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Swartz’s crime was to devalue another’s work

While the Aaron Swartz prosecution has gotten a ton of negative press, some of it justified, relatively little has been said about why what he did was wrong. I respect his taking a stand for what he believed in; however, the belief in question — that data should be available for free to everyone — is not only naive but ultimately dangerous to a creative society.

It costs money to produce content, no matter what that content is, and a generation that has grown up expecting something for nothing is likely to get what it pays for.

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Science, art, music, journalism, theater, and literature require human beings to create it, and these humans need to eat. When you devalue their work, you discourage it.

Mo Lotman


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