watch@_@bitch PL

While patiently waiting for the TRADE answer I asked Polish authorities few questions about TTIP. I started from Ministry of Economy (’cause I knew that this is the ministry that conducts TTIP’s related works ). I ask about Polish  position regarding to intellectual property rights (IPR). Last week I received very polite answer with that position:

Currently Polish positions on IPR is as follows: What is important for Poland it is the sensitivity to issues relating to the protection of intellectual property, in particular in the digital environment in the perspective of the rights and duties of citizens. Poland approvingly refers to exemption of criminal sanctions from agreement, which has been provided in the mandate. Agreement should not also contain provisions on intellectual property law not directly related to its trade  aspects, nor aimed at the liberalization of trade

/for Polish see attachment below/

I was also informed that this position was prepared not by ME itself but by other gov institutions, i.a. Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (MKiDN).

It seemed to me quite vague so I’d like to ask an author what does it mean. So I asked MKiDN who from ministry has been working on that statement. I assumed that some other people/organizations could had access to those works so also asked about their names.

How surprised I was (OK, I would if not read CEE authors like Kafka or Gogol before) when MKiDN that allegedly prepared the above position, informed me today that they have never seen any proposals of  TTIP.  Moreover I did not get a response to my question  who works on these issues, because the Ministry of Culture sent me back to the Ministry of Economy, as the only ministry that deals with TTIP. I did not get a reply to my  question whether there will be any broader consultations. But the statutory deadline for responses has not yet expired, so I remain in hope.

Oh and only plus is that now I know that the Ministry of Culture’s asking form is running.

Stay tuned!

Ministry of Economy’s answer

Ministry of Culture’s answer


/// quick update///

I just read info that „as part of its ongoing efforts to make its negotiations with the US the most open and transparent trade talks to date, the European Commission today launches a public consultation on investor protection and investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).”

Would it be too much if EC asks once about citizens protection instead of investors/rightsholders/intermediaries?

Literature and rebellion

Frederick_Douglass„Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground” – this is just one sentence by Frederick Douglass, amazing American activist and writer, leader of the abolitionist movement, whose spirit accompanies me recently.

His story was recalled during a debate on copyright and the Internet  which I participated in December. His story was also mentioned by Eben Moglen in his second lecture about Snowden and the Future:

„Frederick Douglass wrote in that first narrative of his life how his second owner, Mrs. Sophia Auld, when he was twelve, began to teach him letters, and to read a few simple words. But she was vehemently discouraged by her husband Hugh, who told her, when he came to understand what she was doing, that “You cannot teach slaves to read for it, will make them uneasy in their slavery, unmanageable and sad.” Frederick Douglass said “I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty—to wit, the white man’s power to enslave the black man.” Thus he began to learn more to read, and when Ms. Auld, having accepted her husband’s direction in the matter, found him reading a newspaper, she tore it away from him lest he become unfit for slavery. Thus he was required, as he tells us, to learn to read in secret. When hired out to Mr. William Freeland, he taught other slaves to read, until such time as the surrounding slave owners became aware of what he was doing, at which point the mob invaded his Sunday schooling place and beat the people and destroyed the school. Reading was the pathway, Fredrick Douglass wrote, from slavery to freedom”.

This anecdote shows why literacy is so important for sub-dominated and why it is dangerous for those who are determinate to sustain the power. People who can read are able to understand the unjust of their own position. And they start to dream.

„Once you’ve visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you  can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in.  Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve  their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.” – this is how Neil Gaiman explain it in his interview for Guardian.

„There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we  were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense  out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone:  words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with  words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to  communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot  understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate” – argued Gaiman.

The exchange and communication is necessary to gather enough data and to interpret them (interpretation is a creative process and as so it requires collective input), to build a knowledge.
We can observe that as literacy of the world’s population increase, the significance of the words – their potential to change the reality –  becomes larger and larger. The words create a narration that can explain more and more complex world in a way that cuts straight to the hearts. Without words, and the information they carry, we will be just slaves, or puppets if lucky, in the hands of 147 companies that control 40% of corporations.
But before a child becomes a scientist, an activist, a businessperson or a parent, should fall in love with literature, even those of the average sorts. It is important because it also develop so called emotional intelligence. Reading helps to learn how to identify, to express and finally to communicate one’s emotions, needs and reflections, in a manner understandable to other people. It was all possible before the invention of writing, but writing allows faster and more effectively communication with people outside the circle of friends/family.

And „knowledge plus empathy” sounds like a potential recipe for  injustice.

So Hugh was right, reading makes people uneasy with their slavery and unmanageable, but I think he was also wrong – it doesn’t make us „sad” but rather angry. And when we will meet a critical mass, anger turns into rebellion.


re:publica#14 „Future scenarios of culture’s circulation” World Premiere!

My submission for re:bublica14 has been accepted so I will have a chance to present super interesting project I was working on last year.

I want to present results of the study „Future scenarios of culture’s circulation in  Europe in 2043” conducted by Modern Poland Foundation  – it will be our premiere presentation!


It  will be four scenarios of  possible changes in creating, using and sharing of cultural works in 30 years perspective.  In collaboration with experts (social science researchers, economists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, programmers)  we choose the European cultural policy and the role of intermediary business as a main factors that will shape the future of culture’s circuits (we were focused especially on digital ones). Then we built upon it  four possible scenarios and did  assessment of their impact on the society,  culture, education,  creative industries and the copyright  system.  Now we are working on final report and cool website to present our research output.

We did this research because we are convinced  that there is a serious public interest in  studies that explore  ethical, economical and sociological perspectives  over copyright  issues. Especially that impact of copyright law on our possibilities of realization the basic needs and universal freedoms of citizens seems to increase. We also want to influence public debate about copyright and so called piracy moving it from highly emotional level (owners vs. thieves) to constructive and practical discourse. This is one of the main goals of the „Right to culture” project carried out by our Foundation from 2012.

If you ever wonder what will be the future of culture in Europe you should see this.

Copyright consultations: education & colonialism

European Commission asked (in question no. 45) about our proposals concerning educational „exceptions”. This is my answer:

Copyright law shouldn’t ever limit the right to education. The Internet has created a tremendous opportunity for making available the knowledge, once available only for  a few, to billions of children around the world. The economic interests of a small portion of the inhabitants of the richest regions of the world can not justify missing this chance. European politicians should understand its role as guarantors of social justice, they were given a unique opportunity to repay a moral debt to communities harmed by the 500 years of colonialism. In addition to financial support,  full access to knowledge and education give such a chance. Such an approach would be also, of course, beneficial for the residents and of Europe. Any use of works related to education (the purpose of which is education) should therefore be permitted,  only commercial operators should obligatory share their profits with authors. Public institutions should support all forms of education on-line as a cheap and easily available way of teaching.