Member of the Board of the Polish Linux Users Group. 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 President of the Board of the Polish Free and Open Source Software Foundation; CTO of BRAMA Mobile Technologies Laboratory on Warsaw University of Technology and a student at Philosophy Institute on Warsaw University.

Table of Contents

02.07.2016Dzień, w którym cenzura Sieci w Polsce stała się faktem pl 152 13.04.2015Needless haystacks en 151 12.03.2015e-Dockleracje pl 150 19.01.2015Ban on encryption is not about banning encryption en 149 13.01.2015Not Free as in Beer en pl 148 30.12.2014GPG Key Transition en pl 147 18.12.2014Siła wyższa pl 146 04.12.2014Internet in Poland to be porn-free after all? en pl 145 27.11.2014Block everything! en pl 144 02.11.2014Introducing: rysiek's law of unavoidable consequences en pl 143 09.09.2014Stop paedophilia en pl 142 22.06.2014Even with EME, Mozilla will become "the browser that can't" en 141 21.06.2014EuroDIG 2014 en pl 140 19.06.2014Hacker in the Digital Affairs Council en pl 139 30.05.2014Public consultations and anonymity en pl 138 18.05.2014Why being a pirate is not worth it en pl 137 15.05.2014On Mozilla, DRM and irrelevance en pl 136 14.05.2014Not-quite-good-enough-Mundial en 135 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 12.09.2013In which I call upon United Poland parliamentarians to guarantee citizens the right to Internet free of surveillance en 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 22.07.2013Cómo el compartir información desarraiga los modelos conservadores de negocio en es 108 22.07.2013Posts' markup is now available en pl 107 11.07.2013Kultura wolna i legalna pl 106 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 17.05.2013Por qué hallo la licencia -ND como innecesaria y dañina 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 pl 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 por fin saltó por la borda en es 89 24.09.2012Rompiendo los muros del jardín 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

War on Fun

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A few days ago I had the pleasure of reading a great article on Radio Free Europe's website — Iran's War On Fun. In short, it's a terrific summary and analysis of war that the totalitarian regime in Iran apparently waged against ... fun.

It's terrifying. House parties ending in flogging; water fights being dispersed by the Police; special forces raiding private households, confiscating alcohol; finally — tragic accidents while "suspects flee the crime scene" (e.g. a social occasion where young men and women can mingle).

There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.
Ruhollah Khomeini once said, and this seems to be a working motto of the Iranian religious state, implemented with all seriousness and harshness. This is clearly visible in the article — but is also vividly shown in Persepolis, a graphic novel on modern Iran (and in the film based on it).

Western world sees all that and reacts with understandable disgust and anger...

...And then — with different reasons, methods, areas, but still — does the same.

Three Great Wars

Western War on Fun, just like the remaining two great wars of the western world that are currently raging (the War o Terror and the War on Drugs), while still offically unnamed, lasts for a few years already and lately puts on momentum. Just as with the other two wars, there is no well-defined enemy (anybody can be a "terrorist" or a "dealer"/"junkie") and no definite victory conditions are (or can be) set: no-one ever could say that all "terrorists" have been defeated, as no-one ever could say that all drugs have been eliminated.

And just as with the other two, also this war is being waged using government resources, often against the interests of The People, but in general in the best interest of certain megacorps.

The War on Terror, at the cost of blood and sacrifice of tens of thousands people and from public money, fuels the military-industrial complex, so "drastically underfunded" after the Cold War ended.

In case of the War on Drugs the cost is measured in destroyed lives of kids caught with 3 grams in their pockets, and the beneficiary — prison-industrial complex, including again the arms makers.

The War on Fun is waged mainly for the media concerns — and that's something new. Of course, politians benefit too. And if this war was to be named according to what the beneficiaries would like, it would probably be called "War on Piracy".

All illegal on the Western front

This war rarely utilises police or army forces. The main theater of operations are courts and lawmaking. ACTA, or the "trade" treaty aimed at "intellectual property infringements" that was negotiated in complete secrecy and without informing any of the citizens it's supposed to modify rights of, was just days ago signed by 8 countries (happily the EU is not among them, perhaps because of the opposition and outcry that has risen in Europe with regard to that treaty). How dangerous and harmful for democracy and human rights this treaty is can be a good topic for a whole book, for now it's enough to mention that it gives the control over freedom of speech de facto to corporate entities.

In the USA lawsuits against filesharers are a common, everyday fact of life. Companies, having (when compared to statistical citizen's budget) practically unlimited means at their disposal, are sueing private persons for downloading a music file from the Net, based on their IP addresses — which seem to be enough to bring a lawsuit against an alleged filesharer, but at the same time are apparently considered not sufficient to catch a laptop thief.

