You move into a new house. Before you have a chance to call your local cable-television company to activate your service, you hook up your television and find that the cable service is already active. You wait a month, thinking that perhaps you'll be billed, but two months pass without a bill, then three.
Is it OK to keep getting the service without notifying the cable company? And, even if you don't think it's OK, would you continue to use the service anyway without notifying the cable company?
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Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.
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It is not only unethical to continue to use the cable, it is a violation of law and could subject the homeowner to criminal charges.
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