On the heels of the Wikimedia Foundation expressing their opposition, the Italian edition of Wikipedia has shut down.
There’s been a dramatic development in the fight to stop the censorship machine and the link tax. The Italian edition of Wikipedia has shut down in protest of the legislation. The website issued a statement explaining why they made this move. Here’s the full statement:
On July 5, 2018, The Plenary of the European Parliament will vote whether to proceed with a copyright directive proposal which, if approved, will significantly harm the openness of the Internet.
The directive instead of updating the copyright laws in Europe and promoting the participation of all the citizens to the society of information, threatens online freedom and creates obstacles to accessing the Web, imposing new barriers, filters and restrictions. If the proposal would be approved in its current form, it could be impossible to share a news article on social networks, or find it through a search engine; Wikipedia itself would be at risk.
The proposal has already been firmly opposed by over 70 computer scientists, among them the creator of the Web Tim Berners-Lee, 169 academics and scholars, 145 organization working in the fields of human rights, press freedom, scientific research and tech industry, and the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization who promotes, among others, this free encyclopedia.
For these reasons, the Italian Wikipedia community has decided to obscure all encyclopedia pages. We want to continue to offer a free, open, collaborative encyclopedia with verifiable content. We call on all Members of the European Parliament to vote against the current text, reopen the discussion and reconsidering the numerous proposal from Wikimedia associations, starting from eliminating the articles 11 and 13, as well as the extension of freedom of panorama to the whole UE and the protection of public domain.
The users of Wikipedia
The move comes just days after the Wikimedia Foundation issued a statement of their own condemning article 11 and article 13.
Wikipedia’s opposition is a logical move on their part. Under the laws, it would be extremely difficult, if not, impossible for the non-profit organizations to operate. After all, they depend on user-generated content and links to spread knowledge. Article 11 would likely put a huge cost on operating the website in Europe. Additionally, the upload filter would add a massive unnecessary burden on the website when they discuss copyrighted material.
This latest move further bolsters the people who oppose the legislation in the first place. Already, the United Nations slammed the legislation saying it is a threat to free speech and human rights. Internet innovators and founders also filed a joint letter opposing the legislation.
They join the already very loud chorus of Europeans opposing the legislation. Already, there have been protests on the streets and, of course, the petition that, just today, reached 800,000 signatures.
The next vote is expected to hit tomorrow and almost everyone is hoping that all of this will be enough to sway lawmakers to put a stop to these proposed laws.