back to article Reddit programmer charged with massive data theft

A former employee of Reddit has been accused of hacking into the computer systems of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and downloading almost 5 million scholarly documents from a nonprofit archive service. Aaron Swartz, a 24-year-old researcher in Harvard University's Center for Ethics, broke into a locked computer- …

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Silver badge
Boffin

How can you defend this crime?

“This makes no sense,” the group's executive director, David Segal, said in a statement. “It’s like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library.”

Sorry, but didn't Schwartz break in to a networking closet and gained access to a network/server where he was not specifically granted access?

That's criminal trespass.

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Anonymous Coward

That's defensible at MIT, anyway.

Read up on the JARGON file, for example. Part of the hacker ethic is that circumventing stupid rules if they're in the way and, oh, exploring the catacombs of a building out of curiosity are, well, to be expected as normal hackish behaviour anyway. If stuffy administrators see things differently, tough cookies. This has long been MIT habit and ethic.

In the wider academic community, locking up thousands of papers behind publisher copyright --no matter how useful for getting things published in paper-- is itself controversial, moreso with growing digitalisation of those same publications. This may well have been a (thwarted?) attempt at making a public statement about it.

Do recall that MIT is an academic institution, even if a privately funded one, and thus ought to come with at least some of the trappings of openness and such. Not too long ago there was a story of MIT administrators "preventively" patenting something students had invented and then required some obscene number in licence fees from the very same students seeking to put their own invention on the market through a freshly created start-up company. Wouldn't surprise me if this is another exponent in an ongoing admin vs. academics tug-of-war.

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Megaphone

Oh look, a paper by the Bogdanovs!

"locking up thousands of papers behind publisher copyright --no matter how useful for getting things published in paper"

Which is about Zero Useful.

The publishers just draw in massive amount of fees for a service that is consistenly broken and toothless: so-called "peer review".

Hence, arxiv.org etc. Which has another kind of brokeness, in the sense of preventive suppression of politically problematic papers endangering grants I hear. But that's yet another story.

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Thumb Down

Uh

"Do recall that MIT is an academic institution, even if a privately funded one, and thus ought to come with at least some of the trappings of openness and such."

This is a self-contradictory non-sequitor.

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Pint

Um ...

"Not too long ago there was a story of MIT administrators "preventively" patenting something students had invented and then required some obscene number in licence fees from the very same students seeking to put their own invention on the market through a freshly created start-up company."

oooOOOOHHHhh!!

Call the cops, and tell them that thingy, you know the MIT administrator patented, uh, something, and then those students, you know, them, they weren't able to use that idea they had, you know the one about whatsit, in their startup, yeah, that one ....

If it smells like FUD, and sounds like FUD and reads like FUD ....

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Holmes

@AC

So you've got your brass rat?

Somehow I doubt it.

Its one thing to bend the rules. Its another to break the law.

Smoots on the bridge.

Telephone booth on top of the dome?

Exploding weather balloons on the field during the Harvard Yale football game?

All good hacks.

Theft of proprietary documents which have commercial value?

Not so much.

Also the git is from Harvard.

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Ru
Facepalm

Re: broken and toothless

Ahh, so you're not an academic, you don't understand the review process, and your understanding of the system comes from reading reports of a few high profile peer reviewing failures. Gotcha.

Much like democracy, peer-review is not an ideal system but the alternatives are far from ideal.

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Anonymous Coward

peer-review is not an ideal system

I have to agree, but the prices some publishers ask for their publications is obscene! Check amazon for some Lecture Notes in Computer Science (mostly proceedings of conferences, i.e. collected papers which the authors had to *pay* to publish), price is around 70-100 US$. And just for fun, try and get one of the ISO specifications or whatever the hell these documents are called. A friend just received the (peer-)reviewed notes for a paper he's writing, and one of the reviewers urged him to read three ISOs specifications... which cost US$ 200 each.

