Am I a Thief?

Although I don’t watch enough TV to make having cable worthwhile, I discovered last night that I could watch the World Baseball Classic on Fox Sports’ website where one can watch one hour for free.  When the hour expires, you’re supposed to “log in to your TV provider”; but I also discovered that, by deleting my history and cookies, I could get additional hours indefinitely.

I don’t think I did anything that the website doesn’t allow, but we H. sapiens are really good at rationalization.  Would anyone care to argue that I’ve stolen intellectual property?


  1. Peter B says

    I just read somewhere that a hack is evading the intent of a system while following the rules of the system. You, sir, are a hacker. I have done the same thing voting on stupid internet surveys.

  2. Bruce says

    Most people who would have qualms about doing this would not consider FOX Sports to be “intellectual “ property.

  3. StevoR says

    I don’t think so. But if so, then your crime is either victimless or ethical in that you aren’t supporting (by paying anyhow) far worse criminals i.e. the Murdoch malignancy.

  4. billseymour says

    Peter B

    … evading the intent of a system while following the rules of the system.

    Yes, that’s probably what I did.  It’s not hard to imagine that the website would disallow that trick if it could.

    I’ve also heard about folks doing that to read newspaper articles behind paywalls.  It’s more obvious when it’s about the written word; and making that connection is what made me wonder whether I’d failed in some small way to get through the day without being a jerk.

    Bruce:  “intellectual property” is a set phrase that makes no value judgement about the quality of the content.

  5. billseymour says

    StevoR:  thanks for the partial vindication. 😎

    Yeah, failing to pay Murdoch is probably not a really big crime; but I don’t boycot Fox Sports as I do Fox News; and I’ve never heard any Trumpisms on the former.

    (For the record, I don’t follow sports generally, but I do like baseball.  I once heard it described as “the closest that we in the West have come to patience.” 😎 )

  6. billseymour says

    A friend of mine from a rail-related e-mail list sent me a private response (so I won’t mention their name):

    Zoom has a 40-minutes time limit for free sessions.  When the time is up, the session automatically closes.

    If you log back in using the same meeting link, you get another 40 minutes.  You don’t even have to delete history, cookies, or put out the cat.


  7. says

    So Fox Sports let you watch a baseball game for free for a while, then wanted money to watch the conclusion. Like a free sample, just enough to get you hooked, and then start charging you?
    Isn’t that how drug dealers do business? My conscience, I think, would be pretty clear.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    Invite a neighbor over to watch with you, and you may consider yourself a 21st-century Robin Hood.

  9. sonofrojblake says

    I once heard [baseball] described as “the closest that we in the West have come to patience.”

    Whoever said that has never heard of cricket. Watch a five day Test, then get back to me.

  10. billseymour says

    sonofrojblake:  😎

    I heard that from a late-night DJ at KRAB.  Lots of folks in the US might not even have heard of cricket back in the ’70s.  I’ve no memory of knowing about it then either.

    BTW, I’ve enjoyed Mano‘s posts about cricket, but I haven’t seen any in quite a while.  I liked learning the jargon associated with the game because I’m a geek who likes words. 😎

  11. says

    What’s the thing that somebody used to have before you wiped your cookies and carried on watching, that they did not have afterwards?

    If there is no such thing, you are not a thief.

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