Finnish coppers have warned the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia that its home page might be illegal.
The outfit which made Mike Magee and the Everywhere Girl “disappear” received a note from the National Police Board of Finland over the site’s home page which contains an advertisement for funding.
Finnish coppers are a little concerned about the fact that under fund raising law (rahankeräyslaki) it is illegal to plead with an audience to raise funds without a special permission issued by Inspector Knacker of the Helsinki yard.
The law in the former home of Nokia is that organisations seeking donations must be working in the public interest. Wikipedia has a long history of helping editors with failing egos bolster themselves up by deleting people who are more important than them, but Inspector Knacker might not agree that this is enough to allow them to raise donations.
Wackypedia’s advert at the top of its homepage fulfils its definition of a fund raising campaign. And there is no permission applied for the campaign, and it is criminal to arrange a fund raising campaign without permission.
Inspector Knacker wants to know what purpose the request for donation message is published, the justification for the message to not be an illegal fundraising message and how much dosh people have donated until now.
Suomi Tommi Kovala, chair of Wikimedia, told YLE public broadcaster that the letter from the police was a surprise, since Wikipedia’s fund raising events never go through Finnish associations and all donations go directly to the US-based Wikimedia Foundation.
It is somewhat debatable if the Finnish coppers can do anything as the outfit is a nonprofit foundation (Wikimedia Foundation) located in the USA and the Finnish volunteers have only translated the fundraising message.
However, it is possible that they could declare it as an illegal fund raising fraud and ban it from the country.
This is not the first time the Police Board has gone for an outfit for fund raising. In 2012, a crowdfunded textbook Kickstarter project was delayed because of a similar request. In the end, the fund raiser decided to return all the money raised.