History Main / ObviousRulePatch

27th Nov '16 2:01:19 PM Gimere
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* ObviousRulePatch/RealLife




[[AC:RealLife]]

[[folder:Contests, Promotions, and Awards]]
* The International Obfuscated C Code Contest added a rule in 1995 that required all submissions to have source code at least one byte in length. Why? In 1994, "the world's smallest [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quine_(computing) self-replicating program]]" won an award for "Worst Abuse of the Rules" by being zero bytes in size. Another rule, banning machine-dependent code, was added after the first winner in 1984 wrote the entire main program as a block of PDP-11 machine code.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Fantasy_Award_for_Best_Short_Fiction World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction]] is an extremely prestigious award intended for short stories, but was originally only defined as "speculative fiction under 10,000 words". That is, until 1991, when the judges selected Creator/NeilGaiman and Charles Vess' "A Midsummer's Night Dream" issue of ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', which is a comic book. Comics use pictures to do what would have to be done in narrative text, so they are able to tell longer stories than other media for the same word count. The World Fantasy Convention changed the rules almost immediately, relegating any future graphic novel submissions to the Special Award: Professional category. This means the ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' is the only comic book that ever has or ever will win this particular award. According to Gaiman, "It wasn't like closing the stable door after the horse had gotten out, it was like closing the stable door after the horse had gotten out and won the Kentucky Derby."
* In 2011, UK supermarket chain Tesco ran a promotion that if whatever they had happened to be cheaper at its competitor Asda, they will pay you double the difference (e.g., an item that costs 8 pounds but is only 5 at Asda would earn you 6 pounds). However, the difference in prices could be big enough that shoppers would get back more money than they spent. Naturally, many [[GenreSavvy savvy]] shoppers exploited this by finding products they didn't even need but potentially gave them the biggest profit and using that to do their actual grocery shopping. Tesco had since put the difference cap to 20 pounds.
* In 2009 a large German electronics chain ran a promotion where you could buy any product without the Value Added Tax (currently 19%). It turned out, however, that a company can't just waive the VAT, they had to pay it nontheless. The products were just discounted by the amount of the VAT. Customers looked at their receipt and found that they indeed payed the tax, so they went back to the markets and got another discount for the taxes. Needless to say they added a clause for that in their next promotion.
* During the Steam Summer Sale of 2014, Valve held a daily contest for one week where each Steam user was assigned a team color and people could earn points for their team by crafting the event badges through specific cards. Said cards could only be obtained by either getting them for every 3 votes made for the next batch of sales, trading them with other people, buying games on Steam, or buying the cards on the marketplace. The winning team would have 30 random people on that team obtain 3 games on their wishlists. An organized group on Reddit tried to rig the contest in a way that would allow each team to win at least twice in before the week was up, which meant that each team would only craft badges on specific days of the week to give their team a massive lead. While it seemed more "fair" for the people participating in the contest, Valve wasn't too happy about it since it meant that less people would be buying games and marketplace items, which also meant Valve would make less money. Valve introduced a new rule to the contest that would allow teams finishing in 2nd and 3rd place to win games as well in order to encourage people to spend more money and compete against each other.
* In 1944, Barry Fitzgerald was nominated for both Best Actor ''and'' Best Supporting Actor for his work in ''Film/GoingMyWay'' (he won Best Supporting Actor... his co-star Creator/BingCrosby won Best Actor). The rules were subsequently changed so that an actor could only be nominated in one category for a performance.
* Silo Electronics, a local electronics store, once advertised on TV a sale of a stereo speaker system "for only 299 bananas." It's pretty clear they're using the word "banana" as slang for "(US) dollar," but people literally brought in 299 bananas, each of which costs way less than a US dollar, with Silo forced to accept the trade due to advertising laws. Silo, having lost about US$100,000 in a single day, became an example to other businesses seeking to advertise, to make sure they use the word "dollar" (or whatever currency their customers are most likely to pay in) instead of some slang term.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Laws]]
* A very significant and serious example is gun laws in the United Kingdom. The most significant pieces of firearms legislation in the last thirty years have been introduced as a piecemeal response to rampage killings - for instance, the banning of semi-automatic long-barreled firearms in a calibre greater than .22 rimfire (not shotguns) following the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungerford_massacre Hungerford massacre]], and the criminalizing of nearly all handguns following the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_school_massacre Dunblane school massacre]]. Whether these were proportionate responses [[ValuesDissonance seems to depend on what side of the Atlantic you live on]]. Suffice it to say that each measure had cross-party and public support at the time of its enactment.
* In many places, there are obsolete, oddly specific, and/or downright weird laws that are still on the books, many of which are clearly patches created due to some NoodleIncident or another.
** One has to wonder what prompted lawmakers in San Francisco to prohibit [[http://www.dumblaws.com/laws/united-states/california?page=80 elephants from strolling down Market Street unless they're on a leash, or wiping one's car with used underwear.]]
** It's illegal to drive more than 2,000 sheep down Hollywood Boulevard at the same time. (So exactly 2,000 sheep is fine, but 2,001 sheep and you're in trouble.)
** There's a law in the UK which specifically bans the operation of a hand-held digital voice recorder while operating a motor-vehicle. Can't help but get the feeling this was only enacted due to someone being a wise-arse with a particularly powerful police officer.
** In Canadian law, it's illegal to give alcohol to a moose. You have to wonder...
** It is illegal to enter Wisconsin, from the Minnesota border, while wearing a duck on your head. Begin {{Wild Mass Guess}}ing...[[note]]This law is probably unconstitutional, on the grounds that it violates the fundamental right of any person legally within the United States to travel anywhere within the United States. It may also implicate the "Dormant Commerce Clause": Absent express Congressional authorization or a compelling public-policy reason, states are forbidden from discriminating against commerce from other states, and people moving across state lines--with or without ducks on their heads--is usually considered "commerce" for constitutional purposes.[[/note]]
** In Arizona, it's illegal to allow your donkey to sleep in a bathtub on your front porch. Apparently this has to do with the fact that, since the bathtub was meant to be used as his watering trough, letting the donkey sleep in it violates the health code.
** Probably done to pre-empt an incident, California required Google to include manual controls (steering, brakes, throttle) on their self driving cars before being allowed on public roads. After all, technology can still fail.
** Thanks to a farmer objecting to a publicity stunt pulled by circus owner P.T. Barnum, in North Carolina it's against the law to plow a field with an elephant.
* If stating what a law does sounds ridiculous (such as "you can't put an ice cream sandwich in your back pocket"), it's probably one of these. The given example came about because of horse theft, which is a crime (understandable, since it's theft). If an animal wanders onto your property, it's yours. So if you want a free horse, all you have to do is bait it in a nonobvious manner (such as allowing it to smell the food in your pocket), and walk home, allowing it to follow you.
* The U.S. Constitution was designed to allow these, because the framers realized they couldn't flawlessly predict every possible circumstance that might face the country going forward.
