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Author Topic: Aaron Swartz sucide  (Read 4218 times)
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I had not come across him but apparently I had seen the fruits of his labors. One of the founders of the Creative Commons license and RSS standards and only 26.

http://boingboing.net/2013/01/12/rip-aaron-swartz.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boingboing%2FiBag+%28Boing+Boing%29
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Way too young ...
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Same age as my son. Terrible.

The world can be an unkind place to the genius.
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I think it's a testimony to the ferocity with which we are faced when demanding that information be free to all.  The powers that be are not friendly to many freedoms, especially the freedom of information.
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The bigger problem is that he seemed to think that it was his right (or obligation) to free other peoples ideas. It is what is known as theft if I choose to free your cattle or sheep or other property. If you come up with an idea should I have the right to publish it and benefit from it without your permission? He, like the Occupy Wall Street folk seemed to think that because he wants it a certain way, then all others should submit to his "superior" ideas.

My personal thought is that this is the end result of a spoiled life that was not taught right from wrong, or respect for others. He broke the law, stole other peoples property and could not accept that he was not the supreme abitter in this situation.

The game wasn't being played by his rules so he took his ball and went home. The ultimate act of a selfish individual.

As part of a society, I either have to work within that societies means for change of be prepared to deal with the results of my refusal to conform.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 05:06:50 pm by kf2qd » Logged

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The bigger problem is that he seemed to think that it was his right (or obligation) to free other peoples ideas. It is what is known as theft if I choose to free your cattle or sheep or other property.

Theft deprives the owner of physical property. If I steal or "free" your cattle or sheep or other property, you can no longer make use of that property.

If however, I were to somehow make a copy of all your cattle, sheep or other property - while you still retained your original - what have you lost? You can still do with your property as you like.

Or - are you trying to say that just because you came up with some form of ephemeral "information" - that anyone who wants it -must- pay you for it, that you -deserve- payment for it? What if I don't pay you, nor do I take a copy - haven't I just denied you money, and in effect have "stolen" something from you (that is, I didn't give you the money you were entitled for the idea you created)?

That's the nature of information - anything that is infinitely copyable technically has zero value; we only make up these laws and such to give artificial value to something that naturally should have little to no value at all, if left to it's own devices, so to speak.

If you come up with an idea should I have the right to publish it and benefit from it without your permission?

If you did it on my taxpayer-funded dime - well, yeah, I should be able to get a copy of that information for a reasonable fee to cover copying, material, and handling expenses (which, in this day and age, should be essentially free - what with torrents and such; it's not like you -have- to host this stuff on a paid-for server any more, but even then, it should cost as much as it does to get some publications from the government - at one time, when you could only get a paper copy, it was one thing - but today it shouldn't cost much, if anything).

He, like the Occupy Wall Street folk seemed to think that because he wants it a certain way, then all others should submit to his "superior" ideas.

Were you paying attention to anything OWS was saying? Or were you too busy worrying about who was going to be the front-runner for the regressive party?

My personal thought is that this is the end result of a spoiled life that was not taught right from wrong, or respect for others. He broke the law, stole other peoples property and could not accept that he was not the supreme abitter in this situation.

The game wasn't being played by his rules so he took his ball and went home. The ultimate act of a selfish individual.

I sincerely doubt that he committed suicide solely due to any of his legal issues; while I am sure they played somewhat into his demise, likely he was suffering from depression of some sort or another, and eventually it became too much. Surely you're not so heartless as to not to see that possibility?

As part of a society, I either have to work within that societies means for change of be prepared to deal with the results of my refusal to conform.
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It's an interesting problem of mine that I often find myself totally agreeing with cr0sh and Grumpy_Mike.  This young man had the energy and drive of the young with the skills and ideas of the hacker.  Not a combination that would lead to a calm peaceful life, but certainly not deserving the diatribe that kf2qd spouted.

He copied data that was produced under public funding and being held ransom by one of the "evil corporations."  Were I younger and had access, I would have gladly done the same thing.  And later bragged about it.  There's simply no comparison to actually stealing something that someone else would have to buy to replace.  This was a case of a prosecutor wanting to upgrade a reputation, and driving an immature, certainly depressed, young man to suicide.

