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Day 10: CC Poland

Melissa Reeder, May 7th, 2007

We’re closing in on the end of the campaign. So far we’ve received amazing support from our community – $16,538! Over the next 4 days we need to raise $33,462 so that the CCi Affiliates can attend the iCommons iSummit. The following anecdote from Alek Tarkowski (one of CC Poland’s project leads) will help clarify why the work these volunteers do is so important to the healthy growth and vitality of the commons movement.

CC Poland began four years ago as a dream of two people, Justyna Hofmokl and Alek Tarkowski. Poland had been negligent when it comes to discussing progressive issues such as the relationship between culture, copyright and new media. CC Poland was a way to initiate these important discussions.

We started in 2005 by launching the Polish licenses which were prepared by experts from a leading Polish IP law institute at the Jagiellonian University. Since inception we have been promoting free culture and CC licenses among teachers and librarians, businessmen and highschool students, Ministry of Culture officials and avant-garde theater artists.

Today, CC Poland is a project run jointly by the Interdisciplinary Center for Mathematical and Computational Modelling, a research center of the Warsaw University, and Grynhoff, Woźny and Wspólnicy law firm. Justyna Homfokl and I are the project leads and Krzysztof Siewicz from GWW law firm is our legal lead.

We are especially proud of our first project, which was the open translation of Lawrence Lessig’s “Free Culture” into Polish. About a dozen translators and editors collectively translated the book, later published in print by a major educational publisher in time for the launch of CC Poland. The book’s first edition sold out and tens of thousands of CC-licensed copies have been downloaded from the internet. This project helped spread the idea of “free culture” and proves the feasibility of both collective translation and open publishing.

Currently we are participating in the creation of the “Enthusiasts Archive” (currently still in beta phase), an online archive of Polish amateur film from the communist era. The project started as an exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, created by two artists, Marysia Lewandowska and Neal Cummings, and Łukasz Ronduda, a curator from the CCA. Films from the archive were created by Polish amateur film “enthusiasts”, who made and exchanged movies in a model which we would describe today as commons-based. We are very happy that today these wonderful, and often forgotten, films are made available under CC licenses.

During a recent public consultation of the new Copyright Act in the Polish Parliament, among multiple collecting societies and entertainment industry representatives, only two organizations spoke about rights of users and the broader common good. Creative Commons Poland was one of the two, proving that in these two years we have become an important voice in the debate around culture and copyright in Poland.

Help Alek and all the other CCi Affiliates’ voices be heard at the global iSummit by giving towards the scholarship campaign today. We only have 4 days left. You can give by donating directly or visiting our store and picking up a CC t-shirt for yourself.

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