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(The New York Times)   Hacker, activist, SOPA critic & early Reddit coder Aaron Swartz, who co-authored RSS specification at 14, committed suicide yesterday. He faced up to 50 years on federal charges for downloading free content, and had battled depression. He was 26   (nytimes.com) divider line 445
    More: Sad, Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig, specifications, electronic records, Cory Doctorow, depressions, legal defense  
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12583 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jan 2013 at 5:01 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-12 02:56:32 PM  
An hero to us all.
 
2013-01-12 03:13:33 PM  
r/ip
 
2013-01-12 03:19:26 PM  
Way too young to go. I offer my condolences and my prayers to his family and friends.
 
2013-01-12 03:21:09 PM  
RIP

Too bad he didn't grasp the idea of privacy.
 
2013-01-12 03:23:37 PM  
He just should have spied on his supporters like Zukerburg instead, then none of this would have happened.
 
2013-01-12 03:33:09 PM  
This isn't the funniest headline but it is more respectful
 
2013-01-12 03:42:18 PM  
I'd kill myself too if I was associated with Reddit.
 
2013-01-12 03:47:10 PM  
What a goddamn shame.
 
2013-01-12 03:49:16 PM  
Also,  He faced up to 50 years on federal charges for downloading free content

No he didn't. TFA says they declined to prosecute him. Also, the content isn't free, it's behind a paywall. He felt it should be free (as do I), but it's not.
 
2013-01-12 04:01:14 PM  
Geniuses who fight for our rights and help make things we all use?  Naw, we don't need any of that around here.
 
2013-01-12 04:06:23 PM  

make me some tea: Also,  He faced up to 50 years on federal charges for downloading free content

No he didn't. TFA says they declined to prosecute him. Also, the content isn't free, it's behind a paywall. He felt it should be free (as do I), but it's not.


He didn't have any money left after the original indictment.  (from TFA)  It's all about the Benjamins.  Why sue the guy and spend tens of thousands of your own money when there's no payoff?  Of course they declined.
 
2013-01-12 04:21:06 PM  
I think they screw you on the cost for journals, but they aren't free. They are subscription based. He committed a crime.
 
2013-01-12 04:26:46 PM  
He didn't face 50 years for downloading free content, he faced 50 years for stealing it for his own use by creating his own site.
 
2013-01-12 04:30:10 PM  

labman: He committed a crime.


So have him pay a year's subscription for each journal. Also some of the journals in JSTOR are moving away from paid access and plenty of academics aren't and never have been thrilled with paid access to academic journal archives.
 
2013-01-12 04:32:12 PM  

GAT_00: he faced 50 years for stealing it for his own use by creating his own site.


Except he didn't steal it. Plenty of what's in JSTOR can be found all over the place for free. It's not an exclusive repository. And copying a computer file isn't theft as no one is deprived of access to the file after.
 
2013-01-12 04:37:58 PM  
Some links:

The Truth about Aaron Swartz's "Crime"

Lessig: Prosecutor as Bully

My Aaron Swartz, whom I loved (http://www.quinnnorton.com/said/?p=644) cache

Petition to remove the prosecutor
 
2013-01-12 04:40:45 PM  

WhyteRaven74: GAT_00: he faced 50 years for stealing it for his own use by creating his own site.

Except he didn't steal it. Plenty of what's in JSTOR can be found all over the place for free. It's not an exclusive repository. And copying a computer file isn't theft as no one is deprived of access to the file after.


Sure, I've got access to most of JSTOR at the moment.  But it's intended for personal use and improvement, and I pay fees to allow that.  Rehosting it is the problem.
 
2013-01-12 04:41:07 PM  
RIP random person I never heard of until today.
 
2013-01-12 04:43:35 PM  

WhyteRaven74: GAT_00: he faced 50 years for stealing it for his own use by creating his own site.

Except he didn't steal it. Plenty of what's in JSTOR can be found all over the place for free. It's not an exclusive repository. And copying a computer file isn't theft as no one is deprived of access to the file after.


