Internet loses a real hero. Dear Aaron Swartz, rest in peace… #PDFtribute

Lawrence Lessig and Aaron Swartz (2002) / Rich Gibson / CC BY

Friends and Commoners,
It is with incredible sadness that I write to tell you that yesterday, Aaron Swartz took his life. Aaron was one of the early architects of Creative Commons. As a teenager, he helped design the code layer to our licenses, and helped build the movement that has carried us so far. Before Creative Commons, he had coauthored RSS. After Creative Commons, he co-founded Reddit, liberated tons of government data, helped build a free public library at, and has done incredibly important work to reform and make good our political system. (, his most recent org, was instrumental in blocking the SOPA/PIPA legislation one year ago.)
More than all that, Aaron was a dear friend to all of us, and an inspiration to me and many of you. Our prayers are with his parents and those who knew his love. But everything we build will forever know the product of his genius.
Lawrence Lessig
Co-founder, Creative Commons

Aaron Swartz, Coder and Activist, Dead at 26

from Wired Top Stories by Kevin Poulsen
We often say, upon the passing of a friend or loved one, that the world is a poorer place for the loss. But with the untimely death of programmer and activist Aaron Swartz, this isn’t just a sentiment; it’s literally true. Worthy, important causes will surface without a champion equal to their measure. Technological problems will go unsolved, or be solved a little less brilliantly than they might have been. And that’s just what we know. The world is robbed of a half-century of all the things we can’t even imagine Aaron would have accomplished with the remainder of his life.

Goodbye, Aaron.

from …My heart’s in Accra by Ethan
My son is failing to nap in the bedroom where Aaron Swartz spent a week as houseguest about four years back. I?m reading reactions to his suicide from friends who knew him well. I listen to Drew?s room ? our old guest room ? hoping to hear silence. When Aaron stayed here, I remember listening to that room for signs of life. During a week-long New Year?s party, Aaron seldom left that room. He read, reaching his goal of reading 100 books in a year. On New Year?s Day, he emerged and played Rock Band with us.


Technology?s Greatest Minds Say Goodbye to Aaron Swartz

from Mashable! by Alex Fitzpatrick

processing the loss of Aaron Swartz

from apophenia by zephoria

Remember Aaron Swartz (1986 ? 2013)

from TorrentFreak by Ernesto
Every Sunday I wake up, grab a cup of coffee and think about what news to write for TorrentFreak. Today was different.

earning the true value of content from Aaron Swartz

from BuzzMachine by Jeff Jarvis
I must confess that at first I did not understand what the pioneers of rethinking content?s value?Lawrence Lessig, Joi Ito, Cory Doctorow, Aaron Swartz?had to teach me. When Lessig took to the courts?playing the net?s Quixote to battle Hollywood?s imperialistic expansion of copyright?I wondered whether his side was overreaching by implying that all creation is born of what came before.

Farewell to Aaron Swartz, an extraordinary hacker and activist

from Updates by Peter Eckersley
Yesterday Aaron Swartz, a close friend and collaborator of ours, committed suicide. This is a tragic end to a brief and extraordinary life.

Lessig on the DoJ’s vindictive prosecution of Aaron Swartz

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
Larry Lessig’s remembrance of Aaron Swartz, the young activist who took his life last night, is beautiful and angry, and expresses an important insight into the vindictive, disgusting behavior of the Department of Justice (and the complicity of MIT) in hounding Aaron:

Aaron Swartz, rest in peace

from by Jason Kottke
According to his uncle, internet hacker and activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide yesterday. He was 26 years old.
The accomplished Swartz co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0 specification at age 14, was one of the three co-owners of the popular social news site Reddit, and completed a fellowship at Harvard’s Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption. In 2010, h

Aaron Swartz dead, unatributed co founder of Reddit and defender of Internet freedom.

by Organized Rage

Aaron Swartz RIP: links

from Fortnightly Mailing by sschmoller
Here are some links to responses to the sad and shocking news of Aaron Swartz’s suicide. If your time is limited, then read those by Alex Stamos and Laurence Lessig, and watch Swartz’s 22 minute May 2012 speech about stopping SOPA.


Reddit co-founder known as ‘open data’ activist commits suicide

from Hurriyet Daily News
U.S. Internet activist and computer programmer Aaron Swartz


RIP, Aaron Swartz

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

Internet Activist Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide

from Mashable! by Stan Schroeder


Quinn Norton on Aaron Swartz

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
Quinn Norton, who was Aaron Swartz’s lover, remembers him:

Aaron Swartz’s memorial service

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
Here’s a note from Aaron Swartz’s family, with details about his memorial service in Chicago next week, and the charity they’ve nominated for donations in Aaron’s name:

Expert witness describes Aaron Swartz’s “crimes”

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
Alex Stamos, a computer security and forensics expert, was one of the expert witnesses in US v Swartz, thevindictive case brought against Aaron Swartz for walking into an unlocked computer closet, and downloading a large number of academic articles from JSTOR, using MIT’s network. Stamos has very good perspective on the “crimes” for which Aaron was being hounded by the state:

Researchers honor Swartz’s memory with PDF protest »
Links to hundreds of articles appear on Twitter in tribute to the Internet activist who committed suicide Friday. Read this article by Steven Musil on CNET News.

In academe, many advocates for open access mourn loss of a leading thinker and activist for the movement. Many also criticize MIT, which says it will study its role in his legal struggles.

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