I just had a big fight over this over on Twitter. There’s a story going around about some Russian guy who might go to jail because he made a video about Pokemon Go in church. Now I have no idea what the specific laws in Russia might be regarding this, but assuming that it is actually against the law to play a video game in church, this guy deserves it because he broke the law.
And the person I was talking to said no, it’s civil disobedience and they should not be penalized at all for it! Sorry, you have no clue what civil disobedience actually is. The whole point of civil disobedience is to break the law and get punished for it as a means of bringing attention to your plight and possibly changing the law through public outrage. It is not a means to ignore laws you don’t like and get away with it. How anyone cannot know this is beyond me.
This guy knew full well what he was doing, in fact, he started his video by giving the potential sentences he could receive by doing what he was doing. So you can’t really feel sorry for him or think he didn’t know what he was getting himself into because clearly he did. You don’t get to walk into a courtroom, and I don’t care where it is, and say “I don’t like the law so I’m just going to ignore it” and expect the judge to shrug and throw out the case. It doesn’t work that way.
Now do I think the law is stupid? Absolutely. It is also the law. I don’t care how idiotic the law is, if you are not willing to pay the price, you shouldn’t play the game. Whatever sentence this guy gets, and I’m writing this before he is sentenced on May 11, 2017, he will deserve it. He knowingly violated the law, knew the consequences and did it anyhow. Whatever his intent doesn’t change reality. I hope he enjoys his time behind bars and I hope, although I have no false beliefs that it will happen, that this may change the law. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.