Sunday, January 13, 2013

Aaron Swartz found dead prior to trial for "theft" of electronic journal articles

Many readers are already aware that Aaron Swartz, one of Reddit's co-founders, committed suicide a few weeks prior to his trial for "theft"of millions of articles from JSTOR via his institutional access while at MIT.

These two posts at Boing Boing describe Aaron Swartz's purported crimes (downloading most if not all of the article in JSTOR) and post a statement from Swartz's family.  His family blames an overly aggressive legal system, which was seeking penalties that would probably lead to severe restrictions on Aaron Swartz's ability to freely pursue his passions and irrevocably change his life.   This terrible tragedy could have been avoided and my deepest condolences go out to all those who personally knew Aaron.