WSJ makes no money and goes away". The appeal to utility. Problem is, it carries the unstated and unsubstantiated assumption that enough people will use this plugin to actually impact their profits in a measurable way.
Because of that, I call this argument invalid.
2) "It goes against the wishes of the content providers". The appeal to morality - but as mentioned above, this is strictly a one way consideration, and it's subjective for each person. There's also the moral consideration that WSJ has chosen to make this content visible for Google users, but only because Google forbids showing different content to the spider and to the human. Then, you're left answering an objectively unanswerable question - is a person who googles for most of their news and ends up on the WSJ often doing something wrong? Or does it only apply when you install the plugin and circumvent the company's intent?
The net effect on WSJ's profit is the same either way.
You're breaking the contract that the content "value" is provided in exchange for something, either attention on ads or cash, depending on the publisher. This is what makes it wrong.
The real issue is that the internet does not allow for effective policing and capture of contract offenders. It's wrongs being committed with no consequence, but this does not justify it being done.
That contract I never was given a chance to read, or sign, or agree to in any way, mind. Given that, i'm not sure how you can say refusing to do something I never agreed to do in the first place is morally wrong.
This is my whole point - the distinction is entirely arbitrary because WSJ obviously values the attention more than they value the money, else we would be having this conversation right now.
Receiving that value in the form of content without compensation, either by viewing ads or paying money, is still "taking" it against the wishes of the provider.
Software is like VD
you can give it away and you've still got it
However I would much rather spend my time building new features then having to find ways to ensure a paywall is not circumvented.
If so I'd love to add that I'm annoyed by some of the tactics and lengths that publishers go to to monetize content ad the expense of user-experience and other costs.
The only path right now are ads, 'sponsored content', 'native units'.
I would much rather we have a subscription-based model that generated enough revenue to ween them off awful ad experiences.
Thats very much an aspirational goal.
My larger point is that having readers circumvent that, as opposed to supporting that, is disheartening to many of us who are working on the inside to push change.
BTW: And that extension was a redesign, of which ads were removed or moved. The NYT legal dept had Google remove it.
> having readers circumvent that, as opposed to supporting that, is disheartening to many of us who are working on the inside to push change.
So what you're saying is that it's OK to circumvent the methods of monetization you don't support?
He doesn't like paywalls, so he circumvents them. You don't like ads, so you circumvent them. And then you say shame on you? This is absolutely the pot calling the kettle black.
Remove the trick where it's okay for Google searches to circumvent the paywall and this extension becomes useless.
Why does that penalize the content itself and the discovery of it?
It's their choice to choose a business model, whether ads or subscriptions. If they serve ads and it's not the experience you want, shouldn't you just move on and not go back to that site?
The ad model actually works well for lots of sites and is the sole reason we have the long-tail of the internet. Someone working at an ad-based publisher would have the exact same comments about your ad disabling extension, why circumvent if they're trying to make it work?
* not culturally integrated the way we don't mind paying for smartphone apps;
* not atomic enough (we want to pay cents for an article, not dollars for a website, nor tens of dollars for a long-term subscription);
* it raises convenience and trust issues;
* it competes against ad-based models, which adblockers have failed to bankrupt until now;
* paywall sites aren't taken into account properly by Google et al.
Relieving pressure from the currently broken paywall model won't help fix it. Making the situation untenable is the only way to make it change. The most effective move would be to kill ads as a business model. Of course, don't expect Google, an advertising agency, to help us do that. And how to pay author while keeping Internet searchable remains an open problem AFAIK.
Is that true, though? I think Spotify has proved that people prefer subscriptions to one-off payments for music, for example. Having to make a purchase/don't purchase decision for every news article you read doesn't seem like a good experience at all.
OTOH paying for a subscription to a single newspaper is like subscribing separately to Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group, and Universal. Not gonna happen.
I just checked out WSJ and NY Times. After promo, WSJ is $29/month. That's whether or not you want actual paper or just digital access. NY Times has various plans, one of the cheapest is about $16/month. So that's just two newspapers.
I'd gladly pay $20 or even $30 per month for full access to all the major newspapers. But the big papers would never agree to that, because their individual cuts of the pie would probably be too small.
Anything that discourages such practices is a step forward.
It's time publishers start considering their readers as customers to be treated with respect instead of either dumb cattle or the enemy in a digital arms race.
What kind of a legit, respectable business tries to trick people into thinking their giving their product away for free? At the very least don't whine about the public tricking you back in return.