That's the idea: publish or perish, and in order to publish more you need to have access to more and more documents, which are not cheap.

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FAIL

Re: @AC

"Theft of proprietary documents which have commercial value?"

Ah, yes, scientific research paid for by your tax money, published for the benefit of others, is "proprietary" and has "commercial value". That anyone would spout this without considering the contradiction just goes to show how far some people have swallowed the corporate propaganda and pilfering that is now endemic in our society.

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Boffin

Re: broken and toothless

"Ahh, so you're not an academic, you don't understand the review process, and your understanding of the system comes from reading reports of a few high profile peer reviewing failures. "

Ah, so you're an academic who thinks "ooh, we do this so well". Often this means knowing the right people and using the right buzzwords because, speaking from an academic perspective, everybody knows that getting published is largely about surfing the latest meme, trashing instead of building on other people's work while forcing others to collaborate on restrictive terms (an anachronism in the era of open source - something a lot of academics don't understand), rushing material to submission with scant regard as to whether it can or will be reproduced, making big claims about the work's significance, and frequently signing over ownership of the article to the publisher.

But what about the peer review? Well, off the article goes and the publisher then "earns" their salary by getting someone in the field to "peer review" it (and I believe it has been said that this is frequently done for little or no money). In some fields, the pool of peers is so small that if it's not the bloke down the corridor who gets the gig, then on a "bad hair day" at the publisher you could even get your own article to review until the publisher's hair straightens out and they realise the foolishness of the situation. In other fields, it's like asking the other sharks in the tank about whether one of the sharks should be excused from dinner duty: yes, another means of trashing papers while you wait for yours to get in, shutting down subsequent papers on a topic as "not bringing anything new to the table".

Peer review works if no-one has an ulterior motive. With the way science is funded ("How many publications in Nature/Science this year?"), how likely is that?

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FAIL

Do recall, yourself...

That:

1) The thief was from a totally differnet institution, so has not even that figleaf behind which to hide, and

2) was downloading papers from sources OTHER than MIT - i.e. stealing from folks outside the uni, and

3) was a researcher in an ETHICS department, so had presumably managed to internalize concepts like theft, breaking and entering, criminal evasion of security measures, and other assorted crimes he was commiting.

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Facepalm

Re: Do recall, yourself...

Those points don't quite seem to manage to add up:

Being "a researcher in an ETHICS department" does not imply automatic perfect compliance with "the law", as that would imply that research into ethics is, well, no longer needed. The law is always right, see?

Theft implies that the owner no longer has access and/or the use of the items stolen. Was that the case? If not, then is it still theft? Would you dare ask this guy that?

So he was from Harvard instead. In that case, alright, you win, hang'im high just because. Sheesh.

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Trollface

Unclear, clearly

Pardon me whilst my eyes roll, AC @08:57.

Ethics is the study of morality. This includes things like 'good and evil', 'right and wrong,' 'virtue and vice,' JUSTICE, and the like.

Copyright law, indeed ANY law, is rooted in ethics. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he grasped quite clearly that what he was doing was wrong. Indeed, his elaborate efforts to avoid indentification are de facto acknowlegement that he knew he was doing wrong.

Clearly, you are NOT a student of ethics, or you'd grasp that.

Just as clearly, you have no understanding of the ins and outs of copyright and copyrighted material, theft thereof, criminal evasion of safeguards and security, and the like. Either that, or you simply reject those concepts. If the first case, you need to go get a real world education (as opposed to self-indulgent ivory-tower theory about how information 'wants to be free'). If the second, clearly there'd be no point talking to you, as that would make you a mere self-indulgent punk.

As for hanging him high 'just because' - No. Submit him to prosecution for his offences 'Just Because' he willfully, knowingly, and egregiously violated a number of laws - Yes.

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Anonymous Coward

The previous icon had self-rolling eyes

Bit of a pity that woosh sound caused you to make all sorts of assumptions about my person on very little evidence. Your repeated argument does not now convince me just like it didn't before where a better argument possibly might have. But then you'd need to have a mind bright enough to come up with such a novelty. So much more's the pity for it might have been entertaining.

