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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

OTP - Jan 2013: Jewish Journal:E1: An error in baseball and Mideast politics

Tripon Posted: January 02, 2013 at 02:48 PM | 2805 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ot, politics

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   1901. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4351953)
This is not the online incarnation of the Black Bloc; a lot of people in these groups are on the wonkish side in their advocacy of specific policies, rather than wanting an information system that is without structure. You've very inaccurately caricatured the group you're making claims about here. A lot of these guys are programmers-- and programming depends on having a rule-bound structure to adhere to.


Sure. And some of them want to break the rules they don't like, presumably without having any consequence to their actions at all. Swartz, for example. But fine. They don't want to break out of rule based systems. They just want to randomly break any rule they personally deem irrelevant or unnecessary or counter to their personal goals, while preserving any other set of rules they deem fine and dandy. You're right, they're not anarchists. They're libertarians.
   1902. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4351954)
vlad

i read multiple blog entries by people who knew the young man. even his friends found him infuriating because of how he would lurch from one extreme to the other. so it would appear that his version of depression was sufficiently severe then no route would have worked as during his 'ups' he would have thought himself invincible and would not have taken other negotiations seriously. and to your point during the downs would have been impossible to reach.

i don't know if the federal guidelines give hospitalized incarceration as an option.

i also suspect that knowing the side effects of the stuff i took in my worst times he likely was avoiding his meds since they really slow down your ability to think. and thinking was what he was.

i give the prosecutors the benefit of the doubt. they were dealing with a tough situation and it was up to the lad's family and lawyer to help him find which path to take. and from their statements they were indignant at any discusison of jail time

   1903. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4351956)
Go back and read that again. Do you have any idea how ####### stupid that sounds?


Either Swartz was mentally competent to stand trial, or he was not. If he was, he made his decision and then couldn't live with the consequences of losing. If he was not, he should have been plead out by his attorney due to incompetence.
   1904. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4351957)
Depression is a condition with a biological basis, and telling a person with clinical depression to "snap out of it" is like telling a diabetic to "snap out" of needing insulin


actually some depressed people can be made to "snap out of it," with the right combination of voltage/amperage :-)
   1905. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4351958)
If they're clinically depressed, you shouldn't threaten them with sixty times as much jail time as you actually intend for them to serve, because they're pretty much axiomatically going to take it the wrong way, and it might be enough to make them kill themselves.


This is wrong on two levels. It is not the state's responsibility to ascertain the mental stability of the defendant, outside of public defenders. It is also not the state's right or proper role to decide that Jimmy is rough and tough and should be leveraged with the big package, but Jason seems a little faint of heart and shows some signs of clinical depression so we should give him special treatment with the kid gloves.

The second way that this is wrong is that it sort of assumes the action of leveraging large sentences to acquire easy pleas for smaller convictions is okay unless the defended is depressed.
   1906. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4351959)
and from their statements they were indignant at any discusison of jail time


And *that* is the tell. The idea that baby boy might do any time for his crimes was out of bounds. Can't we just write a check and have this disappear, Sheriff? I'm sure something mutually beneficial can be arranged.
   1907. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4351960)
vlad

not dismissive of the lad's personal situation but something i learned a long time ago by observation and personal situation is that if situaiton 'x' wasn't the trigger then it would have been situation 'y'.

that may sound really callous which is not the intent.

just that the best you can do is get the right combination of meds/therapy and hope for the best.

shielding folks from life isn't practical
   1908. formerly dp Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4351961)
They don't want to break out of rule based systems. They just want to randomly break any rule they personally deem irrelevant or unnecessary or counter to their personal goals, while preserving any other set of rules they deem fine and dandy. You're right, they're not anarchists.
It's not like you to speak from a position of complete ignorance on a subject, but here we are. You're completely misreading the goals and aims of this movement, all because you're clinging to some romanticized absolute of what protest politics ought to entail, and then chastising them for failing short of that. EDIT: The hacktivists'* goal in breaking the rules is not just to ignore them, but to call attention to them in order to effect change.

They're libertarians.
A lot of them, yes. But I try not to hold that against them.

*not a fan of that term, but whatever.
   1909. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4351964)
And *that* is the tell. The idea that baby boy might do any time for his crimes was out of bounds.
Because all he did wrong was trespass for God's sake. He deserved punishment, but real jail time is wildly out of proportion to his crimes.
   1910. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:43 PM (#4351967)
And *that* is the tell. The idea that baby boy might do any time for his crimes was out of bounds. Can't we just write a check and have this disappear, Sheriff? I'm sure something mutually beneficial can be arranged.


He must've thought there was still a Bush in the White House.
   1911. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4351968)
Because all he did wrong was trespass for God's sake. He deserved punishment, but real jail time is wildly out of proportion to his crimes.

Since I don't get to do it often in political arguments involving MCA: This.
   1912. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4351969)
It's not like you to speak from a position of complete ignorance on a subject,


False. Happens *all the time.*

You're completely misreading the goals and aims of this movement, all because you're clinging to some romanticized absolute of what protest politics ought to entail, and then chastising them for failing short of that.


I'm not critiquing the movement, its aims or its goals. In fact, from the cursory glance I've taken at the general "information freedom" movement(s), I am generally on their side. In double fact, I generally support most resistance movements on pure principle. If you've got a blacklist, I want to be on it and all that.

What I take issue with are folks who rabble-rouse and sing the chants for spotlight's sake but then piss their pants when they see an actual billy club line. If you're going to rally the barricades, climb the goddamned heights.
   1913. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4351970)
It is not the state's responsibility to ascertain the mental stability of the defendant, outside of public defenders.


Then why allow prosecutorial discretion at all? Never did I imagine that I'd see you, of all people, arguing in favor of depraved indifference.

The second way that this is wrong is that it sort of assumes the action of leveraging large sentences to acquire easy pleas for smaller convictions is okay unless the defended is depressed.


It's not OK for other people, but it's ESPECIALLY not OK to do it to people with clinical depression. Sort of like how you shouldn't threaten to rape anyone, but it's even worse to threaten to rape someone who's already been raped.

It is also not the state's right or proper role to decide that Jimmy is rough and tough and should be leveraged with the big package, but Jason seems a little faint of heart and shows some signs of clinical depression so we should give him special treatment with the kid gloves.


Spoken, once again, like someone who has no understanding of clinical depression. It's not about someone "seeming faint of heart". It's a ####### medical disorder, you ####### idiot.

