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Text updated recap on Daily Paywall. 2016
During 2014, Paolo Cirio stole over 60,000 news articles from the websites of The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and The Economist by using his subscriptions and hacking their online paywall systems. The artist redistributed the pay-per-view articles for free and offered to pay readers and writers of news articles. Readers could earn one dollar for responding correctly to quizzes about featured articles, and journalists were invited to claim compensation for their writing. Donors could offer any amount to crowdfund the system. This circular economic model aimed to monetize pirated content for informing the public about socio-economic issues. The featured articles were used in an offline version of the project with 1,000 print copies distributed as a free paper available in custom newsracks and bookshops throughout New York City.

In December 2014 the website DailyPaywall.com was publicly launched and remained accessible for ten days. During that time the audience interacted with the project by reading articles for receiving payments, donating funds to pay the readers, and journalists inquiring for remuneration. The system proved to be sustainable and received a flow of funds toward the project, the readers and the writers, while the project was discussed and reviewed by international media outlets. The performance was pre-scripted and staged for engaging participants in a critical exploration of modern economic models and the distribution of information as material to make works of art.

Ultimately, on December 24th 2014, the site DailyPaywall.com was shut down by Pearson PLC, the largest education and publishing company in the world, through a legal Cease and Desist letter sent to the internet server provider hosting the website. The take down notice cited five copyright laws that the artist transgressed with the project.

In January 2016, the artist moved the website to a safe server and relaunched the website DailyPaywall.com with all the 60,000 articles from The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and The Economist that were published during the course of 2014. Pearson PLC sold both The Financial Times and The Economist in 2015. Currently, DailyPaywall.com doesn’t offer the payment system, however it provides free access to the news databases for all, and the artist receives inquiries by advertisers and writers interested in utilizing the articles.

All the material and the statements published by the artist haven’t been manipulated, they are accurate and factual. No fictitious elements were ever added to this project.


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