The Idealist

The Idealist

Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet

Book - 2016
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"A smart, lively history of the Internet free culture movement and its larger effects on society--and the life and shocking suicide of Aaron Swartz, a founding developer of Reddit and Creative Commons--from Slate correspondent Justin Peters. Aaron Swartz was a zealous young advocate for the free exchange of information and creative content online. He committed suicide in 2013 after being indicted by the government for illegally downloading millions of academic articles from a nonprofit online database. From the age of fifteen, when Swartz, a computer prodigy, worked with Lawrence Lessig to launch Creative Commons, to his years as a fighter for copyright reform and open information, to his work leading the protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), to his posthumous status as a cultural icon, Swartz's life was inextricably connected to the free culture movement. Now Justin Peters examines Swartz's life in the context of 200 years of struggle over the control of information. In vivid, accessible prose, The Idealist situates Swartz in the context of other "data moralists" past and present, from lexicographer Noah Webster to ebook pioneer Michael Hart to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In the process, the book explores the history of copyright statutes and the public domain; examines archivists' ongoing quest to build the "library of the future"; and charts the rise of open access, copyleft, and other ideologies that have come to challenge protectionist IP policies. Peters also breaks down the government's case against Swartz and explains how we reached the point where federally funded academic research came to be considered private property, and downloading that material in bulk came to be considered a federal crime. The Idealist is an important investigation of the fate of the digital commons in an increasingly corporatized Internet, and an essential look at the impact of the free culture movement on our daily lives and on generations to come"--
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Scribner, 2016
ISBN: 9781476767727
Branch Call Number: 004.6780973 PET


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Dec 31, 2016

This isn't a bad book, and much good was written about Aaron by the author/journalist, but the crux of why the full force of the US government was brought against Aaron was seriously missing, perhaps the author simply lacked the depth, since it has been mentioned by others on this topic [the story of Aaron Swartz]: With Aaron's early perusal of the PACER documents [Public Access to Court Electronic Records] he identified a pattern of rigging the legal system, i.e., he was just beginning to uncover the tip of the iceberg [pre-dated academic articles and journal articles written to lend substantiation to future corporate litigation, and no doubt he would have eventually uncovered various false and fraudulently created // precedent-setting cases \\ which in actuality never existed [previous lawsuits in 2006 were brought against Westlaw in this regard, covered in the international press, but not in the North American non-media media].
Sadly, not understanding this the author does a disservice to the life - - - - and death - - - - of the heroic Mr. Swartz!
[Major kudos and props to Mr. Peters, the author, for mention of President Kennedy's idea of the Challenge to Greatness at the 1964 NY World's Fair; one of the countless contributions to future generations from the last real president who the revisionists have endlessly attempted to transform into a trivialized politician!]

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