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June 2, 2004
Cable Theft or Cable Sharing?
The Wichita Eagle warns readers that the local cable provider is cracking down on those who are illicitly receiving cable signals as part of the cable industry's national Signal Theft Awareness Week (Cable TV isn't a free-for-all).
"A lot of people don't really see stealing cable as a crime," said Kristin Peck, director of public affairs for Cox [Wichita's cable provider].
That raises a good question. Why is it cable theft
and not cable sharing
? Assuming that the illicit taps into the cable system don't interfere with other's use by degrading the signal or causing frequency interference, why should cable sharing be wrong? If enough people do it (an estimated 15,000 in Wichita, or ~4.5% of the population) shouldn't it be legal? Doesn't the cable company rip people off by charging too much and by charging for channels they don't want or watch? Shouldn't people be allowed to sample, as long as they buy the DVD set later?
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