Screw this. I'm done talking with you. Since you obviously aren't interested in filling the gaping hole of your ignorance, there's no point in saying anything else.
   1914. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4351972)
Because all he did wrong was trespass for God's sake.


Repeatedly. Over and over again. After he'd been told to knock it off. Because he thought he was an animal of purity and light and his politics trumped all other cases. To paraphrase Harvey, if you can probably get away with spitting on the man's boot once or twice, but if you walk up and spit in his eye over and over again, he's going to introduce you to rubber bullets. And that's all fine and good; if you think your case is moral and right, spit in his eye. Just sack up and take the hit when it comes, boy.
   1915. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4351973)
It's not OK for other people, but it's ESPECIALLY not OK to do it to people with clinical depression. Sort of like how you shouldn't threaten to rape anyone, but it's even worse to threaten to rape someone who's already been raped.


Worst analogy on this page.
   1916. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4351975)
Sure. And some of them want to break the rules they don't like, presumably without having any consequence to their actions at all. Swartz, for example. But fine. They don't want to break out of rule based systems. They just want to randomly break any rule they personally deem irrelevant or unnecessary or counter to their personal goals, while preserving any other set of rules they deem fine and dandy. You're right, they're not anarchists. They're libertarians.


First of all, the idea that the only valid type of activism is civil disobedience where you expect to be arrested is just bullshit. The underground railroad certainly wasn't built around the idea that the people involved would be arrested and their arrests would further the cause. Similarly, when sodomy was illegal in many states, most gay couples weren't having sex and hoping they would be arrested. They were having sex because they thought the law was wrong and having sex was a goal in itself. The internet lends itself to this type of action because existing laws regulating the availability of information can be rendered pretty much irrelevant by making that information available.

Second, the idea that a reasonable person who was doing what Schwartz was doing would expect to be charged with 13 felonies, 35 years and a $1 million fine is crazy. Odds are pretty decent that a prosecutor could (if they were sufficiently motivated) find a way to charge any one of us under the CFAA. It's a ridiculous law and it lends itself to prosecutorial abuse and overreach. I think it's pretty clear the Aaron knew MIT and JSTOR wouldn't like what he was doing, I think it's a huge stretch to say that he realized he was committing a crime. (again he was accessing a more or less open network to download files from a non-profit website that didn't explicitly restrict the number of files downloaded. also, a lot of the files he downloaded were probably in the public domain - though some were certainly not.) He pulled a pretty similar stunt with PACER and wasn't charged with anything.

Full disclosure: I met him a couple times and he seemed nice.

   1917. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4351976)
i also suspect that knowing the side effects of the stuff i took in my worst times he likely was avoiding his meds since they really slow down your ability to think. and thinking was what he was.


Some anti-depression meds have been known to induce suicidal thoughts, too. I've heard of people who stopped taking them for that reason.

They can also be intensely habit-forming. My mother was medicated for depression for a while, and when she stopped taking her medication (under the advice of a different doctor), she went into actual no-#### withdrawal.

not dismissive of the lad's personal situation but something i learned a long time ago by observation and personal situation is that if situaiton 'x' wasn't the trigger then it would have been situation 'y'.

that may sound really callous which is not the intent.


That's fair, I think, but in this case it seems like they really went out of their way to throw "situation x" into his path. With unfortunate and predictable results.
   1918. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4351977)
Then why allow prosecutorial discretion at all? Never did I imagine that I'd see you, of all people, arguing in favor of depraved indifference.


I'm not arguing in favor of the prosecutorial process here, actually. I'm arguing against the martyrdom of Aaron Swartz.

It's not OK for other people, but it's ESPECIALLY not OK to do it to people with clinical depression. Sort of like how you shouldn't threaten to rape anyone, but it's even worse to threaten to rape someone who's already been raped.


How's that one go, exactly? "I was thinking about threatening to rape you, but before I do, I need to know, have you been raped before?"

(Also, comparing trying a person who committed a crime to rape: really ####### awful idea, brah.)

Spoken, once again, like someone who has no understanding of clinical depression. It's not about someone "seeming faint of heart". It's a ####### medical disorder, you ####### idiot.


If Aaron Swartz was mentally incapable to stand trial, his lawyers should have made that case.
   1919. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4351978)

the law can show some consideration but it cannot just ignore enforcing the law.


JSTOR settled with Swartz. MIT claims that it wasn't interested in seeing Swartz do time; it appears that most of the motivation for the prosecution came from the government, not from the supposedly injured parties (though we will no doubt find out more about this in months to come).
   1920. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4351981)


i read multiple blog entries by people who knew the young man. even his friends found him infuriating because of how he would lurch from one extreme to the other. so it would appear that his version of depression was sufficiently severe then no route would have worked as during his 'ups' he would have thought himself invincible and would not have taken other negotiations seriously. and to your point during the downs would have been impossible to reach.


I didn't know Swartz at all, but it turns out a couple of my friends did know him to varying degrees. Since we're on the topic of people who knew him, I think it's appropriate that I mention by every account I've heard, he was an exceptionally decent person, if given to being a bit quixotic.

   1921. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4351983)
First of all, the idea that the only valid type of activism is civil disobedience where you expect to be arrested is just ########. The underground railroad certainly wasn't built around the idea that the people involved would be arrested and their arrests would further the cause.


The Underground Railroad was not civil disobedience. It was insurrection, a completely different class of dissent.

Similarly, when sodomy was illegal in many states, most gay couples weren't having sex and hoping they would be arrested. They were having sex because they thought the law was wrong and having sex was a goal in itself.


Also not civil disobedience. Just proscribed behaviors being done despite proscription, for personal reasons.

The internet lends itself to this type of action because existing laws regulating the availability of information can be rendered pretty much irrelevant by making that information available.


Swartz was clearly attempting some sort of internet activism by pulling the firewalled property from behind the barrier and pushing it into the public commons. If he was not doing it as civil disobedience, then he was doing it as insurrection. (I'm pretty sure he was not compelled to move academic articles out of JSTOR in a manner analogous to gay couples being compelled to, well, you know, show the people they love their affections.)
   1922. formerly dp Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4351988)
I'm not critiquing the movement, its aims or its goals.

Umm....this is what you said:
They don't want to break out of rule based systems. They just want to randomly break any rule they personally deem irrelevant or unnecessary or counter to their personal goals, while preserving any other set of rules they deem fine and dandy.

That's simply an inaccurate and uninformed description of the movement's aims and tactics.
   1923. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4351989)
That's simply an inaccurate and uninformed description of the movement's aims and tactics.


