Copyright Law In Transition

For over a decade, we have been witnessing massive changes of social behaviours regulated by copyright law.

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At the same time we’ve also witnessed the emergence of new forms of expression, new channels of content distribution and a growing sphere of informal, unauthorized exchange of content. Each of these is a case of democratisation – or rather popularisation – of practices regulated by copyright law, which until recently applied to only a small group of professional creators and intermediaries.

The matter of the unavoidable copyright law reform is too vital and concerns too many people – more than 10 million Polish Internet users – to be left in the hands of a narrow group of stakeholders and lawyers representing the interests of creative sector businesses.

It is crucial to include the users of content in the public debate and allow the interests of this key group to be represented. At present this group remains absent from the public debate: it has no representation, no voice. Our report is an attempt to give it a voice.

We describe the dominating norms and perceptions that function in Polish society and that revolve around the issue of content usage constituting intellectual property, mostly in the digital environment. What is permitted, and what is not? What is right, and what is wrong?

The social norms existing today – and the behaviours based on these norms – should not be seen in a negative light, exclusively as proof of Poles’ supposed demoralisation. They can instead be treated as potential keys to a legal reform that might produce conditions under which the law may be more easily followed. We hope that this knowledge will become a significant preparatory element for meeting the challenges posed by online circulations of culture.

download Copyright Law in Transition Report

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