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Is it a sin to get around “soft” paywalls for newspaper websites?

Full Question

Is it a sin to get around “soft” paywalls for newspaper websites?

Answer

A “soft paywall” means that the copyright holder has permitted limited access to the copyrighted material and after a certain point (either a specified number of views or a portion of the article) the consumer of the material is expected to pay for access.

Copyright laws ensure that those who create the material are properly compensated for their work. Everyone who works wants to be fairly compensated for their time and effort, and it is a matter of justice to ensure this happens.

So long as someone is using the “soft paywall” in a manner that is permitted by the copyright holder, the action is moral. If, however, the consumer of the material is violating the terms of the paywall, it would be immoral.

For example, if a “soft paywall” permits ten articles per week and the consumer of the material finds a way to trick the counter, that would be immoral.


By Fr. Charles Grondin













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