We’re publishing today a research brief based on an empirical study of Creative Commons licensing on Polish web pages. The study is based on a Web crawler analysis of 20 million web pages. Based on this data, we collected a sample of Polish web pages with Creative Commons licensing information, and analysed how the licenses are used, what content is published and whether it is properly licensed.

We were particularly interested in looking not just at the scale, but also quality of CC licensing – whether people correctly mark images. We believe that CC metrics should go beyond statistics of license use, and further analysis of web pages should be conducted to better understand license use.

Here are some highlights from our study:

  • Approximately 1% of Polish web pages is made available under a Creative Commons license, out of which 50% are available under one of the free licenses (CC BY or CC BY-SA).
  • 60% of authors using a CC license to publish their works correctly provide copyright information and clearly mark content as CC licensed (including a full license name and a link to the license page). 20% of users fail to mention a specific license.
  • This percentage is lower for sites publishing content made available under a CC license by someone else – in such a case, only 40% of pages have correct licensing information.
  • 50% of content made available and used under CC licenses is photographs.

You can read an overview in English of our study here (PDF). The full study will soon be made available in Polish.

Last week, we hosted a booksprint in Kraków, in order to create the “Creative Commons for GLAM” toolkit. The meeting was part of the CC Toolkits project, which aims to create a range of content bundles about the role of Creative Commons in areas such as culture, education or science. The event brought together specialists from across Europe representing Creative Commons and other open projects, including Europeana, Open Knowledge Foundation and Wikimedia – as well as practitioners from GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) institutions.

The toolkit went beyond explaining how CC licenses can be used in the cultural or heritage sector. Looking from a broader perspective, booksprint participants wrote how heritage becomes a commons by respecting the public domain, openly licensing copyrighted works, and making freely available metadata on cultural works as well. This can be achieved by using the full range of CC tools: licenses, the CC Zero waiver and the Public Domain Mark.

The sprint provided an opportunity to not just write the toolkit together, but also discuss what does “Open GLAM” really mean – without a shared definition, we could not prescribe a proper use of CC licenses. We began with the very definition of “Open GLAM” – a term, which after a quick Google search proves not to be yet very popular within the GLAM sector. We’ve felt that nevertheless the term is worth promoting, as it underlines shared goals, challenges and solutions between institutions often seen as highly diverse: galleries, libraries, archives and museums. We’ve also come to appreciate that “less is more” in the heritage sector – that using a CC license is not always the best solution for heritage (which is often already available as free Public Domain content – and should remain such).

We’d like to thank Aleksandra, Anna, Lisette, Axel, Joris, Kuba and Lech for taking part in our booksprint. We’re also grateful to Małopolski Instytut Kultury for letting their brilliant workshop space in Kraków, and innemuzeum.pl project for their support. The “CC for GLAM” toolkit will be presented in April at cctoolkits.com where you can already find a Creative Commons Basics toolkit.

To read reports of other participants go to Europeana Professional and Kennisland.

Photos by Lech Dulian, CC BY.

The Polish open e-textbooks pilot program has been running now for over a year. In September, the beta version of the textbook portal, epodreczniki.pl has been launched, with a small initial set of test content. At the same time, the launch of the European “Opening Up Education” initative raised the importance of open educational policies in Europe.

For this reason, we are updating our information page about the open e-textbook project that runs within the Polish “Digital School” Program. We’ve updated the original information to include an updated timeline, more detailed description of the policy debate, and a set of useful links. The updated version is available on the site of Centrum Cyfrowe, affiliate organization of Creative Commons Poland.


New country report on Open Educational Resources in Poland has been published by Institute of Information Technologies in Education UNESCO (IITE). Open Educational Resources in Poland: Challenges and Opportunities ( PDF) is a review of projects and policies of public institutions and non-governmental organisations. Report written by Karolina Grodecka ( e -Learning Center of AGH University of Science and Technology) and Kamil Śliwowski (Digital Center) covers public (top down) ICT and OER initiatives in public education and non-governmental (bottom-up) OER projects and initiatives like promotion and lobbing actions.

Publication focuses a lot on story of Polish Coalition of Open Education and Digital School, first nationwide and complete for all school levels and subjects program creating open school textbooks. Both projects are characteristic of the Polish OER field and aroused international interest over last years. Especially Digital School program which consists of three components and open textbooks was the smallest but the most controversial and difficult one. Two years long, both closed and public consultations did not close the critique from commercial publishers who mostly boycotted the program. But what this report also covers, even independent OER projects (besides the biggest like Polish Wikipedia or very popular public domain digital library wolnelektury.pl) struggle for outreach to teachers. Lack of public, systematic support for teachers and NGO projects on how to implement and sustain creation and dissemination of resources is one of most important barriers for wide OER implementation.

Despite the language barrier, Poland in last years become very active in OER area, both “importing” projects and resources from english-speaking countries (there is Polish foundation running Khan Academy translations and making their own videos) and exporting some ideas. Coalition for Open Education and Creative Commons Poland are trying to show best practices form Poland and some projects like edukacjamedialna.edu.pl are starting to create second language versions of their resources. More about most important and interesting project are presented in the report and on mentioned institution webpages.

Report (PDF), published as part of series form Institute of Information Technologies in Education UNESCO about Brazil, China, Lithuania and Russia was created in co-operation with authors affiliate institutions (AGH University of Science and Technology and Digital Center) and Polish Coalition for Open Education.

„Digital School” ( read full description here) is the newest governmental program dealing with the use of ICT in Polish schools and raising ICT competences. The program is divided into four segments: e-school (infrastructure and equipment for schools), e-teacher (teacher trainings), e-student (ICT equipment for students) and e-resources (creating open textbooks, redesign of Scholaris, the national platform for educational resources, and production of ICT tools for school management). (…)

Cyfrowa szkoła” is also the first Polish program to fund open textbooks and the first major governmental OER program in Poland. In 2010, the Ministry of Education started the program „Polska szkoła” (Polish School), aimed for Polish teachers working with the Polish minorities abroad – and thus with a more limited scope. As part of the program, atomic textbook resources were licensed under a Creative Commons  Attribution – Share Alike license. Among other initiatives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses CC Attribution licenses for educational and training content created as part of its „Polska pomoc rozwojowa” developmental aid grant program. (…)

Read full description of the program and how Open Educational Resources will be implemented in it here.

Creative Commons Poland is publishing special, open poster about CC licenses. Inspired by one organisation where we have seen hand drawn explanation of all licenses. Poster was designed by Piotrek Chuchla, graphic designer and poster artist and is downloadable in PDF and open SVG formats for print, remix and next translations.

CC posterDownload it in and open vectors package (poster and all used icons).

Enjoy and share it!

Today Polish Council of Ministers adopted regulation concerning the implementation of “Digital School” program for computerization of Polish schools and raising ICT competences.  Pilot of the project aimed for 380 schools in Poland will  equip them with hardware (tablets, computers for students, additional equipment). Also digital and free (under Creative Commons Attribution or compatible) textbooks for grades 4-6 in primary schools (K4-K6) will be created (43 millions  PLN is assigned for textbooks). This is the first major government project in Poland which creates Open Educational Resources especially textbooks. Creative Commons Poland lead and director of Centrum Cyfrowe Alek Tarkowski participated in Digital School project as advisor from it’s beginning.

Photo above: Cabel Green, Director of Global Learning of Creative Commons reaction for news about open textbooks in national program in Poland. (more…)

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