I have written a computer program to record live scores for my favourite sport from the Internet. I post the scores on the Internet after the matches have finished, and I do not charge any money for this service. I am now worrying about the morality of recording and posting scores.
Here are all the possible moral issues that I can think of:
*]Time-wasting. I often spend 2–4 hours a day processing these scores, which means that I am committing various sins of omission.
*]Copyright. The terms and conditions of the Websites from which I record live scores tend to say that I must not “copy”, “record”, “download”, “store”, “reproduce”, “publish” or “post” any part of their content. I believe that such prohibitions are intended to protect articles, photos, videos, and any other original expressions on these sites, whereas scores are just simple historical facts (though one site does specifically mention “tournament scores”). However, I do worry about whether I could be violating copyright by posting the scores elsewhere, or even just by recording them.
*]Bandwidth. My program reloads the scores from each site once every 10 seconds (to minimise missing scores), whereas a normal Web browser reloads them once every 30 seconds. Each download is less than 100 KB. Given that many other (thousands?) of fans of my sport are viewing them normally, I don’t think recording live scores comes anywhere close to throttling the servers, or even “overuse or misuse of the Services”. But I am consuming more than my fair share of their bandwidth.
*]Sunday rest. I record, process and post scores even on Sundays and other Holy Days of Obligation. I worry that I might be violating the obligation of rest by doing so – if not my own rest, then I might be committing scandal by supporting a sport that forces many people to work on Sundays.
*]Gambling. I might possibly be encouraging gambling (which is legal in my country but against my principles) by posting the scores, if gamblers could potentially discover useful patterns in them. They do occasionally ask me for missing scores to resolve disputes with their bookmakers.
I haven’t asked the sites from which I record live scores for permission, because I wouldn’t expect a positive response, and am paranoid that I could be told to “cease and desist”, or even be prosecuted for “copyright infringement” or “trespass to chattels”, as other Web scrapers have been (not specifically for recording live scores). One site started encrypting its scores, which implies that the owner didn’t like them being recorded.
I accept the time-wasting as a venial sin, and accept that I’ll have to cut down on processing scores in order to manage some imminent new responsibilities in my life. My conscience tells me that I’m probably just being scrupulous (as usual) about Issues 2–5, but if I’m going to confess recording live scores sacramentally, then I need to know exactly what I should be confessing.
I am considering three options:
*]Confess the time-wasting, but withhold Issues 2–5; continue to record live scores and post them on the Internet, but try to limit my manual post-editing to two hours a day.
*]Confess the time-wasting and maybe some of Issues 2, 4, 5; continue to record live scores for my own personal records, but stop processing them and posting them on the Internet.
*]Confess everything, and stop recording live scores.
So, what I’m asking is:
*]Which of Issues 2–5, if any, should I confess in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
*]Do any of the five issues constitute grave matter for mortal sin?
*]Can you think of any other sins that I might be committing by recording live scores and posting them (free of charge) after the matches have finished?