This kind of reminds me of the aged old trick that people used to use for Google to get better SEO. Normal visitors would get one version of the site, the Googlebot would get an over-SEO optimised version of the site stuffed with keywords and junk (I am talking early 2000's here before Google was as advanced as it is now) to give the impression of a different site.
Like I said, I think content publishers should be able to charge people for their content, but you can't have two sets of rules for the same content for the sake of a better SEO ranking and NOT expect people to exploit that loophole. What WSJ and other content publishers are doing is a little borderline dodgy.
I am pretty disappointed in the comments from some people here shaming the author for creating this plugin. He isn't doing anything that we haven't already been able to do for a while now. He isn't breaking into servers and getting the content for free, he is exploiting an SEO trick WSJ and other sites are using to avoid being penalised in Google. Completely legitimate if you ask me. If WSJ wanted to truly protect their content behind a paywall, they would have presented the wall to everyone regardless of their referrer.
I wonder what would happen to your site if you did this without being The New York Times.
Kudos to Jeremy for this.
But I am currently a Graphics Editor at the NYT...
I guess you have to assume such a small percentage of people will actually be using this, so the numbers won't be too bad??
But hey, whatever makes you feel better pal.
You don't "have to" assume that, but why start worrying about the source of error in your metrics now?
The cumulative wight of this and all the other problems with your data probably won't dip their utility below zero, so just go back to plugging your ears and yelling "lalalalala".
This is in addition to a set of blocklists curated from the uMatrix Chrome extension.
0.0.0.0 knowd.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.greenmedinfo.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.heavy.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 freepatriot.org # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.uproxx.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 tcr.tynt.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 slightlyviral.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 pro.moneymappress.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 pro1.moneymappress.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 weknowmemes.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.shareable.net # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.thisblewmymind.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.tsu.co # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.upworthy.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.distractify.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 news.distractify.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.evwow.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 evwow.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.wimp.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 livelol.me # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.scoopwhoop.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 bustle.com # WVC http://www.bustle.com/articles/62365-there-are-no-words-for-how-horrifying-this-unknown-creature-found-in-a-tuna-can-is
0.0.0.0 www.bustle.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.tickld.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.zmescience.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.addictinginfo.org # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.viralnova.com # WVC
0.0.0.0 opter.co # WVC
0.0.0.0 www.sliptalk.com # WVC https://plus.google.com/u/1/+IrreverentMonk/posts/cuNpUdErc7V
0.0.0.0 sliptalk.com # WVC
# Spartz: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/05/virologist
0.0.0.0 www.brainwreck.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.dose.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.unfriendable.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.smartphowned.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 smartphowned.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.givesmehope.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 givesmehope.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.philosoraptors.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 philosoraptors.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.lolbrary.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.omgfacts.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 notsafeforwallet.net # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 sex.omgfacts.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.itsamememario.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.whenuseeit.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 memes.mugglenet.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.mugglenet.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.memeslanding.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.pokestache.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.ragestache.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.sixbillionsecrets.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 smartphowned.hollywood.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.hollywood.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.tasteofawesome.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 www.thatssotrue.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 unfriendable.hollywood.com # Spartz network
0.0.0.0 love.givesmehope.com # Spartz network
I'm reduced to going to facebook and sending a message to myself with the url so I can click on it.
> lots of websites allow facebook references but not neccesarily google
Mostly various newspaper sites.
Nice hack jashkenas.
We've started experimenting with First Click Free — soon you'll get one article a day for free if you come from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Reddit.
We'd like to let Google index more of our content (which will require allowing First Click Free from Google as well), but that depends on our other efforts, such as launch of a redesigned desktop site (you should try the beta, it's pretty cool) and technology changes behind mobile sites.
Of course we'll keep First Click Free if it leads to more readers subscribing rather than just faking referrers.
Good enough for me!
Useful plugin but BLAH chrome! Any chance you will port this to Firefox?
1) They'll take down your extension because you're violating their ToS and their trademark
2) The extension will already piss off their "partners", but they can't really say that's the reason they're taking it down, so good thing you provided them with option 1)!
I have nothing against the extension itself. I search for such headlines all the time in Google, too. I just think it's reckless to taunt Google like this and give them an excuse to shut it down on a silver platter.
AFAIK, without a trademark license, using it to promote your product (including using it as part of your product name) is generally a violation of trademark. Nominal fair use allows you to use the trademark to refer to the thing that trademark names in descriptive text, but not generally as part of the name of your product.