That was a description of they're (Swartz's) tactics, not strategic goals or aims.
   1924. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4351990)
Swartz was clearly attempting some sort of internet activism by pulling the firewalled property from behind the barrier and pushing it into the public commons. If he was not doing it as civil disobedience, then he was doing it as insurrection. (I'm pretty sure he was not compelled to move academic articles out of JSTOR in a manner analogous to gay couples being compelled to, well, you know, show the people they love their affections.)


Right, I was just pointing out that there are types of activism other than civil disobedience.

I don't think it's fair to blame his death on the prosecutors. I do think it's fair to blame them for over-prosecuting (and obviously that's an epidemic). And I do think it's fair to point out that the law he was prosecuted under is ridiculous and lends itself to bogus prosecutions.

I think the case is made worse by the fact that he wasn't just some trust-find dilettante. He actually produced things and ####. And while I believe in blind justice and all that, it seems weird for the government to make a special effort to imprison someone for a victimless crime when they've done a decent amount of good stuff we all benefit from.
   1925. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4351993)
given how rapidly the Internet changes one wonders how one should word that law so that it is remotely in tune with the times

not that we do not have a lot of already archaic laws on the books
   1926. formerly dp Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4351994)
That was a description of they're (Swartz's) tactics, not strategic goals or aims.
OK. I guess I keep getting thrown off by your pronoun usage-- "they" and "some of them" make it sound like you're using Swartz as a stand-in for a larger group.
   1927. Danny Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4351996)
JSTOR settled with Swartz. MIT claims that it wasn't interested in seeing Swartz do time; it appears that most of the motivation for the prosecution came from the government, not from the supposedly injured parties

I cringe whenever I see this defense of Swartz trotted out. Should we decline to prosecute murderers if they pay off their victim's family with blood money? The criminal justice system isn't centered on making the victimized whole again.
   1928. Tripon Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:27 PM (#4351997)
There is a reason why Anonymous tries to stay anonymous. It isn't just a branding message, the members know that they're easy targets if they're publicly known.
   1929. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4351998)
Repeatedly. Over and over again. After he'd been told to knock it off.
And the maximum punishments for trespassing under Massachusetts law are a $100 fine and 30 days in jail. There is no "he didn't knock it off" provision that I can find.

The only way the prosecution got where it got was by charging Swartz under a bullshit interpretation of poorly-written federal statutes which could make all of us criminals at any time.
   1930. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4351999)
The criminal justice system isn't centered on making the victimized whole again.


What would you consider to be the purpose of the criminal justice system?
   1931. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4352001)
OK. I guess I keep getting thrown off by your pronoun usage-- "they" and "some of them" make it sound like you're using Swartz as a stand-in for a larger group


Fair. I doubt Swartz' tactical failures and lack of commitment beyond the cursory is unique to him. I suspect many of the people "committed" to the strategic goals and aims of his cause are equally uncommitted to tactics which might come back to hurt them personally in the world.
   1932. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4352003)
And the maximum sentence for trespassing under Massachusetts law are a $100 fine and 30 days in jail. There is no "he didn't knock it off" provision that I can find.


Was he being prosecuted under state or federal law?
   1933. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:34 PM (#4352004)
See my second paragraph.

(The federal statutes under which Swartz was being prosecuted had nothing to do with trespassing, which is obviously not a federal crime. Since all he did wrong was trespassing, this was a clear case of prosecutorial misconduct.)
   1934. formerly dp Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4352011)
I suspect many of the people "committed" to the strategic goals and aims of his cause are equally uncommitted to tactics which might come back to hurt them personally in the world.
The question here is if the punishment was appropriate to the crime. The punishments activists were subjected to during the 2004 RNC-- you can say that being arrested comes with the territory, but that does not excuse the tactics employed by the NYPD to suppress dissent that week. If I marched without a permit, I might expect to spend a few days in jail. If I found out that I was facing two decades in prison for it, I'd be well within my moral right to ##### about it.

And "lack of commitment beyond the cursory"? Again, Larry Lessig disagrees, and I think he's in a better position to comment than you are.
   1935. Delorians Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4352012)
'It's not OK for other people, but it's ESPECIALLY not OK to do it to people with clinical depression. Sort of like how you shouldn't threaten to rape anyone, but it's even worse to threaten to rape someone who's already been raped.'

Worst analogy on this page.

Agreed. Note to BTF posters (and Republican politicians) - if you're thinking about discussing rape, for any reason other than to say what a horrible crime it is, DON'T.
   1936. Danny Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4352014)
The federal statutes under which Swartz was being prosecuted had nothing to do with trespassing, which is obviously not a federal crime. Since all he did wrong was trespassing, this was a clear case of prosecutorial misconduct.

Do you think he would have committed a crime had he made all of the 4+ million JSTOR articles he downloaded publicly and freely available?
   1937. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:50 PM (#4352017)
I doubt Swartz' tactical failures and lack of commitment beyond the cursory is unique to him.


Sure, if by "lack of commitment beyond the cursory" you mean "inability to transcend the limitations physiologically imposed by his medical condition".

My grandmother with cancer never seemed to have any real mental commitment to preventing her body's cells from wildly metastasizing, either. I wonder why that was? Must have been a flaw in her character...

I know I should stop talking about this, but I can't help but grit my teeth when I see you willfully being such a dense ####### over and over again.

OK, gone for real.
   1938. The Good Face Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4352018)
The only way the prosecution got where it got was by charging Swartz under a ######## interpretation of poorly-written federal statutes which could make all of us criminals at any time.


That's pretty much the purpose of those laws. What you describe is a feature, not a bug.

The timing here is serendipitous; as I said in the Waco discussion last month, when the government starts pushing around the SWPL crowd, the folks here would start to care. Nailed that one.
   1939. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4352019)
The question here is if the punishment was appropriate to the crime. The punishments activists were subjected to during the 2004 RNC-- you can say that being arrested comes with the territory, but that does not excuse the tactics employed by the NYPD to suppress dissent that week. If I marched without a permit, I might expect to spend a few days in jail. If I found out that I was facing two decades in prison for it, I'd be well within my moral right to ##### about it.


Are we now equating unlimited downloading and distributing of other people's intellectual property with freedom of assembly and speech?
   1940. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4352020)
I know I should stop talking about this, but I can't help but grit my teeth when I see you willfully being such a dense ####### over and over again.


