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A question regarding ethics and wild locks

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Mur670

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:07 am

A question regarding ethics and wild locks

So when it comes to ethical picking we all know the golden rule:

YOU MAY ONLY PICK LOCKS THAT YOU OWN, OR THOSE TO WHICH YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN EXPRESS PERMISSION TO PICK BY THE RIGHTFUL OWNER

But how does this rule apply to locks in the wild SPECIFICALLY those that have been abandoned on bike racks, random fences etc. Because the rightful owner of said lock has abandoned it does it therefore become free for all or does it then come under the ownership of the property it is on? Time and time again i see locks that have been abandoned and left to rust and as a picker (always eager for more locks) it annoys the hell out of me to just see it sitting there. Do we as pickers then have a right to approach the owner of whatever property the lock might be on and ask if they would like it to be removed?

I know this tip toes on the borderline of ethical picking but these questions have been bugging me and id be interested to know everybodys opinion and if you may have run into similar situations.

Cheers and thanks for reading :hbg:

Mu670
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flywheel

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:20 am

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

Does the lock belong to you?
There's your answer.
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Mur670

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:27 am

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

Thats understandable but if the lock has been abandoned can we then endeavour to ask permission to take ownership of it?
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jeffmoss26

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Sargent Mossberg
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:29 am

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

Well sure, asking for permission is fine. You don't just walk up to a lock you presume to be abandoned and pick it.
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GWiens2001

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Lock-Goblin-Gordon
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:36 am

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

Agree to your suggestion of approaching the owner of the property on which the lock is located, and asking if they would like it removed. That is the way I would address the issue. Now that I think of it, there is a bike rack a couple of miles from here with locks that have been there for years - and have the weathering to prove it. Think when a free day is at hand, will approach the manager of the business and ask for permission to remove the locks.

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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flywheel

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:55 am

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

We always find a way to justify our actions but unless you know the lock's owner you don't know if the lock is abandoned.
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Altashot

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:33 am

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

As a locksmith, I removed padlocks, u-locks and even bicycles from peoples fences.
I always called the police to inform them of the situation and they told me that,
If the lock or bike was there for more than "X" days, I'd be OK to remove.
That way, they have a "recorded event". something like -A lock/bike was removed from a citizen's fence at his/her request as it was defacing their property...Or something like that.

In most cases, they told me to just dispose of the offending lock, but when a bike was involved,
I had to drop it off at the cop shop. I was never responsible for the lock or bike's disappearance.

To take the proper route, I would first ask the home owner or whoever owns that fence, if the lock is their's, if not,
how long it's been there, and if they want it removed.
I would then call the police, tell them of the "offending lock on this proud home owners fence that's been there for "X" days"
and see what they tell you.

M.
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GWiens2001

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Lock-Goblin-Gordon
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:07 am

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

I like the CYA of contacting the local police department in addition to the owner/manager of the property.

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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jharveee

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Location: San Marcos, Ca.

Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:00 am

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

I'm betting it would be cheaper to buy a new lock rather than taking the chance "its abandoned".
Just not worth it.
Just saying.
:combolock:

Do not Remove.
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Mur670

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:52 am

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

But if a lock is obviously weathered like Gordon mentioned and has been just sitting around then the assumption that it has been abandoned would come naturally, right? Why would someone be 'using' a lock if it has just been locked to a fence and left to battle the elements? To me it seems like doing such defeats the purpose of utilising a lock. I have found that train stations are particularly rife with abandoned locks.

Just some thoughts on what's been said so far. Please continue to discuss :)
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jharveee

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:08 pm

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

On the bottom of The "Work Order", invoice or job ticket.
At the company I work for is a "Disclaimer"( I hereby certify that I have the authority to order the services distinguished above.)
I make sure to have this Filled out and Signed before doing the work.

I am not a lawyer...........but am hoping it will cover my behind.
also I get some form of ID. from the customer.

For me I tend to choose to avoid going into the Grey area. When I have to........CYA.

These are only my views and opinions.
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scudo

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

What if someone uses a bike rack say at work, he uses the lock when at work but to save him carrying it just leaves the lock in place for his next visit.
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rerun12

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

Stay away from any lock that doesn't belong to you. If it looks abandoned get written permission from the landowner with a phone number.

In general just stay the hell away from locks that dont belong to you. If they've been outside for son long theyre likely weather beaten and no fun to pick anyway. Plus, it gives us all a bad name and damages the integrity of locksport if citizens witness random people picking locks that dont seem to belong to anyone. Also, +1 to what everyone else said
Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, 'Why, why, why?' Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand.
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ARF-GEF

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:43 pm

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

Altashot gets my "up-vote", I think his is a very wise suggestion.

Generally I would say it's better to err on the side of caution.
You are unlikely to get in trouble for leaving a disowned lock where it is. :)
To infinity... and beyond!
=== WARNING DANGER OF TYPOS!===
Arfspeak: calnin cladycomes: you allow her key in themodning
Equals in plain English: cleaning lady comes: you allow her key in the morning
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GringoLocksmith

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:10 pm

Re: A question regarding ethics and wild locks

There are two weathered bike locks on the rack at my local grocery store. They've been there for the six months that I've been frequenting the store, and I see them every time because I'm always using the bike rack. I shop at this market at all hours of the day, at least four times a week. Sometimes I think of the great service that I could do the property owners by taking off those old locks for them. The cycling community would benefit from having less litter on the bike rack. And then I could do the planet a favor by making keys for them and putting them back into circulation. Why, I'd be sort of a hero. Then the hero could do himself a favor by selling the locks for a miniscule profit. Every time I see these locks unoccupied, I have more evidence to suggest that they're definitely abandoned, and that everyone would would win out if I used a bit of my know-how. I always wonder how much longer I'm going to wait before I execute this stealthy little act of heroism.

Except that yesterday, for the first time in half a year, I saw a bike locked up to the rack with one of those abandoned locks.
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