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Mayor of Florence Sues Wikipedia

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the vote-quimby dept.

Censorship 196

ZioBit writes "Florence Mayor Leonardo Domenici and one of the city assessors are suing (Google translation) Wikipedia on the basis of a (possible) defamation regarding the handling of public parkings assignation to a private company, "Florence Parking". The apparent problem is that both of their wives are members of the board of directors of "Florence Parking", and Wikipedia is reporting it."

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douchebag slashtards (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22609772)

First post pussies

We slashdotted Google (-1, Offtopic)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609774)

I clicked on the Google link and it came up with an Google error page that said try again in 30 seconds.

It seems to be working now.

Slashdot 1, Google 0.

Re:We slashdotted Google (4, Informative)

CriminalNerd (882826) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609788)

Technically, we slashdotted the original article so that Google's translator couldn't translate the page, hence the error.

Pointless Link (3, Funny)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609962)

Excerpt from the Google Translator:

...The accused - The reason is explained in a note, it's because the "voice" of Leonardo Domenici site charge to the first citizen and his junta some measures and decisions, so it says...
Huh? Sure language translation is kinda cool, but it seems a cruel waste of binary to put it through such contortions when the resulting morass is so incomprehensible.

Added in about 20 mins time: (5, Funny)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609790)

* Domenici also recently launched a widely castigated suit against Wikipedia Foundation.

Nice work on drawing attention to the original problems also...it's always amusing how much political types don't get it.

Re:Added in about 20 mins time: (4, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609902)

Citation, or it never happened!

Re:Added in about 20 mins time: (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610422)

The problem is lawyers are very biased, and constantly use weasel words.

Re:Added in about 20 mins time: (5, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610136)

Not quite. Politicians end up using the lawsuit weapon as a damage minimization tool. When the damaging information is already out and there is no possibility to make it go away, to avoid looking corrupt they usually start a bunch of lawsuits so that they can get some spotlight time to announce the world that the entire scandal is nothing more than a smear campaign targeting an innocent, upright citizen. They use that time to tell the world (at least their constituents) that the accusations are nothing more than vicious lies and that they are going to fight those nasty, evil liars and bring them to justice. Then the lawsuit goes on very uninterestingly, the media loses interest on the case, everyone forgets the whole thing and then it doesn't matter the outcome of the case. After all, the last thing that their constituents have heard about that problem was that that honorable politician was fighting those liars who were trying to smear his good name.

Barbara... (2, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610700)

Nice work on drawing attention to the original problems also...it's always amusing how much political types don't get it.

...Striesand!!!

Re:Added in about 20 mins time: (1)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610744)

Okay, I don't see the part in the entries on wikipedia for "Florence Parking" on either the English nor Italian pages - where are the purported defamations?

Defense (5, Informative)

Grax (529699) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609794)

IANAL, but I looked into this type of lawsuit when someone threatened to sue me for defamation.

An absolute defense against defamation is that the stated item is the truth. For their lawsuit to succeed, it has to be premised that something untrue was said that hurt them.

Re:Defense (2, Insightful)

Grax (529699) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609806)

FYI, I overlooked the Italian nature of this issue. I looked into this in the United States.

Re:Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610306)

Do you think in Italy truth has less value than in the US? This lawsuit is not going anywhere and they already know this. This is just standard answer you get when you openly criticize a public personality and is just media slunt. Unlike the USA, I've never heard someone going bankrupt because of lawsuits in Italy and I doubt Wikipedia Foundation will have any damage because of this

Re:Defense (5, Informative)

autocracy (192714) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609812)

In America, yes; the truth is not, however, a defense on its own in all countries. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Defense (3, Informative)

rozz (766975) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610054)

In America, yes;

the very source u cited contradicts you .. it says:

" Some U.S. statutes preserve historical common law exceptions to the defense of truth to libel actions. These exceptions were for statements "tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead" or "expose the natural defects of one who is alive." "

so no, the truth itself is not always a fool-proof legal defense in America ... and if u think about it a bit more, you may also find that truth and legal-truth are quite different things.

Re:Defense (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610182)

Those statutes are as likely to be used in a real case as Ohio's "It is illegal for more than five women to live in a house." law, or North Carolina's "Elephants may not be used to plow cotton fields.", or Tennessee's "Stealing a horse is punishible by hanging." laws

Just because a stupid case established precedent, doesn't mean constitutional law, or statutory law doesn't trump it. Therefore, the only way to test these laws is to be brought to suit using them.