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Pint

Bear in mind ...

No'one really cares about convincing YOU you're talking rubbish. Few people are self-aware enough to acknowledge that failing. But presenting both sides of the argument lets other people decide where they stand. You've barely presented an argument. Just said you don't agree. Hey ho. You lose.

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Thumb Up

Perfect Alibi

"I was just doing a one person study on how unethical people behave."

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Boffin

Demand Progress & David Segal

Obviously need a lesson in Ethics. Breaking into a Library to check out books is still breaking & entering, a crime.

JSTOR considers Mr. Swartz to be a criminal:

http://about.jstor.org/news-events/news/jstor-statement-misuse-incident-and-criminal-case

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Silver badge
Stop

Breaking and entering

Yes, but since when did someone get up to 35 years for breaking and entering a library?

Sounds a bit harsh.

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Anonymous Coward

Fuck sake

Learn how analogies work. And how they don't.

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Silver badge

I expect if the hoodlums managed to run

up the copier bill by making a copy of every book in the library, they'd get a good bit more than 35 years, especially if they then sold the copies to other people.

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FAIL

rrrright

Authorities, particularly in the US, just completely make things up for press releases. Did he actually break into the closet? It is just as likely that he knew someone at MIT who let him do it without the administration knowing or giving explicit permission. They also make it seem like he used some sort of "special skill" to "hide" from JSTOR's defenses. While changing an IP address or MAC address takes as much skill as tying a shoelace, they will use this in front of the knows-nothing-about-technology court to garner a tougher sentence. It is just as likely that he got a new DHCP address, changed his MAC to avoid a DHCP lease cache problem, or just thought he triggered a high traffic filter. Police will say just about anything to make someone seem like a perp, so without hard facts and/or a brain dump of what they are making out to be a single perpetrator, everyone should be erring on the side of innocence.

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WTF?

Hmmm

Problem with that explanation is it doesn't fit the published facts in the story.

1) He manually changed his ip to another ip, one up from his previous address. He didn't get a different DHCP address. It's highly unlikey he'd get the next incremental ip after being blocked x amount of time after obtaining a lease. At MIT. This can be proven from DHCP logs, if necessary.

2) Assuming the above "he changed his MAC to avoid a DHCP lease cache problem" is just gibberish. Given he didn't obtain his IP from DHCP. That's avoiding the elephant in the sentence, which is there's no such thing as "a DHCP lease cache problem". "Just thought he triggered a high traffic filter" doesn't make any sense as a defence given he was clearly doing something he KNEW he wasn't supposed to be doing.

3) He masked his face while changing disks in the closet, so video recordings didn't capture it. Which abundantly implies he knew he wasn't supposed to be doing it. See step 2.

4) Why in the name of fuck would you assume he's innocent when all the evidence suggests he isn't? He tried to sell the documents he obtained. Were they his to sell? Was the money going to save orphaned baby seal kittens who were starving in africa (free steve biko)?

Fuck sake, it's great to get behind a cause, just choose a cause worth championing. Fighting "The Man" is only meaningful if you're fighting for something you can express, and not just fighting against something you can barely articulate.

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Flame

nice try

1. Has it been proven from DHCP logs?

2. You don't know how DHCP works. Legality in the mind of the suspect is also unknown, and only relevant after determination of mens rea.

3. That isn't illegal in the US. It may be in the UK, but you're all fucked, anyway.

4. That is how it is intended to work in the US. We also don't have beheadings.

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Anonymous Coward

assume innocent?

Because until tried and convicted he, like everybody else is innocent. No assumption required.

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Facepalm

And what's JSTOR supposed to do?

Applaud theft?

Once a freetard, always a freetard

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Boffin

Nope. That's a fallacy...