And they win — by bending the evidence, for example. And they destroy peoples' lives.

But wait, there's more! ASCAP demanded royalties from the Girls Scouts for songs that those schoolgirls were "performing" (i.e. singing) by the campfire; oh, and they still demand royalties for "performing" Happy Birthday in public. No, that's not a joke — that time you sang it for your friend at a small party in a restaurant? Copyright infringement!

Obviously all that is done "in the best interest of the artists" — for "we all know" that nothing creative can happen without monetary incentives, especially those present decades after the work has been created. Right? Besides, the results of the actions undertaken are what should be judged, and the results are great indeed: because of ASCAP and their ilk artists lose the ability to play.

In France the HADOPI law was forced upon the public. The law says that after "three strikes" — three "detections" of on-line copyright infringement, of course not verified in any way by any court and without any recourse, of course the judge and jury are the corporations — first Internauts are soon to be disconnected.

Still on the Old Continent, head of IFPI says it loud and clear:
Child pornography is great! It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites.
And, as was to be expected, the child pornography scarecrow is the main argument for network filtering in Europe; in the USA it lead to a situation in which teens can be found guilty of possession and dissemination of child pornography for sending each other their own nudie pictures; a dumb thing, that's granted, but far from qualifying for being labeled a sex offender for the rest of their lives!

Oh, that law has been softened a bit: now they can avoid prosecution if they report the sender; we know where that goes. Won't somebody please think of the children?..

Obviously, polititians do not need to be convinced how annoying and pesky this whole freedom of speech thing is. Already, YouTube gets ordered by the Governments to block videos of protests, even non-violent ones; in Italy a law is proposed that would basically invalidate free speech (which has already lead to Italian Wikipedia protest, as it could mean that it would have to be closed down); and again in the Land of the Free, New York State senators concede we all have too much free speech and it should be restricted and treated as a privilege rather than a law. Some of the former Eastern Bloc citizens might tell you how that tends to go.

So it should come as no surprise that polititians go hand in hand with the megacorps in their fight against The People — for example, in Australia, it has been established that procedures requiring the corporations to provide the evidence to prosecute thousands of citizens for filesharing are not very convenient for the corps. So they came up with ideas to streamline that process. Interestingly enough the authors seem uneasy that the proposal became public and try to put the cat back into the bag by redacting the proposal text.

Non-Public Domain

Well, for one good thing, the copyright law provides for the works to lapse into the Public Domain after a set time, for all to enjoy. Maybe we should simply use such works and build upon them?

Of course. However, the Governments, under pressure from "artists" (or rather, the companies that own the rights to certain works) are extending the copyright term. Recently in Europe — from 50 to 70 years.

It gets better! Even works that have already lapsed into the public domain can be put back under copyright law "protection", though the author already died years before and the "protect the author's rights" argument doesn't seem to work all that well...

Hence, War on Fun is waged even in the area that should seemingly be completely unavailable for it. Public domain works is precisely what the Society is supposed to finally receive in return for temporary monopoly on those works and their copying and publishing rights for the author, or in other words for copyright. Somebody, however, steals those works from the public domain, and from us. Maybe this is what should be called Copyright Theft?

A Strange War

Comparing Iranian totalitarianism to how the Governments are serving their People in collusion with megacorps might seem an unwarranted hyperbole. Perhaps, however, it is needed to highlight the seriousness of the problem. In a few years time our freedom of speech, our privacy, presumption of innocence and the right to trial might land in hands of corporations.

It's easy to boil a frog — you need to rise the temperature slowly, so that it does not notice and try to jump out of the pot. Our on-line rights are being boiled slowly, right at this moment. Slowly the temperature rises, step by step in secret negotiations and away from media coverage, under the guise of "fighting child pornography" and "protecting the rights of (dead) artists" we are being stripped of them and put on the mercy of megacorps. More often than not we do not even notice — and when we do, usually we ignore it: for we think "what can I do".

But we can do a lot. We can keep an eye on our representatives to vote for the benefit of The People, not corporations. We can support the Free Culture movement and the Public Domain, using and promoting works that are part of them — or, if we are the artists ourselves (and it often doesn't require more than a camera), we can actively extend and enrich them. We can monitor changes in law and protest agains those that are detrimental to our freedoms and rights. We can rebel.

There are no jokes in entertainment. There is no humor in entertainment. There is no fun in entertainment. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is profitable.
— let's not allow that to happen.