[Foundation-l] Blackout at Italian Wikipedia

Federico Leva (Nemo) nemowiki at gmail.com
Tue Oct 4 21:33:09 UTC 2011

Thomas Morton, 04/10/2011 22:25:
> Lengthy and critical email on why this is a flabbergasting response...

Just replying to some bits.

> - Have they had legal advice? From my semi-legal reading of the material
> this is not something that will bite them, but that certainly needs to be
> clarified.

Actually, it's sure that the law would oblige random editors to publish 
the corrections (unmodified and not commented) /somehow/ and if they 
don't they're threatened with jail and 12.500 € fines. The law is 
actually /thought/ for websites hosted in other countries, by the way.
The details are not clear with regard to Wikipedia, but prominent 
jurists have explained why this is absolutely dangerous for all 
websites. Wikimedia Italia is trying to get some more official legal 
advice (to be offered to the community) for the special case of 
Wikimedia wikis, and would use some help.

> - Were the foundation informed before today? (and if not why has there been
> no response??)
> - Why was the wider community not informed till, basically, after the fact.
> This is something we could definitely have helped with.

This has been done in a hurry because the final discussion in the low 
chamber starts tomorrow, which is AFAIK the last term for amendments. 
Final approved is expected for the 12th.
I don't think the local community felt to be bound to a global 
discussion or a WMF approval...

> There is no indication that there is an extant threat to any editors of
> Italian Wikipedia, or indeed any immediate risk. This is purely a protest
> against an (admittedly silly) upcoming law. And as a protest it is
> disappointing, against community ideals (of neutrality) and a potential PR
> nightmare (once the mainstream media pick up it will be pitched as
> "Wikipedia restricting access  to Italy in protest over new laws" - which is
> a disastrous headline...

Even the most right-wing and pro-government (Berlusconi-owned) Italian 
newspaper doesn't put it so hard and considers the strike quite 
unsurprising, currently. 


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