I didn’t know who Aaron Schwartz was before I watched the extraordinary film “The Internet’s Own Boy”. However, by the end of the screening, I really wished I had.
For those who don’t know, Aaron Schwartz was a young internet genius, known for being a founding member of reddit, a co-writer of RSS, and working with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, to develop information sharing standards. He was also known for his political activism for the freedom of information, notably with his work against SOPA and PIPA. After downloading academic journals from JSTOR on MIT campus, he was arrested and charged by federal prosecutors, facing 38 years of prison and $1 million in fines. Two years later after being denied a plea bargain for the second time, he was found dead in his New York apartment. He committed suicide. (more…)