About

President of the Board of the Polish Free and Open Source Software Foundation. Human rights in digital era hacktivist, Free Software advocate, privacy and anonimity evangelist; expert volunteer to the Panoptykon Foundation; co-organizer of SocHack social hackathons; charter member of the Warsaw Hackerspace; and Telecomix co-operator; biker, sailor.

Formerly CTO of BRAMA Mobile Technologies Laboratory on Warsaw University of Technology and a student at Philosophy Institute on Warsaw University.

Former affiliations

BRAMA Lab BRAMA Lab

Table of Contents

languages:
12.04.2014Irresponsible non-disclosure en pl 134 29.03.2014Ecologic, Ford and surveillance en pl 133 15.03.2014Otwórzmy edukację pl 132 10.03.2014Blurry line between private service and public infrastructure en 131 08.03.2014IM IN UR MINISTRY, CONSULTING UR INTERNETZ en pl 130 17.02.2014Encrypted VoIP that works en pl 129 11.02.2014So you want to censor the Internet... en pl 128 02.02.2014This is why we can't have nice IRC en 127 31.01.2014Decentralize where your mouth is en pl 126 30.01.2014A link cannot be illegal en pl 125 30.01.2014Copyright reform debate lives on en pl 124 26.01.2014Neat HaCSS, or let's de-JS the Web a bit en 123 27.12.2013Information Account Number en 122 14.12.2013HaIPu en 121 20.11.2013Friends of TTIP and data protection in Brussels en 120 19.11.2013Social media, Polish Pirates style en pl 119 05.11.2013A rude comment en 118 20.10.2013TEDx Warsaw Women and privacy en pl 117 03.10.2013Copyreform at CopyCamp 2013 en pl 116 22.09.2013Long-expected KMail2 rant en 115 18.09.2013Facebook for schools en 114 12.09.2013W którym wzywam posłów i posłanki Solidarnej Polski do zagwarantowania obywatelom Internetu wolnego od inwigilacji pl 113 08.09.2013Complaintivism en 112 04.09.2013It's his own fault en pl 111 19.08.2013Lies, damn lies, and analytics en pl 110 27.07.2013Shortest Internet censorship debate ever en pl 109 22.07.2013How information sharing uproots conservative business models en es 108 22.07.2013Posts' markup is now available en pl 107 07.06.2013Internet is not a problem en pl 105 05.06.2013Libel Culture en 104 17.05.2013Wojtuś Fatalista i wolność w Internecie pl 102 17.05.2013Why I find -ND unnecessary and harmful en es pl 101 28.03.2013Wolność nasza codzienna pl 100 17.03.2013Nie wszystko korpo co o wolności w Internecie pl 99 15.03.2013♫ Odpowiadam na e-maile ♫ pl 98 11.02.2013One year anniversary of Anti-ACTA en pl 97 30.01.2013Nie ma haka na słabe dziennikarstwo? pl 96 30.01.2013Fighting Black PR around OER en pl 95 29.01.2013HOWTO: effectively argue against Internet censorship ideas en 94 20.11.2012Border conditions for preserving subjectivity in the digital era en pl 93 19.11.2012Social blogosphere en pl 92 07.11.2012Embrace fragmentation en pl 91 02.11.2012SERVICES.TXT en pl 90 24.10.2012Apple finally jumped the shark en es 89 24.09.2012Breaking the garden walls en es pl 88 24.09.2012Minister i Kultura pl 87 24.09.2012Melbourne CryptoParty video message en 86 16.09.2012On sailor's sensitivity, or "the starry heavens above me" en pl 85 22.08.2012Black PR around Polish e-Textbooks en pl 84 15.08.2012Regaty utracone pl 83 24.07.2012Hypochristian Love en 82 24.07.2012Some new Layout Goodness en pl 81 17.07.2012Party 2.0 en pl 80 16.07.2012Prawo autorskie po ACTA pl 79 13.07.2012Party as a system hack en pl 78 10.06.2012Are corporations dangerous only in collusion with governments? en 77 09.06.2012Proxies! Proxies everywhere! en 76 05.06.2012Automagic re-publishing from Twitter to StatusNet en pl 75 18.05.2012TPSA/Orange