Feeding wild birds in your backyard can be an exciting yet soothing experience - especially if you have small kids in tow. However, have you ever wondered if what you're doing is legal? Here are the rules (and warnings) you need to know about.
Tagged With Is It Legal?
Is It Legal? is a regular Lifehacker column where we attempt to answer legal questions that are contentious or misunderstood. Here are the most popular "Is It Legal?" posts of 2017 - from driving a vehicle without shoes on to owning a pet dingo!
The Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend is one of the busiest sales periods of the year. Unfortunately, unscrupulous merchants have been known to jack up their "previously sold for" pricing to make it look like you're getting a better deal. Is this legal?
Picture the scene: you've organised a week off work for some much-needed R&R. On the first day of your holiday, you're struck down with the flu. Instead of sunning it up on the beach, you spend the entire week coughing up phlegm in a hotel bed.
If you had been at work, you definitely would've called in sick on these days - so why should annual leave be any different? Let's take a look at the legalities.
By most accounts, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is a bit of a dog's breakfast. The project has been variously described as slow, expensive, unreliable, poorly implemented, unfair, needlessly restrictive and obsolete - and those are just the criticisms we can print.
NBN complaints are up 160 per cent and a third of Australians simply don't care about the technology at all. Despite this, connecting to the NBN is compulsory, with existing telephone and internet connections switched off to make way for the rollout. Is this legal?
Last week, a teenager working in Canberra was fired from her job for posting that she will vote "No" in the same-sex marriage survey. In explaining her actions, the employer argued that the post was "hate speech" that could damage the reputation of her business. Others claim this is a clear-cut case of unfair dismissal. Let's take a look at what the law reckons.
While there is a lot of hype around the launch of Apple’s new all-glass iPhone X, the attention of consumer lawyers is probably focused in a different direction. In April, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleged that Apple had contravened consumer law by wrongly representing to customers they were not entitled to have a phone defect remedied if their device had previously been fixed by an “unauthorised” repairer.
The action was brought after reports that some consumers who had had their screen repaired by a third party suffered an “error 53”, which disabled their iPhone or iPad, after downloading an iOS update. Given that the new iPhone launched on Tuesday in the US, it’s timely to think about the rights available to Apple fans under Australian law if they suffer that most common of breakages – the shattered screen.
There are two reasons you might find to sleep in your car. One: ROAD TRIP! Two: You've had a bigger night than you expected and now you can't drive home. Cabs are expensive. You're not a fan of Uber. It's too late to catch any form of public transport. You could walk, you think, but a four hour walk in the dark isn't a great plan. So you decide that you need to have a little kip in your automobile and you lay down across the back seat and start to snooze.
But is it actually legal to punch some Z's in your vehicle? Let's find out.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) have many legitimate purposes. They're also used to cheekily circumvent geo-blocks on overseas sites like US Netflix - often against the express wishes of rights holders. Like most online technologies, government legislation is currently a bit vague on what is and isn't allowed. So is it legal to stream restricted content through a VPN? Let's find out.
Beachcombing for rare and beautiful seashells is a popular pastime for many Australians. But have you ever stopped to consider the legalities of your collection?
Contrary to popular belief, you can't just pick up and take home any shell that takes your fancy. Here are some of the rules you need to follow.
In June 2017, a 17-year-old Massachusetts girl named Michelle Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after repeatedly urging her boyfriend to commit suicide via text message. It was a landmark case in the US, with prosecutors successfully arguing that words alone can be the deciding factor in a homicide case.
But how does the law work in Australia when it comes to encouraging another person to take their own life? Let's find out.
A lot of people have strong feelings about flag burning. It's often considered to be the ultimate unpatriotic act or even a precursor to violence. If you really want people to think you hate your country -- burning the flag will usually do it. But regardless of the social and political implications of the act, is flag burning actually illegal?
The 'creepshot' is the latest online trend involving the non-consensual photography of women - and it's just as gross as it sounds. The stated aim of the creepshot is to capture "the beauty of unsuspecting targets" which are then shared online.
Creepshot purveyors claim they are just celebrating the female form. In reality, they are wilfully invading the privacy of strangers for their own gratification. It's definitely wrong on a number of levels - but is it legal? Let's find out.
Consider the following scenarios: A police officer stops you on the street and asks you to empty your pockets. A police officer stops you in your car and asks to search you and the vehicle. Regardless of nearly all factors, one of the items recovered will inevitably be a mobile phone. But in what circumstances can police search your phone? Must they obtain a search warrant? And what will happen if you refuse to provide your passcode or fingerprint required to access your phone? Let's find out.
There are various reasons you might want to record an Australian police officer. Maybe you've been detained by the law and want to prove what was said in court. Maybe you're a video blogger attempting to capture "life on the street". Or maybe you're bearing witness to some good ol' fashioned police brutality.
Whatever the reason, it's important to know your legal rights in these situations. Can a police officer legally stop you from filming? Let's find out.
The crime of blasphemy has had a bit of publicity lately. British comedian Stephen Fry was recently reported to police for comments made on Irish TV about what he would say to God if he had the chance. Meanwhile, Jakarta Governor Ahok was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy in Indonesia.
But what about here in Australia? Is committing "blasphemy" still considered illegal? Let's take a look at the laws as they currently stand. (We think they are going to surprise you.)
Even if you've never heard of Say Anything, you're almost certainly familiar with the scene above. The image of John Cusack holding a boombox aloft in an attempt to win back his sweetheart has been parodied countless times since the film came out in 1989.
If you're a soppy romantic at heart, you may have contemplated pulling off a similar stunt for the Ione Skye in your life. But is doing so actually legal? Let's take a look.