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Re: lynx-dev lynx: ftp anonymous password

From: Matt Ackeret
Subject: Re: lynx-dev lynx: ftp anonymous password
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 11:28:16 -0800 (PST)

On Sun, 17 Feb 2002 address@hidden wrote:
>Consumer ethics.  Where does one draw the line?
>o I don't go into a store and ask a salesman for a demo of something I
>  intend to mail-order at a lower price.

Good.   I don't do this on purpose for the very same reason.  The only times
it sometimes happens is if I see a book I like, but don't want the hardcover
version -- then in the future I may buy the paperback one online.

>o I do videotape programs when I'm not home, and watch them later,
>  fast-forwarding past the commercials.

You need a Tivo or other PVR.. heh.

>o If a site requires an E-mail address but doesn't verify it, is it
>  ethical to supply a bogus address?

Of course NOT.  Just like it's _not_ ethical for people to put false
information on grocery store "club" cards.  (I get into this argument every
once in a while on a few newsgroups.)  If you WANT the benefit, you
should provide legitimate information, otherwise you are STEALING.

And if you provide a fake email address, it is no different.

Now, if you have a "throwaway" hotmail address that you never actually read,
I would consider that legitimate, because it _is_ your address.  If they
send you an email saying "we decided to stop giving away this stuff for
free, now it's $1000 per month", and you miss it because you don't read
that email address, tough on you.  (I know, they couldn't actually start
billing you if they don't have your CC number or whatever, but you get the

>o Since, as you say, most web sites nowadays exist not to serve the
>  public but to exploit a prospective customer base, does the public
>  have any ethical obligation whatever to the site "providers"?

Yes they do.  If they WANT what the site provides, they have to follow the
rules that the site gives, otherwise they are freeloaders at least and
thieves at worst.

..and I will admit that even just turning off graphics/running filters
in browsers (e.g. iCab) comes _close_ to the same thing.  But they can't
require you view the graphics.

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