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Release of 33GiB of Scientific Publications 242

Posted by timothy
from the summer-reading dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Wikipedian, Greg Maxwell, has released 33GiB of scientific publications [note: torrent] from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in response to the arrest of Aaron Swartz for, effectively, downloading too many articles from JSTOR. The release consists of 18,592 scientific articles previously released at $8-$19 each and all published prior to 1923 and so public domain."
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Release of 33GiB of Scientific Publications

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  • Re:Biased summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2011 @06:15PM (#36853138)

    The description and even the Wikipedia page on the issue imply that he simply brought a laptop into MIT and downloaded the data. Actually looking at news articles on the same issue reveal he did a bit more than that:

    "According to the indictment, Swartz connected a laptop to MIT's system in September 2010 through a basement network wiring closet and registered as a guest under the fictitious name, Gary Host, in which the first initial and last name spell "ghost." He then used a software program to "rapidly download at extraordinary volume of articles from JSTOR," according to the indictment.

    In the following months, MIT and JSTOR tried to block the recurring and massive downloads, on occasion denying all MIT users access to JSTOR. But Swartz allegedly got around it, in part, by disguising the computer source of the demands for data.

    In November and December, Swartz allegedly made 2 million downloads from JSTOR, 100 times the number made during the same period by all legitimate JSTOR users at MIT.

    The indictment also alleges that on Jan. 6, Swartz went to the wiring closet to remove the laptop, attempting to shield his identity by holding a bike helmet in front of his face and seeing his way through its ventilation holes. It said that he fled when MIT police tried to question him that day."

    Yyyyeah, I don't think he's being charged simply for downloading too much from JSTOR.

  • Re:legal? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kjella (173770) on Friday July 22, 2011 @06:19PM (#36853172) Homepage

    but its public domain right? Nothing illegal about it then right?

    Making copies of a copy you have, no. But you still have to get that copy in a legal way, you don't have the right to violate terms of services or laws to get it. In that sense it's irrelevant whether the works he downloaded from JSTOR were copyrighted or not.

  • Re:Doc Brown? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Friday July 22, 2011 @06:57PM (#36853454) Journal

    1 GB= 10^9 bytes (gigabyte)
    1 GiB=2^30 bytes (gibibyte)

    It changed in 1998 [nist.gov]

  • Re:Biased summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Caerdwyn (829058) on Friday July 22, 2011 @07:34PM (#36853666) Journal

    No, he was arrested for burglary (note to readers: "burglary" is not a crime of larceny/theft. It is breaking-and-entering in furtherance of actions which in themselves are also illegal.). Plenty to cry over.

    The "anonymous reader" who claims the arrest was over downloading is, in fact, lying.

  • Re:Biased summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by burris (122191) on Friday July 22, 2011 @09:03PM (#36854090)

    Wire Fraud, Computer Fraud, Unlawfully Obtaining Information from a Protected Computer, and Recklessly Damaging a Protected Computer. The charges that the state will try to prove in it's case, along with the probable cause, are all in the indictment [mit.edu].

    COUNT 1 Wire Fraud 18 U.S.C. 1343 & 2
    34. The Grand Jury realleges and incorporates by reference the allegations in paragraphs 1-33 of this Indictment and charges that:
    From on or about September 24, 2010, through January 6, 2011, or thereabout, in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, the defendant,
    AARON SWARTZ,
    having devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and for obtaining property — namely, journal articles digitized and distributed by JSTOR, and copies thereof — by means of material false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, transmitted and caused to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate commerce writings, signs, signals, and pictures — namely, communications to and from JSTOR’s computer servers — for the purpose of executing the scheme, and aided and abetted the same.
    All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343 and 2.

