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Judge Shuts Down German Wikipedia

     

jetteroheller

12:15 pm on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jetteroheller is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Just in the news: German judge closed

[wikipedia.de...]

So I would find it good, when wikipedia would have one AdLink per page. This would be enough money to fight in this case with the best lawyers available.

rogerd

1:53 pm on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Anyone have an English link for this?

Sounds like an interesting followup to our last Wikipedia discussion: Preventing Anarchy in Wiki Communities [webmasterworld.com].

rogerd

1:59 pm on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Hmmm, some translation input from a fellow mod suggests that this is not so much about misinformation (like the "Kennedy assassin" case here in the US) as disclosure of the name of an individual. The parents of the now-deceased individual sued to have his name removed, and (apparently) the judge decided to throw the whole site out. I hope this will seem more logical as the press digs into it.

rogerd

10:50 pm on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Here's a more in-depth explanation: [arstechnica.com...]

As noted earlier, the crux of the case was privacy. Parents of a deceased individual sued to keep his name from being published on Wikipedia, and a judge ordered the site be taken down until the name was removed. (Of course, now his name will be published thousands of times more as this story circulates, and there won't be judicial recourse.)

It's a bit scary that an entire community could get shut down because of one name being exposed. For sites that rely on user-contributed content, this is a real nightmare. Fortunately, this seems like an isolated, and rather goofy, ruling that is likely to be overturned or ignored in the long run.

Oliver Henniges

11:41 pm on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, yes, your article says

"However, the site and original article are still accessible through de.wikipedia.org."

So who cares. I don`t think this'll last long, that judge is going to get a lot of trouble. The media'll pick this up the next days and wiki germany is going to raise a lot of funds. Bet? Its easier to burn books than to shup up a website, particularly one like wiki (plus the ones scraping it, lol).

lorenzinho2

11:46 pm on Jan 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I feel bad for the family.

If they wanted to keep Tron's real name off the Web, this is the absolute worst thing they could have done.

The blogosphere will eat this one up...

They couldn't have gotten more exposure for the kid's real name if they spent $25K on PR.

lgn1

12:33 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The family's lawyer should be sued for total imcompetence.

Rather that worry about his/her fee, he should have informed the family about the consequences, of going to court.

mm1220

1:00 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The family's lawyer should be sued for total imcompetence.

The family should rather file a report on him to whatever law society or bar equivalent they have in Germany.

anton23

1:08 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They could have deleted the page again and again or just blocked that page, why shutting down the whole German wiki?

Skyliner

5:03 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it is very scary that one name can cause a whole site to be shut down. I don't understand why wikipedia didn't just erase the name.

On the other hand, this decision will hopefully not have the impact it might have had in the US (with binding precedent), as precedent here in Germany is not legally binding, but acts only as an orientation-line for future decisions. Hopefully, the next judge will have a more sensitive hand for issues like these.

Kahless

5:43 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can understand people feeling sorry for the family for losing a child. But it is absurd to think you have the right erase your childs actions whether good or bad from the history.

It is even more disturbing that a court would play along with this and shut down an entire site. We are talking maybe a handful of article with his name out of 341,000 in the German edition.

People can bash America all they want but it would not happen here thankfully because of our 1st Amendment rights.

jchampliaud

5:57 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The family's lawyer should be sued for total imcompetence.

The family should rather file a report on him to whatever law society or bar equivalent they have in Germany.

Why? Wasn’t it the family that started this by wanting his name removed? It seems as if the lawyer was only doing what was requested of him or her. The lawyer might have informed the family this could happen, but the family might not have cared.

vincevincevince

10:41 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



They could have deleted the page again and again or just blocked that page, why shutting down the whole German wiki?

Funny, the first thing I thought was that if there was something I wanted to keep out of a wiki I'd run a cron job to delete all article contents every minute...

mm1220

11:38 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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but the family might not have cared.

Maybe they didn't but you'd have to imagine that they did. Seeing as their whole purpose for taking the page down was to avoid publicity, they should have been advised that this course of action might in fact generate even more. If they were so advised I can hardly imagine why they would pursue this rather than maybe directly asking wikipedia to remove the info in a low-key manner.

trillianjedi

11:41 am on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



They couldn't have gotten more exposure for the kid's real name if they spent $25K on PR

The irony is almost painful.

Casethejoint

1:02 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Aside from the wikipedia mess, it's unclear to me where there rests a hard legal justification not to publish his full name in the first place. It doesn't appear to fit into the usual clutch of justifications to shield/protect a person's identity.