I ask you again; was Aaron Swartz mentally incompetent to make his legal decisions and stand trial?
   1941. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4352021)
The timing here is serendipitous; as I said in the Waco discussion last month, when the government starts pushing around the SWPL crowd, the folks here would start to care. Nailed that one.
Yes, because people of the left have certainly never made a big deal of the injustice in our criminal justice system. Your snark rests on the implication that previously (or presently) the government's arm came down paradigmatically on rural white cultists or upscale, urbanite internet freedom activists. Both of which are obviously false.
   1942. Tripon Posted: January 21, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4352025)
Last week, a member of the Encyclopedia Dramatica forums created a game where you shoot NRA boss Wayne LaPierre in the head.

On Friday, LaPierre addressed the game, rambling to Sean Hannity about how it shows America's hypocrisy and how games are evil and all that jazz. You can see the full clip above.

Of course, the implication that this disturbing game by some random Internet denizen somehow reflects on the entire gaming industry is totally disingenuous, but hey, who needs truth or context when you're looking for a scapegoat? LaPierre continued the charade with yet another oft-repeated lie.

"There's a lot of studies that show if someone's on the line, if someone's on the edge, [violent video games push] them over the edge," LaPierre says.

This, of course, is not true. There are no such studies. For a look at all of the violent video game research that actually exists, check out our full report.

LaPierre did not comment on the NRA's shooting video game, which was released last week for kids aged four and up. (The rating was later changed.)
   1943. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4352028)
Do you think he would have committed a crime had he made all of the 4+ million JSTOR articles he downloaded publicly and freely available?
I don't really know, honestly. This isn't a case of people who created valuable intellectual property defending their right to realize some profit from that creation. It's hard for me to see where the actual intellectual property crime happens if the creators of the intellectual property aren't meaningfully affected.

JStor does something useful, but they're middlemen for middlemen. There has to be a better model than making JStor impregnable on penalty of catapult.
   1944. Tripon Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4352029)

JStor does something useful, but they're middlemen for middlemen. There has to be a better model than making JStor impregnable on penalty of catapult.


Honestly, ask google to put up a free archive. They'd probably do it, or put some ads on the side or something.
   1945. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4352031)
I ask you again; was Aaron Swartz mentally incompetent to make his legal decisions and stand trial?


He likely would have been competent, if they had handled the situation in a more appropriate manner. Since they didn't, he wasn't - I think that's pretty apparent, given that he chose to kill himself.

The public grandstanding about sending him to jail for 30+ years was particularly unhelpful, especially since it wasn't even a realistic possibility.
   1946. formerly dp Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4352034)
Are we now equating unlimited downloading and distributing of other people's intellectual property with freedom of assembly and speech?
Yes. Welcome to 1999.

Specific to my analogy: you're the one who invoked the outmoded street metaphor in your critique of Swartz. The question concerns the risks he was exposing himself to in committing civil disobedience.
   1947. The Good Face Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4352038)
Yes, because people of the left have certainly never made a big deal of the injustice in our criminal justice system. Your snark rests on the implication that previously the government's arm came down paradigmatically on rural white cultists. Which is obviously false.


Every day there are hundreds of gross abuses of power perpetrated by our criminal justice system that far exceed what happened to Aaron Swartz, and they don't get a single line of attention here in the hallowed pages of BBTF. But when ONE OF US gets to feel the boot? A nice, white, educated fellow from a top university? To teh internets comrades!

The issue of rural white cultists is appropos here because there was no shortage of BBTF posters defending and justifying the Feds killing the lot of them, including the children. Not the right kind of people, don't you know.
   1948. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4352040)
I confess not to understand what the big deal about this inauguration is. Nothing is changing. The 2008 inauguration, yes, a huge deal. But this one? Huh.
   1949. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4352042)
Every day there are hundreds of gross abuses of power perpetrated by our criminal justice system that far exceed what happened to Aaron Swartz, and they don't get a single line of attention here in the hallowed pages of BBTF.
Eh, the "this injustice is a smaller injustice than another injustice" line of critique is crazy weak. It's still injustice, it still deserves critique.

I look forward to Good Face bringing forward weekly, representative reports of police and prosecutorial overreach. Honestly, that'd be great. But I assume he's mostly in the game of posturing internet superiority. Another report on the state of his abs would be about expected now. I hear they're porn-ready.
   1950. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4352044)
He likely would have been competent, if they had handled the situation in a more appropriate manner. Since they didn't, he wasn't - I think that's pretty apparent, given that he chose to kill himself


Whose responsibility is it to handle this in an appropriate manner?
   1951. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:14 PM (#4352045)
Yes. Welcome to 1999.


So free access to other people's property is now a "natural right?"
   1952. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4352046)

Every day there are hundreds of gross abuses of power perpetrated by our criminal justice system that far exceed what happened to Aaron Swartz, and they don't get a single line of attention here in the hallowed pages of BBTF. But when ONE OF US gets to feel the boot? A nice, white, educated fellow from a top university? To teh internets comrades!


As far as I can tell, this is the post that sparked the Swartz discussion:

very random but I am pissed at those who equate swartz death as to something noble, he is a kid who got way in over his head considering his actions and the punishment he was facing was legit, just because he took the ##### way out does not make him some magical person. It just makes him some scared kid who did not understand what the #### he was doing. It is not the fault of MIT or anyone else, it is own damn problem. And one he failed to deal with


Which hardly displays the motivation you describe.
   1953. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4352049)
Every day there are hundreds of gross abuses of power perpetrated by our criminal justice system that far exceed what happened to Aaron Swartz, and they don't get a single line of attention here in the hallowed pages of BBTF.


Actually, lefties comment on that kind of stuff all the time. I've seen literally dozens of threads where people were criticizing drug sentencing laws, for example, and to the best of my knowledge none of us are convicted drug users/dealers.
   1954. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4352050)
I confess not to understand what the big deal about this inauguration is. Nothing is changing. The 2008 inauguration, yes, a huge deal. But this one? Huh.


On which side are you asking this question? The speech today is a 'big deal' to liberals because it's far more engaged with long term policy goals and generally, a liberal agenda, than anything Obama did in his first term outside of the ACA. On the rightwing side of the house, it's a big deal because it reminds them that Barack Obama is still president.
   1955. DA Baracus Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4352053)
I confess not to understand what the big deal about this inauguration is. Nothing is changing. The 2008 inauguration, yes, a huge deal. But this one? Huh.


It's a celebration of stealing the election by giving poor people gifts by giving them more gifts.
   1956. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4352055)
Whose responsibility is it to handle this in an appropriate manner?