** OlderThanRadio: The 11th Amendment was passed to fix a loophole in Article III which allowed residents of one state to sue other states in federal court when states were normally immune from suit. The people suing? The State's creditors.
*** That was the second rules patch. The first patch was when, after Chisholm (the creditor) got a judgment against Georgia (the state) in federal court, Georgia passed a statute declaring that anyone attempting to enforce the judgment would be "guilty of a felony, and shall suffer death, without benefit of clergy by being hanged."
** The 12th Amendment changed the way people ran for President and Vice President after the elections of 1796 and 1800, which exposed multiple flaws with the old balloting system. Previously, a bunch of guys ran for president, and whoever got the most electoral votes became president, with the runner-up becoming VP. The 1796 election led to members of opposing political parties (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson) becoming President and Vice President, respectively, while the 1800 election was deadlocked on partisan voting. After the 12th was ratified, members of the electoral college vote separately for President and Vice President.
** The 16th Amendment. Federal income taxes had always been permitted under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, and had even been ruled to be "indirect" taxes not subject to apportionment as early as 1875. However, one really really wonky 5-4 Supreme Court decision declared taxes on income ''derived from property'' (e.g. from renting land or from holding and selling stock) to be equivalent to a tax on the value of the property itself, and therefore a direct tax subject to apportionment. The 16th Amendment was drafted specifically to plug that loophole and re-classify all income taxes as indirect taxes regardless of the income's source.
** The 25th Amendment: In 1967, after several presidents had died in office and their vice presidents assumed the office of president, this amendment finally made the succession official. Previously, if president was unable "to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President," with some ambiguity about whether the office of president came with the duties. Note that the 20th Amendment[[note]]ratified 1933[[/note]] provides a procedure for a president-elect dying before being inaugurated or an election not being settled before Inauguration Day, but not his dying afterwards.
* In 2008 when the State of Nebraska tried to implement a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe-haven_law Safe Haven Law]], it neglected to notice that their law did not define the term "child", thus defaulting it to the regular definition of "anyone younger than 18". 36 teenage children were driven in from out of state and abandoned at Nebraska hospitals, and the law was patched to include only infants later that year.
* Prior to the 1970s, no U.S. state had a law saying two men or two women couldn't get married. Then two gay activists from Minnesota, Jack Baker and Michael [=McConnell=], walked into a district court and applied for a marriage license. The clerk turned them down on the grounds that they were both male, so Baker took the case to court, pointing out that under the letter of the law, this was not grounds to deny them a right to get married. Baker's suit failed, but crucially the Supreme Court simply dismissed his case because they didn't consider it a federal issue, rather than setting any precedent. Cue social conservatives all over the country rushing to bring in laws explicitly banning gay couples from marrying. This caused a conflict with previous civil rights laws (especially the 14th amendment) and was resolved in [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obergefell_v._Hodges a 2015 Supreme Court decision]] that found those laws unconstitutional.
* In 2010, the polar bear was granted the status of Threatened under the Endangered Species Act...with a rider attached by Secretary of the Interior stating that the bear's new status couldn't be used to sue companies for greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental activist organizations that had planned to do just that were not amused.
* The RCRA Mixing Rule for hazardous waste. Most hazardous waste determination is based on properties (flammability, corrosivity, or reactivity) or concentrations (0.2 mg/L of mercury means that it is toxic). Some genius had the idea that if you take oil and mix enough sand in it, it will not be flammable, and it won't exceed any concentration limits. Voila, a giant pile of non-hazardous waste to cart off to landfill. This led to the infamous mixing rule. Anything mixed with hazardous waste is hazardous waste no matter what its actual properties are, so mixing oil with sand gives a giant pile of hazardous waste that must be properly incinerated.
* The British "Constitution" (see UsefulNotes/BritishPoliticalSystem) has one obvious rule patch when Edward VIII decided to AbdicateTheThrone in 1936. The Act of Settlement 1701, which regulates royal succession in the UK, pretty much stated the most senior descendent of a granddaughter of [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor James VI/I]] would automatically be the monarch, but ''nothing'' was said about abdications. So when Edward signed his [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Edward_abdication.png Instrument of Abdication]][[note]]In LaymansTerms: "I and my descendents will not be monarchs."[[/note]] on 10 December 1936, it meant nothing--the law said, "ButThouMust still be the King." Parliament was quite eager to see him go, though, and had to pass [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_Majesty%27s_Declaration_of_Abdication_Act_1936 a law]] to make this work. The law said three things: (1) At the time His Majesty signs this piece of paper, in terms of royal succession he is [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demise_of_the_Crown as good as dead]]; (2) No matter what any other law says, His Majesty and his descendents cannot become monarch[[note]] Of course, as he and his wife had no children, this became a moot point at his death in 1972.[[/note]]; and (3) We're not going to stand in the way of his marriage to Mrs. Simpson any more.
* UsefulNotes/{{Ireland}} has a lot of constitutional patches.
** At the time of the Edward VIII abdication crisis, Ireland was still a [[UsefulNotes/TheCommonwealthOfNations Commonwealth Realm]] which means they have to have the same succession rules as with the UK, etc. But Taoiseach[[note]]Technically, "President of the Executive Council"[[/note]] [[UsefulNotes/PrimeMinistersOfIreland Eamon de Valera]] hated the British monarchy in general, and had been planning to remove the word "King" from their constitution (while retaining the King as the head of state so that they're still in the Commonwealth--Ireland was too dependent on Commonwealth trade). Edward VIII's abdication gave him a good chance to implement these plans, and he immediately tabled [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_%28Amendment_No._27%29_Act_1936 a constitutional amendment]] which did just that.[[note]]Anything that was done by the King (or practically the Governor-General) "on the advice of" the Cabinet is now done by the Cabinet on their own, and laws are effective after the Speaker certifies them. The King? "Provided that it shall be lawful for the [Cabinet], to the extent and subject to any conditions which may be determined by law to avail, for the purposes of the appointment of diplomatic and consular agents and the conclusion of international agreements of any organ used as a constitutional organ for the like purposes by any of the [Commonwealth Realms]."[[/note]] Somebody told him immediately afterward, however, that the large body of laws that existed before Independence meant the King had more powers than those listed in the Constitution[[note]]This would even include things that Americans would considered to be constitutional law, such ''the appointment of judges and local officials'', as long as the King's power was performed ''in a way'' not violating the Constitution.[[/note]], and removing most of the constitutional powers of the King does not mean the post of Governor-General is abolished. [[http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1937/en/act/pub/0020/index.html A law that was passed in the following year]] immediately declared that the aforementioned amendment covered all laws describing powers of the King, and assigned those powers instead to the Cabinet.
** Ireland has delegated the power to issue adoption orders to an Adoption Board [[http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1952/en/act/pub/0025/index.html in 1952]]. Only some 25 years later the realized since the Board is neither a court nor filled with judges, any of their adoption orders may be constitutionally shaky. It's why [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland the Sixth Amendment]] existed; it pretty much means "any adoption order made after 1937 pursuant to valid laws cannot be invalidated merely because it did not come out of a court or signed by a judge."
