Aaron Swartz arrested and charged for downloading JSTOR articles
Saturday, July 23, 2011
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Aaron Swartz, a fellow at Center for Ethics and an open source programmer involved with creating the specification and more generally in the open culture movement, has been arrested and charged with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer after he entered a computer lab at in Cambridge, Massachusetts and downloaded two-thirds of the material on , an academic journal repository.
According to the indictment, Swartz is accused of sneaking a laptop into MIT, hooking it up as a guest on the MIT network, and then running a script to download files from JSTOR. After being caught, Swartz returned the hard drive containing the downloaded documents to JSTOR who intend not to pursue civil litigation against him, but he has been indicted by the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. He has been bailed on a $100,000 unsecured bond after pleading not guilty to all charges.
Swartz had previously downloaded around 20% of the U.S. Government's PACER database of court decisions, prompting the FBI to investigate his actions. In 2006, Swartz ran for the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees and also wrote an influential essay on "Who Writes Wikipedia?".
Following Swartz's indictment, Greg Maxwell, a contributor to Wikipedia and , has published a torrent on The Pirate Bay containing 33Gb of papers from the that were published before 1923 and are thus in the United States, but previously only available at a cost from JSTOR.
- Reeves Wiedeman. "JSTOR and the case of the over-downloader" — , July 21, 2011
- Janko Roettgers. "Thousands of scientific papers uploaded to the Pirate Bay" — , July 21, 2011
- John Schwartz. "Open-Access Advocate Is Arrested for Huge Download" — , July 19, 2011
- "Man accused of hacking millions of papers at MIT" — , July 19, 2011