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Am I stealing if I....

Old 04-28-01, 02:19 AM
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A friend of mine has offered to hook me up to free cable!? (for $50)

100s of free channels. Comedy, pay-per-view Movies and Sports, Music channels, the works basically.

If you were in my position, would you take him up on the offer, or would you consider it 'stealing'? Since I couldn't afford to subscribe to all these channels anyway (and plan to keep a basic subscription going anyway) they're not really losing any actual money are they?

Opinions welcomed...


(PS Anyone offering me a copy of the leaflet "So You've decided to steal cable" will get an automatic followed by a swift )
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Old 04-28-01, 09:53 AM
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Anything you're supposed to pay for and don't is called, well it's called stealing!
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Old 04-28-01, 11:03 AM
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As easy as you make it sound, eventually the company will figure out you're STEALING from them, and they WILL come after you. If you want it, pay for it.
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Old 04-28-01, 11:05 AM
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If you have to ask, you already know the answer.
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Old 04-28-01, 12:01 PM
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You know it's stealing, why ask?

If you can't afford it, don't do it. When (not if, when) you are caught they will offer you 2 options:

1. Pay for all of the service you have been stealing and continue your 'new' subscription.
2. Be prosecuted for theft.

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Depending on your provider, stealing cable isn't as easy as it used to be. Since you mentioned 100's of free channels, I'm assuming you're talking digital cable, which you will definitely get nabbed on.
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Old 04-28-01, 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by renaldow
Since you mentioned 100's of free channels, I'm assuming you're talking digital cable, which you will definitely get nabbed on.
I thought it was impossible to steal digital cable channels. All the AOL spam I get for cable descramblers is for analog channels.
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Old 04-28-01, 01:42 PM
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Yes, you are and you seem to know it.

I had HBO for 10 years and never paid for it because the cable company didnt take the HBO descrambler that you plugged into the tv when they made the changeover to boxes. Did I feel guilty for having it? No, it was their oversight.

However, your case is a different matter, and they will probably catch you in the long run, and if you cant pay for cable now, what makes you think you can pay the thousands of dollars worth of fines you will get when you are caught?
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Old 04-28-01, 02:02 PM
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Of course it's stealing. Cable companies are using newer systems all the time that help trace and identify cable theft and if they catch you, expect huge fines.
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Old 04-28-01, 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by dave955
I thought it was impossible to steal digital cable channels. All the AOL spam I get for cable descramblers is for analog channels.
Certain descramblers have been manufactured to steal digital cable up to 125 channels. Most cable companies are smart enough to move their premium channels and pay-per-view channels above channel 126.

This way, all you'll be stealing is such channels like ...

TNT, TBS, HGTV, ...

The basics (not really worth the cost of the box in the first place) ...
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Old 04-28-01, 02:46 PM
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Junaid, may I offer you a copy of the leaflet "So You've Decided To Steal Cable" ?

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Old 04-28-01, 02:46 PM
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I think what everyone's forgetting is that he said he "couldn't afford to subscribe to all these channels anyway."

Clearly, if you can't afford something, you're allowed to take it for free.

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Old 04-28-01, 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by stevevt
I think what everyone's forgetting is that he said he "couldn't afford to subscribe to all these channels anyway."

Clearly, if you can't afford something, you're allowed to take it for free.

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Old 04-29-01, 12:27 AM
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Many here seem to treat 'stealing' cable as the same crime as stealing food, or a car, or something tangible. It's not though, is it? What I'd be stealing is INFORMATION. Since I couldn't afford to pay for ALL this information, would it be wrong to pay someone a smaller fee to get it for me?
To put it another way, is this any different from going to a password site that will give you the passwords for internet porn sites? Is that stealing?

Again, I'd like to point out that I wouldn't be taking bread from a hungry child. I'd be taking Information from a faceless corporation. 'Is this morally wrong?' would probably have been a better way of phrasing the thread.

