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Government The Almighty Buck Wikipedia

Finnish Police Board Wants Justification For Wikipedia's Fundraising Campaign 252

Posted by timothy
from the citizens-united dept.
linjaaho writes "Yesterday, the admin list of Finnish language Wikipedia received a request for comment from the National Police Board of Finland. The Police Board claims that the fundraising message appearing on the top of the Wikipedia pages is illegal fundraising and is punishable by criminal law. The Police Board asks how much money have they raised and ask for justification for the campaign. This is not the first time the Police Board has attacked fundraising; in 2012, a crowdfunded textbook Kickstarter project was delayed by a similar request for comment."
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Finnish Police Board Wants Justification For Wikipedia's Fundraising Campaign

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  • Re:Tyranny (Score:5, Informative)

    by pijokela (462279) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @10:44AM (#46195793)

    Well, the point is that you fill an application and get the permit to raise funds. All kinds of non-profit organizations get them all the time. If wikipedia had done that the Finnish police would be quite happy. The problem is that Wikimedia is registered in California and they obviously do not care about Finnish law and I have no idea of how the police think they can force a US organization to comply with the rules if all the servers and staff are outside Finland.

    The issue with the kickstarted texkbook was different because it was not a non-profit organisation. In Finland you need to crowdsourcing very carefully so that it is clear that you are selling a product and not raising money. Jolla did it with their phone so it can be done, but just using kickstarter as it is is illegal, because it is too much like charity for funding a regular company.

  • Re:Tyranny (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anssi55 (729722) * on Saturday February 08, 2014 @10:49AM (#46195837) Homepage

    It is true.

    Actually, AFAIK (and according to googling) churches in Finland can't even get the permit as they don't satisfy the "yleishyödyllisyys" (general benefit for society) requirement to get the permit. They co-operate with separate associations/foundations exist for that purpose, though, e.g. Finn Church Aid [kirkonulkomaanapu.fi].

    There is a change to the law being planned that would allow churches and universities to conduct fundraisers, but no big overhaul that would actually be needed for the out-of-date law...

    Unofficial English translation of the current Money Collection Act by the Ministry of the Interior] [finlex.fi]

    Getting a permit requires a corporation or association registered in Finland, so they actually can't give the permit to Wikimedia Foundation even if they applied for one. The permit is also not given to private individuals, so you can't e.g. have a Paypal donate button without violating the law.

  • Re:wikipedia (Score:3, Informative)

    by paiute (550198) on Saturday February 08, 2014 @12:14PM (#46196509)

    I thought the whole fuck beta thing is over with now? Didn't they already indicate in the official response the whole thing was just to instigate feedback and everyone hyper reacted?

    Nice try, Dice managment.

  • Re:wikipedia (Score:5, Informative)

    by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot on Saturday February 08, 2014 @03:27PM (#46197945) Homepage

    Website development is not a quick process. We've been collecting feedback -- not everybody reads Slashdot concurrently, and we don't want to leave out the people who didn't happen to be around on Wednesday and Thursday. After that's done, we need to decide what needs to be done, what order we're going to do it in.. and then the engineers will start hacking at the code. (In reality, they're already hacking at it, to continue implementing features while we work toward parity.)

    That's why the beta site is... beta. And why the Classic site is still around, and will continue to be around for quite a while. I'm sorry it's not as fast as you'd like, but it's entirely incorrect to say we're not acting on feedback.

  • by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:21PM (#46203729) Homepage

    Linking to comments will definitely be re-implemented. It's something that was already on our to-do list before expanding the beta test.

  • Re:wikipedia (Score:4, Informative)

    by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:31PM (#46203813) Homepage

    I can categorically state that the beta site will certainly get more features and layout changes.

    I can categorically state that redesigns happen, and will continue to happen. We've had, what.. 4 redesigns, now? This isn't our first, and I'm sure it won't be our last.

    As for how long the classic site will stay up: it's not my call, and plans are far from firm. I wish I had more information for you, but I don't.

    I'm really sorry if it doesn't end up in a state that's to your personal preference. But given your comments, I'm not sure how that's even possible. Are you objecting because you don't like the specific changes, or because you don't want it to change at all?

  • Re:wikipedia (Score:4, Informative)

    by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot on Sunday February 09, 2014 @01:34PM (#46203833) Homepage

    I miss the one-line comments, too, and it's one of the features I've been trying to get bumped up on the to-do list. The commenting system is not finished, by any means.

    Since Slashdot seems to have little or no interest during the past couple of years in repairing broken issues with profile options, I suspect the new version isn't going to be any better.

    That's actually one of the reasons for the redesign. Our codebase is vast and byzantine, and some of it stretches back from more than a decade ago. Rewriting and redesigning will allow us to make some changes and fixes much more easily than we can do currently.

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