Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz was an employee at MIT who was charged with a severe stack of offences that could have sent him to jail for 35 years and/or forced him to pay a $1 million fine, after he downloaded four million academic papers from JSTOR and shared them on. In fear of the excessive, draconian sentence he might have faced, he committed suicide. He was a staunch believer that knowledge – especially publicly-funded knowledge, such as that published in academic papers – ought to be free. The events surrounding his death have come to represent the harsh absurdity of modern copyright laws.