Home Legal & Insurance A ban on memes? Exploring some of the strangest laws across the...

A ban on memes? Exploring some of the strangest laws across the globe

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Business Rescue Expert are taking a look at some of the most unique laws around the world.

Back in April 2019, the culture of the internet hung in the balance as the EU released its directive on Article 13. The law, which calls for media sharing platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to take more responsibility for copywrited content being shared illegally online, caused widespread panic online as a potential end to the meme. After the initial panic however, it was established that memes would not be included within the directive.

Leading independent insolvency practice, Business Rescue Expert have taken a look at some of the most unique and quirky laws from across the globe.

Extreme health and safety

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.

No gum allowed

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!

Landowners rights

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.

Cruelty to fish

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.

Ban on dying

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.

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