Things You Didn’t Know Were Illegal

Frankly, this is just good stuff to know. Know what is right and wrong, and you can avoid confrontation later. And some of them happen to be funny and ridiculous laws that, for whatever reason, were passed at one point and never amended after that – like the Florida law that says you can’t have sexual relations with a porcupine, as according to Although laws are made for the protection of the people (sometimes, anyway,) there are some that we break every single day without realizing it. Frankly, the cops wouldn’t notice either – they’re doing it too!

Who knew happy birthdays could go so wrong? (photo by Will Clayton)

Who knew happy birthdays could go so wrong? (photo by Will Clayton)

#1. Singing “Happy Birthday” in public.

Apparently, the ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) have some sort of patent on the song – because they have requested that the Girl Scouts pay royalties for singing that song, among others. Currently, the copyright belongs to a company called Time Warner – meaning any time the song is used, they have to pay royalties. The song, itself, brings in about two million dollars into the company per year.

#2. Creating a Fake Personality on the internet.

So much for the MTV series Catfish – little did you know that the already soul-crushing problems that the show constitutes itself of was also an illegal act. Turns out, as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act suggests, creating a fake identity on the internet is underneath the realm of “hacking.” Some people have been charged for doing things like creating fake profiles of their bosses, and even bullying a girl til she committed suicide – but they were not charged with felony charges considering they “…did not know that their actions were illegal.”

#3. Writing disturbing things.

I don’t know about you, but I believe everyone has a bit of morbidity inside of them – perhaps a “goth phase” of some sort, or it’s just a natural disposition to be disturbing. To think disturbingly. As it was explained to me, “If you watch morbid things, if you wear morbid make-up, if you spend all your time doing morbid things, of course you’re going to dream about morbid things.” Turns out in Chicago, a student had an assignment to write anything that came to mind – without heed. And the student did exactly that. And the teacher found it disturbing enough to contact higher authorities and have the kid imprisoned for 30 days, with a $1,500 fine.

#4. Protecting yourself.

There’s some funny things about the law – because although they’re made to protect the people, they sometimes do more damage. Things like carrying mace as a minor can land you some juvenile detention time. Even protecting yourself from headaches that your math teacher gives you or the cramps that come with womanhood is a crime, because pain killers are illegal substances on a campus. The logic in this? I support some kid has tried to overdose on Tylenol or Midol, and some kid has used mace when he didn’t really need it, so now the rest of the public has to suffer.

Congrats, lawmakers. Now the only thing we can do is sit in our houses and cry ourselves to sleep over our illegal fiction short stories about vampire love.

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