Originally Posted by coyoteaz
It's still theft of service, though it's one of those things they probably won't prosecute you for unless it's worth the effort (stealing something valuable like premiums or PPV). Either accept the fact that you're breaking the law, subscribe to the lifeline service (Cox calls it "Cox TV Starter"), at which point you can demand that they install a filter that doesn't block channels you are entitled to receive like Fox HD, or use only your antenna for TV.
I'm coming in on this discussion a little late, as my daughter recently moved her family to Phoenix and can only afford the internet service.
As I understand the law, based upon dealing with satellite transmissions, as long as the connection to the dwelling was provided by the legal provider, it is up to that provider to not allow you to have what you didn't pay for. They have to provide what you signed up for. If anything else is there, lucky you.
In this case, Cox, has provided free unencrypted QAM channels. You don't have to demand a damn thing. If they want to give it to you for free, that is their choice. They know the unencrypted QAM channels are there for the subscriber to view, if the user has a TV that can tune them.
Legally they can't let the channels into your dwelling and then come back and cry foul in a court of law.
In a nutshell, it isn't theft of service when the service is provided by the legal owner, paid for or not.
If Cox was really concerned, they would trap the video service from internet only customers.
Obviously this issue isn't a one-off mistake by an installer. It seems that all internet subscribers get the "free" channels.