I'm one of those types.

Very sad story.
 
2013-01-12 04:46:16 PM  

WhyteRaven74: labman: He committed a crime.

So have him pay a year's subscription for each journal. Also some of the journals in JSTOR are moving away from paid access and plenty of academics aren't and never have been thrilled with paid access to academic journal archives.


I meant to copy this comment when I said- "I'm one of those types."

So many researchers receive public dollars- our knowledge production should be public too.
 
2013-01-12 04:51:34 PM  

GAT_00: Rehosting it is the problem.


A lot of the articles that are at JSTOR are already found at other places, it's not like JSTOR is the only place to find these articles. The repository idea of JSTOR is awesome, the paid access is rather anti-academic and anti-intellectual. But to act like the archives are the sole purvey of JSTOR is not only silly it's wrong.
 
2013-01-12 05:03:07 PM  
BTW another factor is JSTOR doesn't own the rights to any of the material in the archives, that belongs either to the organizations that publish the materials or the authors themselves. So JSTOR can't claim any sort of copyright issue, that would be up to the actual copyright holders to decide. Of course since a good number have or plan to have their archives openly accessible online, it's not like they're out anything. In the case of articles where the author has the copyright, lots of professors have links to their work on their faculty web pages, anyone can browse on by and download every paper they've had published. Also some academic departments have central repositories for the work of department members.
 
2013-01-12 05:05:05 PM  
This was on Reddit like 3 days ago
 
2013-01-12 05:06:34 PM  
Why would you kill just yourself in this kind of situation? At least off the prosecutor too.
 
2013-01-12 05:07:24 PM  

Frank N Stein: I'd kill myself too if I was associated with Reddit.


Why?
 
2013-01-12 05:07:28 PM  

RoyBatty: Some links:

The Truth about Aaron Swartz's "Crime"

Lessig: Prosecutor as Bully

My Aaron Swartz, whom I loved (http://www.quinnnorton.com/said/?p=644) cache

Petition to remove the prosecutor


And here I thought I could get through another weekend without crying.

/fark all of this.
 
2013-01-12 05:07:36 PM  

Frank N Stein: I'd kill myself too if I was associated with Reddit.


Oooh! I'm gonna make an animal meme!
 
2013-01-12 05:08:10 PM  
okay.jpg
 
2013-01-12 05:09:35 PM  
i184.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-12 05:10:08 PM  
i21.photobucket.com
RIP
 
2013-01-12 05:10:26 PM  

WhyteRaven74: So have him pay a year's subscription for each journal.


They were charging ten cents a page.
 
2013-01-12 05:11:00 PM  
Information wants to be free.

Governments are owned by the people who make money off information.

We're fast approaching the age of Tales from the Afternow.
 
2013-01-12 05:11:28 PM  
Is this an up or down 'karma'?
 
2013-01-12 05:12:11 PM  
I don't know jack about downloading monstrous amounts of free data, but I do know depression. Was his a "pre-existing condition," or something that was a result of the charges leveled against him?
 
2013-01-12 05:12:21 PM  

WhyteRaven74: GAT_00: he faced 50 years for stealing it for his own use by creating his own site.

Except he didn't steal it. Plenty of what's in JSTOR can be found all over the place for free. It's not an exclusive repository. And copying a computer file isn't theft as no one is deprived of access to the file after.


Just repeating that again and again doesn't make it true. Theft if theft. If, using your premise he could have just gone "all over the place" to get the content, why did he choose to break into JSTOR...Convenience is not an excuse.
 
2013-01-12 05:15:30 PM  
So some depressed dude finally gets the murder-suicide thing in the right order and people are sad?
 
2013-01-12 05:15:39 PM  
Are there any RSS readers worth using anymore? Ones that download more than just a quick summary of the news article? Or is the problem the feeds? There used to be some readers that would download the entire news article and comments for offline reading. If I have to click on an RSS summary to launch the web browser to view the full article, that kind of defeats the point of having an RSS reader.
 