In this case, the prosecutor's office (and Ortiz in particular). If their goal was to get Swartz to either agree to a plea bargain or to secure a conviction in court, then they did a piss-poor job of pursuing that goal, and they had more than enough information available to them that they should've understood at the time that the approach they took would be counterproductive.
   1957. Tripon Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4352056)

I confess not to understand what the big deal about this inauguration is. Nothing is changing. The 2008 inauguration, yes, a huge deal. But this one? Huh.


Its not a big deal, but we're living in an age of 24/7 news networks that gotta feed the machine. Bush II's second inauguration got about as much coverage as this one if I remember right.
   1958. The Good Face Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4352057)
Eh, the "this injustice is a smaller injustice than another injustice" line of critique is crazy weak. It's still injustice, it still deserves critique.

I look forward to Good Face bringing forward weekly, representative reports of police and prosecutorial overreach. Honestly, that'd be great. But I assume he's mostly in the game of posturing internet superiority.


I'm sorry that pointing out hypocrisy and lack of moral consistency offends your sensibilities. I promise I'll only keep doing it until people understand and own the consequences of their political thought. You wanted this. You bought it. You even tried to pay for it. Not with your own money, but still. Now you're getting it. Might as well learn to like it.

Another report on the state of his abs would be about expected now. I hear they're porn-ready.


How good of you to ask! Alas, holidays were a food and drink blowout, so decided to spend the next few months cultivating mass. I should be peaking June-ish though; I'll be sure to keep you apprised.
   1959. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4352060)

So free access to other people's property is now a "natural right?"


Yeah, I don't get this.

Even based on MCOA's trespass analogy, the guy clearly deserved the 6 mos he was offered. He trespassed way more than 6 times (at 30 days a pop) and actually stole stuff too.

The maximum charge was clearly excessive, but given the deal offered, he had no real prospect of facing it.
   1960. formerly dp Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4352064)
So free access to other people's property is now a "natural right?"
"Intellectual property" exists in a state of nature? Anyway, there's been over a decade of debate around the intellectual underpinnings of the free culture/free software/copyleft movement; there are probably people on this board who qualify as experts on the debate, knowing BTF.
   1961. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4352065)
Its not a big deal, but we're living in an age of 24/7 news networks that gotta feed the machine. Bush II's second inauguration got about as much coverage as this one if I remember right.


It's a big deal today because it's the big deal today. In three years it will either be a big deal because it will be seen as the pivot where Obama cemented himself into history as "the liberal Reagan" (the liberal hope) or not a big deal, because Obama's second term petered out something like Clinton's or Bush II (the GOP/TP hope.)
   1962. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:35 PM (#4352067)
In case this helps you understand why what you're saying is offensive, Sam: It requires tremendous mental strength to function at all while in a state of clinical depression. At its worst, the condition totally incapacitates you. Every day that someone like that doesn't kill themselves, and goes out and does the basic simple things like doing the laundry or getting the mail is an act of iron discipline. So to hear you rattle on and on about how Swartz just a dilettante and a weak little mama's boy who couldn't face the thought of six months in jail is positively infuriating.
   1963. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4352068)
If their goal was to get Swartz to either agree to a plea bargain or to secure a conviction in court, then they did a piss-poor job of pursuing that goal, and they had more than enough information available to them that they should've understood at the time that the approach they took would be counterproductive.

Their goal is to scare the hell out of people like Aaron Swartz to get a quick, (relatively) cheap guilt plea and jail time. Like it or not, our criminal justice system is an assembly line, and this kind of intimidation makes the assembly line operate smoothly and (again) cheaply.
   1964. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4352069)
Even based on MCOA's trespass analogy, the guy clearly deserved the 6 mos he was offered. He trespassed way more than 6 times (at 30 days a pop) and actually stole stuff too.

The maximum charge was clearly excessive, but given the deal offered, he had no real prospect of facing it.


Leaving aside the trespassing - MIT is generally open to the public, it's not at all clear that there's a physical trespassing charge that would stick - he didn't "steal" stuff. It's intellectual property, so maybe he infringed. A lot of the articles are public domain. If his plan was to sort the articles once he had them and distribute the non-copyrighted ones, the infringing becomes a lot less clear. This is basically what happened with PACER, except all legal cases are public domain so he didn't download any copyrighted material.
   1965. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4352075)
Here's wikipedia's description of the PACER incident, fwiw:

In 2008, Swartz downloaded, and released, approximately 20% of the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) database of United States federal court documents managed by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

PACER was charging 8 cents per page for information that Carl Malamud, who founded the nonprofit group Public.resource.org, contended should be free, because government-produced documents are not covered by copyright. The fees were "...plowed back to the courts to finance technology, but the system [ran] a budget surplus of some $150 million, according to court reports," reported The New York Times. PACER used technology that was "...designed in the bygone days of screechy telephone modems... put[ting] the nation’s legal system behind a wall of cash and kludge." Malamud appealed to fellow activists, urging them to visit one of 17 libraries conducting a free trial of the PACER system, download court documents, and send them to him for public distribution.

After reading Malamud’s call for action, Swartz visited the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals library in Chicago and installed a Perl computer script.[39] From September 4 to 20, 2008, it accessed approximately 18,000,000 documents and uploaded them to a cloud computing service. He donated the documents, amounting to 19,856,160 pages, to Malamud's public.resource.org.

On September 29, 2008, the GPO suspended the free trial, "pending an evaluation" of the program. Swartz's actions were subsequently investigated by the FBI. The case was closed after two months with no charges filed. Swartz learned the details of the investigation as a result of filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the FBI and described their response as the "usual mess of confusions that shows the FBI’s lack of sense of humor." PACER still charges per page, but customers using Firefox have the option of donating documents into the public domain with a plug-in called RECAP.

   1966. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4352079)
in today's inauguration you heard a president mention gay rights for the first time in an inaugural address. the president also clearly delineated a vision for teh country

these things mean something if you pay attention

   1967. Greg K Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:53 PM (#4352082)
I'm always amazed when I try to use JSTOR without being signed into my university account. $50 to read an article on competing perceptions of the household in the trial of the Earl of Castlehaven? Does anyone actually pay that?

I will definitely miss being able to peruse academic journals when I'm no longer a student.

Just look at the latest issue of Past and Present for instance.

