Many news websites (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post etc.) make use of paywalls which pop up after the visitor starts reading the article requiring the visitor to pay in order to continue reading the article. Is it assur for one to set up their browser in a way so that paywalls don't pop up (not an incognito window)?


1 Answer 1


It is clearly documented in Jewish Law that one may not cheat in money matters, that one may not steal - even from non-Jews, and that one may not deceive others.

Review these important laws in Kitzur Shlchan Aruch in Siman 63 and 64.

It would seem that bypassing paywalls falls into at least one of these categories.

  • 4
    I don't see how this is cheating in money matters. Maybe because that's a vague term. Could you please clarify what you mean. I believe the whole question is asking if this is stealing, and you're simply writing "it would seem so". Why? And deceiving others would seem irrelevant here.
    – robev
    Commented Dec 31, 2020 at 10:11
  • The news outlets make their content and put in work, which is to be paid for. Therefore it is indeed money matters. You steal the content of their work, by not paying.
    – BenTizyon
    Commented Dec 31, 2020 at 13:49
  • @BenTizyon By that logic you steal by reading, e.g. Stack Exchange without paying, because they also put in work to make content. The question is whether news sites putting up a paywall makes it forbidden, which apparently has yet to be demonstrated.
    – b a
    Commented Dec 31, 2020 at 14:38
  • @robev - I'm unclear what you are asking: I put up a paywall so that you pay me to read my content. You bypass it - why is that honest? OTOH StackExchange provides us with a free platform - why would that be dishonest to use, as long as I keep to the T&C? Commented Dec 31, 2020 at 16:51
  • @DonCorleone - if I decide that to walk through my square mile of desert you have to pay me, and you get around that, aren't you stealing? I didn't do anything more than put up a sign and tie a pushka to a pole. Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 8:36

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