[Foundation-l] Blackout at Italian Wikipedia - What exactly does the proposed law say?

Federico Leva (Nemo) nemowiki at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 12:01:57 UTC 2011

Andreas Kolbe, 05/10/2011 12:49:
> Even this corrected version does not seem to be right. As I understand the proposed law,
> the subject would have the right for a statement to be shown, unaltered, on the page (which
> actually would be possible for Wikipedia to do, via a transcluded and protected template).

Oh really? How do you prevent editors from removing it? Implementing an 
abusefilter rule for every page? Also, how do you interpret the rule 
that you can't "comment" it? It could mean that you can't explain why 
the statement is wrong, and because you can't check this, you have to 
protect the page from further editing (or hire someone to check every 

> I'm not saying the Italian law as written is a good idea, but I think our analysis should
> be a bit more measured. Note also that there seem to be far more press freedom issues at
> stake here than just the posting of corrections. Last year, the entire Italian news industry
> went on strike for a day over the same bill, which is, after all, known as the *wiretapping* bill,
> governing the right to publish wiretapping transcripts. Apparently the initiative was sparked
> by the publication of some of Berlusconi's private indiscretions. See Guardian report.[4]
> Giving those written about the right to have a statement or correction posted is just a small
> part of this bill.

So what? Wikipedia is not affected by that part of the law, therefore 
it.wiki users didn't comment it because they're not taking a political 
stance about freedom of press or whatever, they're just explaining why 
Wikipedia couldn't survive such a law.

> The statement shown on it.wikipedia looks like it was knocked up in a hurry. For such
> a prominent action, it should have been vetted in a bit more detail, and the errors emended
> before it went live. We shouldn't be misinforming millions of people.

The statement could be better, obviously, but I've already explained why 
it was written in a bit of a hurry.
This doesn't mean that we've misinformed users: prominent jurists agree 
that the proposed law is absolutely crazy for Wikipedia and other 
websites; and the community had discussed and assessed the effects of 
the proposed law for a long time before.


More information about the foundation-l mailing list