Italian Wikipedia shutdown till Thursday (4)

Online encyclopedia down in protest at EU copyright directive

(ANSA) - Rome, July 3 - The shutdown of the Italian version of Wikipedia in protest at the new European Union copyright directive will probably run until Thursday, a spokesperson for the group that runs the online encyclopedia said Tuesday.
    "My impression is that the protest will last until Thursday.
    Any longer would make no sense," Maurizio Codogno, the spokesperson of Wikimedia Italia, told ANSA.
    Wikipedia Italia has said the directive, which, among other things, proposes giving publishers the ability to request payment for the use of short bits of text, threatens the freedom of the Internet and could force it to close. Labour and Industry Minister and Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio, the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), has said he is against the directive. "We welcomed the support of the government," said Codogno.
    "We hope that the M5S MEPs are in line with Di Maio (when the directive is voted on in the European Parliament on July 5)".
    The European Parliament said in a statement that Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias were "automatically excluded from the requirements imposed by the new EU copyright rules". Codogno replied that Wikipedia "did not take action just to save itself but also to defend the free Web" and "preserve the Web as an space that is open to less visible realities".
    European Newspapers Publishers Association ENPA is in favour of the directive, saying the massive reuse of journalistic material is threatening the free press and the future of journalism.
    "(Wikipedia's position) goes well beyond copyright and reflects a deeper debate that does not just cover press freedom, but the functioning of our democracies too," said ENPA President Carlo Perrone.
    "This is not just threatened by the economic sustainability of the press, but also by unacceptable, misleading campaigns by platforms to influence MEPs".
   

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © Copyright ANSA