New York Times Paywall Workaround Springs Up Already

It hasn't even been 12 hours since the New York Times announced they're implementing a fairly complex paywall scheme, and already at least one workaround has sprung up.

The Times scheme allows readers 20 free stories per month before they have to pay. However, if you come in via Twitter or Facebook, reading the story doesn't count against your total.

So, cheapskates, meet @freenyt, a three-hour old Twitter feed that intends to tweet all the Times stories.

"The New York Times paywall begins March 28 http://nyti.ms/eIJC8z. But you can access articles for free if they're posted to Twitter..." messages posted to the account read. "Can you guess where they'll be posted? 'Information wants to be free' - Stewart Brand."

File this under The Files Will Get Out. And one figures the Times knows that efforts like @freenyt and others will inevitably circumvent the fence. So the real question may be, as Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson tweeted, whether the paywall can serve as a guilt/annoyance prod for the Times' loyal readers, much like NPR pledge drives do.

Maybe we can even think of the Times paywall as akin to old-school shareware that didn't force you to upgrade but just hit you with a nag screen (a nagwall?).

(Quibble: Out of respect for Brand, it should be noted that his full assertion is much more nuanced than this truncation would suggest.)

Update 4:59pm: @freenyt has deleted the initial tweets quoted above.

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