Polish Prime Minister Steps Up His Anti-ACTA Efforts After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

from the wow dept

A few weeks ago, we noted that Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk had agreed to suspend attempts to ratify ACTA while he explored the details -- completely flip-flopping on his earlier adamant support for the agreement. However, late last week he went even further. Rather than just putting off the issue, he's now actively campaigning against ACTA throughout Europe. While some are accusing him of bowing to public pressure and the protests throughout Poland (which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing -- listening to the public and all), he insists that it had more to do with learning more details about the likely impact of ACTA.

And here's the thing: unlike most other politicians out there, Tusk actually set up a real and open interaction with people online. This happened a few weeks ago, but Wired has the details:
On Feb. 6, all this activity culminated in an unprecedented conversation between Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and — for want of a better word — the internet, that lasted the better part of seven hours.

People used social media to lob questions and comments, but when the anti-ACTA NGOs involved said Twitter and Facebook were not sufficiently open and transparent platforms for voicing public opinions and suggested IRC (Internet Relay Chat) the government agreed. #debataACTA and #debataACTA-pytania were set up on the IRC server of the political hacker group Telecomix, where a geekier set came to participate. The discussions were projected for the PM who answer questions and points for hours while the event was livestreamed and broadcasted over Polish TV and Radio.
What strikes me as most interesting about all of this is that we've been suggesting a truly open and online meeting concerning what the legacy entertainment industry players feel they need and how they want the internet to change. And people keep insisting that using an open platform like IRC would never work... and yet here's an example where it clearly did. It's really pretty amazing to see a head of state spend nearly seven hours discussing internet regulation/copyright issues with regular internet users via IRC... and having that have a real impact. Impressive.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Suja (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    And people keep insisting that using an open platform like IRC would never work... and yet here's an example where it clearly did. It's really pretty amazing to see a head of state spend nearly seven hours discussing internet regulation/copyright issues with regular internet users via IRC... and having that have a real impact. Impressive.

    Yeah things tend to work when you stop whining and making excuses for how it can't work and actually TRY it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Traveller800 (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Good for him...even if he;s only doing it from public pressure...its nice to see a polititian stand up to the people who want the internet censored.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

    Man, even the Polish now. The US is really getting left behind.

     

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  4.  
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    Mr. Smarta**, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    Nonsense...

    Nonsense. You cannot have an open discussion that freely expresses concerns and new ideas on any sort of medium that allows people to go against what it is you're trying to accomplish. When a politician or a corporate CEO wants to pass a law, the only way to get the public involved is to hold a meeting either a) in a secret location nobody knows about, or b) hold the meeting hours before publicizing the meeting. Holding meetings like this to get public opinion is counterproductive to my... I mean... an industry leader's payche... I mean... incentive to lead the industry. This is just showboating and should not be performed in such an open manner.

    Please forget everything you read here or see on IRC from politicians like this as these are not valid news media. This sort of event purely supports piracy, copyright infringement, patent infringement, child pornography, drug use, prostitution, solicitation of minors, beastiality, goat herding, chicken killing, donkey shaving, book burning, murder, burglary, data encryption to hide crimes, and our ability to get laws passed requiring everyone to have a camera installed in their bathrooms so the government can charge you a tax for every time you take a dump.

     

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  5.  
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    Suja (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Nonsense...

    This sort of event purely supports piracy, copyright infringement, patent infringement, child pornography, drug use, prostitution, solicitation of minors, beastiality,goat herding,chicken killing, donkey shaving, book burning, murder, burglary, data encryption to hide crimes .etc


    lol

     

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  6.  
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    Chris From Poland, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Reporting from Poland here :-).

    The meeting itself achieved nothing. It was a bit of an unorganized mess, really. Since anyone could ask questions and make comments, literally anyone asked questions and made comments. Anyone, that is, the lowest common denominator folk. Most of the remarks weren't of a high level of expertise, though admittedly some skilled NGO members also participated. At the end of the meeting most people left and everyone was tired. I watched the whole debate via a video stream. Don't get me wrong: I appreciate the fact that it happened, but such free-for-all debates seldom achieve something constructive. What changed Tusk's mind was probably his political advisors and reports from NGOs, not the debate itself, which was more of a spectacle.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    This sort of event purely supports piracy, copyright infringement, patent infringement, child pornography, drug use, prostitution, solicitation of minors, beastiality,goat herding,chicken killing, donkey shaving, book burning, murder, burglary, data encryption to hide crimes .etc


    Yes, yes, we know about the politicians and lawyers. But what about their opponents?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Squig (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:42pm

    Just to be pedantic (=German): He's the head of government, not the head of state, in most countries but the US those two are separated, with the head of government being the one calling the shots.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    Re:

    So typical of a German to challenge the authority of the Polish. Whats next, a Blitzkrieg?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    Thumbs up for Poland !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Chris From Poland, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    But Squig is right. Tusk is the Prime Minister, not the President.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:50pm

    Re:

    So, you're a collaborator eh?! Well, you'll hang for that one day.

