[Blabber] Larry Lessig on Aaron Swartz
rendall at gmail.com
Mon Jan 14 17:46:39 UTC 2013
On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM, Kenneth Gutierrez <kennypg at gmail.com>wrote:
> Any word on whether he left a note?
> - Kenny
> On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM, Peter Shenkin <shenkin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I agree that the prosecution overreached greatly and that MIT's
>> behavior was abominable, but Aaron's suicide was caused by his own
>> demons, not the above. That is what makes it tragic.
>> On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM, Xo <rendall at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Angry, touching, apropos blog entry from Larry Lessig on the death of
>> > friend, Aaron Swartz.
>> > Early on, and to its great credit, JSTOR figured “appropriate” out: They
>> > declined to pursue their own action against Aaron, and they asked the
>> > government to drop its. MIT, to its great shame, was not as clear, and
>> > the prosecutor had the excuse he needed to continue his war against the
>> > “criminal” who we who loved him knew as Aaron.
>> > Here is where we need a better sense of justice, and shame. For the
>> > outrageousness in this story is not just Aaron. It is also the
>> absurdity of
>> > the prosecutor’s behavior. From the beginning, the government worked as
>> > as it could to characterize what Aaron did in the most extreme and
>> > way. The “property” Aaron had “stolen,” we were told, was worth
>> “millions of
>> > dollars” — with the hint, and then the suggestion, that his aim must
>> > been to profit from his crime. But anyone who says that there is money
>> to be
>> > made in a stash of ACADEMIC ARTICLES is either an idiot or a liar. It
>> > clear what this was not, yet our government continued to push as if it
>> > caught the 9/11 terrorists red-handed.
>> > http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/40347463044/prosecutor-as-bully
>> > The money quote:
>> > That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society
>> > only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if
>> > don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States
>> > government behind you.
>> > For remember, we live in a world where the architects of the financial
>> > crisis regularly dine at the White House — and where even those brought
>> > “justice” never even have to admit any wrongdoing, let alone be labeled
>> > “felons.”
>> > In that world, the question this government needs to answer is why it
>> was so
>> > necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a “felon.” For in the 18 months
>> > negotiations, that was what he was not willing to accept, and so that
>> > the reason he was facing a million dollar trial in April — his wealth
>> > dry, yet unable to appeal openly to us for the financial help he needed
>> > fund his defense, at least without risking the ire of a district court
>> > judge. And so as wrong and misguided and fucking sad as this is, I get
>> > the prospect of this fight, defenseless, made it make sense to this
>> > brilliant but troubled boy to end it.
>> > Some background, if you need a refresher:
>> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Swartz#JSTOR
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