[WikiEN-l] The Register decries Wikipedia's "censorship" via OTRS

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Sun Jul 8 17:40:58 UTC 2007

> > As much as I hate to admit it, they have a point this time.
> No, actually they don't have much of a point at all.

You admit lower down that things weren't handled ideally, so they did
have point. Yes, they blew that point out of all proportion, they're
Register writers, it's what they get paid for, but they did have a

> > We can't
> > just accept every demand to take down a page and leave it down for a
> > fortnight.
> But see, this is exactly what happens when you trust the Register to
> report on anything accurately.  We certainly do NOT "accept every
> demand to take down a page" nor is it normal or usual for a page to
> be "down for a fortnight".
> Every case is different, and while it is of course sensible to always
> be vigilant for ways to improve the OTRS system and practice, the
> Register was completely unfair in their "reporting".

Ok, "every" was a gross exaggeration, sorry. It does seem to happen a
little more often than I'm happy with. I doubt OTRS hardly ever
receives legitimate complaints that require blanking the entire
article. Even if there is a marginally questionable legal issue with
the article, it's likely only to be in one small section, and that
small section is the part that should be blanked (and the article

> That's right, but real legal threats from real lawyers have to be
> taken seriously.  I think this case could have been handled
> differently, and that's worth talking about.  But the hysteria of the
> Register is well known, and should be taken into account here.

IANAL, but as far as I'm aware, the only kind of legal complaint that
we need to worry about is libel. Real legal threats from real lawyers
about libel need to be taken seriously. Other legal threats can, and
should, be ignored. This legal threat was, apparently, about
trademarks - just because the person complaining was a real lawyer
doesn't mean they aren't talking complete nonsense.

I'm glad you agree that things weren't handled ideally. Could you
elaborate on what you think should have been done in this case?

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