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Wikipedia appeal ruled illegal—but Finnish police take no action

The National Police Board has decided not to take any action against Wikipedia over its appeal for donations. Collecting money without a permit is illegal in Finland, but the board has decided not to act against the online encyclopaedia.

Wikipedia suomenkielinen tunnus
Image: Wikipedia / Yle

Finnish law enforcement will not take action against the foundation behind the Wikipedia website after those responsible for an appeal for donations clarified their activities for the Finnish police. 

Wikipedia’s regular appeals for donations are carried on the site’s home page, but the organisation responsible neglected to apply for permission from the Finnish Police Board.

All money collections require a permit in Finland, and the board sent a request for information to the Finnish Wikipedia site’s administrators. They then forwarded that request to the Wikipedia Foundation’s legal unit, which answered the police board’s questions.

The police accepted that Wikipedia provides a socially valuable service that could receive a permit if an application was made, but said it did not have the power to allow such activity.

Despite taking that position, the board said it would not initiate an investigation into Wikipedia’s actions.

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