But with the birth of the internet, scholars no longer needed publishers to distribute their work. As NYU’s Clay Shirky has noted, publishing went from being an industry to being a button.From: http://lists.ibiblio...-January/008284.html
Had the leaders of major research universities reacted to this technological transformation with any kind vision, Swartz’s dream of universal free access to the scholarly literature would now be a reality. But they did not. Rather than seize this opportunity to greatly facilitate research and education, both within and outside the academy, they chose instead to reify the status quo.
> **Aaron Swartz recognized something. In his own words, "Information is
> power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for
> themselves." —[Guerilla Open Access Manifesto]**
> [![Aaron Swartz]]
> Based on an image by [Jacob Applebaum] via [Wikimedia]. [CC-BY-SA
> Many of us have spent time grieving together on message boards, email
> lists, and with friends. While we mourned the loss of a brilliant hero
> to a [broken and backwards criminal justice system], an outpouring of
> support for his work roared to life. Almost overnight, recognition of
> the importance of his mission spread across every corner of the web.
> What now?
> Aaron understood that the way we experience and interact with the world
> is [inseparable from the media and technology around us]. He knew
> that only when they are [free from private ownership] can we hope to
> harness their liberatory potential and gain control over our own lives.
> He has been an invaluable force in the free software and free culture
> movements, working against the privatization of information, culture,
> and knowledge.
> Aaron fought to tear down the walls that hide big secrets and lock up
> human knowledge for the profit of the gatekeepers. The pressures which
> drove him to suicide — up to 50 years in prison and $4 million in fines
> — were brought against him for a victimless crime. These egregiously
> harsh punishments for [releasing public domain papers] locked up on
> JSTOR may have been due to Aaron's support of [ Private Breanna
> Manning] and [ties to Wikileaks]. Either way, Aaron should have
> been rewarded.
> There are already plenty of places to publish and share [free cultural
> works], but this is only half of the battle. The remaining question
> is how to usurp proprietary knowledge sources. The answer, then, is to
> eliminate their value by taking the knowledge they amass and release it
> into the world. **Our own rejection of locking up knowledge should be
> taken for granted.** **To continue Aaron's work, we must create an
> organized movement to take down the gatekeepers which keep hoards of
> information secret and lock our cultural productions behind their
I wonder if there's a way we could promote libre knowledge (which is freely
licensed and in free formats) over individuals just posting links to their
"Posting our PDFs is all fine and good, but the real way to honor Aaron
Swartz is to combat this pervasive institutional fecklessness and do
everything in our power to make sure no papers ever end up behind pay walls
How can we promote
* Public Library of Science <https://www.plos.org/>, BioMed
and other freely licensed academic journals
* AcaWiki <http://acawiki.org/> and
Wikiversity<https://en.wikiversity.org/>for collaborative summaries of
and notes on books and academic papers
* Connexions <http://cnx.org/> and Wikibooks
<https://en.wikibooks.org/>as collaborative course materials and