Re:Defense (5, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610298)

Firstly, these exceptions are narrow and not relevant to this discussion, bringing them up is immature pedantry. The politician's wives being discussed are not dead and their place on a board is not a natural defect. These exceptions are there because speaking ill of the dead and teasing physical defects achieves no purpose, the general spirit of the law remains that someone has the right to say the truth if it has a point.

Secondly, truth is actually narrower than legal-truth in defamation cases (as discussed in the wikipedia article) since in most cases the defendant must only show that they had a reasonable belief that it was true, rather than it actually being so. If you misunderstand reality you are not liable for speaking your mind unless it can be proven that you were negligent with your facts, i.e. published without checking them. As for real truth, well truth is truth, the courts aren't far enough up their own arse to start calling black white when it comes to facts outside the courtroom, they have enough to confuse inside.

Thirdly, for fuck's sake, if you're going to discuss law at least write "you", capitalise the first letter of sentences and stop using ellipsis as a comma. It makes it easier to read and makes people take you seriously. A little sloppy spelling and grammar is fine, but deliberately garbling a word just to save two letters from your sentence is just pathetic.

Re:Defense (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610820)

". . . using ellipsis as a comma."

Well, you can't use the singular form of ellipsis in that sentence. You would have to use "ellipses". That would be like saying "bouncing ball" or "buying backpack" instead of "bouncing balls" and "buying backpacks". And you tell us to make our grammar and spelling as perfect as possible.

Re:Defense (0)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610946)

In America, yes; the truth is not, however, a defense on its own in all countries.

Yes, but Wikipedia's servers are in Florida. So it really depends on if they're suing WMF, or WM-Italia.

Re:Defense (1)

kinzillah (662884) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609822)

In the US, sure, but does anyone know how it works in Italy? That would be an important piece of info.

Re:Defense (2, Informative)

vajrabum (688509) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609924)

This raises about as many questions as it answers but the Britannica say: "In Italy truth seldom excuses defamation, which is criminally punishable there."

Re:Defense (1)

kinzillah (662884) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609946)

Yeah, I had a nasty feeling it was something like that.

Re:Defense (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610050)

Are wikipedia's server's in italy? Do they have an office there? Do they do business there? If not, then I do not see how Italy has jurisdiction.

Re:Defense (2, Informative)

vajrabum (688509) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610202)

If you look here [cptech.org] , it indicats that Italian courts have decided that if the content is availble in Italy, then Italian courts have jurisdiction.

Re:Defense (0)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610400)

If you look here , it indicats that Italian courts have decided that if the content is availble in Italy, then Italian courts have jurisdiction.
So the Italian courts can handle the matter. And, if the Wikipedia foundation goes to Italy, they'll have to pay, assuming they don't successfully defend themselves.

But the Untied States won't impose a fine for something as fundamental to American law as freedom of speech. We don't extradite cartoonists who make fun of Mohammad, we don't let Germany fine American web sites that show Nazi symbols, etc.

Re:Defense (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610880)

If you look here [cptech.org] , it indicats that Italian courts have decided that if the content is availble in Italy, then Italian courts have jurisdiction.
And now they just have to get everyone ELSE to believe that, and they'll be golden.

What is it with Italy and that, btw? First the Pope (who has as much authority as he can get people to believe he has) and now the Judges (who seemingly want everyone to believe that everyone on Earth has to obey them, presuming they've ever touched an Internet connection). Is it something in the wine?

Re:Defense (0, Redundant)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610230)

Are you suggesting that the italian justice system has no way to hurt wikipedia's (by suing it's contributors for example) ?

If so, you are sadly mistaken. Also they can sue, and if damages are awarded, they can ask america (or no matter what country actually) to extract those damages from wikipedia. Certainly if wikipedia just ignores the trial, this will not be a hard thing.

Not paying after a court order is an offence in every single country that exists. And yes, this is supposing the amount is big enough (I believe there's a 5000 euro or so minimum until these accords can be called into action). If an italian court awards 1 million in damages, wikipedia is screwed.

Welcome to the real world. You cannot just run afoul of countries' laws and expect borders to protect you. It just cannot work that way if you want to have international trade.

Re:Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610276)

The full faith and credit clause of the constitution of the USA requires that judgments in one state be honored in the rest. There is no such requirement in the constitution for extra-national judgments. Italy can ask, that does not mean the USA has to grant their request. Welcome to the real world, where in personam jurisdiction matters.

