Do you think this is unethical?
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07-08-2012, 02:29 PM
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
... You can't make a universal thing saying subject Y is always in the wrong if he does this, I think.

I don't think that the situation scales. Rape is not the same as *very very bad theft of lots of newspaper articles using an overlooked feature of my internet browser*. They're not degrees of *a* crime. I think to compare the two is a teensy bit nuts Wink Also I didn't realise I wasn't allowed to be flippant Tongue Do pardon me.

I can't answer for subject Y, neither can you. I can only say what I would do in that situation. what *I* see as right. It's up to subject Y to make up his own mind after that.
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07-08-2012, 06:08 PM (This post was last modified: 07-08-2012 06:17 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
This is actually a useful thread in that it captures some of the issues that IP lawyers are having to struggle with as a result of the tremendous increase in access that the Internet has provided. In some sectors of the US Government, there is a trend to require contractors who are delivering software developed under contract to provide the Government with unlimited distribution rights. The taxpayer already paid for it once, why should they have to go back to the same vendor over and over to pay for bug fixes and enhancements. Sounds like a hostage situation more than free enterprise to many of us. (Note that I am talking about specific software that was developed for a specific application fully funded by the taxpayer and not general-purpose software developed entirely with IRAD funding that a company then licenses.) One of the more recent relevant decisions is Oracle v. Google wrt Google's Android OS and Java copyright infringement. Bottom line is that now there is precedent that one can use to argue that APIs cannot be copyrighted. Since APIs represent the bulk of the design work, this decision can be interpreted that IP has been restricted to efficiency of implementation. While some might decry this as a theft of IP, it actually fosters free enterprise by eliminating an artificial barrier to entry that some would try to monopolize. From the Government's perspective (let me rephrase, from a competent Government Contracting Officer's Technical Representative's perspective), if the taxpayers paid for that design work, they own it not you.

...

Oh, forgot to mention, some of you might want to check your NY Times quota before you follow the link.

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08-08-2012, 12:25 AM
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
(07-08-2012 02:29 PM)morondog Wrote:  ... You can't make a universal thing saying subject Y is always in the wrong if he does this, I think.

I don't think that the situation scales. Rape is not the same as *very very bad theft of lots of newspaper articles using an overlooked feature of my internet browser*. They're not degrees of *a* crime. I think to compare the two is a teensy bit nuts Wink Also I didn't realise I wasn't allowed to be flippant Tongue Do pardon me.

I can't answer for subject Y, neither can you. I can only say what I would do in that situation. what *I* see as right. It's up to subject Y to make up his own mind after that.

Maybe you should'nt, but as a society we pretty much do. The law is purportedly universal at least in theory.

I said it was a matter of degrees, thats not the same as saying they are the same thing. I think most people would concede that both theft and rape are wrong and that rape was a greater degree of wrong. Even if it wasnt conceded both were wrong, both are crimes. On many levels although they of course remain seperate and distinct act, but on many other levels they are comparable, not the same, but comparable. So of course they are not *a* crime, but they are sill both crimes. I didnt say you werent allowed to flippant, I said it was more difficult to be flippant about rape. I wont pardon you, theres no need youve done that requires it.

Subject Y is a hypothetical person, who is there to be the subject of debate, you are therefore not only able to, but the very point of the thread and the OPs question is that you do so. You are also invited to speak for yourself.

Perhaps, Im gettin a little testy in this thread, because with a couple of exceptions no one seems willing to answer the question possited and have gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid doing so. Although that kinda evasion is limited to this thread.

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08-08-2012, 12:33 AM
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
(08-08-2012 12:25 AM)Humakt Wrote:  Perhaps, Im gettin a little testy in this thread, because with a couple of exceptions no one seems willing to answer the question possited and have gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid doing so. Although that kinda evasion is limited to this thread.

If I'm allowed to be flippant, I give you my permission to be testy Smile

I call it the Law of reciprocating testicles. For no good reason.

