Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ha'aretz cracked - Goodbye paywall, it's now a free for all

SpoilerIf you don't want to hear me rambling, and you just want the Ha'aretz articles for free, drag the link below into your bookmarks toolbar (by holding down the left mouse button and moving it up there), and click on it whenever you're on a Ha'aretz.com article that is asking you to pay.

A very humbling experience, these past few weeks were. As stated in my previous post, my attempt at cracking the ESPN Insider paywall was entirely unsuccessful.  I scoured their javascript code, looking for any sign of imperfection, and all I was left with was a nagging sense of failure.

Which brings me to this post.  I'm going to purge this ESPN Insider fixation by sacrificing a different paywall to the developer gods.  My offering: Ha'aretz.

Now, if truth be told, all Ha'aretz articles, like those on the New York Times website, are already accessible for free relatively easily.  All you have to do is copy the headline of the article in question into Google, then click on the relevant search result and you'll see the whole article.  But for some of us, that's just too many steps.  Hence, my bookmarklet.

As with my previous two successful attempts at cracking online media paywalls (see the New York Times post and the Wall Street Journal post), if you want to read the Ha'aretz "for pay" articles for free, just do as you did before:  Hold down the left mouse button on the link at the bottom of this post (it says, 'Ha'aretz Free'), and drag it up to your bookmarks toolbar.  Then, when you're on a Ha'aretz article which is demanding that you pay, click on that bookmarklet (the link in your toolbar) and the article will magically appear.

Below, the Ha'aretz bookmarklet:

58 comments:

  1. how do you do this with a mac with safari?

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    1. The same way it works with a pc and other browsers. Just hold down the left mouse button on the "Ha'aretz Free" link, and - without releasing the mouse button - drag it up to your bookmarks toolbar. Once there, release the left mouse button. It will ask you for the name of the bookmark. Write, "Ha'aretz Free" (or something else, if you want). And that's it! Then, when you go to a Ha'aretz page which has an article that is cut short by a "please pay me" ad, just press on the bookmark and the full article will appear.

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    3. I was able to get it up there, but when the paywall comes up and i click the bookmark, nothing happens.

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    4. That's very strange. Can you tell me what version of Safari you're using, and on what device?

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    5. basically, i registered to the site a while ago. So, now it counts articles I have read. Becasue I am over my limit, when i click on a locked article, a popup comes up (its orange and has a picture of Bibi spinning records). The only way i can bypass that is to enter the site in private browsing, or going in and deleting my cookies every time i go to the site.

      I am using the latest safari on a 2009 macbook pro

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    6. Ah, I see. That's no problem whatsoever. Just logout of the site. It will remember that you logged out. Now every article will be cut short, but you won't get that annoying pop-up and you can start using my hack.

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    7. when i hit logout, it still says, "welcome Jacob"

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    8. Then I'm at a loss. When I hit logout in Safari, it let's me logout. It makes no sense that it wouldn't work for you.

      And when you clear your cookies, does it still remember you?

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    9. Hello.
      Using 3 browsers (IE , FF, and Chrome), windows vista..
      When Clicking on the link, or after adding to the lik to Fav. nothing happens after clicking on it.

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    10. I'm not entirely sure what you're doing, but it works for me in all three of them. You need to DRAG that link (the Haaretz Free link) to the bookmarks TOOLBAR of the browser, and only click on it after you go into a "locked" article.

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    11. Thank you so much
      It works fine now. I missunderstood you.
      cheers

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  2. it doesn't the first time, then when i refresh, it does

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    1. I'm afraid this bookmarklet will only work if you're logged out. If you can't log out, it won't work.

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  3. Thanks, been using multiple accounts before, this much easier :P

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  4. I have an iPad so in order to create a bookmarklet I need to actually edit the Javascript into an existing bookmark. Can you share the Javascript with me? (I can't drag and drop items on iPad)

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    1. Just right click on the link, copy link location, paste it into notepad or something, and grab the javascript from there.