** Due to the extremely strict interpretations of the government's and the legislature's treaty powers, constitutional amendments need to be passed, by ''referendum'', ''every time'' when the government wants to enter into a treaty that causes some governmental powers being delegated to a multinational party. This include the EU or its predecessors ([[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland 3]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland 10]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleventh_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland 11]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighteenth_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland 18]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-sixth_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland 26]] and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-eighth_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland 28]]), the International Criminal Court ([[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-third_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland 23]]), or even just with North Ireland (parts of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteenth_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland 19]]).
** Some other parts of 19th amendment also leads to some citizenship issues, as it declares "It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland." This is originally used to placate those who wanted an unified Ireland, and is used to grant Irish nationality to people in Northern Ireland if those people wish to, but when Ireland itself became the center of birth tourism because that line is similar to the US Constitution's birthright clause... [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-seventh_Amendment_of_the_Constitution_of_Ireland 27th Amendment]] it goes.
* When Westboro Baptist Church announced their plans to picket the funerals of the Sandy Hook Shooting victims in 2013, Anonymous launched attacks that included a petition to have the church's status as a legitimate place of worship revoked, removing their protection of separation of church and state. While this was deemed unconstitutional, the Justice then added that, though he couldn't do that, it was possible for protesting to be illegal within a radius of certain events on a state by state basis. Cue several states that had suffered the WBC's hate speech banning protesting at funerals for several miles, effectively gutting the church's most infamous way of drawing attention to themselves.
* GrandfatherClause. When whites regained control over the governments of Southern states after the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar, they proceeded to set up many roadblocks to prevent freed slaves from voting. One of these roadblocks was the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_test literacy test]]; if you failed the test, you were not allowed to vote (naturally it was almost always rigged so prospective black voters would fail). However (as noted in [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1b/The_color_line_still_exists%E2%80%94in_this_case_cph.3b29638.jpg/640px-The_color_line_still_exists%E2%80%94in_this_case_cph.3b29638.jpg this political cartoon]]), many poor white voters also failed the tests. So the Southern governments added rules saying that anybody whose grandfather could vote before the Civil War would automatically be allowed to vote...which, naturally, never applied to black voters since almost all of their grandfathers were slaves.
* An old Israeli fishing law had several clarifications added, including redefining "fish" as "any water animal, whether it is a fish or not a fish, including sponges, shellfish, turtles and water mammals".
* The ATF used to define a machine gun as any firearm that shoots more than one shot per pull of the trigger. This was quickly changed to define a machine gun as any firearm that functions automatically after some enterprising {{rules lawyer}}s tried to make machine guns with no triggers.
* In most jurisdictions, the penalties for fraud are less than the penalties for selling drugs, inadvertently encouraging people to try selling {{Beat Bag}}s. Some jurisdictions patch this by specifying that selling fake drugs carries the same penalty as selling the actual drug would have, and in some cases is even considered the same crime.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Rules]]
* The children's game Tag never had many rules in the first place. But if there's one rule that does get applied, it's going to be "no tag backs", meaning that you can't tag the person who last tagged you if you're "it". Considering most games of tag tend to descend into anarchy anyway, this only helps so long.
* Even science and math have been known at various times to have Obvious Rule Patches. A couple of the famous ones:
** Euclid's ''Elements'', which was '''the''' geometry textbook for 2,000 years, begins by assuming some axioms and postulates that are obvious enough to make a solid foundation -- with one exception. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_postulate Euclid's fifth postulate]] is clumsy and not at all self-evident. Countless mathematicians over the years tried to derive the "parallel postulate" from the others instead of assuming it. But the old Greek's intuition was right. The postulate ''can't'' be proven or disproven that way; if you choose a contradictory postulate, you get a "non-Euclidean" geometry that's perfectly consistent but describes some surface other than a flat plane (to which Euclidean postulates apply).
*** Attempts to deduce the 5th Postulate did lead to the discovery of a number of equivalent postulates that, when added to the other four, also produce the normal Euclidean results.
** Bertrand Russell essentially broke set theory with his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_paradox paradox]]: is "the set of all sets that are not members of themselves" a member of itself? To escape this paradox, mathematicians had to put restrictions on what constituted a set. The current system basically says ''no'' set can be a member of itself -- anything big enough to do that is too big to be a set, and has to be a "proper class" or some such. Some mathematicians find this unsatisfying, and the debate over whether there's a better solution continues. The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantor%27s_diagonal_argument underlying nature]] of Russell's paradox unfortunately indicates that any better solution will ''also'' need to be logically "patched".
** Should the number 1 be counted as a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_number prime number]]? There's a case to be made either way, and in fact it was widely considered prime for a while, per the classic definition ("a number whose only factors are itself and 1"). But 1 doesn't act like a prime in most of the ways we need primes to act; in particular, it has to be left out if we want the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_theorem_of_arithmetic Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic]] to work. Thus we now define primality in ways that are less intuitive but exclude 1, such as "a number with exactly two factors" (and hence, 0 is right out).
** The cosmological constant was an obvious rule patch in Einstein's Theory of Relativity, originally added to hold back gravity from crunching space-time, because Einstein had a ''personal preference'' for a static universe. Later it was discovered that the Universe isn't static at all, but is actually expanding - so the constant was patched again, this time with good reason!
*** Except now the universe's expansion seems to be accelerating, and one proposed solution is at least very similar to the cosmological constant.
** This is essentially why Pluto is no longer considered a planet. In 1992 when the Kuiper belt was discovered in the same region it became apparent that Pluto was not particularly special compared to many of the other objects close to it and defining Pluto as a planet would mean many more objects would also have to be classified as planets. This is actually the second time this has happened; in 1801, Ceres, a planet between Mars and Jupiter was discovered, but fifty years later several other planets where discovered in the same region, leading scientists to rename them asteroids and the region the asteroid belt. Classifying Pluto as a planet would at the very least mean reclassifying Ceres as a planet, but also probably most of the dwarf planets in both regions.
* [[AgonyOfTheFeet Caltrops]] are banned in all barracks on Fort Benning, Georgia.
* "[[SiegeEngines Catapults, Trebuchets, and Other Siege Machinery]]" are banned in the dormitory areas at Texas A&M University.
* Many university codes of conduct include some nebulous provision like "other disruptive behaviour or material", or "simply because something is not listed here, students should not assume it is permitted", which usually have some history behind them.
* The White House website under UsefulNotes/BarackObama allows people to post petitions (the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_the_People_(petitioning_system) We the People]]" system), and if a petition garnered 25,000 signatures, then it would get an official response. After people started posting obvious troll petitions (Such as "Build a [[Franchise/StarWars Death Star]]") as well as divisive and somewhat disturbing ones (e.g. "deport [[Creator/{{CNN}} Piers Morgan]]"[[note]]While hosting [[PrivateEye Piers "Morgan" Moron]] may be a bad idea generally, kicking him out just for supporting gun control seems a bit...odd[[/note]] or petitions to secede from the Union) but with enough signatures, the White House required 100,000 signatures for a response.
