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Aaron Swartz Indicted in Attempted Piracy of Four Million Documents 174

An anonymous reader writes "New York Times has reported that Internet activist Aaron Swartz has been indicted for stealing more than 4 million documents from JSTOR." The indictment contains an exciting tale featuring trespassing, MAC address forgery, a Python script or two, and even computers hidden under a cardboard box. El Reg has a decent summary. Demand Progress has released an official response claiming the charges are trumped up nonsense.
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Aaron Swartz Indicted in Attempted Piracy of Four Million Documents

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  • Not Piracy (Score:5, Informative)

    by reebmmm ( 939463 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:25PM (#36814990)

    Perhaps this goes without saying, but the title is misleading. The Grand Jury did not indict Mr. Swartz on any copyright infringement or acts of piracy on the high seas. There are really only four indictments: wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information form a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer.

    You can read the whole indictment here: http://ia700504.us.archive.org/29/items/gov.uscourts.mad.137971/gov.uscourts.mad.137971.2.0.pdf [archive.org]

    Criminal copyright infringement is not one of the charges.

  • Re:Oh, really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:38PM (#36815132)

    > How ethical.

    Well, it is if they were hoarding data that should be public, say. That's dubious in this case, but could be how Aaron saw it at the time In any case, JSTOR explicitly requested that charges not be pressed and the feds are doing so anyway like dicks, likely because in later life Aaron went on to do terribly inconvenient pro-liberty lobbying of the government.

  • by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <spamNO@SPAMpbp.net> on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:45PM (#36815218)

    No, he is not.

    "Edit: Actually, apparently Alexis had this to say[Gizmodo]:
    He is absolutely not a founding member. We acquired his company in December, 6 months after Steve and I launched reddit."

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday July 19, 2011 @03:52PM (#36815306) Journal
    I was under the(apparently mistaken) impression that that ugly little notion had been settled:

    Back during that 'myspace suicide case' drama, the prosecution made the argument that, by creating an account under a false name(which the defendant definitely had), she had violated the myspace terms of service(which, she also definitely had); but then went on to claim that accessing a website in a way contrary to the ToS was a violation of the CFAA. Thankfully, that... exceptionally broad... interpretation was shot down.

    Whatever he was doing in a locked wiring closet may well have been some sort of trespassing; but ToS violations are a matter between you and the entity(and generally only worth terminating your relationship) not you and the feds.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall