The Polish campaign for the right to culture

I write this post in a mix of sadness and joy. The sadness of losing Aaron Swartz who committed suicide two days ago. He was a great person (say all who met him) to whom we owe a significant part of the victory against SOPA in the US through his organization Demand Progress and many insights on open access for publicly funded research publications. As many great persons who identify themselves with a cause, Aaron Swartz was not without his own pains or fragility, but it is not this background alone that we must take in account when trying to understand how such a loss arose. Please read Larry Lessig’s moving piece of yesterday.

The joy is to witness the extraordinary momentum in favour of the recognitition of the right to access and share culture in Poland. After the key contribution that the Polish civil society made to the rejection of ACTA in Europe, it has continued working towards defining and inscribing in National and European law new cultural rights for citizens. The Modern Poland Foundation, one of the organizations that steers these movements, has launched a social campaign on the Right to culture, which can be a model for other countries. I am humbled by the fact that they used the Polish translation of “Sharing” as a background for this campaign. Please, make sure that the young campaigners of today do not despair one day because the policy-makers will have failed to understand their expectations and their achievements.

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