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I have an interesting (and lighter) debate question...


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7 replies to this topic

#1
Matt H

Matt H
  • 32 posts

So, being an AnCap, and being philosophically opposed to the concept of intellectual property rights, I had this question (admittedly, as I watched an episode of Seinfeld): 

 

Illegal cable hookup - moral or immoral? I can easily argue both sides of this argument. Its a tough one.


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#2
Hannibal

Hannibal
  • 496 posts

What's an illegal cable hookup? I'm not in the Americas.

 

Is it just watching stuff being freely transmitted to you that you are supposed to pay for before watching? or do you have to subvert some kind of system first?


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#3
Matt H

Matt H
  • 32 posts

Well, more so in the past, before internet streaming of videos became popular, people would often get cable TV "illegally" using various means to hook up to the cable company's signal without paying the cable company for it. Its still a thing, but I think technology is such that its much harder to do. They leave you hooked up to the cable, and its encrypted now, so you have to have a converter box to decode it. They can turn that box on or off remotely.


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#4
SamuelS

SamuelS
  • 201 posts
That is a tough one...on one hand, it's their service being served via their infrastructure, on the other hand they are using regulatory capture and lobbying to put themselves in a position of virtually zero competition... Honestly, before listening to Stef's net neutrality thing I'd probably have been against it, but knowing how these companies game the system, I'm a bit more "on the fence", only reason I'm not all for it is that others *are* paying, and your use may degrade their service...perhaps not a problem w cable TV, but maybe more so with internet? I'd need more info to judge it one way or the other definitively.
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#5
Matt H

Matt H
  • 32 posts

I was also thinking along the lines of Intellectual property theory - you can't "steal" something that you still have. If I take your car, you no longer have a car. Since they are pumping the signal through the lines, if I capture the signal, it doesn't take the signal away from them. 

 

I have the same question about the stupid rule / disclaimer you hear on a sporting event televised. Something like "this broadcast is reserved exclusively for the private use of our audience. Any recording, redistribution, or depiction of the events of this game without express written concent of XYZ league is strictly prohibited."  So you are sending me video, onto my TV, and then telling me what I can or cannot do with it once I receive it.  


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#6
Hannibal

Hannibal
  • 496 posts

I was also thinking along the lines of Intellectual property theory - you can't "steal" something that you still have. If I take your car, you no longer have a car. Since they are pumping the signal through the lines, if I capture the signal, it doesn't take the signal away from them. 

 

I have the same question about the stupid rule / disclaimer you hear on a sporting event televised. Something like "this broadcast is reserved exclusively for the private use of our audience. Any recording, redistribution, or depiction of the events of this game without express written concent of XYZ league is strictly prohibited."  So you are sending me video, onto my TV, and then telling me what I can or cannot do with it once I receive it.  

 

Although there is no such thing as IP, copyright (albeit in a slightly different form) is still a valid concept.

I'm trying to think if your scenario could fall into a similar category.


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#7
Pepin

Pepin
  • 932 posts
This is not a matter of IP a it is a matter of contract law and property rights. To put it this way, the service provider could be providing content which is all public domain, but this would not imply legitimacy to granting yourself free access to their service. Provided this distinction, a question to answer is if it would be legitimate for a neighbour to tap into your internet connection without your consent provided that it did not affect your speed and that they did not do anything illegal. I believe the scenario is in essence the same. To emphasize, the question is not if you would mind or not, it is if you'd have a legitimate "right" to take action against them. If someone did care, would they have a legal ability to stop them? Though focusing on the morality of media corporations may provide insight in the present, it avoids the heart of the matter. It is like talking about the philosophical nature of free trade in conjunction with the current economic state. If we are to talk about a particular action's validity, it is important to not confuse the issue with other variables, as then we are answering a completely different question.
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