Practical question Entirely hypothetical question of ethics here. Wanting to know what the great ethicists would say.
There's a paper concerning a particular topic of math I'm interested in. The paper is behind a JSTOR soft paywall. Meaning that in order to read it for free, you need to
Register a free account on JSTOR;
Put the paper on your "shelf";
Read the paper online, one page at a time.
JSTOR is set up so that you can't download the individual pages except as images, one page at a time; You can't download the pages as a single article.
However what you can do, and what I did for my own private use, was to download each page, one at a time, as an image (the only way JSTOR lets you download pages); and then put the pages together, in order, as a pdf. For a lengthy paper it's a fair amount of clerical work. I'm probably one of the few people if not the only person without an academic JSTOR membership to own a clean pdf of this paper.
At the moment I'm involved in a discussion in an online forum in which I need to refer someone to parts of this paper. I can't possibly make my point by referring them to JSTOR. Nobody is going to sign up for JSTOR and go through their shelf process to see what I'm talking about.
Now on the one hand, the paper is freely available to anyone who chooses to jump through the JSTOR hoops. On other other hand, there is no version of the paper accessible online without going through JSTOR; and no full pdf version available online at all. And on the third hand, the author of the paper is deceased and not likely to care at this point.
Is it ethically permissible for me to upload my private pdf so that I can make it easy for a few readers to see it without jumping through the JSTOR hoops?
(edit) What would the great philosophers say about this entirely hypothetical situation?