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[liberationtech] Tragic News: Aaron Swartz commits suicide

Samuel Carlisle samuelcarlisle at
Sun Jan 13 12:25:21 PST 2013

I have started emailing all the academics I know in support of the open
access initiative, please do the same:

Aaron Swartz died recently, he believed in and
campaigned for a free internet:

I wonder if you could support an open data / publishing initiative by
having a quick read and emailing this to some of your colleagues in the
department to encourage the liberation of academic papers and journals so
that people can read your work and not have to pay exorbitant sums to get
access: "Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want
to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural
heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly
being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to
read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll
need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier." more here:

Please Upload your Academic Papers to the web and tweet the links with

Many others have done so in tribute to Aaron Swartz's campaign for open

In a tribute to Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who committed suicide
Friday, researchers have begun posting PDFs to Twitter to honor his
campaign for open access

Swartz, 26, had faced $4 million in fines and more than 50 years in prison
for allegedly stealing 4 million documents from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology and Jstor, an archive of scientific journals and academic
papers. The authorities claimed that he broke into a restricted-access
computer wiring closet at MIT and accessed that network without

On 12 January 2013 09:35, Yosem Companys <companys at> wrote:

> This is a tragic loss and a terrible blow to the liberationtech community.
> Yosem
> Aaron Swartz commits suicide
> Web Update
> By Anne Cai
> NEWS EDITOR; UPDATED AT 2:15 A.M. 1/12/13
> Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz committed suicide in New York City
> yesterday, Jan. 11, according to his uncle, Michael Wolf, in a comment
> to The Tech. Swartz was 26.
> “The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is,
> regrettably, true,” confirmed Swartz’ attorney, Elliot R. Peters of
> Kecker and Van Nest, in an email to The Tech.
> Swartz was indicted in July 2011 by a federal grand jury for allegedly
> mass downloading documents from the JSTOR online journal archive with
> the intent to distribute them. He subsequently moved to Brooklyn, New
> York, where he then worked for Avaaz Foundation, a nonprofit “global
> web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making
> everywhere.” Swartz appeared in court on Sept. 24, 2012 and pleaded
> not guilty.
> The accomplished Swartz co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0
> specification at age 14, was one of the three co-owners of the popular
> social news site Reddit, and completed a fellowship at Harvard’s
> Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption. In 2010, he founded
>, a “campaign against the Internet censorship bills
> --
> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:

Samuel Carlisle BEng (Hons) Dunelm MIET
pgp: 0x54828CAA
twitter: @samthetechie <!/samthetechie>
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