-Recycling in Britain After the Fall of Rome's Metal Economy
-Speaking in Tongues - Language and Communication in the Early Modern Medeterranian
-Distinguishing Eternal from Transient Law: Natural Law and the Judicial Laws of Moses
-A Beautiful Madness: Privlege, the Machine Question, and Industrial Development in Normandy in 1789
-A Mockery of Justice? Colonial Law, the Everyday State and Village Politics in the Burma Delta 1890-1910

Plus an analysis of Regional Highering Fairs in Northern England from 1890-1930

A wide variety of engaging reading material!

   1968. formerly dp Posted: January 21, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4352086)
$50 to read an article on competing perceptions of the household in the trial of the Earl of Castlehaven? Does anyone actually pay that?
But just think how much of that $50 goes directly to the author!
   1969. Swoboda is freedom Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:10 PM (#4352098)
Didn't watch the speech. Saw some highlights. What was with Scalia's hat? Was he trying to look like Thomas More?
   1970. zonk Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:10 PM (#4352099)
In case this helps you understand why what you're saying is offensive, Sam: It requires tremendous mental strength to function at all while in a state of clinical depression. At its worst, the condition totally incapacitates you. Every day that someone like that doesn't kill themselves, and goes out and does the basic simple things like doing the laundry or getting the mail is an act of iron discipline. So to hear you rattle on and on about how Swartz just a dilettante and a weak little mama's boy who couldn't face the thought of six months in jail is positively infuriating.


Not that I don't agree with the seriousness of clinical depression and whatnot -- but I think this is sort of wanting to have it both ways...

To wit - clinical depression/any form of mental illness or disability is a medical condition resulting from physical (via chemical processes or reactions in brain chemistry not firing normally) causes that can be diagnosed, treated, and/or medicated.

As such, I guess it just seems improper to talk about going about things with "iron discipline" -- that is to say, it's sort of the flip side of the same coin as "have a beer and get laid"... as if to say - there's some non-treatment supplied level of discipline that can cure/fix/'get over' it.

I don't claim to be any sort of expert on mental illness; virtually the whole of what I do know comes from dating a girl that was diagnosed as bipolar and was under medication for it - but we did talk about it a fair bit... initially from the perspective of "Just so you know... and can you deal with this fact", but later with a bit more of the in-depth day-to-day...

The only real impact it had on us came in two forms... one, the offhand way one might say "you're crazy" if we were arguing over the quality of a movie we had seen or whatever was something I had to learn to excise from conversation. Not that she'd make a big deal out of it if I slipped up, but such framing bothered her so it took some adjustment to just learn to say "No, you're completely wrong, Midnight in Paris is a dreadful film for faux-intellectuals -- it sucks wholly and entirely" rather than "You're crazy, Midnight in Paris sucked".

The other, more germane thing I learned is that you can't just resort to 'iron discipline'... Occasionally, out at an event, at dinner, whatever - she'd get anxious and want to leave because of the anxiety. She couldn't just 'calm herself' out of the feeling or otherwise steel herself to enduring... it was generally a matter of new medication mixes or whatnot, so if her physician had decided to change a dosage or switch medications, we'd usually plan accordingly.

I guess I'm just saying it works both ways - in the same way one shouldn't expect to be able to just "get over it", I think it's also the same problem to laud someone for actually being able to function.

I.e., - if it's medical condition, we should treat it as a medical condition all the way around... and to do that, I just don't think we can either minimize the condition itself nor maximize people who deal with it without getting the medical treatment for it.
   1971. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:13 PM (#4352101)

Leaving aside the trespassing - MIT is generally open to the public, it's not at all clear that there's a physical trespassing charge that would stick - he didn't "steal" stuff. It's intellectual property, so maybe he infringed. A lot of the articles are public domain. If his plan was to sort the articles once he had them and distribute the non-copyrighted ones, the infringing becomes a lot less clear. This is basically what happened with PACER, except all legal cases are public domain so he didn't download any copyrighted material.


Looking at [1965] if Swarzt had gone to a library open to the public, and stole 19 million pages of books (all in the public domain) he'd be facing at least six months.

Quite frankly, I don't get the mindset that you can just take stuff from other people because it happens to be digital. I don't understand how anyone can download music and video without paying and think they're not stealing.
   1972. Lassus Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:24 PM (#4352108)
The issue of rural white cultists is appropos here because there was no shortage of BBTF posters defending and justifying the Feds killing the lot of them, including the children. Not the right kind of people, don't you know.

Aren't you the one who thinks the sick and/or stupid should just die already, rather than be held afloat by you and yours as a drain on resources?
   1973. zonk Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4352118)
Regarding Swartz's PACER breach --

As someone who works in the same space (both as a PACER client and to some extent, a PACER redistributor or sorts), I had been following this pretty closely, even before his suicide... It's a HUGE area of debate and discussion within the industry, but I'd just give two perspectives...

#1 - from the university perspective, I can absolutely understand why MIT went apeshit... Universities are huge clients for our industry, and the very nature of how they provide end-user access does tend to be a really, really sticky problem... i.e., most law schools would not only have PACER access, but also enormous bulk (usually anonymous IP) access to things like Lexis, West, and others (my company included). We (the providers) all essentially understand that this client access model is riddled with holes and to a great extent, we're sort of relying on the fact that the private arena customers we have (i.e., law firms) are of the sort that wouldn't intentionally exploit these holes to get anything for free.... but - that doesn't mean an intermediary wouldn't. PACER is different from other providers, of course -- but in effect, you start stealing from one -- even one that you could make a claim should be 'free', and where does it stop and how do you also ensure those same university backdoors aren't exploited to get more than just this class of data that one could legitimately argue should be "open source"?

#2 - and that leads to the whole idea that 'government content' (like case law from PACER) should be open source... what if a private publisher (Lexis/West/Bloomberg/My company/etc) republishes this content with various sorts of value-add, be it actual analytical content that I would hope everyone agrees is intellectual property, but then also -- the organization of said content, which gets a great deal more hazy?

To wit - I don't work directly with PACER content, but I do work downstream on the republishing side, which includes a great deal taxonomical categorization, creation of ontological relationships, metadata seeding, etc.

We've been a party to both lawsuits by people that got caught sniffing into databases, and also had security issues with various end-user facing systems with worming into db structure and in effect, 'stealing' that organization, classification, metadata, et al -- which, I assure you, is no easy thing to create given the volume and various uses of it.