Re:Defense (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610038)

In the past few months I've had to look briefly into Italian law, and every time i learn something new about that country and it's laws I am completely astounded that it's not a 3rd world shithole.. honestly, the way Italian law works leads me to believe that native Italians are 3 hairs short of being baboons.
say what you want about Americans and their fucked up legal system.. Italy is a festering shithole.

Re:Defense (0)

STrinity (723872) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610208)

In the past few months I've had to look briefly into Italian law, and every time i learn something new about that country and it's laws I am completely astounded that it's not a 3rd world shithole..


Um...

Re:Defense (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610186)

IANAM (I am not a mobster), but I assume that in Italy the outcome is based on who bribes/threatens the judges most effectively.

Re:Defense (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22609876)

Even if it is not the truth, if Wikipedia believed it was the truth, they where in no means hurting them (on purpose). In other words, if it was a simple mistake (if this is true) or if they did it with the goal of hurting their reputation. A good friend of mine a few years back was sued by someone for this, the judge believed that what was being said about the person to the best of my friends knowledge was true, and therefore couldn't be held accountable, blah blah blah

Re:Defense (2, Informative)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610188)

please note that this "slander." Had already circulated in the past and that in 2004 the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Florence had opened an investigation which led to a conviction in a trial. La voce però (al momento di riportare questa notizia) non è stata modificata e si presenta tutt'ora nella forma contestata da Domenici. The voice but (when reporting this story) has not changed and is still in the form contested by Domenici.

Sounds like the real beef is these guys were convicted but wikipedia isn't report that one of them is appealing the conviction.

Re:Defense (1)

debrain (29228) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609890)

For their lawsuit to succeed, it has to be premised that something untrue was said that hurt them.

It appears that itneed not have been intentional. This quick excerpt from a case, citing the Supreme Court of Canada (since the US hasn't gotten their case law online yet): The necessary elements of the tort of defamation are well established. In addition to the obvious need for a defamatory statement, it is an essential element of the cause of action that the defamatory statement be published and then read or heard by a third person (Arnott v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Sask.), [1954] S.C.R. 538 at 565).

You are completely correct that the truth is an absolute defence to the tort of defamation.

Re:Defense (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610084)

An absolute defense against defamation is that the stated item is the truth.
In which case they'll lose. There's plenty of truthiness on Wikipedia, but very little truth.

Re:Defense (1)

efalk (935211) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610330)

Sadly, you're wrong. Truth will acquit you if you have the money to file the lawsuit, but lawsuits can be financially devastating even if you win. There is no defense against getting sued.

Obviously liable (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610480)

But the Truth is VERY damaging! That must be clear to even the most innocent eyes. The Mayor's reputation will be irrevocably damaged if these truths are allowed to go uncontested in the public mind. Wikipedia is obviously liable for any lessening of his reputation in Florence when the people there know what he does behind the scenes.

welcome (1, Funny)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609826)

Welcome to the new age of Streisand.

Recent events are just the beginning.

   

oh my god! (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609852)

According to Wikipedia, this guy is a total douchebag! *edit* *edit*

Re:oh my god! (2, Funny)

thedeadswiss (573599) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610016)

I like the fact that, according to wikipedia, "he graduated in moral philosophy".

Re:oh my god! (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610300)

According to Wikipedia, this guy is a total douchebag! *edit* *edit*
I have also read that he is personally responsible for the tripling of elephant populations in the past six months.

Re:oh my god! (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610324)

I have also read that he is personally responsible for the tripling of elephant populations in the past six months.
Hey, Stephen's Formula 401 works. Someone's gotta put some real conservatives back in the GOP. By the time he's done, it'll look like a Hindu temple in there.

The link to wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22609908)

For those looking for the link, it is in his article where a couple of days ago a section "Critisism" appeared (now removed). "Firenze Parcheggi" is what you are looking for.

http://it.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Leonardo_Domenici&oldid=14460982 [wikipedia.org]

mod me up, I'm anonymous and need karma - and the criticism is worth to get spread around.

Mafia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22609956)

Political? Italy?
I think Google translated this one wrong. It is not coming from the Mayor, it is from the Mafia. Oh, wait...

