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WinMX World :: Forum  |  Discussion  |  WinMx World News  |  Wikipedia mounts courtroom defense for editor sued by politician
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Author Topic: Wikipedia mounts courtroom defense for editor sued by politician  (Read 246 times)

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Wikipedia mounts courtroom defense for editor sued by politician
« on: February 19, 2014, 06:38:54 am »
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/wikipedia-mounts-courtroom-defense-for-editor-sued-by-politician/

Quote
Dimitris Liourdis, a 23-year-old trainee lawyer from Athens, was sued for libel last year for writing about a Greek politician, Theodore Katsanevas. Last week, the judge overseeing the case issued an order that he remove the article from the site.

That got the attention of the Wikimedia Foundation, which has now made a public vow to support Liourdis throughout the litigation.

"[T]he statements were and still are supported by reputable secondary sources," wrote Wikimedia Foundation lawyer Michelle Paulson in a blog post published Friday. "The Greek Wikipedia community decided, through discussion, that they were appropriate for the article. Mr. Katsanevas has ignored these facts and is now using the legal system against those who do not share his financial means and influence."

Liourdis, who writes on Greek Wikipedia as "Diu," faces monetary and criminal penalties over the article he edited. The article mentions that Katsanevas was called a "family disgrace" in the will of his father-in-law, former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. In the will, Papandreou also accused Katsanevas of trying to exploit his name to further his political ambitions.

The comments in the will were publicly disclosed in 1996. The will's authenticity is disputed by Katsanevas, but the "disgrace" comment was widely reported in the Greek and international press, including the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune.

"We hope that Mr. Katsanevas will reconsider his pursuit of this unconscionable lawsuit, which we see as an assault on our users, our projects, and freedom of speech," wrote Paulson. "Until then, we stand with Diu."
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In an e-mail interview with Ars, Liourdis described the situation in the courtroom last week. The hearing lasted just a few minutes, he wrote, and only the lawyers were allowed to speak. "My lawyer tried to explain [to the] judge how Wikipedia works and that I couldn't effectively remove the text," he wrote. "Anybody who knows how Wikipedia works knows that if he removes ... a text, which is verified by reliable sources, finally he will [be] banned from the project. We pointed that [out], but unfortunately she didn't understand."

Liourdis followed the judge's instructions to delete the text, but sure enough, it was quickly replaced. At press time, a version of the Greek Wikipedia page on Katsanevas, translated via Google Translate, shows that the "disgrace" comment remains.

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