How to Beat the Paywall

Here are the numbers Variety doesn’t want you to see

Last Updated: April 1, 2010 @ 11:27 AM

(Update, Friday 11 a.m.: Well, Variety figured out how to foil our system. We’ll update if we come up with their new IP address.)

I am not a computer hacker. The last computer programming class I took was Pascal, and I think I got a C.

That’s why I am as shocked as you are that I figured out a very simple way to bypass Variety’s new subscription thingy.

For those of you unfamiliar with what I’m referring to, Variety recently changed its website to a subscription model.

That’s probably a smart thing. People are increasingly getting their news online. The ad market is soft. And money doesn’t grow on trees.

But if I can figure out how to access your site without paying for it, you need to hire smarter programmers.

Enough of the preamble. Here’s how you bypass the subscription.

1. Go to and click on any article. At this point you’ll get the black "you need to pay here" page. Now the fun starts.

2. Replace the part in the URL that says with I think this is called the IP address.

Or perhaps they’re the magic numbers from "Lost"? [Note: Don’t replace the "http://" or the stuff after ".com" — only the]

3. Now you’re behind that paywall thing. Enjoy the entire site gratis.

That’s it.

Of course your boss already has the print edition. So this is an exercise in redundancy. But it’s kinda fun.

Just don’t ask me how I figured this out. I’m not really sure.