** And of course one of the first petitions under the new rules was to reduce the number of signatures required to consider a petition back to the old limit.
** Incidentally, [[https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/secure-resources-and-funding-and-begin-construction-death-star-2016/wlfKzFkN the White House's official response to the Death Star petition]] was amusingly tongue-in-cheek, making points such as "[[GenreSavvy Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that could be exploited by a one-man starship?]]"
** Hilariously, the petition by Americans to the Obama administration demanding the deportation of Piers Morgan led to a petition by British citizens to their own government demanding that they refuse to accept Piers Morgan back!
* In programming, there's quite a few things one has to remember for filtering some things that will cause unpredictable or undesirable behavior. For instance, if you're dealing with null-pointers, you better make sure they're not null if they're being used. Some languages have an "exception handler" [[note]]Exceptions when valid inputs are passed to a function, but they produce errant results, like trying to open a file that doesn't really exist[[/note]], which is a kind of catch-all for this.
* Happened even in Ancient Greece: Plato was trying to come up with a definition for "man", and eventually settled on "a featherless biped", a definition that many of his peers praised him for. Diogenes, seeing a flaw in the logic, proceeded to pluck a chicken, bring it to Plato and declare "Behold! I have brought you a man!" Plato's definition was quickly updated with "...with broad, flat nails".
* "Website/{{Kickstarter}} Projects cannot offer genetically modified organisms as a reward".
* A quick google search for "Behind every sign there is a story" will uncover hundreds, thousands of Obvious Rule Patches, [[NoodleIncident some with explanations lost forever.]]
* Some insurance or warranties with disclaimers often include the phrase "acts of God" which is a catch-all for any event beyond human control, namely natural disasters. "Acts of God" are one category of what's called "force majeure" and "vis major" ("big force," French and Latin respectively), or "cas(us) fortuit(us)" ("chance case", the French is the same as the Latin minus case-endings). The distinction is "force majeure" also includes things of human origin for which the typical contractor can't be held accountable, like wars, railway strikes, and other social and political upheaval.
* The Oxford Union, the student debating society at Oxford University, does not allow dogs, but is not permitted by law to prohibit guide dogs or police dogs from entering the premises. This is the reason for Rule 51: "Any Member introducing or causing to be introduced a dog into the Society's premises shall be liable to a fine of £5 inflicted by the Treasurer. Any animal leading a blind person shall be deemed to be a cat. Any animal entering on Police business shall be deemed to be a wombat. Any animal that the President wishes to exempt from the Rule shall be deemed to be a mongoose." There was an attempt a few years ago to have this rule removed on the basis that it discriminated against the blind, but the motion was overwhelmingly voted down by members in the best-attended debate of the term.
* The ''Villains Wiki'' is supposed to be website that concerns about villains but many users kept adding [[DesignatedHero characters]] that are not really villainous but just jerks so they could [[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontLike complain about characters they don't like]] (some such characters that made it onto the wiki include [[WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants Patrick Star]], [[WesternAnimation/AdventureTime Princess Bubblegum]], and the Titans from ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo''). As a result, these articles eventually ended up getting deleted and the mods added a new rule that only truly villainous characters are allowed in the wiki.
* ''Billboard'' has done this many times to its flagship chart, the Hot 100, to reflect changes in airplay, single purchases (obviously adding in downloads when they first took off), and later adding in other Web factors such as streaming, [=YouTube=], and Spotify. One of the more notable changes was in late 1998, when songs were allowed to chart even if they did not have physical singles; this had previously resulted in many songs ranking high on the Hot 100 Airplay chart despite being ineligible for the Hot 100.
* ''Billboard'' also changed the Hot Country Songs many times:
** After many cases of chart manipulation in 2004, the chart formula was altered to determine audience listener impressions proportionate to each spin of a song, instead of just counting the spins themselves.
** As stations began to phase out older songs and add newer songs more slowly near the end of TheNineties, the rules for songs going recurrent (i.e., falling off the charts) continued to change throughout the end of TheNineties and into the early 2000s. Originally, songs over 20 weeks old would be removed from the charts if they were below the #30 position and decreasing in airplay, which was generally not a problem due to the charts moving much faster back then. But come the TurnOfTheMillennium, slower radio turnover resulted in a brick wall of former Top 3 hits slowly inching their way down and staying just above the #30 cutoff, to the point that sometimes the #15-#30 range would be composed almost entirely of such songs and create a brick wall that prevented lower songs from moving up even if they were gaining in airplay. The problem of songs lingering near the cutoff range persisted even when the range was raised to #25, then to #20, then to #15, but raising it to #10 finally seemed to do the trick. In addition, a spate of rapid ascents and descents in 2008 (most prominently "Should've Said No" by Music/TaylorSwift and "All I Want to Do" by Music/{{Sugarland}}, both of which climbed and fell so fast that they were near the #30 range by their 20th week -- runs that would've been far more common in the mid-90s) resulted in the recurrent rule getting a further amendment: songs below #10 that fall for three consecutive weeks are now taken off automatically, regardless of how old they are.
** After a ton of album cuts swamped the bottom of the charts in 2000 (most notably, "Let's Make Love" by Music/TimMcGraw and Music/FaithHill racked up so many weeks as an album cut that it actually passed the 20-week threshhold and fell off before re-entering upon its official single release), the number of positions on the chart shrank from 75 to 60 in January 2001. Also, due to a vast number of Christmas songs flooding the charts at the turn of every year, the rules were changed around the same time so that Christmas songs could only chart once, ever.
** The bigger change came in 2012, when the country chart and a couple others were refactored similarly to the Hot 100: into a "main" chart factoring in downloads, streaming, and non-genre-specific airplay; and one that kept the "old" formulation of only tabulating genre-specific airplay. This has been a BrokenBase for chart watchers and music fans alike, especially in country, where the "new" charts are dominated by heavy hitters such as Music/FloridaGeorgiaLine and Music/LukeBryan, who set new chart records constantly despite doing so in ways that are in no way congruent to the previous record holders. Chart watchers and fans alike prefer to follow the airplay-only chart, and to its credit, ''Billboard'' acknowledges the airplay-only chart as an equal to the newer one.
** In November 2016, another patch was made to the recurrent rules, due to more complex reasons. ''Billboard'' and rival ''Mediabase'' have significant overlap in the stations surveyed for their country airplay charts, but each publication has different rules on how positions are determined, and when songs can fall off. As the ''Mediabase'' charts are easier to manipulate, this means that many songs get a massive push to #1 on that chart, then freefall the next week (songs on ''Mediabase'' have to fall for three consecutive weeks before they are removed from the charts, regardless of how old they are). On ''Billboard'', such pushes usually translated to either a.) the song hitting #1 and then plummeting to the #8-#10 range the next week, or b.) the song hitting #2 or #3 and then falling completely off the charts the next week. But when Justin Moore's "You Look Like I Need a Drink" became the first song ever to fall ''entirely'' from the Country Airplay chart from the #1 position, ''Billboard'' changed its rules so that songs that "have a bullet" (i.e., are gaining in airplay) in the #2-#5 positions cannot fall entirely off the chart if they completely freefall the next week.
[[/folder]]
27th Nov '16 1:56:35 PM Gimere
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* ObviousRulePatch/BoardGames



