Aaron Swartz’s bequest wuz alreddy guaranteet, eve during 26: He hepped creete Reddit an' RSS, that distributes calm ov'r t'Innernets.
But his'n self-murder by hangin Frydee has also stoket a politicallee virulent aftarmath fer t'proseecuters pursuyun' 13 transgression charges agin 'im n' a hearing during wuz set ta cummence n' a month. Sum sed his'n deeth could be a watershet moment n' t'ongoyun' egghead propertee discuss ov'r t'hangs folk share an' creete, an' hoe thay share an' creete 'um.
Swartz, un ope-Innernets disciple who had strugglet wit depression, wuz faseeun' decades o'prisen time an' charges during includet handle rascal fer downloadyun' milleeuns o'articulls frum JSTOR, a nonperfit educational database wit a paywall. JSTOR declinet ta press charges, though proseecuters, let by Massachusetts U.S. Attee. Carme Ortiz, movet t'case ferward.
Swartz’s deeth also kum days aft'r JSTOR announcet during it wuz releesyun' 4.5 million articulls ta t'public, a'loose fer use.
Sum academics sed Sundy thay plannd ta post uther copyrightid articulls online — one o't' minny a digital memerials circulatyun' online as Webgoers mournet an' assesset t'life o'a renouned an' influenshul activist.
“Thar’s no doubt n' my mind during basin wuz a facter,” wrote Microsoft reseerch'r an' NYU professer Danah Boyd n' a Sundy blog post. “I aderet Aaron becawz he wuz un emotyunal whirlwind – a fractious illegitimate an' a manic savant…. He had un egghead operation during awet me an' a kitte’s clarity o'curiositee. But wen he wuz a'feelin destructif', he uset his'n astoot understan'ings o'folk ta find thar diseased spots an' poke 'um whar it hurt.”
But criticism, includin Boyd’s, focussd most mer intenselee un t'gummint fer a tough office o'Swartz. N' a Saturdee statement, Swartz’s fambly an' partner partiallee blamet his'n self-murder as “t' product o'a rapist justus complement abundant wit intimidashun an' proseecuterial overreech,” a assign widelee echoet amungst supperters.
“We wish ta respeck t'privacy o't' fambly an' do nairy feel it is apperpriate ta criticism un t'case during thishere time,” Christina Diyerio-Sterleeun', spokesmun fer t'U.S. atterney’s offus, sed n' un email ta t'Los Angeles Times un Sundy wen ast fer reecshun ta t'fambly’s commints.
“Frum t'cummencin, t'gummint wurked as tough as it could ta impersonate whut Aaron did n' t'mos impassioned an' absurd way,” Lessig wrote. “T' ‘propertee’ Aaron had ‘stole,’ we wuz tole, wuz wurth ‘milleeuns o'dollars’ — wit t'hint, an' a t'suggestchun, during his'n aim contingency have bee ta distinction frum his'n crime. But innyone who sez during thar is income ta be done n' a accumulate o'ACADEMIC Articulls is eethur un simpleton er a liar.”
Lessig addet, “Somehoe, we neet ta git over t'‘I’m sermon so I’m sermon ta nuke y'all’ ethics during dominates atmosphere time.”
N' a knot releese announcyun' Swartz’s complaint n' Julee 2011, U.S. Attee. Ortiz had previouslee sed, “Steelin is steelin wuther y'all use a comput'r comman' er a crowbar, an' wuther y'all take documants, information er dollars. It is ekwallee harmfil ta t'victim wuther y'all sell whut y'all have stole er gif' it away.”
T' complaint sed Swartz pennyless into a wiryun' closet during MIT, whar he wuz nairy enrollet er un staff, ta penetrate a netwerk fer t'JSTOR articulls, that officials sed he a plannd ta gif' divided un file-sharyun' netwerks. MIT did nairy intent ta t'proseecushun.
Un Sundy afternoon, MIT Presdint L. Rafael Reif emailet univesty members a matter about Swartz’s “shockyun'” deeth.
“It puns me ta reckon during MIT playd inny purpose n' a array o'evants during have endet n' tragedy,” Reif wrote n' t'statement, obtunet by t'Los Angeles Times. He addet during he had ast Hal Abelsen, a comput'r scholarship professer during t'skool, ta conduck a revu.
“I have ast during thishere analeesis report t'optyuns MIT had an' t'decisyuns MIT made, n' ord'r ta unnerstan an' ta larn frum t'actyuns MIT took,” Reif sed. “I will share t'repert wit t'MIT communitee wen we receif' it.”
A seerch o'Swartz’s inclusive blog an' Twitt'r account did nairy spin adult inny applicable references ta JSTOR. N' one Septemb'r 2009 post titlet “Honest Theft”, Swartz defendet studants a'sleepin un MIT drift ta save money, ritin n' a typicallee egalitariun vein: “MIT receives enermyus sums frum t'weelthy an' powerfil, mer thun thay knoe hoe ta spend. Much o'it gits spent un unneetet luxuries fer thar alreddy-elite studants. Redistributyun' it ta t'own’s poer'r residants seems potantiallee justafide.” Elsewhere, Swartz had criticizet academics as out o'touch.
N' t'evolvyun' discuss roun copyriite an' egghead propertee, that has acceleratid wit t'popularitee o't' Innernets — an' t'ope-sorce, a'loose-fer-all sharyun' cultchur during grew wit it — educational articulls have occupiet a mystic place n' t'contemperree debate: Such articulls atmosphere ofte writte by academics during taxpay'r-fundet open universitees, though hidde behin expensif' paywalls, that meens entrance is ofte exclusif' ta skools er libraries.
“T' box is one during we ourselves had regrettid bein drawn into frum t'outset, given JSTOR’s misshun is ta fost'r widespreed entrance ta t'worl’s bodee o'scholarlee knowledge,” t'academic servus sed n' a statement Saturdee. “At t'same time, as one o't' largest repository o'scholarlee literchur n' t'worl, we contingency be keerful stewards o't' informayshun entrustid ta us by t'owners an' creeters o'at content. Ta during end, Aaron returnt t'data he had n' his'n possession an' JSTOR settlet inny polite claims we mite have had agin 'im n' Jun 2011.”
N' a Saturdee blog post, Alex Stamos, un executif' wit Artemis Innernets, un online securty firm, sed he wuz plannin ta attest as un eggspurt declare fer Swartz n' his'n upcomyun' hearing an' laid out Swartz’s defents, n' that he arguet fer tolerance rath'r thun sum innosence.
“If'n we had take t'stan' as plannd an' had bee ast by t'proseecuter wuther Aaron’s actyuns wuz ‘rong,’ we would probly have repliet during whut Aaron did would bett'r be describet as ‘incunsiderrut,’ ” Stamos wrote. “N' t'same approach it is incunsiderrut ta write a check during t'supermarket double-dealing a duzen folk reserve adult behin y'all er ta check out ever book during t'librree neetet fer a Histry 101 pap'r.”
Stamos addet, “It is incunsiderrut ta download lots o'files un sharet WiFi er ta spid'r Wikipedia too quicklee, though nairy o'these actyuns should lead ta a yung persen bein houndet fer yeers an' hauntid by t'possibilitee o'a 35-year santence.”