Almost a year ago, massive street demonstrations forced the Polish government to reject an international treaty ACTA aimed at criminalizing copyright infringement. Today, we are moving away from this disarray and acrimony and launching a new constructive dialogue.

This week, 300 producers, distributors and consumers of creative content gathered in Warsaw’s Kino Kultura for the first ever CopyCamp. They shared their experience and perspectives on copyright, stories about how copyright works in practice, and setting the direction for the future of copyright in the digital world. The Modern Poland Foundation organized the event, under the honorary patronage of the Digitization Ministry. We partnered to make this possible, along with the Polish Filmmakers Association, the ZAiKS Collecting Society, Trust for Central and Eastern Europe.

Nina Paley opened the event. She is the author of a cartoon film titled “Sita sings the blues” which tells the story of Ramayana using popular songs as soundtrack. Behind the entertaining presentation was a serious message: she started to make money on her films only after she started to apply open licensing to her art.

Paley presented another amusing film.

More than 30 other speakers, among them creators and creators’ organizations, collecting societies, members of the European Parliament, social activists, journalists, lawyers, academics and students, gave fast-paced short presentations. They ranged from a filmmaker’s and musician’s perspective on fair use and creativity, through discussions on the role of collecting societies, copyright education, internet platforms, the complex copyright stories of key icons of Polish culture and the way news publishers work with new internet business models. I talked about how the new technologies and creativity work together for the benefit of the authors and users and how copyright impacts this synergy.

After anti-ACTA protests started the Polish debate on copyright, the speakers agreed that contemporary Polish copyright framework is antiquated. By getting traditional content industries and Internet advocates to sit down together, the CopyCamp represents a hopeful first step in what we will hope becomes a constructive partnership.