There is this thing called the court of public opinion.... But back to your 'innocent until proven guilty' claptrap...

The actual quote is that there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. That means that he burden on the prosecution to prove their case.

You may know he is guilty. Everyone may know he's guilty, but if the prosecution doesn't make their case, then the courts will not convict.

Casey Anthony went free, even though everyone knows she did it.

O.J ... ?

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Gold badge
Mushroom

Re: nice try

"We also don't have beheadings."

Presumably only 'cos fryings and poisonings don't make such a nasty mess on the floor.

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Silver badge

Li'l differences you've overlooked. . .

A "PR release" and an "indictment" are not the same things, at all. "Indictments" are handed down by grand juries, and as such, have no relation whatsoever to "PR releases".

This is an important point for you to know, especially as the article is speaking about an "indictment" and not a "PR release". Notice the references to "court documents".

Now one difference between a "PR release" and an "indictment" is that, theoretically, someone can write pretty nearly whatever they want in a "PR release" but an "indictment" enumerates "criminal charges" that a "prosecutor" intends to "prove" in a "court of law".

These are all good things for you to know.

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Paris Hilton

non-profit?

Why does JSTOR charge non-university users SO MUCH for scanned old (out of copyright) material?

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WTF?

You might want to read up on how copyright works...

... because the mere act of scanning and converting the old material into digital form *resets the copyright clock* on that digital version. The copyright in *that particular version* of the text quite rightly belongs to JSTOR. (You're also paying for their archiving service, incidentally. Think about the numbers quoted in the article and explain to us mortals how many local lending libraries you know of that have that many papers sitting on their shelves!)

You're paying for the work that went into scanning, OCRing and proofreading that document. Only the OCR part is automated, and even that often results in errors—a major issue in academic texts where accuracy is kind of important. So you need to pay for editing and proofreading too. Even the scanning process often means paying some poor schlemiel to sit there and scan each page, checking the scan quality and ensuring consistent, legible scans each time. If you're using microfiche, this can be mostly automated, but not every paper will be in that format. If you've ever tried to scan a book, you'll have some idea of how tedious this can get.

Whether you care to believe it or not, digitising, managing and archiving analogue material in this way is *not* free. You are adding value by making the work available in a more accessible medium. As the market for said work is tiny, you cannot charge peanuts in the hope that thousands of people will pay, so you charge what the market will bear. Turns out that's quite a lot.

If you can get access to the *original*, out-of-copyright text (and good luck with that, as it's unlikely to be widely available), you're more than welcome to scan, OCR and proofread it yourself and then give it away.

If you think the pricing is high, take a good look at the price of university-level textbooks sometime.

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Silver badge

@Sean Baggaley 1

> If you think the pricing is high, take a good look at the price of university-level textbooks sometime.

Often written by the people who teach the course, tweaked every year and sold through the university bookstore with a cozy little arrangement to supplement the income.

One enterprising group of students decided "sod this" and arranged a bulk purchase from overseas, getting about 90% off the retail price. They were then sued for copyright violation by the campus bookstore - who'd been left holding about 3000 now-useless textbooks.

Yes, the bookstore had been assigned copyright in that country.

If they'd kept quiet about it and not boasted loudly they might have gotten away with it too.

By the way: "Not for profit" or "charitable" does not mean "cannot pay obscene amounts of money to employees" - just look at the accounts of the various speed camera partnerships to see where the money went. It's a good way of avoiding corporate taxation whilst still raking in the (personal) income.

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Silver badge

(Slight digression)

This is a very good point: "By the way: "Not for profit" or "charitable" does not mean "cannot pay obscene amounts of money to employees" [. . . ] It's a good way of avoiding corporate taxation whilst still raking in the (personal) income".

The percentage of people here in the US who understand this principle is appallingly low. Tax-exempt foundations, charitable organizations, and similar schemes, are to my mind one of the biggest scandals in the US today. And I would be surprised if it were any different in any other country that allows such entities to exist.