Anyway, I think that what you call evasions have been more people answering with their own points of view. I'll re-read the thread at some point, for now... having not done the background reading I don't feel competent to reply...
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08-08-2012, 01:49 AM
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
(08-08-2012 12:33 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(08-08-2012 12:25 AM)Humakt Wrote:  Perhaps, Im gettin a little testy in this thread, because with a couple of exceptions no one seems willing to answer the question possited and have gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid doing so. Although that kinda evasion is limited to this thread.

If I'm allowed to be flippant, I give you my permission to be testy Smile

I call it the Law of reciprocating testicles. For no good reason.

Anyway, I think that what you call evasions have been more people answering with their own points of view. I'll re-read the thread at some point, for now... having not done the background reading I don't feel competent to reply...

Thank you, most kind.

As for reciprocating testicles, I think Id prefer not to share our testicles, if you'll pardon the pun its just not my bag Wink

Anyway, you say tomatoe, I potatoe. Re reading the entire thread, although perhaps worthwhile isnt nessecary, reading the first post is arguably more so.
As to evasions, I have resubmitted the OPs question on several ocassions and as of yet no one has answered, everyone has ignored the question, that to me is evasive, but perhaps thats just me, thread derailment seems to be the norm here so perhaps Im the one out of step with the social conventions of this group, either way even though I find it mildly rude and not good practice, its not my thread or my board so I'll just suck it up. At least this thread has been on the whole civil, which given its length is remarkable as usually by this stage any debate has degenerated into epeen measuring and is so, is not stlyle arguements.

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08-08-2012, 05:07 AM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2012 05:16 AM by Filox.)
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
I just visited that link. Then I visited 10 more until I got the message. Then I closed my Firefox. Since I have "Do not remember any history" marked, I just started Firefox again and I continued to surf the NYT...

I didn't DO anything. I didn't delete anything. I read 10 articles, then something came up, as I never read pop-ups, I didn't read this one, so I do not have to know about their policy, as they put it on pop-up window. We are all used to NOT look at pop-up windows, so this is retarded. I went outside, that is why I have turned my computer off. I turned it on later and I went to read more on NYT.

Can anyone show me anywhere where did I break ANY law and what was it that I did wrong here.

Thank you.

Big Grin

P.S.

I just did it again, just to check was it a fluke maybe. It wasn't, it works every time. Not even CCleaner is needed. Only "clean history" in Firefox.

Now, if a company this HUGE as a fucking NYT can not make something normal, then they deserve to be used. They deserve to be used like this until they understand that this is not the way a serious company does business. This is not the way a big company protects it's interests. This is not the way to treat your customers, like retarded monkeys that are too stupid to figure out anything. When they realise this, they will change their security, if not, let them go broke then, they do not deserve anything else.

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09-08-2012, 06:49 PM
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
(08-08-2012 05:07 AM)Filox Wrote:  I just visited that link. Then I visited 10 more until I got the message. Then I closed my Firefox. Since I have "Do not remember any history" marked, I just started Firefox again and I continued to surf the NYT...

I didn't DO anything. I didn't delete anything. I read 10 articles, then something came up, as I never read pop-ups, I didn't read this one, so I do not have to know about their policy, as they put it on pop-up window. We are all used to NOT look at pop-up windows, so this is retarded. I went outside, that is why I have turned my computer off. I turned it on later and I went to read more on NYT.

Can anyone show me anywhere where did I break ANY law and what was it that I did wrong here.

Thank you.

Big Grin

P.S.

I just did it again, just to check was it a fluke maybe. It wasn't, it works every time. Not even CCleaner is needed. Only "clean history" in Firefox.

Now, if a company this HUGE as a fucking NYT can not make something normal, then they deserve to be used. They deserve to be used like this until they understand that this is not the way a serious company does business. This is not the way a big company protects it's interests. This is not the way to treat your customers, like retarded monkeys that are too stupid to figure out anything. When they realise this, they will change their security, if not, let them go broke then, they do not deserve anything else.