    COUNT 2 Computer Fraud 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(4) & 2
    35. The Grand Jury realleges and incorporates by reference the allegations in paragraphs 1-33 of this Indictment and charges that:
    From on or about September 24, 2010, through January 6, 2011, or thereabout, in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, the defendant,
    AARON SWARTZ,
    knowingly and with intent to defraud, accessed a protected computer — namely, a computer on MIT’s network and a computer on JSTOR’s network — without authorization and in excess of authorized access, and by means of such conduct furthered the intended fraud and obtained things of value — namely, digitized journal articles from JSTOR’s archive — and aided and abetted the same.
    All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1030(a)(4) and 2.

    COUNT 3 Unlawfully Obtaining Information from a Protected Computer 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2), (c)(2)(B)(iii) & 2
    36. The Grand Jury realleges and incorporates by reference the allegations in paragraphs 1-33 of this Indictment and charges that:
    From on or about September 24, 2010, through January 6, 2011, or thereabout, in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, the defendant,
    AARON SWARTZ,
    intentionally accessed a computer — namely, a computer on MIT’s computer network and a computer on JSTOR’s network — without authorization and in excess of authorized access, and thereby obtained from a protected computer information whose value exceeded $5,000 — namely, digitized journal articles from JSTOR’s archive — and aided and abetted the same.
    All in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2), (c)(2)(B)(iii) and 2.

    COUNT 4 Recklessly Damaging a Protected Computer 18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(5)(B), (c)(4)(A)(i)(I),(VI) & 2
    37. The Grand Jury realleges and incorporates by reference the allegations in paragraphs 1-33 of this Indictment and charges that:
    From on or about September 24, 2010, through January 6, 2011, or thereabout, in the District of Massachusetts and elsewhere, the defendant,
    AARON SWARTZ,
    intentionally accessed a protected computer — namely, a computer on MIT’s computer network and a computer on JSTOR’s network — without authorization, and as a result of such conduct recklessly caused damage to MIT and JSTOR, and, during a 1-year period, caused loss aggregating at least $5,000 in value and damage affecting at least 10 protected computers, and aided and abetted the same.
    All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1030(a)(5)(B), (c)(4)(A)(i)(I),(VI) & 2.

  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Friday July 22, 2011 @09:15PM (#36854132) Homepage

    "Naturally someone will respond that this is a different fight and how dare I compare freedom of information to the civil rights movement etc."

    I got slapped down a decade ago for comparing issues related to copyright to slavery, but I still feel it is a problem that is becoming related to slavery, as a system of control and now justification for imprisonment (copyright infringement used to be mostly only a civil, not a criminal, offense a couple decades ago).
    "License management tools: good, bad, or ugly?"
    http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.misc.discuss/browse_thread/thread/df4b4363d544f766/1e499c6db59117a2?hl=en#1e499c6db59117a2 [google.com]

    A deep issue that no one seems to be talking about is that ultimately, how can you "prove" you have legal access to any digital pattern at all, or "prove" that you do not have patterns you should not -- without a complete review of every financial and informational transaction you have ever made? Like to see if you gave the original away and so forth? How can you prove you have a right to read some book you purchased and format shifted to digital media? And so on. This is a big issue when there are reward-offered "tip lines" for people to rat on their employers or coworkers. Ultimately, the only way copyright can be enforced in the age to come, where you can store the library of congress on your cell phone in twenty years plus all the music ever recorded, is to have an unbelievably intrusive police state...

    Is an all pervasive police state what we want in the USA in order to "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" which is the constitutional intent of copyright? Or is a police state likely to shut down a lot of creativity in a society?

    A decade ago I suggested that in the same way people in the 1960s would have laughed at the idea of a million people in prison in the USA for non-violent drug offenses, which is what we have now, so too we may see the same with copyright soon enough, unless our ideology changes. Hard to believe it was possible then, but we still seem to be going that way. Where do we want to be in ten more years?

    A related satire I sent to the US DOJ years ago when they asked for comments:
        http://www.pdfernhout.net/microslaw.html [pdfernhout.net]

    Lawrence Lessig made a similar point in his book "Code" in the first chapter, "Code Is Law".

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