Aaron Swartz Didn't Have to Die. Presumptive Arrogance, Power and Intransigence Garroted Him - Page 2
Aaron harmed no one. Aaron murdered no one, yet he was potentially facing 50 years in prison if convicted. What had Aaron done? He took online documents from JSTOR's archives and made them accessible to the public. Mind you, he did not do this to make money for himself. He did it to provide free and open access to the little people, to you and to me, to share the wealth of knowledge that universities have retained a monopoly over to enrich themselves. Aaron was kind of equalizing the playing field, an intellectual Robin Hood, shining the light on free access to information (these were public anyway) in keeping with his vision of providing the opportunity of gaining knowledge if you had the inclination to read and educate yourself.
Was this a crime? Well, for private corporations information and knowledge have a price. Say that pharmaceuticals want to find a way to patent herbal remedies to cure cancer that licensed Indian homeopaths and doctors have been using for 4000 years with great success. How do you patent something that has been around for 4000 years (like free knowledge) to make lots of money on it? You can't. If you can't patent these natural remedies to make money, then you create other remedies, patent them, charge huge swaths of money and offer them to doctors for use, regardless of their questionable results and high failure rates. Soon there's a monopoly of use of these patented "cures." What of the more efficacious remedies? Drug oligarchies crowd them out. Unadvertised and unknown or even discredited and banned as dangerous, they are forgotten or marginally kept in use in other countries. By controlling information in an elaborate process, companies make great profits, regardless of whether people die or live using their practices and services. They do not take kindly if you steal their information and will prosecute you. Aaron didn't "take" documents that were private.
Aaron, like all in the open access movement, knew knowledge is power and true, reliable information brings wealth into shrewd, deceitful, selfish and restrictive hands, as ignorance brings poverty, enslavement and oppression in all its horrific aspects. Information can also bring embarrassment to the powerful and change the course of a country's policies, i.e Bradley Manning's leaking information to Wiki leaks. Aaron stood for open access and open democracy to enlighten the world and make it a better place. It's inevitable that profit mongers who "get" knowledge by any means, legal or illegal, exploit their services to those without knowledge or technical skill. Aaron knew how to "get" knowledge, but he wasn't a profit monger.Continued on the next page