Our activities (2015-2022)

Research activities:

During first 7 years of its operations, FREE has initiated the following research projects:

Joint collaboration of FREE’s internal staff and external consultants resulted in a proposal submitted in mid-2016 to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education concerning the strategy for improving higher education in Poland. The proposal has received recognition from the Ministry. Also, outcomes of research project concerning legal issues in e-learning, have been presented at Online Educa Berlin conference in December 2016. Last but not least, FREE has recently commenced a project related to the development of methodology for teaching teachers how to code with children using traditional, blended and on-line learning.

In 2017 and 2018 we managed to obtain two grants from the NCN concerning research on legal aspects of WCAG 2.0 as well as life as a lawyer of Jan Brzechwa. Both projects were won by prof. P. Polański and will be continued for next 3 years.

We also took part in 2016 and 2018 Online Educa Berlin conference, where we presented outcomes of a research titles “Legal uncertainty in elearning environments“). Furthermore, we also consulted Polish Ministry of Digitisation  (Ministerstwo Cyfryzacji) with respect to desired regulatory model concerning the consent for profiling of a child in cyberspace (in connection with a new EU General Data Protection Regulation).

In 2018 and 2019, we were fully involved in the implementation of both research projects and – which turned out to have far-reaching consequences – in the implementation of a gigantic undertaking in the form of the implementation of 11 educational projects “Code to the Future” in 11 regions in Poland. The enormity of training and settlement work turned out to be many times greater than assumed.

In 2020, a report on the development of digital accessibility was published, as well as a number of publications in this area. In the project regarding Brzechwa as a lawyer, it was possible to rebuild the team and significantly accelerate the work, as well as – finally finding a commentary on the copyright, which was not published because the printing house in which it was printed was bombed in September 1939.

In 2021, in the area of scientific research, we completed research on the monograph on Brzechwa, which will be published in 2022, and we also issued a commentary to the Act on Digital Accessibility. We also won a project at the National Center for Research and Development for the implementation of assumptions for a mobile application supporting digital signature for the visually impaired.

FREE Institute also managed to publish the following academic papers:

K. Garstka, Looking above and beyond the blunt expectation: specified request as the recommended approach to intermediary liability in cyberspaceThe European Journal of Law and Technology (EJLT), VOL 7, NO 3 (2016) [html]

M. Stępień, Zapomniana sfera życia Jana Brzechwy (1898-1966): mecenas Jan Wiktor Lesman jako pionier polskiego i międzynarodowego prawa autorskiego, „Palestra” nr 10/2016 [html]

P. Polański, Obowiązek zapewnienia dostępności treści stron internetowych osobom niedowidzącym, Monitor Prawniczy 2016 nr 24 s. 1109 i n [html].

P. Polański, O przyczynach nieświadomości prawnej Polaków, czyli o granicach ludzkiego poznania, „Iustitia” nr 1/2016, s. 25 i n. [html],

P. Polański, Strona internetowa jako program komputerowy [w:] „Media Elektroniczne. Współczesne problemy prawne” (red. K. Flaga-Gieruszyńska, J. Gołaczyński, D. Szostek), Warszawa 2016, s. 299 i n [html].

P. Polański, Towards the single digital market for e-identification and trust services, Computer Law & Security Review, Volume 31, Issue 6, December 2015, Pages 773–781 (this paper has received an Elsevier Award for the Best Academic Paper presented the 9th International Conference on Legal, Security and Privacy Issues in IT Law (LSPI) held in Lisbon, Portugal in November 2014) [html].

2 more papers have been submitted to CLSR and are awaiting final acceptance.

Educational activities:

From October 2016 FREE has been selected as a leading partner in a project titled “Code to the Future” concerning teaching kids and teachers how to program using visual programming tools, such as Scratch and how to build robots using Lego. Partners include Girls Code Fun Foundation and commercial entities, namely: Robocamp i Szkoła Alfa and Omega. Together, we prepared a detailed proposal how to prepare teachers for challenges associated with teaching programming. In 2018 we were teaching programming skills in 10 regions in Poland and from 2019 onwards – in 11 regions. We were also selected as a partner in a major project led by top technical universities in Poland concerning teaching coding skills to young, especially talented kids.

In 2021, we focused on educational work despite the lack of any financial support from CPPC and continued the implementation of “Code to the Future” projects in 6 regions of Poland with our own savings. We worked practically all the time remotely and all the time in the de facto voluntary formula, so without the money granted under project financing agreements. Not only the lack of financial resources was a challenge, but also organizational issues. All teachers had to be recruited because of the impact of COVID-19 on the implementation of educational projects that have been taking place remotely for two years.