Justice and the Law for Aaron Swartz

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Law professor Lawrence Lessig marked his appointed as Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School with a lecture dedicated to the memory of internet activist Aaron Swartz and his work. Prof. Lessig was a close friend and mentor to Aaron and his death was a great loss to him. He had planned to lecture on corruption but after Aaron’s death decided to discuss Aaron’s Law and his work:

At the center of [Aaron’s] struggle is and was copyright.  In the debate between people who are pro and anti copyright, Aaron was on neither side.”  Rather, he opposed “dumb copyright.”  A perfect example was Swartz’s efforts to liberate data from PACER the database of public court records, which charged 8 cents a page.  He was not violating copyright, technical restraints, terms of service or any other prohibitions.  He had found a loophole.  “A loophole for public good” as opposed to the loopholes used for private gain by lobbyists and tax lawyers.  Swartz did the same thing with the government’s database of issued copyrights.  The PACER project got Aaron FBI surveillance; the copyright project, on the other hand, was met with approval by the Copyright Office.  Using all this as proof Lessig continued to emphasize that Aaron was a hacker.  He defines “hacker” as one who uses technical knowledge to make a better world.

According to Lessig, Aaron was his mentor, not the other way around.  The two worked together, upon Aaron’s insistence, on anti-corruption campaign for a while before they split again: while Aaron wanted to turn Barrack Obama into Elizabeth Warren, Lessig wanted Obama to pick up the fight with corruption he had promised in 2008.  Without that fight, the defenders of the status quo would defeat real change.

Aaron’s Laws – Law and Justice in a Digital Age’


  1. TMC
  2. tahoebasha3

    Upon my return, I found a computer with beaucoup des problemes!  So much so, I couldn’t even comment.

    Despite the lateness of a comment, I still want to post a few things.

    From: “Sam Adler-Bell, DemandProgress.org”

    To: me

    Sent: Mon, February 25, 2013 6:52:21 PM

    Subject: You’re out


    Six Strikes is here.

    Beginning today, AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon have all agreed to start spying on their users.

    That’s right. The US’s largest Internet Service Providers are implementing a new “online infringement” plan to identify and punish, with virtually no due process, users suspected of downloading copyrighted content.

    Click here to tell the ISPs: no cyber-snooping, no punitive new copyright rules.

    After a year of back room dealing with the MPAA and RIAA, the nation’s top ISPs have agreed to use the so-called “Copyright Alert System” (or “Six Strikes”) to go after customers suspected of file-sharing

    Following a series of escalating warnings, the plan would allow ISPs to slow down, or “throttle,” the Internet connection of suspected copyright violators.

    And if you want to contest the accusation? That will cost you $35.

    Click here to put the ISPs on notice: stop overly punitive infringement policies or we’ll take our business elsewhere.

    The new plan would jeopardize open and public WIFI networks, and lead to widespread wrongful accusations for those who share a network at home, in a WIFI hot spot, or in the workplace.

    Six Strikes is designed to safeguard the profits of America’s wealthiest industries by tracking, targeting, and punishing internet users. Click here to oppose Six Strikes.

    Please urge your friends to take action TODAY by forwarding this email or using these links:

    [fb] If you’re already on Facebook, click here to share with your friends.

    [fb] If you’re already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet


    Demand Progress

    Hummmm! I cannot help but to think of Aaron Swartz, the brilliant young man who we have just lost! Is this new “spying” justification by six major providers a response to his death and persecution????

    And here are a few links very much worthwhile reading, in terms of background.  

    “FBI Investigated Coder for Liberating Paywalled Court Records” By Ryan Singel, 10.05.09, 8:48 PM  

    “Aaron Swartz’s FOIA Requests Shed Light on His Struggle Wednesday,” 16 January 2013 00:00 By Jason Leopold, Truthout  

     “Secret Service Refuses Truthout’s Request for Documents on Aaron Swartz” Thursday, 28 February 2013 14:51 By Jason Leopold, Truthout | Report

    This is not ALL about Aaron, but it is yet another example of the “trend” to “punish” anyone, such as Aaron, who had no malice of heart, even if, perhaps, a bit overzealous, who attempts to “emphasize” wrongs that go on, immorality and injustice, the same like Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, John Kiriakou, Aaron Swartz . . . . all persecuted for having a moral core and a sense of justice.  

    But aren’t all of the suppressions that we continue to see are so similar to that of the modus operandi of Naziism?

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