There are completely stupid and silly laws that you could, but probably never will, break (like herding 2,001 sheep in Hollywood) and then there are laws that you’ve probably broken multiple times by now, without even knowing it. Here are 5 of the latter which you might find surprising and interesting to read about:
- Connecting to an unsecured WiFi network. This is like connecting to an airport or coffee shop WiFi. Since there is no password required and you’re in a public area that promotes this service to patrons, you’d think it’s totally fine, right? Well, it’s still technically illegal.
- Singing the “Happy Birthday” song in public. Flabbergasted? Well, the song is actually copyrighted, owned by Time Warner, who racks in about $2 million each year in royalties.
- Leaving your children at home alone. Each state sets the minimum age at which a child may be left at home alone. In California (and some other states), there is no minimum age. It is up to the parents or legal guardians to make a responsible and informed decision.
- Friendly bets with others. In a single day, any bets that top $2,000 is illegal and believe it or not, punishable by quite a few years in prison at most.
- Buying a permanent market for a minor. Not all states have this law, but California does. This is a move to curb graffiti.
These laws are more serious, of course, than those silly, wacky laws and people do get in trouble for them. Girl Scouts had to pay up for singing copyrighted songs during campfire, a kid in Oklahoma was arrested for having a permanent marker in school, parents have found themselves in hot water for leaving their children home alone (whether their child was too young or teenage too irresponsible and ended up throwing a huge party that got shut down by the police).
So yes, you may have broken one, two or all of these laws numerous times and gotten away with it. Most people do. But not everyone.