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Songs on the Security of Networks
a blog by Michał "rysiek" Woźniak

Libel Culture

This is an ancient post, published more than 4 years ago.
As such, it might not anymore reflect the views of the author or the state of the world. It is provided as historical record.

While I am not a big fan of libel lawsuits (as they are often used to stifle freedom of speech or science), this one time I am very content about them. Alek Tarkowski and Igor Ostrowski are suing Maciej Strzembosz for libel and defamation. It will probably have consequences for the whole copyright reform debate in Poland, and potentially the whole EU.

Why is that important?

Alek and Igor are well-known copyright reform and libre culture activists in Poland. Alek is Creative Commons Poland coordinator and an active member of any debate related to openness, especially when concerned with culture or science. Igor held the office of the under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Administration and Digitization (Polish acronym: MAC) during the anti-ACTA campaign and was instrumental in helping the anti-ACTA agenda go through; he also presided over the meeting where the plan of ACTA signing has been announced, and was as shocked and appaled about the plan as we were.

Both had also been part of the Group of Strategic Advisors to the Prime Minister before MAC came to being, and were actively advocating open data, open access, open government and open education agenda to the Prime Minister.

Their work indubitably is and was very important to bring Polish government and public debate to where we are now on these issues.

Maciej Strzembosz on the other hand is a film-maker, chair of the (MPAA-like) Polish National Chamber of Audio-Video Producers, and a long-time vocal opponent of open licensing, Creative Commons, copyright reform. This is the kind of person that calls file-sharers “thieves” and libre culture activists “Google’s pawns”.

What’s it all about?

Apparently, Mr Strzembosz called the wrong activists “thieves” and “Google’s pawns”. Alek and Igor are suing him for libel for his public statements containing these very epithets in relation to them.

Do you have your pop-corn ready?