BTW - I seriously doubt I will get caught. My friend has been doing the same scam for over a year, as have many others. (I suspect cable company people are involved. OK, I probably shouldn't mention this, but here goes: I actually used to work for the cable company's parent company, and used to get free cable! Don't ask for any more info though, cos you won't get it )

Going back to the password site analogy, the info for this is available on the net! You just have to look in the right places. (I won't say any more than that, as I don't want this thread closed.)

Moral/Ethical reasoning only please. (I should have said that earlier. Sorry.) And no more please. (This isn't The Other Forum. ) Thanx.
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Old 04-29-01, 12:33 AM
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Oh, forgot to mention, I'd also get FOUR free PORN channels, as well as open access to all the pay-per-view movies and sports events! Are you all really telling me you wouldn't be tempted, if all that was offered to you for $50?!
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Old 04-29-01, 12:51 AM
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Two points

1.) YES, it's stealing

2.) WHO CARES? Do it!

You seem to be searching for a rationalization. Here is all you really need to know--FREE CABLE!!!
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Old 04-29-01, 01:18 AM
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It sure sounds good to have all that for $50. But you should always think of the consequences should you be caught... what would happen then? I know it's difficult to think about the downsides when it looks like you can get such a great deal. A little while back, Amazon caught me doing something that wasn't honest. When I was doing it, I was foolish enough to not think of the consequences should I get caught. When I realized that they had found out, that was when I started to worry. LUckily, all I got was a big scare.

Still... think ahead, and make sure you're aware of the consequences and be ready to accept them.
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Old 04-29-01, 09:07 AM
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Originally posted by Autotelik
A little while back, Amazon caught me doing something that wasn't honest. When I was doing it, I was foolish enough to not think of the consequences should I get caught. When I realized that they had found out, that was when I started to worry. LUckily, all I got was a big scare.

What'd you do?
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Old 04-29-01, 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by Junaid
Many here seem to treat 'stealing' cable as the same crime as stealing food, or a car, or something tangible. It's not though, is it? What I'd be stealing is INFORMATION. Since I couldn't afford to pay for ALL this information, would it be wrong to pay someone a smaller fee to get it for me?
Yes.

I think what you're trying to get at is that stealing cable is a victimless crime. Well, here are some victims for you:

1) The cable company, who must spend money on tracking theives like yourselves down and pass these expenses along to...
2) Everybody else who subscribes to cable services

Originally posted by Junaid

To put it another way, is this any different from going to a password site that will give you the passwords for internet porn sites? Is that stealing?
No, it's not very different. They are both stealing.

Originally posted by Junaid

Again, I'd like to point out that I wouldn't be taking bread from a hungry child. I'd be taking Information from a faceless corporation. 'Is this morally wrong?' would probably have been a better way of phrasing the thread.
Horrible argument. Humans work at faceless corportation. And they probably make less money because of people like you. Morally wrong. And there's no other way to look at it. You are obviously trying to justify doing this. Please don't bother.

Originally posted by Junaid

BTW - I seriously doubt I will get caught.
I could do a lot of immoral things without getting caught. This doesn't make them moral. How could you possibly think that getting away with it would make it moral? I don't think you can.

Originally posted by Junaid

Going back to the password site analogy, the info for this is available on the net! You just have to look in the right places. (I won't say any more than that, as I don't want this thread closed.)
Wow. So... it's possible, therefore perfectly acceptable. I'm not convinced by your arguments. But maybe you've convinced yourself.

[Edited by stevevt on 04-29-01 at 08:14 AM]
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Old 04-29-01, 11:10 AM
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Do it! Yes it is stealing but...when and if the cable police come to your house you do not have to let them in, and then just disconnect it. I had a friend that worked for the cable company for a while and he said that people are pretty stupid when it came to stealing cable. They would knock on the persons door and ask to come in and they would let them. Just say No!(you can thank Nancy Reagan for that one)
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Old 04-30-01, 12:23 AM
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Originally posted by junkie
Do it! Yes it is stealing but...when and if the cable police come to your house you do not have to let them in, and then just disconnect it. I had a friend that worked for the cable company for a while and he said that people are pretty stupid when it came to stealing cable. They would knock on the persons door and ask to come in and they would let them. Just say No!(you can thank Nancy Reagan for that one)
God Bless Democracy!

Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-30-01, 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by junkie
Do it! Yes it is stealing but...when and if the cable police come to your house you do not have to let them in, and then just disconnect it. I had a friend that worked for the cable company for a while and he said that people are pretty stupid when it came to stealing cable. They would knock on the persons door and ask to come in and they would let them. Just say No!(you can thank Nancy Reagan for that one)
Um, there's more to it than that. I was a cable salesman about 10 years ago and would go to people's homes who supposedly didn't have cable to try and sell it to them. Occasionally, I would 'accidentally' bust someone for stealing cable, and I would never have to step foot into anyone's house.

The great thing about cable TV is that it is a wire going to your house. If you don't have cable, you don't have the cable, in otherwords. If we saw a cable going into a house where there was no cable service, we would take the cutters out of the trunk, snip the wire, and then knock on the door and ask them what's going on. Yes, policy was to cut first, ask questions later.

If you're in an apartment, you're already prewired, but there's going to be a main box and if you're hooked up when you shouldn't be, you get unhooked and then talked to.

About the only way to steal cable is if you live in an apt. or condo that comes with free basic and then buying an illegal converter for it. You can't really do that now days though, thanks to digital cable. If you have basic cable, chances are the digital converter will not work on it. Digital converters generally need to get information directly from the cable co, and actually interacts with the cable co.

Each digital converter has a unique ID, and if the ID is not recognized the search for the converter will begin. They can easily isolate it to your block or building, then they will take the necessary legal steps to get into your house.

Another way to steal cable in an apt. is to find the main box and splice your apt's connection into someone elses. That gets noticed pretty quick, though. Cable companies generally have only enough juice on the wire to provide the signal necessary for a single apt. When you splice in, channels become fuzzy and usually the person you're hijacking it from calls the cable company and complains about the service, who then sends out a tech who will find your handy work, fix it, and possibly put you in touch with the cable co's legal dept. This actually happened to me a couple years ago. My downstairs neighbor hijacked my cable and got away with it for all of 3 days. He told me the cable guy gave him the choice of getting legit cable, or going to court for fraud.

Your cable company goes to a lot of extremes to fight cable theft, and they enforce it whenever possible. Chances are that whenever there is a big PPV event that cable employees go around 'undercover' to different bars and lounges in your area to make sure that no one is illegally showing it.
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Old 05-01-01, 05:52 AM
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I don't know how paying someone $50 for cable is free. And then, I'd assume you would have to pay him that amount every month.

I get cable for less than $40. Granted, it doesn't include any premium channels but it's legit.
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Old 05-01-01, 06:11 AM
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Originally posted by big whoppa
I don't know how paying someone $50 for cable is free. And then, I'd assume you would have to pay him that amount every month.

I get cable for less than $40. Granted, it doesn't include any premium channels but it's legit.
I don't want to get into specifics, but it is a one-off $50, and then EVERYTHING is free until the company finds a way to block this particular way of cracking the system.
Like I said, my friend has had it for over a year, and not been caught. (It'll be quite expensive for them to update their equipment, so that won't happen any time soon.) I'm really tempted, mainly for the comedies and independent films that don't usually get a proper theatrical release.

NO MORE QUESTIONS! I've tried to be as vague as possible, and answering any more questions would probably get this thread locked.
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Old 05-01-01, 06:25 AM
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It's a service. The cable company is the service provider. Are you paying them for the service? In this case, no. So it's stealing. The same goes for your password site analogy.

Is it moral? Well, the Eigth Commandment say "Thou shalt not steal," so, no, it's not moral.

Is it even ethical? Well, people who steal cable cause the price to go up for those paying for it. So you're hurting your fellow man by doing this, so I'd say it wasn't ethical either.

Seeing as how you've gotten your answer, and to prevent more discussion on how to defraud legitimate businesses, I'm closing this thread.
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