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    2. There is no option to right-click on ipad. Holding the link I have only the option to "open" which does nothing. In order to create a bookmarklet on an ipad I need to create a bookmark, and then edit the bookmark with the correct name and javascript.

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    3. 1. create the bookmarklet on a desktop computer as explained above.
      2. go into your bookmark manager and "edit" the bookmark, but just copy the javascript, you don't have to actually edit it.
      3. email yourself the javascript (note that I did it this way b/c when I tried to just right click the link & copy the link location, the javascript did not paste into an email correctly, I do not know why)
      4. on your iOS device, create a bookmark in mobile safari. it does not matter what you bookmark. name the bookmark "haaretz free."
      5. on your iOS device, open the email you sent yourself. copy the javascript from it.
      6. on your iOS device go back into mobile safari > bookmarks > edit, select the "haaretz free" one. delete the existing URL & paste in the javascript.
      7. Profit. ha ha. just kidding. you are now free to use the bookmarklet as designed. Note that if you find yourself on haaretz mobile you will need to scroll to the bottom and select "full site" before this will work.

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  5. Thank you so much!

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  6. Thanks Matt! I have been missing the analysis of my favorite Israeli newspaper for far too long!

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  7. Wants me to login to google when I use this.

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    1. That's pretty strange. Make sure you've followed my instructions above.

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  8. Thanks very much for this. I tried it, and it works no bother

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  9. Will this work for the Hebrew language edition of Haaretz? I already pay for the nglish version, but they greedily want you today for both separately.

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    1. Hi Richard,
      That's ridiculous. But unfortunately my hack doesn't work the Hebrew version.

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  10. Thanks, works like a charm!

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  11. Thanks, this is perfect!

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  12. It doesnt work, it shows me all ++++ in the empty spaces, and says the query is too long.

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  13. Am having to do a college paper, was planning on using Haaretz sources till I ran into the pay-to-play issue. Thanks to your generosity that's no longer an issue, appreciate it man!

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  14. What about the Hebrew version Matt, can anyone get to it for free as the English one? Thanks

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    1. yes indeed can you offer Ha'aretz Free for hebrew ha'aretz.co.il edition which is frankly a richer edition... thank you

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  15. Awesome, thanks a lot!

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  16. Thank-you so much!

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  17. this is great. don't think it works on the mobile site, but perfectly on the normal one

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. And What about The Economist?

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  20. This was working but doesn't seem to be anymore.

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  21. Nevermind. Works again for me now.

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  22. Thank you very much Mr. Matt Zalen
    Helpful trick indeed.

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  23. thank you very much, worked perfectly

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  24. nice tool...
    is it possible to make it work for haaretz.co.il as well?

    Thanks

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  25. Fantastic. Hats off to you, sir!

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  26. Amazing, thanks!

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  27. On Firefox there is still a limitation in that you can't copy the text in these articles. Otherwise great.

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  28. It doesn't work for Chrome anymore! :(

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  29. It doesn't work for Chrome anymore! :(

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  30. Ha'aretz has changed the way premium content is accessed so the paywall crasher doesn't work for any browser anymore.

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  31. Dear Free Haaretz Demigod - Haaretz finally shut your wonderful bookmarklet crack down! Sob!

    Just this last month it has ceased to work -- is any update available?

    Thanks much - you are the bomb

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    1. PS - I'm back to looking at Haaretz cached copy 'ransom letters' - ha

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  32. this still works for me! even with the new website
    https://github.com/yuvadm/free-haaretz-ff

    enjoy and thanks to the talented coding guys among us :)

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  33. Hey! it is not working anymore, any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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  34. for anyone interested, the line in the code ''http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/' + afterTheLastSlash;' is still the key as it works on the new haaretz layout. instead of working it out myself i just switched over to https://github.com/yuvadm/free-haaretz-ff works like a charm and skips the step of needing to click the bookmark button, it does it automatically when the page loads.

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  35. i cant get either to work anymore.

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  36. As of September 8, 2015, works like a charm using Chrome. First time using it, God bless to the developer!

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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete