Aaron Swartz Didn't Have to Die. Presumptive Arrogance, Power and Intransigence Garroted Him - Page 3
For profit mongers and the protectionist DOJ who in the past have made smart career moves on cases such as this, what Aaron symbolized and what he did was and is anathema. In the large scale economies of profit and loss, there is no such thing as free access. But Aaron was not giving out private information or documents stolen from corporate sites. Yet, prosecutors went after and went after and went after him though JSTOR didn't want the case pursued.
These U.S. Attorneys mistakenly applied an economic construct of law against Aaron, instead of taking the high road, and acknowledging the Internet law they used against him needed reforming. Regardless, they barreled ahead relentlessly "seeing" that Aaron violated the very soul of protectionist laws of profit. He "stole" knowledge/information, and Ortiz stood by their case, claiming, "Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar." This overweaning response to what Aaron did (at best a misdemeanor) is of mythic, skewed proportion. It deserves analogical characterization, does it not? Who was this Aaron Swartz, a rebellious Prometheus who gave fire to man (a proponent of open access, making the documents public)? And like Prometheus, must he be punished for his most dire act?
Aaron dropped out of school because he was a genius. It held him back from learning. He was not, like others, leaping through training hoops to gain information. He was finding ways to gain access to information to innovate and create new forms, and whatever he discovered, he shared and made public. That was who he was. He was ethical. He was the new paradigm, and his sharing these documents was his last act of bravery in a corrupt system whose trade of knowledge for money represented everything Aaron repudiated.
Call him a visionary. Call him an innovator. At the very least to call him a thief is archaic, dull, unaware. It brings to mind the protagonist in "The Call of the Wild" by Jack London, who misses the signs, and doesn't read the little details of reality. in London's story, the protagonist's environment is in an extremity of cold. The protagonist should run for cover. But he "lacks imagination," and his inflexible ignorance and dullness leads him out into the wilderness and he freezes to death.Continued on the next page