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Author:  SC
E-mail:  not available
Date:  1/11/2004 4:28:00 PM
Subject:  Cable Modems
Message:  Author: aryeh
E-mail: not available
Date: 1/6/2004 3:52:24 PM
Subject: Cable Modems
Message: Rabbi-
If a person has a cable modem in his house, he is able to access the internet even if he doesnt pay for the service (thats the way it works- once the cable is set up in your house, it will work forever so long as there is a modem attached. The cable companies require you to turn the modem in when you cancel for this very reason).
My question is- can i attach my own modem to the cable and then cancel my "service" to the cable provider who initially installed it? I would then be able to have a cable connection to the internet without paying for it. I already own my own modem.



Reply: It's their job to charge you. Enjoy!

In regards to the above, isn't it halachically stealing if one takes a service for which the cable company expects payment, but finds a way to end-around being billed, by obtaining a cable modem and cancelling service?

Whether or not it is halachically permissible, it is very likely that it is illegal. As an attorney who has litigated against cable companies on behalf of clients for broadcast cable services (for TV), the law is pretty clear and very harsh vis a vis pirating of cable services. Although I haven't conducted legal research as to whether pirating of cable services includes cable usage for internet access, I would hesitate to advice anyone to go ahead and connect without paying the cable company the requisite fees. The penalties are severe if you are caught, including stiff fines and possible jail time.
Reply:  If it is illegal, it is not allowed, but I doubt it that it would be illegal to use free cable that the cable company was just too lazy to turn off.

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