Downloading MP3s (or movies, pictures, press articles) is not illegal under the Polish law. According to the provisions of Article 23 of the Polish Act on Authors Rights and Neighbouring Rights – ARNR – (in Polish: ustawa o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych) of 4 February 1994, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 24, item 83, consolidated text of 16 May 2006, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 90, item 631, with subsequent amendments.
Lawful Use of Protected Works
Art. 23.-1. It shall be permissible, without the consent of the creator, to make use free of charge, of a work that has already been disclosed. However, this provision shall not authorize the construction of a building based on an architectural work or a work of urban architecture made by another person.
2. Personal use shall extend to use within a circle of persons who are personally related, in particular by blood or marriage, or who entertain social relations.
That was also explicitly said in Rzeczpospolita’s article entitled (this is my loosely translation of course) “Downloading MP3’s files is not a crime“.
No one in Poland will go to prison for downloading music or movies from the Internet. But you can get there for file sharing.
Computer software is protected on different rules. There are proper provisions included in the Criminal Code – CRC – (in Polish: Kodeks Karny) of 6 June 1997, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 88, item 553, with subsequent amendments.
Offences against Property
Article 278. § 1. Whoever, with the purpose of appropriating, wilfully takes someone else’s movable property shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for a term of between 3 months and 5 years.
§ 2. The same punishment shall be imposed on anyone, who without the permission of the authorised person, acquires someone else’s computer software, with the purpose of gaining material benefit.
§ 3. In the event that the act is of a lesser significance, the perpetrator shall be subject to a fine, the penalty of restriction of liberty or the penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to one year.
§ 4. If the theft has been committed to the detriment of a next of kin, the prosecution shall occur upon a motion from the injured person.
§ 5. The provisions of § 1, 3 and 4 shall be applied accordingly to stealing energy or a card enabling the collection of money from a bank automatic cash dispenser [automatic teller machine]
There is also Chapter 14 entitled Criminal Liability in the Polish Act on Authors Rights and Neighbouring Rights – ARNR – (in Polish: ustawa o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych) of 4 February 1994, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 24, item 83, consolidated text of 16 May 2006, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 90, item 631 with subsequent amendments.