NY Times vs Wall Street Journal paywalls
Both newspapers believe that some people should be able to read their articles despite not being paying subscribers, but they have different approaches.
The New York Times believes that you should be able to read ten articles for free each month, presumably because the teaser will show you how awesome the paper is and make you want to sign up and start paying. However the NY Times tracks this based on cookies, so it’s ridiculously easy to circumvent, just visit the NY Times website using an incognito window (Chrome) or private window (Firefox). These modes don’t send any permanent cookies to the server, so each time you open an incognito or private window you get to read another ten articles for free. It’s a good idea to visit random sites on the web using these modes anyway, because why do you want web advertising companies tracking everything you do?
The Wall Street Journal believes that you should be able to read their articles if you are linked to the article from another site. And they check this based on the referring URL that your browser sends to the server, but your browser will only send a referring URL if you are NOT using an incognito or private mode because those modes do not send referring URLs. So if you see a WSJ article you want to read, the easiest way to generate a referring URL outside of the WSJ site is to go to Google, type or paste the headline of the article, and then click then link. The WSJ paywall is somewhat more of a pain in the ass to get around than the NYT paywall, or most other newspapers which use the same scheme as the NYT.
I don’t think you are doing anything illegal by doing this. Both of these newspapers have purposely put these holes into their paywalls because they WANT some people to be able to read their articles for free. These holes took effort for them to program. They went out of their way to create them. Using these holes, I think, is kind of like going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and paying just $1 instead of the suggested admission of $25, except in one case you are getting a good deal from a charitable institution dedicated to art and culture, while in the other case you are getting a good deal from a private corporation dedicated to making a profit.