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Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Apr 25, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Aaron Swartz was one of the most visible proponents of open access. Always putspoken and always an activist, he tried in 2011 to use an MIT account to download the JSTOR archive. After being "indicted on felony fraud charges carrying a prison sentence of up to 35 years, Swartz hanged himself." His writings were prolific and influential, so they would obviously be available as open access content, right? They were certainly posted under an open license. But on his death, publishers enter the picture, and there's nothing free than a publisher won't corrupt. Critics have protested, saying "say it is “in horribly bad taste” that Verso Books and the New Press, two other publishers, are making it difficult to download and share a curated collection of Swartz’s writings."

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