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NORTHWEST LEGAL OPINION

Thursday November 21 2019

The meme ban & some of the worlds strangest legislations



Jonathan Mackley

JONATHAN MACKLEY | PR Executive




The meme ban & some of the worlds strangest legislations

Earlier this year, the EU released its directive on article 13 and internet users reacted with panic as meme culture was threatened. The law called for social media platforms including Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter to be more responsible with copyrighted content being shared online illegally – this led to news of the ‘meme ban’ hitting the headlines.

After the initial alarm, the EU stipulated that memes would be exempt from the enforcement. Although a meme ban may seem like an unusual legal step, company liquidation specialists Business Rescue Expert have assembled this list of some of the world’s strangest legislations.

1.     Extra-safe cyclists?

If you are a cyclist on the streets of Mexico, then you must abide by perhaps one of the most contradictory laws in existence. Taking your feet off the pedals is strictly forbidden and failing to do so can mean you’ll incur a hefty fine. Cycling in this way is viewed as dangerous, and by having your feet firmly on the pedals then control can certainly be maintained… However, there is no formal requirement for those getting around on two wheels to wear a helmet when riding. Strange? We think so.

2.     Gum free zones

Chewing gum bans are typically reserved for school classrooms rather than public spaces. However, Singapore introduced a ban on gum in 1992 under the then-Prime Minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew. Chewing gum is certainly unsightly, making pavements look like eyesores and being a general nuisance when stood on following people spitting it out. The maximum $100,000 fine — and even a prison sentence of up to two years — might seem a bit excessive, but as strange as these legislative consequences might seem, they are very serious. If you are visiting the country, be sure to leave the trusty stick of gum at home!

3.     Property rights and protected species

The conduct of landowners is governed (even on their own property) by The Endangered Species Act and other associated laws, if any actions are found to affect wildlife in the surrounding area negatively. While this is an injustice of property laws, the regulation produces some adverse consequences. If an endangered species just happened to be living within the boundaries of a person’s property, then the homeowner doesn’t legally have to declare it and may even choose to destroy the animal.

4.     You can’t die here!

In the south-western French town of Sarpourenx, there’s an odd policy on dying. The town’s officials implemented a decree in 2008 which stated that people couldn’t die within the city limits. It was enforced as a result of serious overcrowding in the town’s cemetery and locals were advised that they should buy a plot in the graveyard before they passed away if they wanted to die within the city (and within the law), after pleas from the authorities to expand the area were seemingly left unanswered. A similar ironic measure was put in place in Sellia, Italy, in 2015, where residents were told not to get sick and to always put their health first as a measure to save the areas aging population.

5.     Holding a fish hostage in Rome

Having a pet fish in Rome isn’t really the done thing. The city regards keeping a fish in a bowl as cruel, and your beloved pet becomes a hostage. If you are found keeping a fish in a bowl, you could face a penalty fine. This policy isn’t unheard of though, as the Swiss government are also understood to take a similar viewpoint. They are a tad more lenient though, and they class goldfishes as social creatures so as long as you keep two or more then you will remain on the right side of the law.



"Earlier this year, the EU released its directive on article 13 and internet users reacted with panic as meme culture was threatened."
Author








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