The smarter ones realize this is a fucking idiotic idea relying on the ongoing stupidity and ignorance of a consumer base they are presumably trying to educate and inform. WaPo has it right. Restrict access to some content, but require only an email account to register for further access. No fucking money required 'cause they can turn around and sell that email address to some fucking advertiser. I don't imagine this NYT restriction will last much longer unless their consumer base consists of a not insignificant percentage of idiots willing to pay. In which case, I will have to reconsider my opinion of NYT.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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10-08-2012, 11:29 AM
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
I did not read all 11 pages so apologize if some of this is redundant, but I read the first 5 so I think I have the gist of the debate.

My 2 cents, FWIW:

First, taking content off a pay-site without paying for it is unethical. You are taking someone's intellectual property, that they went out of their way to charge for. How that can be anything but unethical is beyond me. It's stealing, pure and simple.

Second, this "cookies" argument is total bullshit. Just because the New York Times, or whomever it is, has an ineffective means of enforcing their policy doesn't change the fact that you are stealing their content. Just because you can clean their cookies off your machine doesn't mean you have any rights to their content. You don't.

Third, there is absolutely nothing unethical about them previously giving their content away for free and now charging for it. It belongs to them and they are free to do with it as they please. Life is about choices. They are free to charge for their content. You are free to not buy it and look for information elsewhere. But, the idea that they now owe you their content because they previously gave it away is ridiculous. If I give free samples of something to get you into my store, am I not allowed to charge you for additional merchandise once you are in?

Fourth, at one point in this thread someone made the point about how the NYT and others were making plenty of money off their advertising and they were just being greedy. I almost fell over at that. Anyone who thinks that news papers are just being greedy and hording money is living on a different planet. The independent news industry is dying a quick and painful death, and it is taking our ability to watch-dog government with it. Regardless of what one thinks of the NY Times, they are one of the few independent news organizations still out there. Most of the others are owned by large corporate interests who are heavily tied in to political campaigns and have little interest in reporting stories unflattering to their political patrons. On top of that, there is nothing wrong with being greedy and making as much honest money as you can. If you're not breaking laws, not leaching off of tax payers, etc. there should not be a problem. I have a far bigger issue with people who think they are owed something for nothing.

Which brings me to point 5 -

Fifth, this "free internet for everyone" is hilarious. There is no such thing as "free internet". The internet costs tens of millions of dollar/pounds/euros to provide. I'm in the global networks industry and I know what the cost structure and balance sheets look like of the companies who provide these services. The internet provides a lot of jobs and fuels a lot of the global economy, but it does not exist in a vacuum. The original peering model was conceived 20 years ago when there was no commercial, or even recreational, usage of the internet. The "net neutrality" arguments going around the past several years completely ignore the cost of enhancing and maintaining this massive global infrastructure. And you have companies like Google, Facebook, etc. who basically free-ride off this infrastructure, pay no toll for the usage, and make millions off the backs of infrastructure that they don't help pay for. It is not a sustainable business model. I've actually seen people make arguments along the lines of "well, if AT&T, Verizon, British Telecom, France Telecom, T-Systems, etc. can't make money without charging for the internet, then let them go bankrupt!". And what happens to the internet when they do? The internet is not this amorphous thing that exists in its own reality where it transcends petty things like money. It is fiber and routers and and cabling and data centers. It takes power and labor and money. Mostly it takes money.

The two biggest problems with the internet are the overwhelming sense of entitlement it has created and the ability of every idiot to pass of their uninformed opinion as some sort of truth (note: this points are not specifically directed at anyone in this thread or even anyone on this forum - it is just a general comment about the internet in general).

On the plus side, I can now see all the porn I want without the embarrassment of having to go out in public and buy it.

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10-08-2012, 06:43 PM
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
(10-08-2012 11:29 AM)BnW Wrote:  First, taking content off a pay-site without paying for it is unethical. You are taking someone's intellectual property, that they went out of their way to charge for. How that can be anything but unethical is beyond me. It's stealing, pure and simple.

