Today’s Inside Higher Ed reports on the grand jury indictment of Aaron Swartz, a 24-year-old programmer and online political activist who is accused of illegally using an MIT guest account to download millions of journal articles from JSTOR, the premier digital archive of which UIP is a participant. According to the Ed,
Swartz has been involved in numerous efforts to make more information available free to more people. But the charges he faces make no distinction between his possible philosophical goals and any other kind of theft.
As of this blog post, Swartz has yet to comment, but he has many supporters online who have been circulating a petition that has so far collected more than 15,000 signatures on his behalf. There are some serious charges being leveled at Swartz, to be sure. But I have to wonder, did he download any articles from UIP journals?