In short - should anyone be able to just get any decision document for free from an open source location? Sure, I got no problem with that... but my experience with a lot of these open source purists (and I consider myself more of an open source advocate than not) is that they rarely stop there... They want anything and everything they can get their hands on. Some of them, I'm sure, are just philosophical adherents more interested in a free info superhighway where people can "get data" anywhere, any time... But plenty of others are either re-aggregators who have their own profit motives (just with lower startup costs) or, don't think things through and have this belief that the accouterments of such publishing would just magically 'keep happening' if people didn't pay for it.... as semantic content processing advances, that might some day be true - but it ain't yet.
   1974. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4352121)
Quite frankly, I don't get the mindset that you can just take stuff from other people because it happens to be digital. I don't understand how anyone can download music and video without paying and think they're not stealing.
This analogy doesn't fit the JStor / PACER situations, though. There's no remuneration being provided to the authors of intellectual property by these aggregator web services. The money is paid to the web service to fund their provision of data. A book or a song or a film - provided it isn't in the public domain** - should be purchased with money going to those involved critically in its production. The academic web services don't work that way.

**And as has been pointed out, much of what Swartz downloaded was public domain material.
   1975. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4352122)
Looking at [1965] if Swarzt had gone to a library open to the public, and stole 19 million pages of books (all in the public domain) he'd be facing at least six months.

Quite frankly, I don't get the mindset that you can just take stuff from other people because it happens to be digital.


Looking at that same post I don't see how it's possible to steal something that's (a) in the public domain, and (b) digital. Isn't that the definition of public domain? Using the words "steal" and "take stuff from other people" implies that someone else owned those items and that he was depriving others of them, when in fact his goal appears to have been to make them more widely available to their owners, the public.
   1976. Morty Causa Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4352123)
I can't steal from Walt Whitman anymore. I can steal your copy of Leaves of Grass.
   1977. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4352126)
I can't steal from Walt Whitman anymore. I can steal your copy of Leaves of Grass.
If someone wanted to copy the text of Leaves of Grass and make a text document and make it freely available, that would be entirely legal.

Hey check it out! Free Leaves of Grass!

Much of what Swartz was doing can be classified as producing such publicly accessible versions of public domain work.
   1978. Morty Causa Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4352127)
"Stealing" doesn’t have to be an element of the crime of trespass. In any case, what Swartz was accused of doing would be theft under the law, if proved in a court of law.

I am of two minds about Swarz. I don’t pretend to be an expert here, and so what I write is tentative and mostly just a matter of first impression. I would like to know more about what it was Swarz was kicking about as to Jstor. I understand he had a role in the defeat of SOPA and is very worried about the government restricting internet access. What he did with Jstor has elements of that, but it’s about accessing and disseminating material that legally belongs to someone else without their permission. His point, if I understand, was that it didn’t belong to Jstor and MIT. It wasn’t theirs to restrict. This is eminently a matter of law. The law is on Jstor and MIT’s side, not his. He thinks that’s wrong, but rather than change the law, he violated it because he thought a greater right correcting a legal law was in play. Does that sum it up?
   1979. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4352128)
I can't steal from Walt Whitman anymore. I can steal your copy of Leaves of Grass.

You can, but making a copy of something is not the same as stealing.
   1980. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4352130)
In case this helps you understand why what you're saying is offensive, Sam: It requires tremendous mental strength to function at all while in a state of clinical depression. At its worst, the condition totally incapacitates you. Every day that someone like that doesn't kill themselves, and goes out and does the basic simple things like doing the laundry or getting the mail is an act of iron discipline. So to hear you rattle on and on about how Swartz just a dilettante and a weak little mama's boy who couldn't face the thought of six months in jail is positively infuriating.


I'm not undermining the seriousness of depression. I'm contesting the idea that it was the state prosecution's responsibility to bring that element of the defendant's condition to court. If Swartz was so disabled by his depression that it was reasonable to suspect he might kill himself over the possibility of losing the case* it was his defense attorney's responsibility to make that clear to the courts. If anyone failed Swartz on the issue of his depression as a mitigating factor in his possible sentencing(s), it was his counsel, not the state. If Swartz was so incapacitated by his condition as to make suicide likely then he shouldn't have been allowed, by counsel, to refuse the reasonable plea bargain. (If he was mentally sound enough to plea out, then he was mentally sound enough to deal with the consequences of pleaing out and facing a trial that he might lose.)

*if Swartz were so incapacitated by his depression as he clearly was, there's no real reason to think it was the state's decision to play hardball with sentencing options (which they never were going to win outright) that sent him over the edge. Much as with the case a few months ago about the guy that jumped off the bridge after having his roommate publish a sex tape of him, there's no way whatsoever to tie the final suicidal decision to the discrete event at hand.
   1981. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4352133)
This analogy doesn't fit the JStor / PACER situations, though. There's no remuneration being provided to the authors of intellectual property by these aggregator web services. The money is paid to the web service to fund their provision of data. A book or a song or a film - provided it isn't in the public domain** - should be purchased with money going to those involved critically in its production. The academic web services don't work that way.


You edited out the preceding sentence about the library books, which is the better analogy. (Granted, in this case it would be a matter of checking out a library book, photocopying it, and then returning the original, rather than stealing the hard copy from the shelves.)
   1982. Morty Causa Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4352134)
If someone wanted to copy the text of Leaves of Grass and make a text document and make it freely available, that would be entirely legal.


That's right. But it doesn't end there. For instance, Penguin paperbacks can come up with a version and format of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Just because Hamlet is in the public domain now doesn't mean Penguin can't produce and sell their copy, either in tree form or digitally, and if you take without acceding to the explicit and implicit conditions in law, you've engaged in a form of theft.

Whether this should be so or not is matter of public policy. Something that can be changed--indeed, that was changed to what it is now. Some people don't even believe there this is such a thing as intellectual property that should be recognized in law. Again, that's a matter of public policy. That means, we decided what the law vindicates and what it doesn't. It's not about divine rights. Also remember that if you don't give Penguin its rights, what's its incentive to publish Hamlet? How competing versions of Hamlet are there in the public stream of commerce at one time?

Moreover, with Swarz, there was a very real question of hacking into computer systems, wasn't there? Just looking at it from a Leaves of Grass perspective doesn't do this issue justice. Many people have very real worries about this sort of thing.
   1983. zenbitz Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:54 PM (#4352135)
Academic authors get 0.00% of journal fees. In fact some journals (even peer reviewed) ones actually charge the authors (you can tell because they are marked 'advertisment'. PNAS used to be like this.

It wont last though. Many, many academic journals are online-only open access now.
   1984. Morty Causa Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4352136)
You can, but making a copy of something is not the same as stealing.