Just like Wikileaks (5, Interesting)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609958)

It's the new hip thing. When you've done something wrong or at least sketchy, and someone's reporting on it, sue them to shut them down. In the old days, it was a lot harder for stuff like this to come out on a national or global scale, but nowadays, with the Internet, anyone with a camera or basic research skills can bust you. It's gotta be driving people white-collar crooks and sleazeballs crazy.

Disclaimer: I don't know the facts of this particular case. I'm just talking about a general trend.

Re:Just like Wikileaks (2, Insightful)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610260)

The best part is that 'weblogs' like Slashdot pick up these stories and their likelihood of becoming common knowledge explode. Wikipedia is 'reporting' this story and they are being sued over spreading this 'untruth' - now Slashdot has just reported it too. Will the mayor of Florence sue CNN when it hits the mainstream media?

Re:Just like Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610560)

You missed some quotes, let me help:

The 'best' part is that 'weblogs' like Slashdot pick up these 'stories' and their likelihood of becoming 'common' knowledge 'explode'. Wikipedia is 'reporting' this story and they are being 'sued' over spreading this 'untruth' - now Slashdot has just 'reported' it too. Will the 'mayor' of Florence sue 'CNN' when it hits the 'mainstream media'?

Re:Just like Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610826)

So is Wikipedia the place this story has started? Doesn't everything there must need citation?

Welcome to international notoriety, Mayor (1)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609964)

The apparent problem is that both of their wives are members of the board of directors of "Florence Parking", and Wikipedia is reporting it.

Um... I fail to see the problem.

If a conflict of interest exists and someone points it out, you can't (successfully) sue them for defamation. Stating the truth counts as a rock-solid defense.

Also, not too long ago we heard about a similar situation of a blog owner sued for comments posted by a third party - And the courts found that you can't hold the blog owner responsible for those comments. Wiki seems like an analogous situation, IMO, even though not quite a blog.



BTW, IANAL, of course.

Re:Welcome to international notoriety, Mayor (4, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609996)

If a conflict of interest exists and someone points it out, you can't (successfully) sue them for defamation. Stating the truth counts as a rock-solid defense.

Apparently this is not the case in Italy though. Maybe we should send the good mayor an hour long looping clip of the scene in "A Few Good Men" where Jack Nicholson rails, "you can't handle the truth!"

Re:Welcome to international notoriety, Mayor (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610008)

Stating the truth counts as a rock-solid defense.

In the U.S. most of the time ... but not everywhere in the world, that's for sure.

What jurisdiction (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610070)

If a conflict of interest exists and someone points it out, you can't (successfully) sue them for defamation. Stating the truth counts as a rock-solid defense.
Two questions must be answered:
  1. To what extent is truth a defense in Italy?
  2. To what extent does Wikimedia Foundation have assets in Italy?

Parking Corruption (5, Interesting)

armada (553343) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609970)

Too good. I wonder when they will learn this sort of tactic only fules the public's knowledge of what they are doing. Similar thing happened in the City of Miami Beach (still is as far as I know). The city made a sweet deal with a towing company for the whole island (miami beach is an island) as far as Police Towing was concerned. After this deal, the police started calling businesses on the beach to "help them see" that other methods like the boot were not a good idea. In one case, the chief of police actually visited a strip mall to help them "come around" and use the same company the city was using. They city then quietly stopped allowing the renewal of licenses to other towing companies.

Re:Parking Corruption (3, Interesting)

armada (553343) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610018)

Here is some irony:

Leonardo Domenici (born July 12, 1955) is an Italian politician. He has been the Mayor of Florence since June 13, 1999. Domenici was born in Florence, from where he graduated in moral philosophy Article [wikipedia.org]

Re:Parking Corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610770)

What does this have to do with the comment you replied to?

Florence. where ? (5, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609972)

(There are Florence's in Florida, Georgia, California and for all I know every state in the Union.)

Since this particular Florence is the one in Italy, the laws on defamation are pretty different from the US. I would not trust any legal
analysis in Slashdot for any jurisdiction, but for Italy I would trust it even less than usual.

Re:Florence. where ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610092)

Racist asshole. Keep thinking 'MERIKUH is the center of the world.

Re:Florence. where ? (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610244)

Illiterate twit. He was, in fact, pointing out that America is not the center of the world and that Slashdot readers shouldn't assume that a basic tenet of American law applies anywhere else.

Sheesh. With friends like you ...