[[folder:Board Games]]
* The "ko" rule in Go exists purely to prevent infinite loops.
** Additionally, in Chinese Go, the "superko" rule is there to patch out all the other very rare repeated positions the normal ko rule misses. When the board repeats without the ko rule being violated in Japanese go, the game ends in a "no result" (with the komi rule below, this is the only way a draw can happen). This is very rare because usually one of the players will be willing to give up control of the area to score elsewhere.
** An even better example is the ''komi'' rule. Since black moves first, it often begins with ''sente'', where the player makes a series of moves the opponent must defend against. The rule gives white somewhere between a 4.5 and 7.5 point advantage in most tournaments. When the percentage of black wins rises significantly above 50% in tournaments, the amount of komi is adjusted to keep things even.
* In previous rulesets, the objective in TabletopGame/{{Arimaa}} is to move one rabbit to the opponent's home row or prevent the opponent from making a valid move. Some players decided that they were much better than the AI and sacrificed all their rabbits [[http://arimaa.com/arimaa/gameroom/comments.cgi?gid=28104&s=b before winning the game without any pieces on the board]]. Later rules added a change, where you win if your opponent no longer has rabbits.
* Examples in TabletopGame/{{Chess}}:
** A major rule change in chess was allowing a pawn to move two squares on its first move. It was soon noticed that this allowed a pawn to "slip past" an enemy pawn which would otherwise have been able to capture it. Since the two-square rule was only meant to make the game faster and not to alter strategy, the ''en passant'' rule was introduced to patch the hole: if a pawn slips past another like this, the opposing pawn is allowed to capture it on the square that it skipped over. (The option must be exercised immediately or lost.) Unavoidably, the two-square rule ''has'' changed chess, but ''en passant'' has helped to limit this.
** Chess does not out-and-out ban infinite loops like Go, but a player has the option of declaring the game a draw if the same position occurs three times with the same person to play. More complex loops are prevented by the 50-move rule: a game is drawn if 50 moves pass without a pawn being moved or a piece captured (these, being irreversible, are the key signs of progress in a game). Players can also agree to a draw at any time (and will generally do so when both sides are at an impasse).
*** The 50-move rule was once subjected to a ''really'' obvious rule patch. It was discovered that certain positions can be won but require more than fifty moves (without captures or pawn moves) to do so. To take care of this, the rules were changed to list these positions and specifically exclude them from the 50-move rule, allowing players to win the game in such positions instead of drawing. This was abolished in 1992, because it was found that [[CombinatorialExplosion there were far too many such positions]] to continue patching the rules like this, so it was declared that if you ended up in such a position, it was your own fault.
*** Chinese chess, Xiangqi, is less forgiving of perpetual checks. If you check five turns in a row without pause, ''you lose the game''. However, in Xiangqi, the general's movement is limited to a small area called the palace, so if you really can't figure out how to checkmate him, you deserve the loss.
** Also, the rules were updated to say that a King and Rook had to be in the same rank to castle. This is normally how it's done, but a joke puzzle (requiring the king and rook to castle ''vertically'', which could only be done if you promoted a pawn to a rook and then [[RulesLawyer noted that the resulting rook had not moved before and was thus eligible to castle]]) showed that the loophole existed.
*** This wasn't the only case of a joke puzzle exposing a loophole and forcing the rules to be changed. In one example, a player can cause checkmate by advancing a pawn to the final rank and promoting it to a piece of the ''other'' player's color. The opponent then can no longer escape checkmate by having their king capture said piece. The rules have since prohibited changing a piece's color upon promotion.
* In TabletopGame/{{Shogi}}, almost all games end in checkmate. However, there's a situation which was not originally thought of where it can be impossible for either side to achieve a checkmate if both kings enter the opposing side's promotion ranks. This is called "entering king," and is regarded as one of the only possibilities for a stalemate. If such a position arises, arbitrary rules on counting the amount of pieces 'owned' by each side and assigning a point value to them were created. If either side has less than 24 points, then they lose. If both sides have enough points, then the game is simply replayed over again with the starting move switched to the other player.
** Another situation arrived in professional shogi matches. The rule used to be that if a player caused a repetition of moves three times in a row, the game would be considered a draw. (This would happen through one player dropping a piece, a sacrifice occurring, and then an endless cycle of sacrificing and replacing the same piece.) However, one shogi professional found that he could avoid this rule by switching the type of piece he played every other move, so that the repetition did not occur three times in a row. Under those rules, there was nothing that could be done and play continued with the same moves being made until the defending player finally got fed up and tried something else, allowing the instigator to go on and win. The rules were hastily changed so that if an exact same board position (including pieces in hand) happens four times, regardless of sequence, then it's an automatic draw. (Note that this is different from perpetual check, which results in an auto-loss for the instigator.)
* In Japanese {{Mahjong}}, players need at least 1 yaku to win a hand. The Tanyao yaku is particularly easy to get with open (containing called discards from other players) hands. This has caused many players to call tiles left and right in order to finish their hand with Tanyao as their only yaku for a pitiful point value, much to the annoyance of any opponents denied a bigger scoring opportunity as a result. This has led to a controversial [[HouseRules House Rule]] known as "kuitan nashi" which only allows Tanyao on closed hands.
** Another one is the ''agari yame'' [[HouseRules House Rule]]. Normally, if the dealer wins a hand, an extra hand is played which does not count towards the total number of hands in the match, and the dealer keeps the dealer button for the extra hand(s). With the ''agari yame'' rule in effect, the extra hand is not triggered if the dealer wins on the last hand and they are in first place. This is to prevent a SpringtimeForHitler scenario - in the Japanese variant, it is not uncommon for the player who ends in first place to receive a large bonus (of ranking points in league or tournament play, or cash in gambling play). Thus, on the final hand without ''agari yame'', if the dealer is in first place, they might be better off not winning the hand to end the game and secure their first-place finish, while winning the hand would trigger an extra hand, during which they would have to risk being knocked out of first.
* The Finnish board game ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrikan_t%C3%A4hti Afrikan tähti]]'' (Star of Africa) had a small flaw in the original rules - the game could become [[UnWinnableByMistake unwinnable]] for one or more players because of the cost of travelling by sea and the possibility of getting robbed or finding the titular diamond on one of the islands. After 50 years of unwinnable games and HouseRules, the sea travel was patched to resolve the formerly unwinnable situations by making sea travel free if the player has no money but only 2 spaces at a time.
* The ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' board game has had a few. In the base game, the secrecy rules were essentially a patch for the core mechanic, since the game breaks if players are allowed to openly discuss their card plays. The first expansion included replacements for a particular skill card to fix a degenerate human strategy, and an overlay for certain spaces of the board to fix a degenerate Cylon strategy. It also introduced an execution mechanic, which revealed the loyalty of the executed player, who would then 'respawn' as someone else. But their loyalty didn't change, which meant that human players began ''willingly jumping out of the airlock'' to prove themselves. This was patched in the ''next'' expansion by making executed players draw another loyalty card.
* Later releases of ''TabletopGame/ArkhamHorror'', as well as later versions of the rulebook included with some expansions, explicitly ban certain cards and/or types of cards from being the initial draw. The effects of the banned cards could easily render an already [[NintendoHard deviously difficult]] game [[UnwinnableByMistake impossible to win]] before the players had even taken a single turn.
* The first expansion to the ''TabletopGame/GameOfThrones'' board game, and the subsequent second edition, added ports to some territories to bar a common strategy where Greyjoy would scuttle the Lannister fleet and bottle up Lannisport on the first turn, more or less denying them the sea for the remainder of the game.
[[/folder]]
27th Nov '16 1:50:17 PM Gimere
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* ObviousRulePatch/GameShows



