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Wikipedia Founder To Go To Court Over Scorpions Article?

Photo of Scorpions

Band Photo: Scorpions (?)

According to Computerweekly.com, the founder of Wikipedia has told Channel 4 News that he is considering challenging the decision to block access to part of Wikipedia in the UK.

Criticising the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) for blocking access in order to prevent UK users from viewing an image of a naked pre-pubescent girl taken in 1976, Jimmy Wales said IWF's actions have actually exposed more people to the image as it spreads throughout the web. The image in question was on the cover of an album by German rock band SCORPIONS.

The block has also meant that millions of users in the UK are now unable to edit the encyclopaedia's pages.

Commenting for the first time since most internet service providers in Britain blocked part or all of Wikipedia, Wales told Channel 4 News, "My first thoughts when I was told that the IWF had blocked the Wikipedia page was that we should take them to court.

"But because they're not a statutory body, I've been told we can't necessarily challenge their decision."

The government has said that it expects all internet service providers (ISPs) to block sites on the IWF's blacklist. Wales said Wikipedia is still considering its position.

"The IWF was clearly over-reaching its remit when it blocked the text page on Wikipedia - there's nothing illegal about the description of the album. I'd also question its wisdom in trying to block the image itself," he said.

"There's no question that it's a dodgy picture, but it's an artistic protest made many years ago. But my concern isn't so much about the image it's the ambiguous way that [the IWF] is behaving," he added.

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11 Comments on "Wikipedia To Go To Court Over Scorpions Article?"

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BoltThrower's avatar

Supporter

1. BoltThrower writes:

The girl isn't very hot.

# Dec 9, 2008 @ 4:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Chazz writes:

Hey, I was also born in 1976, the year "Virgin Killer" came out (yeah, I know I'm almost old). My dad had some of Scorpions' albums on tape, including Virgin Killer, but it didn't feature the banned cover which features that naked girl.

# Dec 9, 2008 @ 4:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BoltThrower's avatar

Supporter

3. BoltThrower writes:

I kinda remember the title of the album but I never listened to any Scorpions until Blackout. I don't recall there ever being any controversy over the Scorpions.

# Dec 9, 2008 @ 4:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
SHREDDER13's avatar

Member

4. SHREDDER13 writes:

Wikipedia = Idiots for this case of matter

# Dec 9, 2008 @ 5:04 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
StabbingTheDrama's avatar

Supporter

5. StabbingTheDrama writes:

Looking at this from a legal standpoint, Wikipedia cannot be liable because of what their users put on the site. Since anybody is legally able to put what they want on this site, much like Limewire in a different area, the service/website cannot be in danger of being fined unless they were given a take down notice.

Limewire has been sued in the past for the hosting of files but cannot be liable for what the users upload/download, even if they gave the vehicle that it can be done across. Limewire won the case.

If this actually goes to court because of something like this then it will not be wikipedia who gets charged. They have no way of monitoring everything that goes up on their website.

As for this album, it's an album cover. It's as if people are posting pornography on the site. All they should have done is removed it, but it can still be posted by other user(s). It's the internet, not a private website.

# Dec 9, 2008 @ 6:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Gytrash's avatar

Member

6. Gytrash writes:

Anyone remember the Blind Faith album? Best keep quiet or that'll get deleted from all the records too.

# Dec 9, 2008 @ 6:58 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

7. Cynic writes:

I would disagree with you Shredder - this is Wikipedia at it's best, fighting for information rights, something crucial for society. I love Wikpedia, not only for the info it gives me but for the ideals on which Jimmy Wales founded it on. Fight the good fight Jimmy!

# Dec 10, 2008 @ 2:28 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

8. deathbringer writes:

I agree with the assessment about "the ambiguous way that [the IWF] is behaving." That's often an issue with people or organizations in power. And they need to be called on it to make them think a little more next time or get a second opinion from someone with a clue. The block of Wikipedia overreaching a LOT for one image. It's quite ridiculous. They could very easily have blocked the offending image itself.

# Dec 10, 2008 @ 9:42 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
9. SEXYREXY writes:

Personally, I think it's dumb to block the page because, as with most things you shouldn't do, you'll want to do them anyway. So UK users and now anybody who reads this story will just look up the album cover on Google Images or any website that provides album artwork. Just by banning it, the UK will cause its internet users to want to see it, even if they didn't want to before. It's human nature.

# Dec 10, 2008 @ 9:54 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
That_One_Guy's avatar

Member

10. That_One_Guy writes:

I'm pretty sure that StabbingTheDrama has it spot on.. I'm not sure Wikipedia can really be held liable.. but they probably will be anyway.

# Dec 10, 2008 @ 11:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
SHREDDER13's avatar

Member

11. SHREDDER13 writes:

Gytrash - Wiki's next target?...

# Dec 21, 2008 @ 12:01 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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