Alex Halavais on Wed, 20 Jul 2011 23:34:18 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Aaron Swartz charged for downloading too many Journal articles from the Library: Please sign suport petition.

Indeed, it's not clear from the indictment if "breaking" into the
wiring closet required more than opening a door. It seems they are
resting the "restricted area" argument on the fact he went into MIT
buildings without being and MIT student or staff member, something
that I and many other people have done.

In the end, this is a draconian prosecution of a violation of Terms
of Service, something that should appropriately be handled as a
civil matter of contract violation. That it is not is a rather
stark indicator of what happens when global media companies create
globalized IP regimes and shift legal structures to leverage state
power in the service of IP-holders' bottom lines. JSTOR may be
backpeddling now, but (as Adobe did with Sklyarov) but make no
mistake, the US government is pursuing this because of decades of
lobbying to make thoughts into property, and to extend the fiction of
a temporary monopoly to a moral certainty of idea ownership.

That the prosecuting attorney can say with a straight face "stealing
is stealing" makes very clear what the new normal is, and we know how
we got here.


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// Alexander C. Halavais, ciberflâneur

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