[[folder:Game Shows]]
* One of the more famous examples of this trope came in June 1984, when CBS' ''Series/PressYourLuck'' invited [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Larson Michael Larson]] as a contestant. Unbeknownst to the producers, Larson had spent several months in advance viewing tape recordings of ''Press Your Luck'' and recognized looping patterns on the "random" lighting indicator for the game's Big Board, realizing that he could maximize his winnings by [[LoopholeAbuse memorizing the patterns]], and predict when the light landed on the space with the largest jackpot. During his appearance -- to the amazement of the host, the studio audience, and especially the people in the control room -- Larson used his technique to burn through ''two episodes' worth'' of gameplay and earn over $110,000 in prize money. CBS initially withheld the winnings, but relented when the producers realized that he technically played the game as established. The production subsequently put the Big Board through several alternating patterns. When the show was revived as ''Series/{{Whammy}}'' on Creator/{{GSN}}, the new computer controlled board for the show was advertised as being "Larson-proof."
* For the "test" hour-long shows of September 8-12, 1975 and the first few weeks of November, ''Series/ThePriceIsRight'' had no rule about how far the Big Wheel (which determines who proceeds to the Showcases) had to be spun. The current rule (at least one complete revolution) was instituted by the end of November 1975, added when one contestant just tapped the wheel and made it spin three spaces.
* One of the more common obstacles on the [[BonusRound obstacle course]] in ''Series/DoubleDare1986'' was "Icy Trike", in which contestants were required to ride a tricycle across a slippery surface to grab a flag at the far end. While the idea was for the contestants to either pedal or push themselves along with their feet, many teams from the first series in 1986 chose instead to put one foot on the back of the tricycle and propel themselves with the other foot as though riding a scooter, shooting across the "ice" in just over a second. Starting with the 1987 series, contestants were told that they ''had'' to sit on the tricycle or they would have to start the obstacle over (at least one team either forgot or ignored this rule and forfeited the grand prize).
* On ''Series/WheelOfFortune'', several of these have abounded:
** According to one recollection, there was initially no rule saying that the puzzle had to be solved exactly as it appeared on the board; this was supposedly added the day after a contestant was ruled correct despite transposing the names in the answer "Tweedledum and Tweedledee".
** Free Spin was originally a wedge that automatically awarded a [[ExtraTurn Free Spin]] token upon hitting it, which a contestant could turn in after any lost turn to keep control of the Wheel. After several instances where contestants managed to hit Free Spin repeatedly and bank up several Free Spin tokens which would then, invariably, lead to the contestant hogging the Wheel by turning in Free Spins the second they lost their turn they changed it to just a single token placed over a random dollar amount. (Free Spin was ultimately {{Retired|GameShowElement}} in 2009.)
** The category "Same Name"[[note]]two phrases, names, etc. that end in the same word, such as "Christmas and Family Tree"[[/note]] always had the word "And" spelled out. After 99% of contestants called N-D-A first, they patched this by making the category use an ampersand in its place. Oddly, since the early-mid 2000s, the category has reverted to spelling out "And" with increasing frequency, and the producers seem to be okay with contestants calling N-D-A first now.
** Similarly, the original BonusRound rules called for picking five consonants and a vowel to see how many would be revealed in a blank puzzle, then alloting 15 seconds to attempt solving it. After about eight years in which nearly every contestant picked some permutation of R, S, T, L, N, and E (usually in that order), they finally began providing those letters at the outset and asking the contestant for three more consonants and a vowel, but also making the puzzles slightly harder and cutting the time limit to 10 seconds.
** In relation to the above, a cash prize of $25,000 was introduced in the bonus round in 1988. When nearly every contestant chose it over the cars, precious gems, annuities, or sometimes {{Undesirable Prize}}s such as a "shipboard party" or a do-it-yourself log cabin kit, the prizes were changed to a random draw from five envelopes at the onset of the seventh season. This, in turn, was changed to a 24-envelope wheel in 2001.
* On the original run of ''Series/CardSharks'', the [[BonusRound "Money Cards"]] required betting on whether the next card in a line of playing cards would be higher or lower, and progressing until all the cards were cleared or the contestant ran out of money, whichever came first. After several contestants got screwed over by the next card being of the same value (most notoriously with one contestant who found all four treys in a row), the latter part of that run and the 1986-89 revival changed this so that uncovering a card of the same value resulted in neither a gain nor loss of money (referred to in-show as a "push").
* ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}''
** In the original Art Fleming-hosted incarnations (1964-74, 1978-79), all contestants win or lose received their winnings; however, some contestants who felt they had won enough money or had no chance to win [[ComplacentGamingSyndrome simply stopped playing]]. To encourage more competitive play when the show was brought back with Creator/AlexTrebek in 1984, only the winner receives his or her full winnings while the two departing contestants receive {{Consolation Prize}}s (or since the early 2000s, $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for third).
** For almost all of the show's history, ties for first place outside tournaments meant that the tied contestants were declared co-champions, and both returned the next day (unless one of the contestants had met the five-day champion limit, which was abolished in Season 20). After a spate of ties in the start of season 31 most likely due to superchampion Arthur Chu offering so many ties during his run the rules were changed so that ties for first are broken by a tiebreaker clue (which is also how ties are broken in tournaments).
* In the 70s version of ''Series/MatchGame'', the part of the show with the highest cash winnings was the head-to-head match, where the contestant chose a celebrity panelist to match a single clue. But for years, contestants were almost always picking Richard Dawson, as he did have a good track record. So by "Match Game '78", a "Star Wheel" was added, in which the celebrity was determined by the spin of a wheel (it also gave the contestant a chance to double their winnings). Ironically, the first time the Star Wheel was used, the star it landed on was... Richard Dawson.
* In the 2014 season of ''Intervilles International'' (a.k.a. ''The Biggest Game Show in the World''), the Russian team was abusing the format so much that the rules had to be changed mid-season. Normally, in each episode teams compete in 5 games to score points, then they must climb the Wall of Champions from a starting position determined by their score (more points means better starting position). The winner of the episode is the team who can climb the Wall fastest. The Russians specifically trained athletes to climb as fast as possible, so they could win even from a bad starting position. The other teams were so upset that they convinced the producers to demote the Wall into a bonus round such that two winners were announced at the end, one who won the other games and one who won the Wall. But the participating countries could choose to broadcast the season according to the new or the old rules, so in the Russian and French broadcast the Russian team won, while in the Hungarian and Egyptian broadcast the Hungarians won.
* ''Series/{{Pyramid}}'':
** The 70s versions became stricter for clues in the Winner's Circle until they were set in stone around 1978. Hand gestures became illegal shortly after ''The $10,000 Pyramid'' premiered when they discovered many clue givers were doing these. As the show continued its run, the rules also changed to disallow direct synonyms and to curb overly descriptive clues such as propositional phrases. "Red China" was allowed as a clue for "Communist Countries" on an early episode and Tony Randall got away with the verbose "Stuffing in the little bottles of pills" as a clue once. On a later episode, he could have said "Pill bottle stuffing" with no penalty.
** When the "Mystery 7" bonus card was first used in the 80s versions, the category was in plain sight. After a year and a half of [[ComplacentGamingSyndrome teams almost always choosing it first]], the rules changed for it to be hidden behind one of the six categories with its theme not revealed until after the subject was played.
** The "7-11" card also in the 80s versions offered the contestant the option to play for $50 per word instead of going for the full $1,100. Not too many people chose the former and in early 1985, the option was dropped for good.
* ''Series/{{Password}}'':
** Shortly after ''Password Plus'' began airing, antonyms became illegal clues in an effort to encourage more thinking for otherwise easy passwords. This was dropped on ''Super Password''.
** ''Alphabetics'', the bonus round used for ''Plus'', allowed the contestant to play for a reduction of the grand prize if a celebrity gave an illegal clue (each deducted 20% from the jackpot and the password remained in play no matter how many illegal clues were given). When brought back on ''Super Password'', this changed to an illegal clue throwing the password out and the contestant losing the chance to play for the jackpot. This was likely done to prevent celebrities from intentionally giving illegal clues if stuck on a word, which wasn't uncommon on ''Plus''.
* On the Chuck Woolery-hosted version of ''Series/{{Lingo}}'', the BonusRound had teams guessing five-letter words, with each correct guess earning one draw from a hopper full of numbers, in hopes of completing a 5-in-a-row "Lingo" anywhere on a Bingo board which already had some numbers marked off. Doing so at any point won a prize package. However, one team managed to get only one word right, and another got ''no'' words right, so some changes were made in Season 2 onward. First off, the pre-marked board was rearranged so that a "Lingo" could be made in only one draw; doing it on the first draw won a larger prize package, doing it on the second or later draw won a smaller one, and failing to do it won $100 per correct word. In addition, teams were awarded a "bonus letter" (i.e., the right to call for another letter in the word at their discretion) for each "Lingo" made in the main game, thus giving them a little more leeway if they got stuck on a word.
* Originally on ''Series/TheJokersWild'', a contestant who spun three Jokers won automatically. On one occasion, a champion managed to do this on the first spin of the game, thus meaning that their opponent never even got a chance to play. This was patched on the next episode by adding a trivia question for any contestant who spun three Jokers.
[[/folder]]
20th Nov '16 1:52:33 PM billybobfred
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Added DiffLines:

* In most jurisdictions, the penalties for fraud are less than the penalties for selling drugs, inadvertently encouraging people to try selling {{Beat Bag}}s. Some jurisdictions patch this by specifying that selling fake drugs carries the same penalty as selling the actual drug would have, and in some cases is even considered the same crime.
20th Nov '16 10:11:06 AM Sunflorazumarill
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Added DiffLines:

** Another episode involved the school principal catching Otto, Reggie, and Twister playing street hockey on school grounds and plans on punishing them. Sam (who was the hall monitor in the episode) comes to the rescue by showing that the rulebook has a specific list of activities not allowed on school grounds, but that hockey is not on the list. After the principal realizes Sam's in the right, he lets the kids go, but says that the next day the rule would be rewritten to include hockey.


Added DiffLines:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' has at least two examples of this:
** In the first Christmas episode, Timmy wishes that everyday was Christmas, which eventually messes things up since fairies lend their power to Santa for the holiday. Once everything is fixed, a new rule is added to Da Rules that forbids an "Everyday Christmas wish" from ever being grated again.
** In ''Fairly Odd Baby'', it's discovered that fairies are no longer allowed to have children after Cosmo was born (since Jorgen Von Strangle feared there being another idiot like Cosmo). Timmy decides to wish that Cosmo and Wanda would have a child. Jorgen intervenes in order to stop the wish, but as it turns out Da Rules doesn't have a rule forbidding wishing for fairies to have a baby. Jorgen allows the wish to be granted, but from that day forward Da Rules now states that such a wish can no longer be granted.
17th Nov '16 6:33:46 PM Twentington
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** As stations began to phase out older songs and add newer songs more slowly near the end of TheNineties, the rules for songs going recurrent (i.e., falling off the charts) continued to change throughout the end of TheNineties and into the early 2000s. Originally, songs over 20 weeks old would be removed from the charts if they fell below #30, which was generally not a problem due to the charts moving much faster back then. But when slower radio turnover meant that hits began to linger just above the #30 range for extremely long periods of time, the cutoff was raised to #25 in 1999. However, this was still creating a brick wall of songs in the #25 to mid-teens range of former Top 3 hits slowly descending, thus preventing the lower-ranking songs from moving up faster. Songs continued to clog up the positions just above the cutoff range even when it was raised to #20 and later to #15, but raising it to #10 finally seemed to do the trick. In addition, a spate of rapid ascents and descents in 2008 (most prominently "Should've Said No" by Music/TaylorSwift and "All I Want to Do" by Music/{{Sugarland}}, both of which climbed and fell so fast that they were near the #30 range by their 20th week) resulted in the recurrent rule getting a further amendment: songs below #10 that fall for three consecutive weeks are now taken off automatically, regardless of how old they are.

to:

** As stations began to phase out older songs and add newer songs more slowly near the end of TheNineties, the rules for songs going recurrent (i.e., falling off the charts) continued to change throughout the end of TheNineties and into the early 2000s. Originally, songs over 20 weeks old would be removed from the charts if they fell were below #30, the #30 position and decreasing in airplay, which was generally not a problem due to the charts moving much faster back then. But when come the TurnOfTheMillennium, slower radio turnover meant that hits began to linger just above the #30 range for extremely long periods of time, the cutoff was raised to #25 resulted in 1999. However, this was still creating a brick wall of songs in the #25 to mid-teens range of former Top 3 hits slowly descending, thus preventing inching their way down and staying just above the lower-ranking #30 cutoff, to the point that sometimes the #15-#30 range would be composed almost entirely of such songs and create a brick wall that prevented lower songs from moving up faster. Songs continued to clog up the positions just above even if they were gaining in airplay. The problem of songs lingering near the cutoff range persisted even when it the range was raised to #20 and later #25, then to #20, then to #15, but raising it to #10 finally seemed to do the trick. In addition, a spate of rapid ascents and descents in 2008 (most prominently "Should've Said No" by Music/TaylorSwift and "All I Want to Do" by Music/{{Sugarland}}, both of which climbed and fell so fast that they were near the #30 range by their 20th week) week -- runs that would've been far more common in the mid-90s) resulted in the recurrent rule getting a further amendment: songs below #10 that fall for three consecutive weeks are now taken off automatically, regardless of how old they are.
17th Nov '16 6:21:26 PM Twentington
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** The bigger change came in 2012, when the country chart and a couple others were refactored similarly to the Hot 100: into a "main" chart factoring in downloads, streaming, and non-genre-specific airplay; and one that kept the "old" formulation of only tabulating genre-specific airplay. This has been a BrokenBase for chart watchers and music fans alike, especially in country, where the "new" charts are dominated by heavy hitters such as Music/FloridaGeorgiaLine and Music/LukeBryan, who set new chart records constantly despite doing so in ways that are in no way congruent to the previous record holders.
** In November 2016, another patch was made to the recurrent rules, due to more complex reasons. ''Billboard'' and rival ''Mediabase'' have significant overlap in the stations surveyed for their country airplay charts, but each publication has different rules on how positions are determined, and when songs can fall off. As the ''Mediabase'' charts are easier to manipulate, this means that many songs get a massive push to #1, then freefall the next week (songs on ''Mediabase'' have to fall for three consecutive weeks before they are removed from the charts, regardless of how old they are); on ''Billboard'', this usually means that songs would hit the #2 or #3 spot for a single week, then disappear entirely the next week due to the freefall being so great. But when Justin Moore's "You Look Like I Need a Drink" became the first song ever to fall entirely from the Country Airplay chart from the #1 position, ''Billboard'' changed its rules so that songs that "have a bullet" (i.e., are gaining in airplay) in the #2-#5 positions cannot fall entirely off the chart if they take such a big drop in airplay the following week.

to:

** The bigger change came in 2012, when the country chart and a couple others were refactored similarly to the Hot 100: into a "main" chart factoring in downloads, streaming, and non-genre-specific airplay; and one that kept the "old" formulation of only tabulating genre-specific airplay. This has been a BrokenBase for chart watchers and music fans alike, especially in country, where the "new" charts are dominated by heavy hitters such as Music/FloridaGeorgiaLine and Music/LukeBryan, who set new chart records constantly despite doing so in ways that are in no way congruent to the previous record holders.
holders. Chart watchers and fans alike prefer to follow the airplay-only chart, and to its credit, ''Billboard'' acknowledges the airplay-only chart as an equal to the newer one.
** In November 2016, another patch was made to the recurrent rules, due to more complex reasons. ''Billboard'' and rival ''Mediabase'' have significant overlap in the stations surveyed for their country airplay charts, but each publication has different rules on how positions are determined, and when songs can fall off. As the ''Mediabase'' charts are easier to manipulate, this means that many songs get a massive push to #1, #1 on that chart, then freefall the next week (songs on ''Mediabase'' have to fall for three consecutive weeks before they are removed from the charts, regardless of how old they are); on are). On ''Billboard'', this such pushes usually means that songs would hit translated to either a.) the song hitting #1 and then plummeting to the #8-#10 range the next week, or b.) the song hitting #2 or #3 spot for a single week, and then disappear entirely falling completely off the charts the next week due to the freefall being so great. week. But when Justin Moore's "You Look Like I Need a Drink" became the first song ever to fall entirely ''entirely'' from the Country Airplay chart from the #1 position, ''Billboard'' changed its rules so that songs that "have a bullet" (i.e., are gaining in airplay) in the #2-#5 positions cannot fall entirely off the chart if they take such a big drop in airplay completely freefall the following next week.
16th Nov '16 7:05:04 PM Twentington
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** In November 2016, another patch was made to the recurrent rules, due to more complex reasons. ''Billboard'' and rival ''Mediabase'' have significant overlap in the stations surveyed for their country airplay charts, but each publication has different rules on how positions are determined, and when songs can fall off. As the ''Mediabase'' charts are easier to manipulate, this means that many songs get a massive push to #1, then freefall the next week (songs on ''Mediabase'' have to fall for three consecutive weeks before they are removed from the charts, regardless of how old they are); on ''Billboard'', this usually means that songs would hit the #2 or #3 spot for a single week, then disappear entirely the next week due to the freefall being so great. But when Justin Moore's "You Look Like I Need a Drink" became the first song ever to fall entirely from the Country Airplay chart from the #1 position, ''Billboard'' changed its rules to allow songs taking such a large fall to stay on for another week.

to:

** In November 2016, another patch was made to the recurrent rules, due to more complex reasons. ''Billboard'' and rival ''Mediabase'' have significant overlap in the stations surveyed for their country airplay charts, but each publication has different rules on how positions are determined, and when songs can fall off. As the ''Mediabase'' charts are easier to manipulate, this means that many songs get a massive push to #1, then freefall the next week (songs on ''Mediabase'' have to fall for three consecutive weeks before they are removed from the charts, regardless of how old they are); on ''Billboard'', this usually means that songs would hit the #2 or #3 spot for a single week, then disappear entirely the next week due to the freefall being so great. But when Justin Moore's "You Look Like I Need a Drink" became the first song ever to fall entirely from the Country Airplay chart from the #1 position, ''Billboard'' changed its rules to allow so that songs taking that "have a bullet" (i.e., are gaining in airplay) in the #2-#5 positions cannot fall entirely off the chart if they take such a large fall to stay on for another big drop in airplay the following week.
16th Nov '16 7:02:25 PM Twentington
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Added DiffLines:

** In November 2016, another patch was made to the recurrent rules, due to more complex reasons. ''Billboard'' and rival ''Mediabase'' have significant overlap in the stations surveyed for their country airplay charts, but each publication has different rules on how positions are determined, and when songs can fall off. As the ''Mediabase'' charts are easier to manipulate, this means that many songs get a massive push to #1, then freefall the next week (songs on ''Mediabase'' have to fall for three consecutive weeks before they are removed from the charts, regardless of how old they are); on ''Billboard'', this usually means that songs would hit the #2 or #3 spot for a single week, then disappear entirely the next week due to the freefall being so great. But when Justin Moore's "You Look Like I Need a Drink" became the first song ever to fall entirely from the Country Airplay chart from the #1 position, ''Billboard'' changed its rules to allow songs taking such a large fall to stay on for another week.
7th Nov '16 6:00:42 PM ImpudentInfidel
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** In ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', since the rules that distinguish street football from association football are being written in one swoop, Ponder Stibbons finds himself adding a lot of obvious patches, including the offside rule. We're also told that one of the oldest rules in the street game, "The Ball shall be the ball that is known as the Ball", was a patch added when someone scored a goal with an opposing player's head.

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** In ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', since the rules that distinguish street football from association football are being written in one swoop, Ponder Stibbons finds himself adding a lot of obvious patches, including the offside rule. We're also told that one of the oldest rules in the street game, "The Ball shall be the ball that is known as the Ball", was a patch added when someone scored a goal with an opposing player's head. Subverted in that the rule was to ''allow'' it retroactively (the head's owner was credited with the winning goal and nobody had the heart to take it away).
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.ObviousRulePatch