and GIMP, or a word on 5 users en pl 74 16.05.2012Słowo o Warsztatach MAiC pl 73 15.04.2012Schowaj gadżeta pl 72 05.04.2012Perfect ToDo-oid en 71 27.03.2012Subjectively on Anti-ACTA in Poland en pl 70 25.03.2012On copyright in Budapest en pl 69 23.03.2012Kościoła poczucie odpowiedzialności pl 68 20.03.2012Learning to Internet en pl 67 19.03.2012Kościoła wiara w wiernych pl 66 29.02.2012Brussels Safari #1 - EP press conference and ITRE en pl 65 21.02.2012Because ACTA is passé en pl 64 20.02.2012Privacy of correspondence, EU-style en pl 63 17.02.2012Polish PM on ACTA: I was wrong en pl 62 12.02.2012Anonymous vs Corponymous en pl 61 10.02.2012To have a cookie and dowload it too en pl 60 19.01.2012About ACTA at Polish PM Chancellery en pl 59 19.01.2012Free as in United en pl 58 16.01.2012Towarzystwo czuje się oszukane pl 57 10.01.2012Terms of Using the Service en pl 56 05.01.2012Corporate lack of patriotism en pl 55 04.01.2012Terroristcopters en pl 54 03.01.2012IceWeasel and Privacy en pl 53 28.12.2011Good Uncle Stal... Putin en pl 52 25.12.2011Useful Bash defaults done right en 51 21.12.2011Google Mail, or how mail becomes publication en pl 50 20.12.2011Occupy Gotham en pl 49 11.12.2011Copyfraud en pl 48 08.12.2011Multikino Wikipedia FAIL pl 47 27.11.2011Nie miejsce na pl 46 18.11.2011One-way cutting en pl 45 12.11.2011Tolerancja dla Kościoła pl 44 11.11.2011Users and Citizens en pl 43 30.10.2011Adhocracy and Net4Change en pl 42 18.10.2011War on Fun en pl 41 16.10.2011Boli mnie w krzyżu pl 40 14.10.2011Technocomplacency en pl 39 10.10.2011I Can Haz? pl 37 09.10.2011Election Silence in Poland en pl 38 03.10.2011Kibice i kampania pl 36 02.10.2011E-textbooks, Johnny Mnemonic, business and the Net en pl 35 19.09.2011CC Global Streaming/Summit/Party pl 33 19.09.2011Czy jest coś takiego jak darmowe śniadanie? pl 34 12.09.2011Faktycznie Super pl 32 12.09.2011Diaspora-Based Comment System en 31 11.09.2011Conflict of values en pl 30 06.09.2011Wolność słowa to nie wolność od myślenia ani od krytyki pl 29 06.09.2011On-line privacy and anonymity: case in point en pl 28 04.09.2011On being careful with words en pl 27 03.09.2011W obronie QR Code pl 26 31.08.2011Stolica Nie Tak Święta pl 25 29.08.2011Of malware, hot steam, privacy, using one's brain and paedoparanoia en 24 29.08.2011Kragen Thinking Out Loud en pl 23 18.08.2011Ból, blizny, dziewczyny i wiosła pl 22 07.08.2011Worst. Woodstock. Ever! pl 21 27.07.2011Willpower, productivity and cycling en pl 20 19.07.2011Neo FreeRunner as a WiFi Soundcard en 19 10.07.2011A Weekend with lawyers en pl 18 09.07.2011One step closer to ideal en pl 17 04.07.2011Apostasy in Poland en pl 16 28.06.2011YAFR (Yet Another Facebook Rant) en pl 15 19.06.2011Wiara w priorytety pl 14 17.06.2011Important meetings, fun meetings en pl 13 13.06.2011Ooops I en pl 12 30.05.2011Playing with Node.js en pl 11 25.05.2011Mozilla, Google and the Location Bar en pl 10 24.05.2011At Sector 3.0 conf en pl 9 23.05.2011Layout, CSS and RSS/Atom en pl 8 15.05.2011Startup Weekend Network Fun Fun Fun en 7 11.05.2011Nowy szef Bramy pl 6 10.05.2011World's Smallest Open Source Violin en pl 5 10.05.2011Po kolejnym spotkaniu w KPRM pl 4 08.05.2011Inspiracja na niedzielę pl 3 08.05.2011I horizontally the whole blog is that serious pl 2 07.05.2011I can has brag en pl 1

Why I find -ND unnecessary and harmful

en es pl | txt src

'UPDATE: highlighted the harmfulness of incompatibility of "no derivatives" licenses with libre licenses (including other CC-licenses); heartfelt thanks to Carlos Solís for the Spanish translation. ¡Gracias!

