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Italian Wikipedia Shuts Down to Protest Upcoming Vote on EU Copyright Law

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On 26 March, the EU Parliament will carry out a vote on new copyright regulation; the suggested directives, Article 11 and Article 13, allegedly limit the rights of internet users and creators, including wiki contributors, according to Italian Wikipedia admins.

Wikipedia's Italian branch has been reported unavailable to Internet users on Monday due to a protest by its authors and contributors against proposed EU regulation reform regarding online copyright law.

"It could be our last chance. Help us preserve out copyrights in Europe," a displayed black banner, which appears if one attempts to proceed to a web page on Italian Wikipedia, reads.

The protest comes one day before the European Parliament holds a vote on Article 11 and Article 13 — regulation that allegedly limits online creators' rights on the web via stricter copyright rules.

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According to Italian Wikipedia members, Article 11 provides publishers with the right to limit news and headlines dissemination on websites owned by other users, and Article 13 will enable the automatic blocking of the writing contributors if they are not endorsed by representatives of copyrights industry. 

Italy is not the only EU state that has shown its outrage with the copyright reform suggested by Brussels. On 23 March, Germany's DPA media outlet reported that tens of thousands of people were gathering for massive rallies against the planned EU legislation in numerous German cities. 

Italian Wikipedia was launched in 2001 and the first published articles there included the pieces on Dante, Petrarca and other classical literature writers.

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