Remembering Aaron Swartz

14 Jan

Aaron Swartz committed suicide over the weekend at 26 years of age.  There have been many articles written about his death, including ones by Lawrence Lessing ( and a few on Ars Technica ).  They write about his life better than I could.

He was facing 50 years in prison for downloading academic journals, most of which get paid for by public funding.  Regardless of the legality of his actions, a Bernie Madoff-level prison sentence is grossly unfair for a copyright violation.  Shame on MIT for pursuing this.  Shame on the prosecutors for pursuing this vendetta against an activist.

Aaron’s family has written a statement ( blaming the prosecutor, US Attorney, Carmen Ortiz, for persecuting Aaron.  She now has to live with the knowledge that she drove a brilliant mind who was pursuing social justice to suicide.

Edit: From a witness who was going to speak on behalf of Aaron:

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