When it comes to the laws of whatever land we live in we all know that those laws need to be adhered to and look down on those members of our society who break such laws. While we all know that some laws are a bit of a pain in the butt we know that they are supposedly put in place to protect us. After all without the fine letter of the law it would be perfectly acceptable for taxi drivers to whizz around the UK’s capital without a bail of hay in the boot. Imagine that. That would be madness.
We all accept that murder, theft and other such laws that should never be broken but there are plenty of laws out there that everyone seems to think are perfectly acceptable to break and should the authorities come knocking on your door you can be assured of a huge public outrage which would surely follow. I am talking about laws suck as:
1 – Breaking The Speed Limit
I think it is fair enough to say that pretty much anyone who drives a car has been at one time or another guilty of driving over the designated speed limit. This may be a genuine accident but at other times we know that we are driving a little to fast but we motor on regardless.
We all know that in many automobile accidents the speed that a car is travelling plays a huge part and the faster a car is moving the more severe the consequences for all involved. This is particularly true when a car collides with a pedestrian as pedestrians have quite literally nothing around them to offer any form protection. Yes, it is a fact that we all know speed limits are put in place to protect us and others from the very real and serious consequences of driving with excessive speed.
Despite us all being very aware of the risks of driving over the speed limit you can bet your very last penny that as soon as we are caught doing just that we are very quick to start complaining and that complaining nearly always attracts 100% support from friends, families and even strangers. Usually the first thing people will say is that the police should be out catching real criminals. Of course this is an easy statement to make especially if when it is someone else’s child who has been hit and killed by a speeding motorist.
Another common occurrence especially in the UK seems to be that every time a new speed camera goes up the public and motoring groups start shouting that this is victimising motorists and is totally unfair. If you think about this ridiculous kind of statement logically then you will, or at least you should, realise just how ridiculous a statement this is. At the end of the day if you drive over the speed limit then you are breaking the law and speed cameras or any other form of speed control measure is there to enforce that law. Imagine if people were to say that DNA evidence was victimising rapists.
Like it or not the speed limit is a law and breaking that law can have fatal consequences.
2 – Recording From TV or Radio
Over the years we have seen many advances in technology capable of recording media in one form or another. From the VHS video recorder to DVD burners and from audio cassette recorders to iPods there is no shortage of products on the market that are actually marketed for their ability to make copies of all forms of media.
The problem with this is simple. Anyone living in the modern world is well aware, thanks to bit torrents and websites like The Pirate Bay, of a legal matter we refer to as copyright. Just in case anyone happens to have been living on the moon for the past one hundred years that means it is illegal to make any kind of duplication of a copyrighted work without the written consent of the copyright holder. This means that you are breaking the law if you copy of your favourite CD for a friend or even make a spare copy for yourself to use in your car.
Since it is illegal to make duplications of any copyrighted work it is indeed to make a copy of any program regardless if it happens to be transmitted into your home. There is a common myth that when it comes to recording television show to watch later where people seem to be under the assumption that the practice is okay as long as you only keep the recording for a few weeks. This is very much a misconception and if you ever have trouble sleeping and decide to read any copyright information that you can lay your hands on you will see that there is nothing there to say you can duplicate something as long as you only keep the copy for a few weeks.
When it comes to recording from the radio or television, even the internet nowadays, anyone who does so is breaking a copyright law of some description regardless of where they happen to be in the world and as we all know this is very much a law that everyone is happy to break and in most cases most people probably don’t even realise that they are breaking the law or the penalties for doing so.
To put that in perspective the doctor who was said to be responsible for killing Michael Jackson received a penalty of 4 years in prison. A person recording Michael Jackson’s songs from the radio, if prosecuted to the full extent of the law would receive 5 years in prison. Now that is what is known as justice gone mad.
3 – Connecting to an Insecure WiFi Network
So there you are somewhere other than your home and in desperate need of internet access in the form of a WiFi network. You head to the WiFi settings menu on your mobile cell phone and start searching for any WiFi networks that might be in your vicinity. It does not take long and you discover it might well be your lucky day not only does a WiFi network show in that is in range it also happens to be insecure meaning you can connect to it without having to guess any network keys and go about browsing the internet and checking your emails.
What you probably don’t realise here is that you are indeed breaking the law which is set in stone by something known as the Computer Misuse Act which clearly states that it is illegal to connect to and access any computer network that you do not have permission to use. Just because a network happens to be insecure makes no difference at all. Even if a computer network happens to be named ‘connect to me’ and is insecure if you do just that you are breaking the law and the consequences for doing so can easily find you having to pay a whopping fine or even serving time in prison.
Like all the other laws on this list the fact that it is illegal to do so no one seems to be all that bothered should you illegally connect to someone else’s computer network. It is just one of those things that no one thinks about, knows about and even if they do they simply don’t give a damn.
4 – Singing Pop Songs In Public
This law fits nicely into the previously mentioned law regarding copyrights. We are all guilty of walking around when we find ourselves humming, whistling even singing a pop song that just happens to be stuck in our head. What no one seems to realise or even care about is that by doing this you are actually publicly performing a copyrighted works and that my friends is indeed illegal without the express permission of the copyright holder.
Usually no one, not even the copyright holder, would care all that much if you walk around at work singing ‘It’s Raining Men’ unless you happen to be making money from doing so but if you were to be unfortunate enough to catch the attention of an awkward copyright holder you could find yourself in a whole heap of trouble along with a request to pay the copyright holder royalties. Technically that means every time you sing the chorus of Boney M’s Brown Girl in the Ring you would be required to pay a fee to whoever owns the rights. Even songs like ‘Happy Birthday’ are subject to this law and there is even a case of Warner Brothers (they own the rights to Happy Birthday) taking action against the song being performed without royalties being paid.
Again, even now that you know there is a law prohibiting you form performing such popular classics in public no one really gives a monkeys and will continue to happily break the law even if it is just through force of habit.
5 – Spreading Gossip
We’re all guilty of enjoying catching up on the latest gossip whether or not that happens to be over the fence with your neighbour, in your local bar or over coffee with your friends. It really does not matter what the setting happens to be we all love a good bit of gossip. When you think about how much we all love gossip it is hardly any wonder that gossip magazines are such big business these days.
Not only do we all love a little bit of gossip most of us cannot help add a little detail here and a little detail there. This is more than likely down to the fact that we all think we can make a story that little bit more exciting, scandalous or interesting. Before you know it that little bit of gossip about the woman down the street saying hello to the new newspaper boy has evolved into a full blown affair with the newspaper boy, neighbour down the street and the bank manager.
I think it is fair to say that whether it is a celebrity or someone we know we all find it perfectly acceptable to spread gossip adding those little bits here and there as we go. What most of us fail to realise is that a lot of the gossip we spread, especially the bits that are not strictly true, can place you on the wrong side of the law as you are very much guilty of making slanderous remarks. You need to look no further than social media networks such as Twitter to see such a law in action. The most recent example of this is remarks made about people in power being involved in the UK’s Jimmy Saville scandal and those people taking to the courts to protect their name.
Regardless of the penalties there is little doubt that we will all continue to happily spread gossip adding our own little bits along the way.