First, I'm not taking shit, they give it to me for free. If they wanted me to pay for it they shouldn't give it to me for free. That's just fucking stupid.

(10-08-2012 11:29 AM)BnW Wrote:  Second, this "cookies" argument is total bullshit. Just because the New York Times, or whomever it is, has an ineffective means of enforcing their policy doesn't change the fact that you are stealing their content. Just because you can clean their cookies off your machine doesn't mean you have any rights to their content. You don't.

Second, I don't clean cookies off my machine, I don't have to. I don't allow anyone to put cookies on my fucking machine.

(10-08-2012 11:29 AM)BnW Wrote:  Third, there is absolutely nothing unethical about them previously giving their content away for free and now charging for it. It belongs to them and they are free to do with it as they please. Life is about choices. They are free to charge for their content. You are free to not buy it and look for information elsewhere. But, the idea that they now owe you their content because they previously gave it away is ridiculous. If I give free samples of something to get you into my store, am I not allowed to charge you for additional merchandise once you are in?

Third, you don't owe me dick, but why would I buy your product when you keep giving me free samples? That'd make me an idiot.

(10-08-2012 11:29 AM)BnW Wrote:  Fourth, at one point in this thread someone made the point about how the NYT and others were making plenty of money off their advertising and they were just being greedy. ... If you're not breaking laws, not leaching off of tax payers, etc. there should not be a problem.

Fourth, I'm not breaking any laws and I'm not leeching off the taxpayers so you shouldn't have a problem with my behavior.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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11-08-2012, 04:34 PM (This post was last modified: 11-08-2012 04:38 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Do you think this is unethical?
(18-06-2012 12:50 AM)cufflink Wrote:  The Moral Philosophy thread got me thinking about a particular contemporary situation that involves making an ethical choice, and I was curious how everybody felt about it. I'll keep the description generic, since it applies to several specific cases.

A popular online publication, X--typically a newspaper, newsletter, magazine, or journal--used to offer up its articles free for the taking. Recently, however, the management of X decided to make readers pay a monthly fee. Anyone can read a certain number of articles, say 10, free of charge. After that, you're blocked from any more articles that month unless you pay up.

Y is a long-time reader of X and resents the fact he's now being asked to pay for something that used to be free. He's fairly tech-savvy, however, and after a few minutes' investigation has discovered he can easily defeat the block. It's just a matter of locating and removing a counting cookie placed on his hard drive by the X web site. After he reads his 10 free articles, he removes the cookie and the counter is reset to zero. It's a bit of a nuisance to do this every 10 articles, but it gives him unlimited access to all of X's content without having to subscribe.

The question is, is Y acting unethically? To put it bluntly, is he stealing from X? A related question is, what would you do if you were in Y's position? And did you have to think about your decision and weigh various factors, or was it immediately clear to you, i.e. a no-brainer?
As for OP, yes, it is a little unethical, but I'd totally do it. My conscience permits it. I have so little income and so great need for digital products that I consider it a necessary part of my life. I only pay for things that I really want and really can't get any other way or I really care about the author.

It's interesting how Americans have digital ownership inhibitions and the rest of the world less so. Europe seems to be freer about this and the Asian states do not care at all. Maybe it's about economics and if we feel rich or poor.
I believe I'd have a different attitude if I had a regular income, which I hadn't for almost all my life. I'd gladly help the author some other way, just not money. I never know when new money will come in, so anything expressed in money seems much more expensive to me. It's probably a mental deformation caused by circumstances when growing up. Letting go of money is painful for me. I love them and hate them.

OTOH, this is an unrealistic example, all such services probably use IP tracking. Changing IP address is such a nuisance (and usually doesn't work properly) that it's really better to pay. Even if it works, various workarounds like anonymizer servers have low speed so it's useless for downloading anything.
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