     

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  13.  
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    Jacob Blaustein, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    What now?

    Obviously poland won't ratify the thing, which would kill it. Still, this is a historic occasion and should set a precedent. I wonder if we can convince other leaders to try this.

     

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  14.  
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    Mr. Smarta**, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:54pm

    Re:

    There are no opponents. "Everyone" is with them. The one or two that might be against them are serving 5 to 10. Didn't you know that?

     

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  15.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:17pm

    O Boże, nie! That could lead to rampant democracy.

     

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  16.  
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    eee_eff, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:22pm

    Re: After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

    WTF. Poland save Europe in 1683, and is the only country that continuously fought Nazi's from Sept 1939 till the end of the war (breaking enigma cipher in the process) and you say "even poland"

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:34pm

    Allow me to say this...

    Allow me to say this to all the ACTA backers and supporters:

    You forgot Poland.

     

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  18.  
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    szmagi, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    Maybe it looks impressive from the distance. From where I was sitting it looked like a PR stunt. It was a parody of a debate: the questions from the people invited to the event were asked in batches of 5 or more, which effectively allowed the PM to answer only the ones he wanted and to ignore the rest. PM's staffers chose which questions from the "social channels" he was to answer, and of course they picked mostly the uninformed, irrelevant or just plain stupid ones. I mean the whole thing was designed to make PM look like a caring father listening to his loved, but a little stupid children. What's more, on the date of the debate there was no information available concerning the negotiations process and the role polish government played in them. That's why all the major NGOs involved in anti ACTA advocacy refused to take part in that bullshit and legitimize it.
    I'd say that this debate was held just to control the PR crisis, and the real change was caused by the NGOs lobbying the minister of administration and strong negative opinions of some respected public figures, like the ombudsman.
    TVs broadcast the debate, but dropped the transmission after about 2 hours for a press conference of a celebrity private detective (even public news channel did). Streaming was available only in silverlight (it took some time to create a workaround for Linux users) and very unreliable:)
    Sorry, I didn't want to criticize so much, after all it looks like it's going to end well.. but we still have to wait for some actions, not only PM'a declarations

     

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  19.  
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    Matt T. (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:03pm

    Re:

    Only it didn't work, at least not how the MAFIAA wanted it to.

    For them, "working" would be letting them voice their misguided, unsupported views without having to worry about interference or the other side questioning them and resenting actual facts. In that sense, IRC definitely didn't - and couldn't - work.

     

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  20.  
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    Bengie, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:24pm

    I'll vote for him!

    I want a president candidate who does this as a campaign.

     

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  21.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re: After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

    this is probably based on the perception that it's an eastern european backwater.

    also, 1683?
    *investigates*

     

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  22.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

    ahh.

    not sure why you expected anyone outside of europe to know about that one, but it's a significant thing, yes.

    course, poland's also somewhat famous in a similar era for it's government being unable to actually get anything done due to being run by a parliament where in ANY INDIVIDUAL disagreeing vetoed the action.

    *ponders* actually, a few countries could do with that these days, seeing as how an awful lot of our problems seem to be stemming from politicians enacting stupid shit just to justify their own jobs or bribes.

    also, i'm not sure helping establish the Hapsburg hegemony is Exactly something to be proud of (though i suppose it was the better of two bad options and the less easy to see coming...)

     

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  23.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Allow me to say this...

    wooo!

    hehehe.

     

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  24.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 7:47pm

    Is it just me...

    ...Or did anyone else read the last line of Mike's post in a James Earl Jones/Darth Vader voice?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 8:00pm

    Poland is clearly a backwater country with absolutely no intellectual property worth stealing. Why are you pro-piracy, Masnick?

    [/sarc]

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 8:34pm

    Re:

    (Déjà vu!)

    ThankPoland campaign!

    http://thankpoland.info/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Mr Big Content, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 12:06am

    Open And Online BRAINWASHING!

    The freetards always ask us responsible, law-abiding types why we never want to engage in a “debate” with them. It’s because THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE TRY!!! Inevitably all our carefully thought-out, reasoned arguments get SWAMPED by the incessant propagandizing of their so-called “evidence” until normally sensible people completely LOSE THEIR MINDS and just become another member of the MINDLESS MARCHING HORDE that is their ZOMBIE FREETARD ARMY!!!

