Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wikipedia falls beneath the courts..

Just as the Yahoo! v FRance litigation disappears thankfully beneath the waves of the technical process of the US appeal court procedures, a new transatlantic dissensus storm cloud appears.

Wikipedia Germany is down today (19/1/06) because of a court order of some sort, posts James Enck on EuroTelcoblog today. he reports that the legal dispute relates to a deceased German hacker whose real name is used on the Wikipedia site - his family have apparently sued to have the site shut down on the grounds that this violates their privacy.

The case is a lovely example of how notice and take down - in this case backed by court order - can remove vast amounts of useful content from public site even before merits have been decided.

Except that you can still read the exact same content in both German and English, on US Wikipedia, which is also available in German translation. A court order would have to be sought from the US to close them down too and US freedom of speech law is highly unlikely to allow this.

As Enck says, "National litigation [is] rendered nonsensical by a supranational web."

EDIT: Oops, apparently:-)

1 comment:

Andres Guadamuz said...

Did I get a blog exclusive? :)