QUOTE(Michaeldsuarez @ Wed 5th October 2011, 10:58am)
Mindless rot. Demonstrates WMF incompetence. What was really needed? A sober legal analysis of the impact of the Italian law, providing sound advice for Italian Wikipedia editors and administrators. While the huge amount of content generated about this issue might contain it somewhere, I sure haven't seen it. It should be created by an Italian lawyer and should represent the consensus of such available lawyers.
Otherwise this is all uninformed hysteria. I've seen this very kind of hysteria from steward-checkusers, and, in fact, I'm currently banned at meta, a minor inconvenience at worst, because of pointing it out to some of the very users who are wringing their hands over this mess, such as Millosh. If anyone is interested, see User talk for Marco Aurelio, where I asked Marco (the former Dferg) to explain a comment of his about my alleged "misrepresentations." He refused, and when I responded "suit yourself," dropping it, he demanded I be blocked indef. And then the mob shouts and waves the pitchforks, and very few actually look at the diffs presented. After all, why bother? We all know what a tendentious jerk Abd is, after all, he questioned my position a couple of times. Can you imagine that?
Yeah. Clear statement about neutrality policy. He's absolutely correct. Neutrality be damned. Worse, the WMF's own nonprofit status *could* be in question as a result of that WMF statement, though the situation has been shifting in the U.S, and there are lots of loopholes. This is the WMF attempting to influence Italian lawmakers, or it could be seen that way.
Independent associations of users could advocate for or against legislation, but ... the WMF may not be thrilled to allow such associations, with enough power to accomplish something, to exist. Maybe chapters can do it, if they are legally independent.
From what I've seen so far, there is no threat at all to either the WMF or to Italian users from the Italian law. It's wiki-hysteria. I've seen similar hysteria about "copyvio." Which, unless actually and officially encouraged, creates no hazard at all for the WMF, provided it merely responds properly to take-down notices, which, one might notice, would be far more efficient than holding massive discussions about each marginal copyvio. (And, yes, there are other issues, but, as well, some serious and common misunderstandings of copyright law among many who voice strong opinions in those discussions.)
One way to look at this situation is as a collective intelligence test. At one time, for enwiki, the user base would include enough experts, who were respected, that these nutso discussions would terminate with some sensible decision. Increasingly, those experts have burned out and what is left is ... what is willing to continue pushing the boulder up the hill.