Re:Florence. where ? (2)

Thugthrasher (935401) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610346)

Well, ignoring the fact that he WASN'T saying the US is the center of the world... If he HAD been, how exactly would that make him RACIST?

Re:Florence. where ? (5, Interesting)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610338)

(There are Florence's in Florida, Georgia, California and for all I know every state in the Union.)

I'm happy that slashdot continues to have some sort of respect for the intellect of the reader. I'm pretty sure that everybody here made the mental connection to Italy, and if they didn't, they should be reading Geography 101 instead of slashdot. Espicially with the "Google Translate" link. And the original document in Italian.

Crafications such as 'London, England' are only necessary when it is likely that the reader could be confused. Hence there is no need to write 'Beijing, China', for example

The "dumbing down" of American media isn't really apparent until you compare similar publications from the US to their closest British counterparts. Compare Newsweek [newsweek.com] or Time Magazine [time.com] to The Economist [economist.com] or The New York Times [nytimes.com] to The Guardian [guardian.co.uk] . And this isn't just my opinion, it has been validated in studies of the matter.

Re:Florence. where ? (1)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610362)

You preview the thing five times yet just as you hit the 'Submit' button you notice that you've written 'Crafications' instead of 'Clarifications'

Re:Florence. where ? (4, Funny)

david@ecsd.com (45841) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610506)

You preview the thing five times yet just as you hit the 'Submit' button you notice that you've written 'Crafications' instead of 'Clarifications'


That's okay, I just figured you were from Beijing, China.

Re:Florence. where ? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610488)

I didn't immediately make the connection. I mean, sure, there was a link to a translated page from Google, but that just means that it could have Florence, South Carolina, and it was translated out of redneckian.

That was a joke, in case anyone missed it.

So *who* are they actually suing? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#22609982)

Wikipedia is headquartered in the US. Do they have an Italian office? I see that a ping to "it.wikipedia.org" returns the same IP address (208.80.152.2) as "en.wikipedia.org". So I'm not sure that wikipedia actually has any sort of physical presence in Italy.

Of course, IANAL, but I'm pretty sure it can be difficult to sue someone in a different country, particularly if you aren't going to their country to file the suit. If they file suit against them in Italian court, I'd expect it would be difficult to enforce a judgement from across the pond.

Re:So *who* are they actually suing? (3, Informative)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610048)

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia#Software_and_hardware [wikipedia.org]

"Wikipedia currently runs on dedicated clusters of GNU/Linux servers, 300 in Florida, 26 in Amsterdam and 23 in Yahoo!'s Korean hosting facility in Seoul."

P.S. Gotta love those network topology diagrams. Pretty dang nice for a nonprofit. :)

Re:So *who* are they actually suing? (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610262)

Dunno, but to me, those cones look a bit too much like MIRVs [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:So *who* are they actually suing? (2, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610088)

Wikipedia is headquartered in the US. Do they have an Italian office? I see that a ping to "it.wikipedia.org" returns the same IP address (208.80.152.2) as "en.wikipedia.org". So I'm not sure that wikipedia actually has any sort of physical presence in Italy.

Of course, IANAL, but I'm pretty sure it can be difficult to sue someone in a different country, particularly if you aren't going to their country to file the suit. If they file suit against them in Italian court, I'd expect it would be difficult to enforce a judgement from across the pond.

This was my thought too. While Italian law is certainly different and this may be a valid argument in Italian court, the hurdle here is twofold. First, prove that Wikipedia is itself at fault for the contents. Given the open source documentation license they use, I am not sure they could prove that. Second, they would need to get someone who is legally able to represent Wikipedia into Italian court.

For this to work, I believe they would need to convince a U.S. Federal court to extradite people to Italy, and given the merits of this case, I doubt that would happen.

Re:So *who* are they actually suing? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610404)

For this to work, I believe they would need to convince a U.S. Federal court to extradite people to Italy, and given the merits of this case, I doubt that would happen.

Can people actually be extradited to face a civil case? I know that criminals can be extradited to face criminal charges - but I am not aware of anyone having been extradited anywhere to face a civil suit.

Of course, as I've already stated, IANAL. So if someone knows better, please let us know. I guess I just figured since civil cases don't really represent the interests of the state per se, that the state wouldn't be interested in moving for extradition for the parties involved.

And of course we do have the whole question of how Italian law may differ from American.

Lets get this over with: (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610004)

Someone owns the right to everything, so lets just have everyone sue everyone else then call a truce before we bankrupt the entire planet.

