Is it appropriate to take risks on whether a course of action is legal?
I guess if you have an argument that passes the straight-face test that your conduct is legal, you can proceed, arguing that either the law is there or, with a natural extension (and what’s unnatural?) will be. That’s different than engaging in conduct that you know is illegal, but weighing the risk that you won’t get caught.
“Broadcast Dispute Heads to Top Court,” Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2014 B1 http://on.wsj.com/1fmy4AV Aereo argues that it does what consumers could do individually, capturing TV signals out of the air and recording them for subsequent viewing. It even has individual antennae for the consumers; it then feeds them the content over the internet, for a fee. The network TV folks say “Balderdash,” this retransmission is copyright infringement, pure and simple, and they want to be paid retransmission fees. The “Rube Goldberg-like contrivance” that Aereo constructed to exploit a possible gap in copyright law should be disregarded, they urge. Aereo has won in initial court tests, but realizes its entire business model requires legal validation.
Form over substance? Or the law says what the law says, and nothing more?