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Crime Your Rights Online

Aaron's Law: Violating a Site's ToS Should Not Land You in Jail 246

Posted by samzenpus
from the last-time dept.
Freddybear writes "Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren proposes a change to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) which would remove the felony criminal penalty for violating the terms of service of a website and return it to the realm of contract law where it belongs. This would eliminate the potential for prosecutors to abuse the CFAA in pursuit of criminal convictions for simple violations of a website's terms of service."
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Aaron's Law: Violating a Site's ToS Should Not Land You in Jail

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  • Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z00L00K (682162) on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:31AM (#42623199) Homepage

    If the violation of ToS is due to an illegal action like posting things that are illegal both for the location of the site and the poster it should still land into the legal system, but the large volume of ToS violations should at most render the offender a permanent banning from that site or in milder cases a temporary ban.

    • Re:Depends on... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:43AM (#42623239)

      If something is illegal in it's own right, then it still remains illegal, even if it also happens to be a violation of the ToS.

      • Re:Depends on... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by History's Coming To (1059484) on Friday January 18, 2013 @07:37AM (#42624617) Journal
        Precisely. Yes, I agree with the general idea that this should generally be a civil matter, but there are cases where jail time is appropriate. I'm pretty sure there are clauses in my online banking T&C which would be considered serious fraud if I breached them. The problem is prosecutors trying to set themselves up as "internet specialists" by pushing for convictions under unsuitable laws instead of going for the simple, pre-existing (but less interesting on a CV/resume) fraud laws.
      • by popo (107611) on Friday January 18, 2013 @07:47AM (#42624651) Homepage

        A larger problem however is the expectation of non-legal laymen to read and agree to what are ostensibly binding TOS contracts.

        I have seen TOS contracts that (in non-digital format) would be dozens of pages long. Users simply click "Ok" with the assumption that "There's probably nothing bad in there". But this assumption is clearly false in a large number of cases when one considers privacy and security clauses.

        I have seen "Digital trespassing" (which are protected by the DMCA) buried in the TOS carrying agreed monetary damage amounts.

        Consider that a TOS could expressly forbid users to use AdBlock and consider all users of AdBlock to be digital trespassers. You say "Bollocks" (as would I, for the record) but that doesn't change the fact that a TOS can say whatever it wants and the law has already decided that online consent to contracts can be binding. (Not to confuse the greater issue with the legality of this one example of course.)

        The issue ultimately comes down to:
        1) The expectations of lay-people to understand and agree to complex, binding agreements, the vast majority of which are never read.
        2) The binding nature of a click-to-sign agreement.

        • by Rich0 (548339) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:21AM (#42625165) Homepage

          Frankly I'd get rid of all contracts of adhesion. Contracts should only have the force of law if they are original creative works authored by both parties. For standard transactions like buying homes/etc you can use a form-based contract, but only if it is embedded in a law (ie the government explicitly approves all standard contracts and their terms).

          Really this amounts to nothing more than actually enforcing the whole "meeting of the minds" bit which is supposed to be at the center of contract law anyway. There is no meeting of the minds when your boss says "sign this or I will fire you" or whatever.

        • by suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) on Friday January 18, 2013 @11:55AM (#42626421)

          I have often thought that a binding TOS / EULA should be mandated to take the following form, with very clear language:
          >>
          You agree not to distribute a bazillion copies of our software [Yes] [x No]
          You agree that we own your content [Yes] [x No]
          You agree that we are not liable for damage [Yes] [x No]
          You agree to not sue us if we lose your credit card information [Yes] [x No]

          I'm sorry, it seems we cannot agree on a contract. In particular, these terms are mandatory:
          * You agree not to distribute a bazillion copies of our software
          * You agree that we are not liable for damage
          * You agree not to sue us if we lose your credit card information
          The following would be stored as a user preference:
          * You agree that we own your content: NO (Note: May limit functionality)

    • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SampleFish (2769857) on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:47AM (#42623255)
      It doesn't depend on anything like that. If you broke a law in your land that is the law that applies. It doesn't matter if the TOS includes reference to a law. The TOS cannot change a law and should have no legal authority.
      • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:35AM (#42623473)

        "It doesn't depend on anything like that. If you broke a law in your land that is the law that applies. It doesn't matter if the TOS includes reference to a law. The TOS cannot change a law and should have no legal authority."