2013-01-12 05:16:23 PM  
Never heard of the guy but that is freaking sad.

F*ck you, world!
 
2013-01-12 05:18:02 PM  

It's Me Bender: Why would you kill just yourself in this kind of situation? At least off the prosecutor too.


Ahhh someone thinks murder-suicide is in the right order.
 
2013-01-12 05:18:31 PM  

Ray Vaughn: Theft if theft


JSTOR doesn't own the files it's archives, they are owned by their respective copyright holders. Without ownership, you can't have theft. What's more many of the files on JSTOR are not exclusive to JSTOR, they're available to anyone and everyone at other places, available legally. So at most JSTOR can claim a loss of subscription revenue. As for as the files are concerned, JSTOR didn't have anything stolen, because it doesn't own them in the first place nor is it holding them as a trusted third party for the purpose of exclusive archival storage.
 
2013-01-12 05:19:53 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Ray Vaughn: Theft if theft

JSTOR doesn't own the files it's archives, they are owned by their respective copyright holders. Without ownership, you can't have theft. What's more many of the files on JSTOR are not exclusive to JSTOR, they're available to anyone and everyone at other places, available legally. So at most JSTOR can claim a loss of subscription revenue. As for as the files are concerned, JSTOR didn't have anything stolen, because it doesn't own them in the first place nor is it holding them as a trusted third party for the purpose of exclusive archival storage.


So people should just take books from a library and not return them since the library doesn't own the copyright?
 
2013-01-12 05:20:45 PM  

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Information wants to be free.



Ok. Let's start with your SS number, bank account information, CC numbers, home address, mothers maiden name, grandparents names and the access codes to any other financial dealing you may have.
 
2013-01-12 05:21:13 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org
RIP  Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz
 
2013-01-12 05:21:39 PM  

Giltric: So people should just take books from a library and not return them since the library doesn't own the copyright?


If you take a book from the library and keep it, you deprive someone else who goes to that library of access to that book. If you copy a file from a digital archive, you deprive no one of anything, except possible rights fees or subscription fees, because you've copied the file, you have not actually moved it to another physical location.
 
2013-01-12 05:22:54 PM  
Can we all just start to be a little less frickin' serious about all this sh*t now? It's a lot of math, folks. Unplug the grid and it's 1830 and your modern world crawls straight up it's own ass. I'm pretty sure genius was valuable in 1833, also. He fixed more sh*t than he broke and I'd like to see any of the people who were hell bent on nailing him to a tree say that without staring at their feet,
 
2013-01-12 05:23:12 PM  

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: Information wants to be free.


If only want storage devices, servers & their maintenance and network access wanted to be free aswell, unfortunately there are realities behind things that must be acknowledged.
 
2013-01-12 05:23:23 PM  
This is when I'm thankful I lead an online life nearly as boring as my real life.

/hope they don't start handing out prison time for being on Fark when you're not supposed to be, though
 
2013-01-12 05:23:25 PM  

T.M.S.: Let's start with your SS number, bank account information, CC numbers, home address, mothers maiden name, grandparents names and the access codes to any other financial dealing you may have.


That's personal information, the information in academic journals is a wee bit different, also the work that goes into creating it is often funded by the public through the agency of the government. The public is paying for it, yet in many cases doesn't get access to it. A situation plenty of academics don't care for.
 
2013-01-12 05:23:44 PM  
Driven to suicide by copyright laws, RIP
 
2013-01-12 05:23:54 PM  

WhyteRaven74: Giltric: So people should just take books from a library and not return them since the library doesn't own the copyright?

If you take a book from the library and keep it, you deprive someone else who goes to that library of access to that book. If you copy a file from a digital archive, you deprive no one of anything, except possible rights fees or subscription fees, because you've copied the file, you have not actually moved it to another physical location.


So your saying it's ok to hack a libraries server and steal all the ebooks since its just a digital copy and it doesnt prevent anyone else from being able to put it on their kindle/nook/ipad?
 
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