Aaron Swartz's Legacy
Academe: Magazine of the American Association of University Professors, Vol. 100, No. 1, 2014
5 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2013 Last revised: 18 May 2015
Date Written: January 26, 2013
“It’s time to…declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture,” wrote computer programmer and internet activist Aaron Swartz in his “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” (2008). Swartz was criticizing the privatization of scholarship already in the public domain, and seeking ways to make this work accessible to everyone. This essay examines Swartz’s Open Access vision, and traces the challenges he faced in carrying out his dream. I trace how digital technologies have shifted the boundaries of the scholarly community and outline how we can return scholarship past and present to the public domain.
Keywords: Aaron Swartz, internet freedom, copyright, public domain, digital age
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