        But that is exactly the issue here. Because the law as enacted was rather vague, some prosecutors have been claiming that violation of TOS means violation of the CFAA law... regardless of the fact that a TOS can vary widely from company to company or site to site.

        If so, that would mean, in effect, that a company (or just website) could write its own law by just putting it in the TOS... which is absolutely contrary to our customary legal principles and concept of justice here in the U.S.

        THAT is why we want it changed, and clarified.

        • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by IAmR007 (2539972) on Friday January 18, 2013 @05:38AM (#42624229)
          Under this law you could make an incredibly abusive TOS: It is illegal to "intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains ... information from any protected computer." A definition of "protected computer" is anything connected to the Internet. You could easily write a TOS that forbid any access to a website, and merely loading the homepage would be illegal the way the law is written. Bypassing authentication is not required to break the law. Even worse, if there were no TOS at all, there would be no authorization given. Although it's way too broad, it's apparent why authorization was made the only consideration: If, conversely, if any data a server offered freely to public requests was termed authorized, then injection attacks could be said to be doing exactly what machine was programmed to do unless a TOS specifically detailed what was authorized input. That brings things right back to the TOS being able to define what is authorized. The law needs to be much more detailed to avoid being too broad, yet avoid "it's not a bug, it's a feature" type defenses.
        • any trespassing cases based on odd store rules out there??

          And let's say there is some whites only rule at one (let just say it's old but is still on the books or say on a sign that may be still up even if it's just for show or history) that can still be used as a part of a Throw the Book at someone in court.

          • by Rich0 (548339) on Friday January 18, 2013 @09:26AM (#42625197) Homepage

            Store rules are actually a good way of looking at this sort of thing.

            If you do something really obnoxious in a store they can ask you to leave. If you refuse to do so they can call the police. You can of course sue the store for discrimination, and the police might not even make you leave if the basis for the removal is so egregious.

            Website TOS's should be similar. If somebody doesn't like what you're doing on their website they should ask you to leave, and if you cooperate then no crime has occurred. Unfortunately that isn't what this law was being used for - imagine if you wear a hat in a store that has a "no hats" policy and the owner just called the police, and they showed up, and then charged you with a felony for violating the store rules.

            Trespassing is only trespassing if somebody actually asks you to leave. Now, if you walk into a store and set fire to it then you can be arrested on the spot, but not for trespassing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anne Thwacks (531696)
        My website is my sovereign territory, and I can make the laws on it any how I wish. I can baptise children and mary adults any time I choose.

        -- just so long as the server is in international waters and outside any country's territorial limit!

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Google? Is that you?

          *waves*

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sjames (1099)

          It should be fairly amusing to see you attempt to extradite people who violate your TOS.

      • by Swampash (1131503)

        No, that's not the way it works. It's "if you broke a law in your land or if you didn't but what you did was still against the law in the USA, even if that's not where you were".

    • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Capsaicin (412918) * on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:50AM (#42623271)

      If the violation of ToS is due to an illegal action like posting things that are illegal both for the location of the site and the poster it should still land into the legal system.

      Say what?!

      No one is talking about removing ToS violations from the legal system. Rather the idea is that a breach of contract (such as violating a ToS) be dealt with under contract law, where imprisonment is unavailable as a remedy. While the mere breach of contractual terms would no longer be a crime in its own right, any crimes committed in effecting or pursuant to such a breach they would still be dealt with by the criminal justice system. Obviously.

      • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo AT world3 DOT net> on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:09AM (#42623999) Homepage

        ToS aren't even a viable contract IMHO. No-one reads them, if you edit them the web site rarely bothers to check before accepting your terms and quite often the terms are unenforceable anyway.