And for those of you that continue to think that suicide is the easy way out, it isn't.  It takes a lot of personal courage to make that final commitment.  To know that what you're going to do will end your life is a tough decision, it's much easier to blame everyone else.  This young man knew that once he was hanging at the end of the rope, he would suffer severely, and not be able to change his mind.  That was hard.

For crying out loud the freaking 'victims' in the case had already stated they were withdrawing from the prosecution.   

And yes, I totally believe in non-violent civil disobedience.
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If however, I were to somehow make a copy of all your cattle, sheep or other property - while you still retained your original - what have you lost?
I've lost margins in a free market economy - you've just depressed the price of cattle, by artificially increasing supply.
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If however, I were to somehow make a copy of all your cattle, sheep or other property - while you still retained your original - what have you lost?
I've lost margins in a free market economy - you've just depressed the price of cattle, by artificially increasing supply.

If the nature of the product is that it is infinitely copy-able surely there is nothing artificial in increasing supply through that process.
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If you spent thousands of dollars in gear and software, and hundreds of hours more in time, composing, writing, recording, mixing, mastering a song.... then offer that song for sale, should you be fairly compensated for all your work?  Yes? No?

On the other hand, if someone copied that same song you did and gave it away freely to others (without your permission), can that person claim you didn't really lose anything... since you still have your song? That he didn't "steal" your song, he only made copies, not making money off it, and giving it away to others because he believes music should be free. 

It's sad he killed himself, but I think he went about this whole JSTOR caper in the wrong way.

Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) didn't go to all the other encyclopedia companies and stole their information, and give it away to the masses because he believes in free information... no, he started his own Wikipedia foundation.

Aaron Swartz could have done the same thing for academic journals... but nooooo... he went about it the wrong way.
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@vasco
You have an important point. As the writer/composer of the music YOU should be compensated. Agree completely but...

I know that most of the money I pay - price in NL is €10~30 for a CD (bought hundreds of them) is max 20 cents for the cd + box + booklet production price, and about 1 Euro per CD for recording (estimation). From the 10 Euro I think the artist gets 1 Euro and the rest (80%) goes to the music industry. Is that fair compensation?

When artist make CD's themselves and sell them at a performance they get "100%" of the money, I think that is a fair deal.

another view on this I heard is that musicians have the option to sell their music digitally or by CD or .... There is no-one that says they have to.
So if they do, they know what 'system' they choose. And I think most musician make more money with live acts than with CD/downloaded(payed) music.

That said, it is not an argument for illegal downloading.
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You might want to read this http://unhandled.com/2013/01/12/the-truth-about-aaron-swartzs-crime/ and then consider again the "theft" theory.
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I agree with you vasquo, but that's not what happened with Swartz.  He grabbed documents that were part of a repository that was totally open within the campus.  Most of the documents were funded by public money for research and had been published and sold already.  They were taken from an archive.  The value of the archive is not so much in its documents; the value is in the search capabilities that JSTOR provided in addition to the documents.  It's of great value to do a text search among tons of documents to find what you need, but that isn't what Swartz downloaded.

He took what was freely available on the network to anyone at MIT.

It was highly notable that JSTOR made a deal with him and agreed to drop it, then after (I think it was a month later) it should have been settled, the 'authorities' came in and started inventing charges.

It's sort of like someone taking the CD you describe, you notice it and tell them to give it back, they do, then the cops come, lock them up, and throw away the key.  The original argument was settled, but the government has to get into it and escalate it beyond reason.
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I see... I've read a few articles these past few days that says he took from a subscription service ($50K a year?) or something... there seems be a lot of news article out there that are misleading.

but it looks like he just used "curl" to download free files.

There's a petition going on to oust the government prosecutor in this case... he took it too far. He wasn't trying to seek justice, he's probably trying to make a name for himself... add a notch to his political belt, bragging rights.  I've seen murderers/rapists get away with lighter punishment than what he's trying to throw on Aaron.
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If however, I were to somehow make a copy of all your cattle, sheep or other property - while you still retained your original - what have you lost?

easy, the value of cattle goes down and you share in my profit while contributing none of the work

I, out of all people am grey when it comes to this stuff, but I never will buy into this copy is not theft idea.

You take something of commercial value, the product is not the box or the 5 cent CD or the shrinkwrap it all comes in.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 09:22:50 am by Osgeld » Logged


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