Since a CAPTCHA only exists to decide if the entity which is looking at it is capable of decoding it, is there anything morally wrong with using a machine which can solve them?
We ask as four men behind a company trading as Wiseguy Tickets in the US are charged with an alleged scam:
Federal prosecutors in New Jersey said on Monday that four men operating under the name Wiseguys Tickets had hacked into online sites, buying more than 1 million tickets to some of the country’s most popular musical and sporting events and then reselling them for more than $25 million in profit.
In its 43-count indictment, the prosecutors say the men built a computer network that created thousands of fake accounts and built a program that could outsmart the ticketing software that creates those odd-shaped letters designed to require human verification.
I'm not sure, even if the claims are true, that anyone has hacked into anything - they've worked out how to game the system; they've written or obtained software that perform the same function as a person but much, much more quickly - but if you were hacking in, you wouldn't be bothering to solve CAPTCHAS in the first place, would you?
Keeping supplies of tickets out of the hands of fans and selling them on later at a massive mark-up, though, is clearly wrong and criminal. Except when Ticketmaster is doing is it, apparently.