        We need to move to a system of standard ToS and EULA agreements defined in law that a web site or software vendor can apply to their products. That way we only have to deal with a handful of licenses which are known to be reasonable and will stand up in court.

        • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mitreya (579078) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ayertim}> on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:55AM (#42624141)

          ToS aren't even a viable contract IMHO. No-one reads them, if you edit them the web site rarely bothers to check before accepting your terms and quite often the terms are unenforceable anyway.

          Many of them also include "we may change this ToS at any point of time", which is pretty much the opposite of a contract. For example, cell-phone companies could not enforce a mandatory fee for a paper-bill, because that technically constitutes a violation of the already established contract.

          Even better, some ToS state that it is YOUR responsibility to regularly visit their website to see if they changed it (i.e. they are not even responsible for notifying you of the change). So it better be unenforceable...

          • by bondsbw (888959)

            "we may change this ToS at any point of time"

            it is YOUR responsibility to regularly visit their website to see if they changed it

            Are you my health insurance provider? Seems I had this exact conversation with them just a few days ago.

    • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:57AM (#42623293)

      This is more along the lines of a sites ToS stating "You shall not offend anyone for any reason"
      This is justification for being banned from the site, NOT justification for going to prison.

      Currently, it is a federal crime to "offend someone for any reason" if that is listed in the sites ToS. Or to put it another way, all I have to do is claim your statement offends me and oops you just committed a felony.
      This change is simply trying to remove that insanity.

    • Re:Depends on... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by chrismcb (983081) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:15AM (#42623371) Homepage
      It shouldn't depend on anything. If you are doing something illegal, like posting things that are illegal, then you should land in the legal system. No MATTER what the TOS is. In this case, it shouldn't matter that you broke the TOS (other than maybe the site banning you),
      But if you do something that is legal (like say give your password to your spouse) but is against the TOS, that should NOT land you in the legal system. Any more than any other breach of contract. Seems like a big case of "DUH" to me.
      • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:38AM (#42623491)

        "Seems like a big case of "DUH" to me."

        Tell it to the prosecutors, because some of them don't seem to understand that.

      • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jonbryce (703250) on Friday January 18, 2013 @02:48AM (#42623763) Homepage

        In the UK for example, it is illegal to access a computer system without the owner's permission. You could argue that the TOS set out the terms under which the owner is prepared to give permission to access their system, and if you violate them, you don't have permission to access the site, and are therefore breaking the law. I guess it is much the same in the US.

        How do you deal with that? How do you draw the line between a website that is clearly open to the public and an intranet site that is only open to selected people?

        • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mitreya (579078) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ayertim}> on Friday January 18, 2013 @05:02AM (#42624157)

          How do you deal with that? How do you draw the line between a website that is clearly open to the public and an intranet site that is only open to selected people?

          An intranet site that is only open to selected people should have a frigging password protection. Hacking that is presumably a crime on its own accord

          Making a public website and putting a ToS file that says "this is a private internal site" should not be the way to go.

          If I bought a huge parking lot in the city and put a little sign that said "no trespassing" in the corner of the lot -- is that enough to prosecute anyone who steps across an unmarked border? (i.e. I have no fence marking my lot)

          • by AlanS2002 (580378)

            What were you doing, thinking you were going to get a free parking spot in the first place

          • by jonbryce (703250)

            OK, there's lots of sites where you have to sign up for an account before you can get in, and accessing the content requires a password. If slashdot decided not to allow Anonymous Cowards it would be an example of such a site. Would that make it an intranet site?

        • by khakipuce (625944)

          I suspect that if you put up website such that it is publically accessable then there is every expectation that people will access it and by publishing the website you have granted them permission to do so. If, OTOH you put a password on the first page, then you have denied access and any attempt to bypass the password is a mis-use

    • Re:Depends on... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mysidia (191772) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:43AM (#42623505)

      If the violation of ToS is due to an illegal action like posting things that are illegal both for the location of the site and the poster it should still land into the legal system, but the large volume of ToS violations should at most render the offender a permanent banning from that site or in milder cases a temporary ban.

      Evading the ban, or continuing to access the site after ordered not to, by the owner, should land you in jail :)

      • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Friday January 18, 2013 @03:09AM (#42623815) Homepage

        Why? I mean seriously why does everything in America have to involve jail. Do you really think that makes us safer? Eventually somebody will do the math -- 35 years for TOS violations, 15 for rape -- and figure that rape looks like a better deal. You know, if your going to do the time, might as well do a crime to fit it. And that ultimately makes us all less safe. That's the problem with Americans' draconian attitudes.

        • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Mitreya (579078) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ayertim}> on Friday January 18, 2013 @05:05AM (#42624167)

          Why? I mean seriously why does everything in America have to involve jail. Do you really think that makes us safer? Eventually somebody will do the math

          Someone already has done the math

          Private prisons are a booming industry (instead of being an abomination that should not exist).
          Private prison contracts have clauses guaranteeing prison utilization (~90% or ~95%). Some states may be in danger of defaulting on their prison contract... so that's probably why.

        • by asylumx (881307)
          The fine for sharing a movie on peer-to-peer in the US is up to $250,000 according to the legal warning on every DVD I've bought recently, and yet the fine for KILLING a highway worker is $7,000 in my state. I'd say we definitely don't have our priorities straight.
    • Re:Depends on... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by shentino (1139071) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:44AM (#42623517)

      It's like going to a restaurant.

      By default everyone is welcome.

      Now the management can kick you out for any reason they want, for violating rules (and techinically even if you don't)

      And unless/until that happens you're welcome.

      If you go back, however, it's trespassing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by anagama (611277)

        And just how much time could you be threatened with for that real world trespass? Days -- maybe a month or two at most. But apparently for digital trespass, the correct measure is virtually the rest of your life apparently.

    • Yes. But the illegality of that action is completely independent from the site's ToS. ToS just do not belong in criminal law. In fact they are there almost nowhere else in the world.
    • But there is no need for a special law for this. If something is illegal, then it's illegal. The ToS don't even come into the equation. The problem with the law was that completely legal actions could suddenly become crimes if they conflicted with a site's ToS (which only a few % of users will ever read).

    • by 1u3hr (530656)

      If the violation of ToS is due to an illegal action like posting things that are illegal both for the location of the site and the poster it should still land into the legal system

      Yes...and the sky is blue.

  • While I think this is a good idea, I think that it's really too superficial. It very narrowly addresses a very specific problem with the law.

    There are two really great little tidbits I found online that talk about what the actual problems with the law are:

    The first link is actually a really great series that provides a very nice explanation for a lot of things about how criminal law works.

    • by Weezul (52464)

      I trust you've all signed the petition to Fire Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Heymann [whitehouse.gov]

  • Felony Abuse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by velvet_stallion (2623191) on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:41AM (#42623233)
    It is high time we rollback the number of crimes that result in felony convictions. The "Get Tough On Crime" era only resulted in overstretched state budgets and the creation of an entire underclass of citizens who are barred from certain employments, voting, etc. just because politicians sought to score political points in order to get re-elected. There is a very stark contrast to what the term "felon" implies with regards to the seriousness or violence of the crime, and the rather lackadaisical manner in which it is applied in the legal context.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by symbolset (646467) *

      Well we are talking about some serious crimes here. 6 months divided by 13 felonies is like what, 14 days each?

      Yeah, maybe at least a year for a federal case, or its disproportionate to call it a felony and ruin a guy's life over.

