(FINNBAY) – Helsinki, 9 February 2014. The Finnish National Police Board has sent an official request to Wikipedia to clarify its present fundraising activities in Finland. Should the Finnish police is not satisfied with the clarification, it will have the power to move to shut down Wikipedia Finland’s donation activities in Finland.
The Wikimedia is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. It is financed by the Wikimedia Foundation whom collects funds through donations.
The Finnish fundraising law states, any fundraising or donations needs a special permit issued by the responsible Finnish authority: Police board. The Finnish National Police Board has sent a request to Wikipedia to explain how their Finland fund collection activities are inline with the Finnish laws and regulations.
More specifically, the Police board requests Wikipedia to explain in what purpose the request for donation message is published on Wikipedia website, the justification for the message to not to be an illegal fundraising message and how much money people have donated till now.
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Wikimedia’s Finland chairman Tommi Kovala says, “Wikipedia’s fundraising activities in Finland has never been in the hands of Finns but Americans. All donations collected in Finland go straight to the American Wikimedia Foundation.” Simply, the Finnish volunteers have only translated the fundraising message and they have got nothing to do with the money.
According to Kovala, Wikimedia Finland and the maintenance of the Finnish website are completely independent from the American parent foundation even though they belong to the same brand.
The deadline for the clarification is 21 February 2014. If the National Police Board is not happy with the clearance, it will have the right to start the formal procedure to block Wikipedia Finland’s donation activities in Finland.
Update, 9 February 2014, 07:03: Due to a request, a link to original Finnish Fundraising Act is provided.