    We need LAWS to put a stop to this kind of thing NOW! ACTA, SOPA and PIPA are needed to STEM THE RELENTLESS TIDES OF PIRACY that THREATEN TO OVERWHELM US ALL!!! The very existence of our GREAT GOD-FEARING CIVILIZATION is at stake, people! We AIN’T PLAYING TIDDLEYWINKS HERE!!!

     

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  28.  
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    Just John (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 12:42am

    Re: Open And Online BRAINWASHING!

    For the use of caps, plus the added 3 !'s, you hit the trolling spirit perfectly.

    Throwing in god fearing was also a good touch, faith vs. evidence.

    I give you 8/10 because you forgot to throw in child porn and artists.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 1:06am

    does Poland have, perhaps, what is called a democracy?

     

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  30.  
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    blakey, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 1:25am

    Re: Re: Nonsense...

    its replies like this that get you banned in germany - too many keywords. is this the new troll?

     

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  31.  
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    blakey, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 1:28am

    Re: Re: Re: After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

    its replies like this that get you banned in germany - too many keywords. is this the new troll?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    blakey, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 1:31am

    Re: Re: Re: After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

    i am guessing that this is the Polish cavalry rescuing Vienna from Turkey. (Where Tolkien got his idea from for the Rohirrim charge on Gondor)

     

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  33.  
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    blakey, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 1:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

    sorry - the bak button got the better of me - but also the Poles/Vienaa thing also gave us Croissant. Poles are great!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Paul Keating, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 2:45am

    ACTA headed for European Court of Justice

    The International Herald Tribune had an article today announcing that the European Commission had forwarded the ACTA to the European Court of Justice to opine on whether any aspect violates current law or would require modification thereof.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    martyburns (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 5:17am

    Re: Open And Online BRAINWASHING!

    ZOMBIE FREETARD ARMY

    ^ love it.

     

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  36.  
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    Some Other AC (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 5:58am

    Re: Nonsense...

    You, sir, have well earned your name on this post! There really needs to be a Supreme Funny of the Day button!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    The dinosaurs insist using an open platform like IRC would never work because under SOPA, or even existing laws, they would shut down IRC, seize the domain names and IP addresses, impound and destroy the servers, and extradite the software developers who conceived this IRC evil to face trial before the RIAA/MPAA, er, um, before a US court.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    Niall (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

    No offence, but what about Britain? Or did I just imagine that we declared war on the Nazis in 1939 and fought them all the way until June 1945 (along with the Free French)? Or are you only counting 'resistance' movements - in which case the Free French would like a word with you...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    Niall (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re:

    He has a point, the same is true in the UK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    Niall (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    Sounds like Poland has more of a functioning democracy than most places. Maybe because they actually had to fight for it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    Ummm, at least your government officials talked to you. Yes, it may have been disorganized, there may have been dumb questions, and it may have been a PR stunt; however, it could also be the first step towards government officials actually making an effort to communicate with the populace.

    See, over here in America our government officials are elected by the wealthy for the wealthy and only the wealthy are ever allowed to talk to them. Sure you can write a letter, but a robot will respond with a generic form letter ... it might not even have your name in the response.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:40am

    IRC is still the favorite communication tool amongst "geeks". :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
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    Andrew Norton (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:25am

    Re: been using it fine

    The USPP has been using IRC for it's meetings for years. Worked well for us.

    The method used here is actually the same one I used to help run on Startrek.com about 15 years ago, when there were 'actor Q+A sessions' Worked great then as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    rdk, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: After Hosting 7-Hour Open Q&A Via IRC

    Well, you declared war in September 1939, indeed. We actually fought and died then. That's the difference...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    Laine, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 3:54pm

    Great!

    Polish PM listening to what his people wants. Bravo to the Polish! Afterall, the government's power lies with the people and the government should be held accountable to the people.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    A, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 11:53pm

    Question to the author of this acticle: where did you get this news from? Sorry, but the debate was a disaster. It was wildly criticized in Polish media. PM D. Tusk organized the meeting in a hurry in oreder to calm down angry crowd.
    You say someting about actions... there were no PM's actions after the event. He only declared he halted the process of ratification ACTA and that more debates are desired. Tusk did NOT withdraw the signature.
    "szmagi" and "Chris from Poland" are right, the whole event was a parody.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 12:44am

    Re: Open And Online BRAINWASHING!

    Zombie freetard army? I wish to God there was an army.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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