      • Re:Felony Abuse (Score:5, Insightful)

        by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Friday January 18, 2013 @03:21AM (#42623839) Homepage

        Get off your Smug Horse because that's not how it works -- even with the "six month" plea agreement he could have spent years in jail, maybe decades:

        Some have blithely said Aaron should just have taken a deal. This is callous. There was great practical risk to Aaron from pleading to any felony. .... More particularly, the court is not constrained to sentence as the government suggests. Rather, the probation department drafts an advisory sentencing report recommending a sentence based on the guidelines. The judge tends to rely heavily on that "neutral" report in sentencing. If Aaron pleaded to a misdemeanor, his potential sentence would be capped at one year, regardless of his guidelines calculation. However, if he plead guilty to a felony, he could have been sentenced to as many as 5 years, despite the government's agreement not to argue for more. Each additional conviction would increase the cap by 5 years, though the guidelines calculation would remain the same. No wonder he didn't want to plead to 13 felonies. Also, Aaron would have had to swear under oath that he committed a crime, something he did not actually believe.

        http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2013/01/towards-learning-losing-aaron-swartz-part-2 [stanford.edu]

    • I'd agree we should repeal the CFAA entirely, ditto PATRIOT Act, etc.

      Ideally, one should halt plea bargains entirely as well though, civilized countries forbid that barbaric practice. It's plea bargains that create the need for these insane laws with which prosecutors beat defendants into guilty pleas.

      I doubt we'll correct these systemic problems though because the prison-industrial-prosecutorial complex has far too effective a lobby.

      I suspect me must demonstrate the capacity to derail the profesional liv

  • by dyingtolive (1393037) <brad.arnett@not f o r h i r e . o rg> on Friday January 18, 2013 @12:47AM (#42623253)
    Fantastic fucking idea. You know what would have made it better? If it never was a felony to begin with.

    Don't mod this up. Common sense doesn't need moderation points. I'm venting.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Cryacin (657549)

      Don't mod this up. Common sense doesn't need moderation points.

      Mod him DOWN!!!

      Common sense has no place on slashdot!

      • That's fine too. I have karma to burn and I'm still too angry about this to care.

        I mean, seriously, the guy had promise and vision. I don't consider myself a depressed person, but I'd probably off myself too if JSTOR fucked me in a federal court and then rubbed salt in the wound by giving away for free everything they fucked me over for.
  • Profit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:12AM (#42623357) Homepage Journal

    I'd probably draw a distinction between when money changes hands relating to TOS-violations, and otherwise. There need to be tools to fight botters, for example.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      I'd probably draw a distinction between when money changes hands relating to TOS-violations, and otherwise. There need to be tools to fight botters, for example.

      If the ToS and the site requires you represent something, that the organization running the site is entitled to rely upon the accuracy of due to the ToS requirement, and you intentionally make a false representation, in violation of the ToS, in order to profit from the situation, and you do derive that benefit.

      They ought to still be able to n

      • Repeat after me: (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Friday January 18, 2013 @02:09AM (#42623629)
        The Terms of Service are a contract. For breach of a contract you are entitled to economic damages*. You are not entitled to throw the other party in jail. Only the government can imprison people and only when the breach is criminal. See post below.

        *JSTOR could have sued him for lost earnings or copyright, but chose not to.
        • by mysidia (191772)

          The Terms of Service are a contract.

          The ToS can only be a contract, if the person who signed up to access the site, furnished accurate information, and actually intended to abide by the terms. If you sign a document, in real life, supplying a false name, or false address, or someone else's identity, and/or have no real intention whatsoever to make good on the terms, while you take off with whatever thing of value you received from the other party, then in this case, it's not merely a breach of contract,

          • That is not true. You merely have to accept the contract to be bound by it. What you are thinking at the time you accepted it is immaterial. The so called "meeting of the minds" is no longer used as a test for contract acceptance because it was too hard - impossible - for the courts to know what the parties were really thinking. Instead the courts determine whether a contract is formed by how the parties act. For example if you are sending me work and I am doing it the courts will hold we have a contract, e
        • by Mitreya (579078)

          The Terms of Service are a contract.

          ToS are not a f**king contract. Almost every ToS "contract" states that it can be changed (by one side -- I'll let you guess which one) at any time. That's pretty much the OPPOSITE of a contract.

          In some cases, the ToS can be changed without notification to you. Then it is your responsibility to visit the website and see if they changed it.

    • by c0lo (1497653)
      Civil or commercial/contractual laws should be enough even for money changing hands.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      I'd probably draw a distinction between when [...], and [...]

      Then narrow the law.
      Far too many of our laws are written with the broadest possible application,
      even if the legislative intent is narrow and focused on a specific problem.

      Like how the anti-terrorist Patriot Act is mostly being used to go after drug dealers, money laundering, and organized crime.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You can get more time for breaking a ToS than for...

    - Manslaughter
    - Robbing a bank
    - Child porn with intent to distribute

    among other things. Pathetic.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/01/14/1441211/killers-slavers-and-bank-robbers-all-face-less-severe-prison-terms-than-aaron-swartz-did/

  • Gotcha! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:35AM (#42623475)

    1) Your navigation to this website is considered agreement to the following terms
    2) You shall not view, consider or think about this website
    3) Breach of these conditions will result in all your base belong to us.

  • I for one (Score:4, Funny)

    by stms (1132653) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:36AM (#42623483)

    Think that if you violate a TOS you should land in jail it only makes sense.
    --
    Note: by reading this comment you agree to pay me a fee of $1,000,000 if the fee is refused I reserve the right to throw you in jail.

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:42AM (#42623501)
    Yes, the law is supposed to distinguish between a non-criminal civil dispute between two private parties (Aaron and JSTOR) and a crime which is "an act so horrendous it is against society" - I am paraphrasing a law professor. Aaron's acts don't come close to that. Yet there he was looking at prison.

    ArsTechnica has a good article on this case, which quotes Columbia law professor Tim Wu on the appalling behavior of federal prosecutor Carmen Ortiz:
    In our age, armed with laws passed in the nineteen-eighties and meant for serious criminals, the federal prosecutor Carmen Ortiz approved a felony indictment that originally demanded up to thirty-five years in prison. Worse still, her legal authority to take down Swartz was shaky. Just last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a similar prosecution. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, a prominent conservative, refused to read the law in a way that would make a criminal of “everyone who uses a computer in violation of computer use restrictions—which may well include everyone who uses a computer.” Ortiz and her lawyers relied on that reading to target one of our best and brightest... The prosecutors forgot that, as public officials, their job isn’t to try and win at all costs but to use the awesome power of criminal law to protect the public from actual harm... Today, prosecutors feel they have license to treat leakers of information like crime lords or terrorists. In an age when our frontiers are digital, the criminal system threatens something intangible but incredibly valuable. It threatens youthful vigor, difference in outlook, the freedom to break some rules and not be condemned or ruined for the rest of your life.
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/opening-arguments-in-the-trial-of-public-opinion-after-aaron-swartz-death
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/01/everyone-interesting-is-a-felon.html
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/nov/17/silverglate-three-felonies-book

    Academic publishers have been price gauging universities and students for a long time, but to their credit at least JSTOR had the brains to tell the feds to back off. Oritz should have listened to them. Their behavior is merely greedy. Hers is unforgivable: there is no place in government for public officials who abuse their power and harm the public for their own personal advantage.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/apr/24/harvard-university-journal-publishers-prices [guardian.co.uk]
    http://enculturation.gmu.edu/knowledge-cartels [gmu.edu]
    http://boingboing.net/2010/01/03/prescription-for-con.html
    http://academhack.outsidethetext.com/home/2012/ending-knowledge-cartels/ [outsidethetext.com]
    • by dkf (304284)

      Academic publishers have been price gouging universities and students for a long time

      FTFY...

  • by Tom (822)

    It is a crime right now?

    Seriously?

    AFK - I need to add "you agree to only use this site while standing on your head naked at the center of a busy intersection" to my ToS. Burried somewhere in the middle. And then send out anonymous invitations to everyone I dislike...

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