I can also steal Penguin's version of Leaves of Grass. Of course, we could change that. Want to do that? Then you just might find yourself with an ever diminishing supply of Leaves of Grass products, in whatever form.
   1985. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:56 PM (#4352137)
You edited out the preceding sentence about the library books, which is the better analogy.
Not for what I was talking about. Libraries purchase books, author gets something. That's not how academic journal databases or government judicial decision databases work.
   1986. formerly dp Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4352138)
Granted, in this case it would be a matter of checking out a library book, photocopying it, and then returning the original
It's a good thing that never happens...
   1987. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4352140)
in today's inauguration you heard a president mention gay rights for the first time in an inaugural address. the president also clearly delineated a vision for teh country

these things mean something if you pay attention


Truth, old man. Truth. The rhetorical linking of "Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall" is a clear refining of the liberal-Democratic vision of civil rights history and policy going forward. To take women's rights, Civil Rights and gay rights and link them together in that manner (on MLK Day even) is a stake in the ground announcing to all parties that the Dem coalition considers their liberal mission to be civil rights, inclusive of gay rights, and not disparate and disassociated individual "rights movements" with no common thread. It's huge. And the phrasing is brilliant in its simplicity and tone, lending itself to future quotation for years to come.
   1988. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 07:59 PM (#4352141)
It's a good thing that never happens..


??? People do that?!
   1989. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4352143)
Truth, old man. Truth. The rhetorical linking of "Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall" is a clear refining of the liberal-Democratic vision of civil rights history and policy going forward. To take women's rights, Civil Rights and gay rights and link them together in that manner (on MLK Day even) is a stake in the ground announcing to all parties that the Dem coalition considers their liberal mission to be civil rights, inclusive of gay rights, and not disparate and disassociated individual "rights movements" with no common thread. It's huge. And the phrasing is brilliant in its simplicity and tone, lending itself to future quotation for years to come.
I quote your quoting for truth for truth.

The great movements for freedom of the last century in America have not been fragmentary and fragmenting sectional movements, they have been movements which have re-produced and re-imagined human freedom in foundational, universal ways.
   1990. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4352144)
Then you just might find yourself with an ever diminishing supply of Leaves of Grass products, in whatever form.


I knew the topic would eventually circle back to drugs.
   1991. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4352145)
and to think for years civil rights activists openly dismissed gay rights activists working to make the two causes similar.

now, poof--it's the same. just like that

whatever my thoughts on these causes as an observer it's quite fascinating
   1992. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4352150)
and to think for years civil rights activists openly dismissed gay rights activists working to make the two causes similar.
Some, not all, arguably not the paradigmatic activists. Bayard Rustin organized the March on Washington. This is a discussion that has been ongoing, and while the case for alliance over division has only definitively triumphed recently, the movement for such alliances is nothing new.
   1993. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4352153)
and to think for years civil rights activists openly dismissed gay rights activists working to make the two causes similar.


I think 70% of the intended audience for that stake in the ground is the Dem coalition, particularly the more socially conservative elements of the older African American community that still has issues around gay rights. (Same can be said for the Latino socially conservative elements within the Democratic big tent.) And that is really what the big deal is here, I think. He's serving notice that in Barack Obama's Democratic coalition, the banners that fly above the big tent are about universal civil rights, equality before the law, etc, and the old, recalcitrant guard that still occasionally sings the "gay rights is nothing like the Civil Rights Movement" songs need to learn how to live as one of many in the Big Tent.
   1994. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4352154)
That's right. But it doesn't end there. For instance, Penguin paperbacks can come up with a version and format of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Just because Hamlet is in the public domain now doesn't mean Penguin can't produce and sell their copy, either in tree form or digitally, and if you take without acceding to the explicit and implicit conditions in law, you've engaged in a form of theft.


First, it's not theft, it's copyright infringement. These are different things.

Second, Penguin is free to produce a new version of Hamlet if they want to, but I absolutely can copy it (either digitally or physically) without either infringing a copyright or stealing anything unless they have somehow added some new original creative content to the book.

Edited to add: obviously, if you took the physical copy of one of Penguin's books from a store without paying for it, that would be theft. copies are different.
   1995. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:22 PM (#4352161)
walked by my wife watching msnbc and bob shrum is on the tv

poor old bob shrum. if not for florida 2000 he might have been the david axelrod of today
   1996. Morty Causa Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4352165)
First, it's not theft, it's copyright infringement. These are different things.


No, they aren't. They are both based on prohibitions resting on legal philosophy having to do with taking, possessing, and using that which does not belong to you. Just because there are specific statutes enacte dealing with this doesn't take it out of the categorical essence.

In my state, we have a special separate statute dealing with theft of crawfish. It's still a theft crime. It's always nice to give laws, especially a regime of laws on a subject, a name, but that doesn't take it out of the general class.

Second, Penguin is free to produce a new version of Hamlet if they want to, but I absolutely can copy it (either digitally or physically) without either infringing a copyright or stealing anything unless they have somehow added some new original creative content to the book.


Is it just about copying? Even if it is, doesn't Penguin do particular things to make the product theirs? This is a very narrow way of looking at the issue and what happened.

Still, even if a copyright has run on a book, that doesn't mean you can copy it. You still don't own the book itself, and you copying it is in violation of indices of ownership. Again, you may not be stealing from Walt Whitman anymore, but you are stealing from whoever owns that form you are reproducing, downloading, etc. Isn't that the law? Isn't that what Swarz really objected to--ownership (thus, restriction of dissemination) of intellectual property in any form? And that can be changed--but until it is, the law is the law.
   1997. Morty Causa Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:32 PM (#4352166)
Edited to add: obviously, if you took the physical copy of one of Penguin's books from a store without paying for it, that would be theft. copies are different.


I bet hacking into Penguin's data base and taking its program of Hamlet is theft, too. Why shouldn't it be?

I bet if Penguin allows, say Amazon, to put its version on Kindle or whatever, that hacking into that and downloading it would be a theft-type crime committed against both Penguin and Amazon. Why shouldn't it be?
   1998. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:37 PM (#4352170)
I bet hacking into Penguin's data base and taking its program of Hamlet is theft, too. Why shouldn't it be?


Here's a good rule of thumb on whether or not it's theft or not. Did you have to hack around a security feature to access it?
   1999. formerly dp Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:38 PM (#4352172)
I bet hacking into Penguin's data base and taking its program of Hamlet is theft, too. Why shouldn't it be?
Copying isn't taking. That's sort of the crux of the issue.
   2000. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 21, 2013 at 08:38 PM (#4352173)
fox news is discussing headwear

talk about punting on the day guys.

geez
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