aaron swartz

Aaron H. Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist. Swartz was a member of the RSS-DEV Working Group that co-authored the “RSS 1.0” specification of RSS, built the website framework web.py and created the architecture for the Open Library. In the early days of Reddit, Swartz’s Infogami and Reddit merged; the merger agreement made Swartz an equal partner in the merged company. Swartz also focused on sociology, civic awareness and activism. In 2010 he joined the Harvard University Center for Ethics. He cofounded the online group Demand Progress (known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act) and later worked with U.S. and international activist groups Rootstrikers, The Rules and Avaaz. On January 6, 2011, Swartz was arrested by federal authorities in connection with systematic downloading of academic journal articles from JSTOR. Swartz opposed JSTOR’s practice of compensating publishers, rather than authors, out of the fees it charges for access to articles. Swartz contended that JSTOR’s fees limited access to academic work produced at American colleges and universities. On the morning of January 11, 2013, Swartz was found hanged in his Crown Heights, Brooklyn apartment, an apparent suicide. Following his death, federal judge Nathaniel M. Gorton dismissed the charges against him. RIP

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