How to circumvent the Times Union’s website paywall

Even though I don’t blog for the Times Union any more, I still have a tendency to read articles on the TU’s website, as well as read blogs by several of my community blogging friends.

That being said, the Times Union has currently implemented a free article limit on their site.  You can only read X number of free articles per month, and if you surpass that amount, the website will block your access to the rest of the article, instead encouraging you to subscribe to the paper.

Now I could get into an argument of “well, it’s already out there for you to read, you should subscribe to it,” or, “You should sign up for a subscription and your money goes toward struggling reporters who haven’t had a raise in ten years, support the Albany Newspaper Guild,” all of that.

You know what?  Those are all great ideas.  And they’re great concepts.

But then I remember how the Times Union did me dirty.  And how they did my blogging friends dirty a few weeks ago.

So my decision is clear.

If you run up against the Times Union’s paywall, if you’ve reached your maximum limit of free reads per month (however many “free reads” that might be, I’m suspecting you get maybe five free articles a month, maybe less), here’s how you can circumvent the paywall.  And doing so is totally legal.

Follow these steps.  They are trusted and they will work.

  1. Copy the headline of the story you want to read.
  2. Go to the Google search page and enter that headline in the search engine.
  3. Let Google do its thing.  It will populate a list of articles.  Click the one (it’s usually the first one) with the timesunion.com link.
  4. The article now shows up on your page, in full print and every word readable.

This works.  It was an old trick that allowed readers to enjoy news pieces when the TU had their failed “TU-Plus” paywall on certain articles.

And for those of you who say to me, “Chuck, you’re a hypocrite, you’re not paying for copyrighted articles, you better hope somebody doesn’t use your photos and not pay you for doing so.”

Well, when that false equivalency happens, I’ll certainly deal with that.

But for now, if you’re up against the Times Union’s paywall, and there’s a story you really want to read, and you don’t want to schlep to the newsstand and buy a print copy, and you don’t want to snag your co-workers’ copy of the newspaper, and you don’t want to run to the library and read a free copy of the paper in the reading room…

This may be your viable reading alternative.

Of course, the TU could find a way to fix that loophole.  I’m sure their techies at Big Hearst are currently working on that option right now.

But until they do…

This may be your viable reading alternative.