Last fall and winter, JSTOR experienced a significant misuse of our database. A substantial portion of our publisher partners’ content was downloaded in an unauthorized fashion using the network at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of our participating institutions. The content taken was systematically downloaded using an approach designed to avoid detection by our monitoring systems. The downloaded content included more than 4 million articles, book reviews, and other content from our publisher partners' academic journals and other publications; it did not include any personally identifying information about JSTOR users. We stopped this downloading activity, and the individual responsible, Mr. Swartz, was identified. We secured from Mr. Swartz the content that was taken, and received confirmation that the content was not and would not be used, copied, transferred, or distributed. The criminal investigation and today’s indictment of Mr. Swartz has been directed by the United States Attorney’s Office.
So what was he going to do with all those files? Leak them for free??? Pointless??? lol
Meh some people will do alot to make information free again. Its like people who buy dvds to rip and post them on free to use torrent sites. Alot of risk not alot of benefit. And then there are the people that want to do stuff just to see if they can.
Neither approach justifies the problems he caused. He may have had no intend to profit, but breaking into network closets and denying the entire campus access to JSTOR while crippling the archives' ability to do its work are both inexcusable. Worse, there's no evidence Swartz even *tried* to ask JSTOR for a copy of their archive.
What's wrong with this is the fact that Swartz's entire campaign, start to finish, was carried out with zero regard for the impact his efforts might have on other people. It's impossible to claim he was aware of how to do what he did without knowing what problems and headaches it could cause for other users. / researchers / students.
I agree with Joel.
Typically, I'm the most left-leaning nutjob here. But, when DemandProgress (of which Aaron is a co-founder) sent me an e-mail several days back asking me to sign a petition on Swartz's behalf, I went and did the proper research first (as I do before adding my name to any list).
I ended up not signing the petition, and sending DP a chastising note for completely leaving out the physical trespass portion of the story.
Ends do not justify means, or Batman would have just been The Punisher.
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
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