Heilmann backs off

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 4:24 | Posted in Germany, internet, web 2.0. | 4 Comments
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German MP Lutz Heilmann has withrawn his complaint and the German court in Lübeck lifted the interim injunction against Wikimedia Deutschland. Alas, the German Wikipedia is now acessible via www.wikipedia.de after being blocked during the weekend.

While backfiring heavily on Mr. Heilmann and the Left Party, the incident seems to have had a happy end for Wikimedia Deutschland. Spiegel reports about extensive public outrage and support to the German Wiki foundation:

Shutting down the German portal seems to have backfired, drawing far more attention to the Schleswig-Holstein politician’s past than his Wikipedia entry alone ever did. The German Web site received €16,000 in donations over the weekend, more than quadruple its usual rate. Wikipedia users also flooded the Left Party with angry e-mails.

I just wonder how come so many prominent people only learn the hard way about how the Internet works. Then again, I suppose the web was not a common tool back when Lutz Heilmann worked for the STASI.


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  1. Well, we Germans aren’t much of an entertainment to the world, now, are we?

  2. That is another story to be considered separately. Old style politicians not knowing how to cope with the Internet is not just a German phenomen. What strikes me in Germany, however, is that Germans tend to consider going to court as a first option rather than trying to settle arguments in a civilized manner. It must be because of a detailed regulation of the society, i.e. there are rules and regulations for everything, leaving little or no room for common sense.

  3. In these words, I sense a good understanding about how we work. But hey, for some, this is the perfect job security! 😉

  4. I am very familiar with RA-Blog as you know. I particularly like the subline “Rechtsweg ausgeschlossen”. No wonder as I happened to suggest it. 🙂

    By the way, using “nofollow” in links tends to put your comment into the moderating queue.

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