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Big Brother

The future: A boot stamping on a hand trying to open a book -- forever.

"They were then sued for copyright violation by the campus bookstore"

Well, I hope this crap was dismissed and the bookstore got countersued for harassment.

Because that would be really hardcore Nazi if a *buyer* could be convicted of copyright violation.

Wouldn't surprise me though.

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Silver badge

Not for profit, and any of the 501(x) are specifically

excluded from "personal gain" by IRS rules in the US. Anybody making money from such an organization cannot be an officer of the corporation. If they are, and they are making money, the corp can and should lose their tax exempt status. When they do, not only will they owe back taxes, they will also owe penalties and accrued interest. I doubt any of them could survive it.

Yes, I know because I've actually helped incorporate several.

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Anonymous Coward

neologism

What a compete Assange.

(Oh no, have I just violated our Jule's copyright?)

As others have already said, Segal's analogy is entirely bogus unless you add "and then distribute the books [that were borrowed from the library] in violation of the laws of copyright and the terms and conditions pf your library membership".

Of course there is nothing to stop these freetards campaigning against laws that they disagree with and lobby to change them without it being necessary to break them and consequently both flagrantly disregard other people's pre-existing rights and damage their property.

Finally, a message to Swartz et al:

HOW ABOUT YOU GROW THE FUCK UP

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Silver badge

Sigh

Start with copyright =/= trademark protection

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Crime? Yes. Punishment?

It's understandable that some people don't think what he did was "that bad". It wasn't, but it was against the law, so he is a criminal. (If you don't think laws are right, don't break them, petition their amendment)

However, 35 years/$1m fine is ludicrous. Those documents are apparently worth more than a human life.

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Silver badge

Massive little law breakings

combine into one big heap of prison time. Each of those books/papers can count as a separate indictment.

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Imagine that, an Ivy League grad with an selective ethics.

He missed his calling. He should be pursuing a career on Wall Street, or as a US senator or presidential candidate.

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Holmes

Aren't you forgetting ...

Two of harvard's most well known students who attended were Bill Gates and Zuckerberg you bitches?

Talk about a lack of ethics. And no, I'm not forgetting that Harvard is known for it's law school and we all know about the ethics of lawyers...

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Boffin

The bottom line

Is he was caught on private property connected to a private network using equipment he hid on that private property. Yes, even on State owned Colleges & Universities in the US, you can be arrested for trespassing if you are on the premises without authorization even if you are a student, staff or faculty member of that institution. (i.e. If I enter my Dean's office without his permission, the fact that I'm a Faculty member does not make it "OK". Doing so surreptitiously only highlights that I know that doing so is wrong.) At a minimum Mr. Schwartz could be charged with wire tapping, a very serious Federal Offense. Second, he was downloading huge volumes of data that he had no legal right to access. Whether you like JSTOR or not is irrelevant. Third, he admitted that he was downloading this materiel in order to violate the rights of the copyright holders.

Although this is irrelevant in Court, I'm sure we'll hear a defense that he was really only surreptitiously downloading all of this data in order perform some type of statistical analysis on it. Unfortunately for him, that does not wash. JSTOR itself, in it's press release of this incident, points out there is a legitimate "front door" for that type of data mining scholarship, which Mr. Schwartz clearly did not use:

"It is important to note that we support and encourage the legitimate use of large sets of content from JSTOR for research purposes. We regularly provide scholars with access to content for this purpose. Our Data for Research site (http://dfr.jstor.org) was established expressly to support text mining and other projects, and our Advanced Technologies Group is an eager collaborator with researchers in the academic community."

(http://about.jstor.org/news-events/news/jstor-statement-misuse-incident-and-criminal-case)

The bottom line is the hubris of Mr. Schwartz is astounding, and his actions make it clear that he believes The Law does not apply to him.

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Silver badge

Here's a BETTER defense!

"I'm sure we'll hear a defense that he was really only surreptitiously downloading all of this data in order perform some type of statistical analysis on it."

Or maybe he will claim that he is an asspie, and therefore not responsible for his behaviour! Certainly there are any number of specialists who would be willing to make the diagnosis from a few paragraphs in a story on some random sites on the internet.

And I am *sure* that Mrs MacKinnon would very much like another defective son, or equivalent.

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Anonymous Coward

The work belongs to someone, just not who you might think

Many people even in the academic world don't know what the copyright implications of their own work being published is.

Until the use of Open Access really got going it went like this in my institution.

You do the work, either as a phd student, or lecturer etc. That work doesn't belong to you, it belongs to your employer eg University X. To get it published in a journal the university has to sign away the copyright to the journal publisher eg Elsevier. So the work doesn't belong you, it doesn't belong to your employer it now belongs to Elsevierand you they can do what they like with it. So sell it on for any amount of money online in pdf format, print it in their journals etc. Depending on the agreement you might have some reuse rights but it is not yours. If you want to republish it in say a book, you need their permission

With Open access agreements it works like this.

You do the work, either as a phd student, or lecturer etc. That work doesn't belong to you, it belongs to your employer eg University X. To get it published in a journal the university has to pay Elsevier $3000 to get it published BUT you get to keep the copyright. Elsevier will publish it on UKPMC within 6 months and you keep the copyright so you can do datamining on the contents in the future.

What you don't own is the final product as apart from your copyright they own the copyright on the house style of their publications. So you can see the difference between a Nature or Elsevier publication. So you might own the copyright but you cannot use the publishers final version unless you have that agreed in contract. Elsevier will publish their final version on UKPMC but you can't download the PDF from ScienceDirect and then share that, you could only point people towards UKPMC for that version they put up.

Add to this the fact that you are still doing peer review for free, still maybe doing editorial work for free it means that the public are paying for the science even more times.

1. Cost of salaries/buildings etc

2. Cost of print journals in institution

3. Cost of online journals in institution

4. Cost of Open Access payments for papers

5. Cost of other publishing fees (colour figures etc)

6. Lost time you spend doing peer review for publishers for no recompense.

Peer review is very important and I'm not against it but when it is being done for a private company why is there no compensation to help refund the user for the time spent on doing their work? Why is there no credit for free publishing, or a flat payment for reviewing papers?

The work isn't free to produce. I don't disagree with the idea that articles should be free for those that want them after the fact but even now the work has a cost that people don't seem to know exists. The majority of journals are published by the big publishing companies and they are charging a fortune to make work available to the public when the unit cost of doing so is low, the effort to make them free is low and they are getting all the content and work for free in the first place. Surely the publishers should be paying for peoples work?

Of course the extortionate cost of print and online journals cannot really be justified (certainly not increases of 10%+ when inflation is well below that and budgets are being massively cut anyway) but that's a seperate issue.

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Stop

Re: The work belongs to someone, just not who you might think

"The majority of journals are published by the big publishing companies and they are charging a fortune to make work available to the public when the unit cost of doing so is low, the effort to make them free is low and they are getting all the content and work for free in the first place. Surely the publishers should be paying for peoples work?"

In short, the journals are freeloading dinosaurs. Freeloading because they largely get everyone else to work for nothing; dinosaurs because making research available doesn't require a huge publishing business with big price tags any more. The only thing that sustains them is the idiotic brand fixation that continues to lend them a degree of prestige, thus giving superficial funding committees something to tally up instead of actually reviewing scientific work.

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Anonymous Coward

The key word might be "ethics"

Who are we to set out moral judgments up against a fellow in Ethics? Surely, by definition, his ethical judgment must be better than ours?

Otherwise, you have to take the position that a fellowship in ethics does not imply any superior knowledge. And, let's face it, that would make the University look pretty stupid, wouldn't it?

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@Tom 13

I'm aware of the 501(c) rules.

And how easy it is to get around them.

Do some research and you'll be surprised how many officers of 501(c) orgs are employees of a completely unrelated one - unrelated except that the officers and employees tend to be swapped around - or there might be a couple more hops in the chain first.

This is exactly the same method used for defrauding councils out of housing benefits in the UK, but it's ok when used for company/charity setups (until the IR(S)) gets a tipoff and starts investigating but usually this kind of thing gets thrown into the "tax avoidance" rather than "tax evasion" basket.

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Megaphone

35 years seems harsh

Big discussion on Hacker News, see http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2781615

Breaking and entering not good. 35 years seems harsh. 'stole' seems the wrong word as well.

Megaphone because trying to get my students to read a couple of books is hard work....

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FAIL

Misleading

First, the Analogy IS correct. Reg's account is incomplete and misleading.

The correct accounts of the facts (and see wired link as well)

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/07/reddit-founder-arrested-for-excessive-jstor-downloads.ars

He did have legal access to those documents as a guest on the MIT network for a limited time (14 days). Though even at Harvard, he had access to JSTOR. He started the automated downloading script. JSTOR then decided to block his IP address. Only after a cat and mouse game did he decide to use the MIT network closet to evade the sysadmins.

===================================================================

“This makes no sense,” the group's executive director, David Segal, said in a statement. “It’s like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library.”

Sorry, but didn't Schwartz break in to a networking closet and gained access to a network/server where he was not specifically granted access?

That's criminal trespass.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

But that's not in the charges. There's nothing to do with criminal trespassing of property at all, perhaps because he did need to break into any property to gain access to the closet. Apparently it was just in the basement of a building. All the actual charges deal with "hacking" (Wire Fraud, Computer Fraud, Unlawfully Obtaining Information from a Protected Computer, etc) but none of that actually deals with real hacks or breaking of systems to obtain confidential info i.e. password cracking, security exploits; all of it stems from the idea of evading enforcement of the TOS.

Second, people are jumping to the wrong conclusions:

===================================================================

JSTOR considers Mr. Swartz to be a criminal:

http://about.jstor.org/news-events/news/jstor-statement-misuse-incident-and-criminal-case

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Please show where it mentions or even implies "JSTOR considers Mr. Swartz to be a criminal". Hint: you won't find it. They simply detailed the incident and merely reported the case the government filed against him.

In fact:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/07/swartz-arrest/

“It’s even more strange because the alleged victim [JSTOR] has settled any claims against Aaron, explained they’ve suffered no loss or damage, and asked the government not to prosecute,” Segal said.

JSTOR doesn’t go quite as far in its statement on the prosecution — though there are clear hints that they were not the ones who wanted a prosecution, and that they were subpoenaed to testify at the grand jury hearing by the federal government."

===================================================================

4) Why in the name of fuck would you assume he's innocent when all the evidence suggests he isn't? He tried to sell the documents he obtained. Were they his to sell? Was the money going to save orphaned baby seal kittens who were starving in africa (free steve biko)?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Please show me anywhere it says "he tried to sell the documents" or where he was to profit from them in any way?

Fact:

"The indictment alleges that Swartz, at the time a fellow at Harvard University, intended to distribute the documents on peer-to-peer networks. That did not happen, however, and all the documents have been returned to JSTOR.

Contacted by e-mail, Swartz declined to comment on what he was planning to do with the documents. But he pointed to his bio in the Demand Progress statement, which notes that "in conjunction with Shireen Barday, he downloaded and analyzed 441,170 law review articles to determine the source of their funding; the results were published in the Stanford Law Review." ''

Fact:

He has done the exact same thing as JSTOR before of mass-downloading documents with PACER, a court record search system:

"Swartz went to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals library in Chicago and installed a small PERL script he had written. The code cycled sequentially through case numbers, requesting a new document from PACER every three seconds. In this manner, Swartz got nearly 20 million pages of court documents, which his script uploaded to Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing service."

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