There are two basic arguments for licensing some works under a "no derivatives" license (e.g. any -ND Creative Commons license, or the GNU Verbatim Copying License):

  • some authors do not wish for their works to be modified, twisted, used in ways they do not approve of;
  • some works (for example, expressing somebody's opinion) are fundamentally different from other kinds of works and should remain invariant.

I believe both are specious. And I feel "no derivatives" licenses are both ineffective and counter-productive. Here's why.

"I don't want my work twisted!"

So you're an author and you do not wish your work to be twisted or modified to say something you didn't want to say. There are two possibilities of such modification:

  • somebody takes your work, twists it and publishes it under your name, suggesting you wrote this;
  • somebody modifies your work and publishes it under their own name, as a derivative work.

The first possibility would be illegal regardless of the license! Nobody has the right to claim your authorship over something you did not create; nobody has the right to modify your work and claim it is still your work. -ND licenses are unnecessary for that purpose, it's already in the copyright law.

As far as derivative works that build upon the original but change the meaning are concerned (without misrepresentation of authorship), I do not feel we need licensing restrictions for that. That feels too close to censorship for my liking — "thou shall not use my own words against me"; "I don't like what you're trying to say so I will use copyright law to stiffle your speech".

Besides, creating parodies is fair use and no amount of "no derivatives" licensing clauses willl change that. Same goes for quotes. Your words will be used in works that say something you do not wish to say, whether you like it or not!

In that sense, "no derivatives" licenses are ineffective.

"Some works should be invariant!"

This argument hinges upon an assumption that some works (memoirs, documentation, opinion pieces) are fundamentally different than others and hence should be preserved as they are.

First of all, all of what I wrote above applies here. Such works cannot be "modified" anyway, "modification" is in fact creation of a derivative work, nobody can (legally) misrepresent authorship or the derived work as the original; such works, also, can be quoted and parodied, regardless of the license. "No derivatives" is ineffective.

"No derivatives" licensing stops people from doing things most of us would say are desirable. Like improving upon some work, creating better arguments or updated versions. Like translating into another language to disseminate knowledge and argumentation. These things are genuinely good, but people that would like to do them will look at the license, and will then get the message they cannot proceed...

More importantly, however, this argument assumes that there is only one context in which a given work can be used. E.g. "an essay on free software" as an article to read and get argumentation from. Or a "memoir" as a historical document describing one's views and fortune.

Thing is, any work can be used in any context, and often is.

Think for a moment about a teacher in an IT class using an essay on free software as educational material, modifying it just a bit so that the class can better understand it or relate to it, or using it as a basis for an in-class discussion. "No derivatives" would not allow for that.

Think about how artists used different kinds of "materials" for their works of art — for example Duchamp's "Fountain". A "memoir" or an "opinion piece" could easily be used in an "art" context, for example as a basis of vocabulary for some free-software scripted (as in: done by scripts in interpreted programming languages) poem writing contest. An example of something similar is HaikuLeaks.

I bet we could find similar haikus in GNU documentation, FSF policy papers, Linux documentation. "No derivatives" would not allow anybody to use these in such a context — and I would say that's a genuine loss.

And in that sense "no derivatives" licenses are counter-productive.

Muddying the waters

"No derivatives" licensing is also truly harmful.

They make it harder to explain what libre licensing is. Many people believe that any CC or GNU license is "free as in freedom", while in fact CC-*-ND and GNU Verbatim licenses cannot be considered as such. This distinction is both crucial and hard to convey.

They also cause segmentation within the CC/GNU-licensed group of works: some such works (often co-existing on a single OS or in a single repository) are licensed in a way that makes them incompatible with others. Some cannot be modified or used (namely, "no derivatives"-licensed) in new works, while others can.

This muddies the waters, makes libre licensing this much harder to explain and this much harder to take advantage of.

TL;DR

  • "No derivatives" licensing does not protect against things we want it to protect against (either because these are explicitly allowed for by the copyright law, or because the copyright law already disallows them);
  • and at the same time stops people from doing things we might consider interesting or beneficial;
  • while making it harder to promote libre licensing and libre-licensed works.