Dude, there's an edit button (5, Interesting)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610028)

I can't understand how anyone can sue anyone for statements made in an openly editable living document.

Wouldn't it be a bit simpler to click the edit button and change the perceived falsehoods in an encyclopedic manner?

I imagine one could even hire a geek to do it for quite a bit less than the price of hiring a lawyer, filing a lawsuit, then pursuing that suit.

Re:Dude, there's an edit button (1)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610112)

It's still there in the history, and publicly available. Others have pointed out that truth may or may not be a relevant factor in the case.

Re:Dude, there's an edit button (1)

Sundo (1050980) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610120)

The fact he's suing in the first place shows he simply doesn't understand the principles behind Wikipedia, so it's faily impossible for him to realize that. Of course he could have tried to get some information before making a fool of himself, but then again he's an italian politician. It has to be in the genes.

Re:Dude, there's an edit button (2, Insightful)

headpushslap (583517) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610124)

The point is not that you can edit it, but that libelous statements can permanently damage someones' reputation.

Suing for money is one remedy, you could also sue for a written or posted apology or retraction, or many other things.

Re:Dude, there's an edit button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610146)

Yes, that's just what we want: the start of another edit war!
Problem 1: this fact appears to be false, and in 2004 somebody already got sued for the same reason.
Problem 2: too many people (and *all* of the comments above) read it on Wikipedia and think "it's on Wikipedia, then it's true".
Problem 3: page is now locked, the "fact" has been deleted... Censorship again! Wikipedia should be free! (and nobody *ever* tries to understand what "free" means: "free to report lies to the public who could actually believe it" is about as free as "free to jump off a cliff")

Re:Dude, there's an edit button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610148)

Maybe the mayor is a lawyer and filed the suit without help. After all, there have been instances of stupid lawyers becoming stupid politicians.

Sue whom exactly. (5, Informative)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610068)


The Wikipedia Foundation is a US corporation, which does not hold assets in Italy, so it can't be sued in an Italian court. Or, to be more accurate, it can be sued but the verdict would be meaningless.

However, Wikipedia does have an Italian chapter ( http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Local_chapters [wikimediafoundation.org] ). I assume that is the organization being sued.

Re:Sue whom exactly. (2, Informative)

efalk (935211) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610378)

There's a lot more to it than where you're incorporated.

If you do business in Italy, you can be sued there. In fact, the determining factor on whether or not you can be sued in Italy is whether or not an Italian court says you can.

Re:Sue whom exactly. (1)

lexarius (560925) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610484)

Exactly what business does Wikipedia do in Italy? Aside from delivering HTML to Italian IP addresses for free on request? I can see that going well.
Italy: Come over here so we can sue you, or else we'll start blocking your packets!
Wiki: Suck it, and good luck with that.

Re:Sue whom exactly. (3, Interesting)

jefu (53450) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610552)

How about something like "Remove this vile calumny or we'll ..." :
1. Remove Wikipedia's DNS entry in Italy. (See recent Wikileaks problems.)
2. Publish (in Italy at least) routing information that redirects Wikipedia requests to a black hole. (See recent You Tube problems.)

I think the Mayor's goal may not include preventing random residents of (say) Nevada from reading about his (alleged) corruption (after all, what does he care about what someone in Vegas thinks?), but probably does include preventing people in Italy from doing the same.

Re:Sue whom exactly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610606)

He said they could be sued, but without an operations there, there isn't any way to enforce the judgment, which is entirely consistent with what you said.

Jurisdiction? (1)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610072)

Does Wikipedia even have servers or an office in Italy? If not, then their lawsuit is pretty damn pointless.

Re:Jurisdiction? (2, Interesting)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610432)

Does Wikipedia even have servers or an office in Italy? If not, then their lawsuit is pretty damn pointless.

Basically, the tendency is that you're not supposed to sue Wikipedia; it's better to try solve the issue first through ordinary channels [wikipedia.org] . It's a procedure that's being used in a lot of subprojects too, due to practical reasons. I'm pretty sure they failed to follow this in this case...

However, it should be noted that some Wikimedia projects (Finnish Wikipedia, for example) do apply local laws in a very limited fashion. For example, as far as I know, Finnish Wikipedia it only applies to copyrights (the US Fair Use law isn't considered, but the basically equivalent law, the "right of quotation" in the Finnish copyright law, is used instead). I can almost imagine there would be similar rules in place in case of libel, but it's basically an user conduct issue and mostly handled through the above principle anyway. Besides all legal issues should be brought against Wikimedia Foundation anyway.

Re:Jurisdiction? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610716)

Something I haven't seen here and will probably be wildly explained away, is: Is it Wikipedia's place to be a forum for news reporting and political social change? Is that outside the scope of an "encyclopedia"? Is this type of content really relevant is an encyclopedic article on Florence?

Obviously it's a conflict of interest for the mayor of Florence, but how is it relevant in an encyclopedic article on Florence?

If Wikipedia wants to include this type of political activism the will have to accept the consistences.

Good stuff in a world of fiction Truth Publicity (1)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610144)

The egoic mind seems to always ultimately achieve the opposite of it's intentions because it lacks wisdom. Here again we have someone trying to silence something bringing the world's attention to it. We have a world and systems based on a lot of ignorance and secrecy. Two things the Internet and the dissemination of intelligence are eliminating. This means everything with a foundation of ignorance is collapsing.

The general population, once easy to keep ignorant, is becoming much more aware. Of course they have a good distance to go before we become really wise and fully informed.

It is going to be turbulent as we switch from a fictional world with a huge artificial economy with unnecessary cost burdens, to a truth and reality based one.

The lethal text is an interesting collection of memetic engineering documents.

http://i----i.org/infinite_play_lethal_text_series.htm [i----i.org]

Inventor of bureaucracy (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610204)

Italy is the inventor of bureaucracy. Italians know how to stifle their opponents through paperwork.

Defamation is one of the proffered decoys. I experienced this twice on me and I felt ashamed to be an Italian.

I lived abroad for over 30 years and I can see the perspective clearer than Italian inhabitants can. The stupid bureaucratic attitude is what is preventing the country to flourish.

The excuses for this behaviour are: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. Not just a small consolation but still...

Re:Inventor of bureaucracy (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610768)

Heh, I thought it was the Chinese that invented bureaucracy. And they don't even have Lamborghini. On the other hand, they have the General Tso's Chicken.

Hm... there is a pattern here. Folks with noodles are all tangled up.

'Right, Enough pre-morning-coffee gibberish.

This is actually kinda frightening... (2, Insightful)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610252)

First off, I think Wikipedia should ignore the Italian courts and give a big virtual F-U. I think more companies are going to start doing that over Internet posts, sites, etc. and claim they're only bound by their home laws. (The French charges against eBay for allowing the sale of Nazi memorabilia come to mind). I think this lawsuit thing is the tip of the iceberg--companies and individuals will start getting sued in foreign jurisdictions because a particular comment, post, etc. was "made available" to a computer in that foreign country...

Which makes me start to realize something... Let's say a government pressed criminal charges. Here's a hypothetical example that doesn't seem so far-fetched... I make an anti-Chinese government site/post/blog from my home PC in the US, and that really pisses the Chinese government off. Since there's no free speech in China (but my website manages to get past the Great Firewall of China), I get criminally charged with "disrespecting the government" or some crap like that and they issue an international arrest warrant. I could then be arrested in the US and would have to hire a lawyer as to why I shouldn't be extradited to China--even though I exercised my right to free speech according to the US Constitution, while in the US . Even if I persuade a judge to not grant the extradition request (in all likelihood, at great expense to me), I could never travel outside the US as I could be arrested at any time and extradited from a country with no vested interest in preventing a foreigner from being extradited to China. Frightening, isn't it?

Re:This is actually kinda frightening... (1)

imipak (254310) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610354)

You think this is frightening? Just wait 'til you see what Zebedee and Dougal have got planned.

Re:This is actually kinda frightening... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610690)

There is a reasonable chance that the US government would go ahead and not extradite you by default, and if China still wanted to extradite you, they would have to have a lawyer plead their case in a US court, in which case, the US government would be the defendant, and they would defend themselves. If they lost that suit, then you would have to get a lawyer to defend yourself from the US government, but the they wouldn't lose that suit, especially in the case of a Constitutional issue. So, no, you would not have to defend yourself at great expense.

Really, the implications of traveling outside one's own country are only frightening if you have previously failed to realize that there are many countries in the world that have different rules. It hasn't ever been the case that the rights granted by a country apply to its citizens while they are in other countries; this is referred to as "sovereignty". Governments will often fight for their citizens in other countries, but they rarely do anything that is illegal in the country at issue.

Wikipedia link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610286)

Why is there no link to an article on Wikipedia which makes this statement? Even if the statement was edited away later, it should still be in the article history for the page on which it was made, right?

Re:Wikipedia link? (1)

coffee_bouzu (1037062) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610540)

Probably because its mostly in Italian on the Italian language Wikipedia and even there, you have to go searching though the discussion page to find more information.

One of the things in question on the discussion page [wikipedia.org] is:

It 'been criticized for giving all city streets contracted to the company "Florence Parking", which made payable most cars, the first free and free. This criticism is exacerbated by the voices of partnership on the board of the "Florence Parking" by the mayor and the wives of Graziano Cioni.

What exactly did this guy do? (1)

coffee_bouzu (1037062) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610468)

I've been searching around, and can't seem to find any details on what exactly this guy did other than sue Wikipedia. The only thing that I've really been able to gather so far is that he's suing Wikipedia because they "reported a story about his wife being favored by the city administration in public contracts" [hackademix.net] .

From the mangled google translation of TFA, it looks like he's upset because even though someone else has already been convicted in the "Florence Parking" scandal, his wife is still being implicated on the wikipedia article.

What is the "Florence Parking" scandal? Does anyone else know more details about this?

From TFA (Google Translated):

FLORENCE - The mayor of Florence, Leonardo Domenici, and the municipal assessor Graziano Cioni gave mandate to sue for defamation and slander the web encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The accused - The reason is explained in a note, it's because the "voice" of Leonardo Domenici site charge to the first citizen and his junta some measures and decisions, so it says, "have provoked criticism from citizenship "citing in particular" the trust of citizens in the parking company "Florence parking" for the cda are part of the wives of Domenici and Cioni.

The INVESTIGATION - In the note, please note that this "slander." Had already circulated in the past and that in 2004 the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Florence had opened an investigation which led to a conviction in a trial. The voice but (when reporting this story) has not changed and is still in the form contested by Domenici. Hence the decision to proceed with the lawsuit.

Non-robotic translation (4, Informative)

lbbros (900904) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610602)

Notice, this was done in haste and may not be good English, but I hope it's better than an automated translation.

FIRENZE- Firenze's Mayor, Leonardo DOmenici, and local government member Graziano Cioni have given the order to sue for defamation the Wikipedia web encyclopedia (sic).

THE ACCUSATION - The reason, explained in a brief communication, is because in the "Leonardo Domenici" page on the site there are references to decisions made by the Mayor and his staff that, quoting, ''caused criticism from the citizens'', quoting in particular the award of a contract related to the management of the town's parking lots to the "Firenze Parking" company, of which Dominici and Cioni's wives have seats in the board of directors.

THE INQUIRY - The communication from the Mayor reminds that such a "defamation" had circulated in the past and that in 2004 the office of the public prosecutor had started an investigation, resulting in one indictment and a request for a trial. The Wikipedia page, however (at the time of writing) has not been modified and is still now present in the form challenged by Domenici. Hence the decision to sue for defamation and libel.

Slimvirgin aka Linda Mack (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610682)

Well I wonder if Linda Mack aka Sarah McEwan aka Slimvirgin the MI-6 and Mossad propaganda operative that runs Wikipedia will send over a hit team? You think I'm joking? http://www.wikipedia-watch.org/russmag.html [wikipedia-watch.org]

Linda, 9-11 was an inside job. Tell that one to your keepers you dirty covetous apartheid'ist baby killing bitch.

public parkings assignation (2, Funny)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610702)

Personally, if I'm going to have an assignation, I'll typically do it in a romantic restauraunt, or maybe a motel. Public parking lots? I guess those Italians are pretty hot-blooded.

Re:public parkings assignation (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610778)

Funny, "assignation" is one of those English words with a spelling very similar to an Italian word but a quite different meaning.
I think that "grant" would be a more accurate translation.

he sue wikipedia because the statement is false (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#22610806)

this is just a plain slander, this is why he sue wikipedia, and is necessary doing so for having the ip/name of the person who wrote the false statement about the mayor wife.

Elections are coming... (1)

m20o (897692) | more than 5 years ago | (#22610950)

Italy will vote on april 13-14 and this will explain every activity of italian politicians until that date. In the end, they will return to sleep. Dominici - hey, isn't the former singer of Dream Theater? :)
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