Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd May 2012 09:51 UTC
In the News "Over half of PC users worldwide have admitted to using pirate software last year, according to a study by the trade group Business Software Alliance. BSA's ninth annual Global Software Piracy Study has shown a sharp increase in software piracy, especially among emerging economies. In the UK, more than one in four programs users installed in 2011 were unlicensed." If people decide en masse not to adhere to a law, said law is worth about as much as the paper it's written on. Laws become functional not because of the Queen's signature, but because the people decide to adhere to it. It's becoming ever clearer that as far as digital goods go, the law is not functional - for better or worse.
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RE[3]: Comment by Alex Hitech
by M.Onty on Wed 23rd May 2012 10:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Alex Hitech"
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Good point. However, under English Law at least, nullification works a bit different from that.

The jury does not have the right to nullify a law, and they cannot find someone guilty whilst refusing to see him penalised. The latter would be the judge's call. They can, instead, find him or her innocent of a crime even when it is overwhelmingly clear that he or she is innocent. Even when the defendant puts in a guilty plea.

It is technically illegal for a jury to do so, but as the judge is forbidden from punishing the jury or interfering with their decision there's nothing to stop them. In a very real way --- the way Thom was describing --- they ignore the law, and thereby change it.

Because this does set precedent under common law, the law in question is considered to have been nullified, i.e. rendered unenforceable, useless. Only an act of parliament can over turn this.

Personally I'm in favour of customary law such as the Xeer, which is much like common law except it takes into account a common consensus of what the law has always meant de facto. Would seem to address many of the flaws in our current systems.

Edited 2012-05-23 10:15 UTC

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