SpanishWeb

1:26 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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[/quote]
I can understand people feeling sorry for the family for losing a child. But it is absurd to think you have the right erase your childs actions whether good or bad from the history. [/quote]

We know that you can not undertand these type of things. Here the persons are first.

BillyS

2:25 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



IMHO Wikipedia got what they deserved. Read the whole article and look at the references. What they did was simply disrespectful.

And yes, I do agree on the points about publicity. I guess the court system in Germany is just as big a circus as here in the states.

Chico_Loco

3:16 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Never heard of him - but today I know his real name, so I'd have to say the whole strategy was counter productive - unfortunate, but true.

I wonder why the family wanted thr name removed - could it be that they wanted to disassociate themselves and protect their family name from hacker(ism)? If that were the case then they really should have asked wiki direct to remove it - but then again what would stop someone else from editing it - which brings to light what might be a fundamental flaw with the wikipedia theory; it's editable by anyone and none of the information in this "encyclopedia".

I do like wikipedia though - I've printed a lot of stuff from there and read it, and it was very helpful - I'm not entirely certain that it's accurate - but it does seem to be.

Maybe wikipedia should keep their topics restricted to objects and figures/people in the public domain as oppsoed to private familes and individuals?!

jecasc

3:47 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Maybe wikipedia should keep their topics restricted to objects and figures/people in the public domain as oppsoed to private familes and individuals?!

This is what it's all about. The family claim that the hacker tron is a private individual and that his name should not be mentioned. Wikipeda says he is an absolute person of contemporary history.

Which something you can hardly deny. After all he received some fame for a breaking the security of German phonecards and was in the media even before his death. And his real name is mentioned on hundreds of pages in the internet outside wikipedia.

Like in this Wired article dating back to 1998
[wired.com...]

Matt Probert

4:03 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



As a writer and publisher of an encyclopaedia, I am not in favour of Wikipedia at all. The problem I have is of the unaccountable nature of the material published. At least with products like Britannica, Encarta &c. you know who is responsible and they can be held to account.

Three cheers for a sensible German judge.

Matt Probert

Casethejoint

4:11 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think that the point of this discussion is that Wikimedia has been made strictly accountable for the material it has published, but the practical issue of enforcement of the court order is another matter entirely.

jecasc

4:26 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



In the meantime the court order has been suspended until the court hearing and wikipedia.de is allowed to link to wikipedia.org again.

The issue is not quality of Wikipedia here but personality rights. The same could happen to the Encyclopidia Britannica or any other encyclopedia.

extranjero

4:32 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



After having deposed 500 Euro (~ 560 US-$) Wikipedia, wikipedia.de can be reached since today and in the 5th week of the year the jury will review the sentence if it's guilty.
The amount they had to depose shows that nobody is very lucky with that what happened.
But Germany always has been a little bit idiosyncratic, I remember that in the 90ers they installed (for some weeks only) a 'secretary/ministry' for the control 'of the whole Internet'.

EMarschall

4:56 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)



In reference to the validity of Wikipedia: The science journal Nature published an article based on "the first to use peer review to compare Wikipedia and Britannica's coverage of science." They're very similar in both accuracy and errors.

[nature.com...]

sgaze

5:00 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Kahless : "People can bash America all they want but it would not happen here thankfully because of our 1st Amendment rights"

naivety...

Casethejoint

5:14 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes, I read the Nature article when it first appeared, and was impressed; it's a strong article to have for those of us who are trying to persuade our colleagues to adopt wikis.

I only wish the other areas of its content were quite so reliable, because it's not the coverage of science that's been getting Wikipedia into trouble :)

Kahless

6:34 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



To sgaze: No one here is going to take the chance on the political fall out that would come in shutting down Wikipedia. Not going to happen. The press coverage alone would be non-stop.

Thats not to say many years down the road our rights slowly erobe as globalists Judges look to the EU to set precedent.

I do not know what is more disturbing the Judge actions or many in this thread that approve the ruling. The implications of this ruling alone.

ThomasB

6:36 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Court ruling changed and wikipedia.de is allowed to re-direct again.

Hanu

8:07 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The first amendment is not absolute. It does not give everyone the right to say anything they like. However, it forbids congress to pass laws that abridge freedom of speech. That's a different thing.

Now, if one individual or organization violated the privacy of another individual, that latter individual could try to sue them over it. Whether their claim will stand depends on a lot of factors.

Oh, and one more note. Germany has freedom of speech too. It's been a democracy for quite some time now ;-) Whether it was the right thing for the judge to shut down the entire site is another question. I personally don't think so.

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