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View Diary: Aaron Swartz' Death Is Our Legacy (262 comments)

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  •  in the case of publicly funded research there (15+ / 0-)

    is no justification for keeping it from public view. If that means we need to publicly fund the access, then fine. But we can't use a for-profit's company's profit concerns as a justification for denying us access to research we paid for and which should serve us all, rather than the private coffers of a few.

    •  It Wasn't Being Kept from Public View (8+ / 0-)

      It was kept from being accessed free-of-charge.

      JSTOR is available from the Internet stations at public and school libraries and students and faculty who are enrolled in universities -- as well as other research/scientific institutions -- are usually given access from their home computers as well.

      It's a non-profit. Charging for access is the way they are able to provide this service.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 02:46:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but we already paid for the research! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, The Dead Man, OhioNatureMom
        •  But Not (4+ / 0-)

          For the distribution of the information -- which is what JSTOR is doing. It costs them money to do it. Which is why they extract fees from the institutions that are their consumers.

          "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

          by bink on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 03:07:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, that gets back to the realization (8+ / 0-)

            that we need to fund distribution publicly. all of the public should have access, regardless of whether they can afford the fees.

            I'm sure there is some money we could transfer from defense or corporate welfare which could be used here.

          •  I just checked on the cost of an article at JSTOR (13+ / 0-)

            It's in ASQ, a big journal in the management field. I use it all the time.

            $18.

            That's WAY more than it costs to digitize and store it.

            It's set high enough to discourage people from reading the articles if they aren't at a university that subscribes.

            The journals don't want to go to public access.

            •  every citizen should be able to access that info (5+ / 0-)

              regardless of whether they can afford to pay. it's OUR information.

              •  How is it "ours," exactly? (5+ / 0-)

                Are you seriously suggesting that every bit of work produced at a public university should be available free of charge to the public?

                Because there is no way in hell I'm going to give my dissertation away for free. It represents years of work on my part, and while I'm not doing it for the money, I do look at my work on the dissertation as an investment of uncompensated time now in return for compensation later.

                Also, many of these journals don't just publish publicly-funded research; they also publish materials from researchers at private universities, or funded by private foundations. How do you justify suggesting that that research is also "ours"?

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:13:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  publicly funded research is all I'm talking about. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kyril, Renee, Just Bob
                  •  Define "publicly funded research." (2+ / 0-)

                    Much of my dissertation research occurred while I had a teaching assistantship, with my tuition and a (too) small stipend covered by the state university I attend.

                    Is the research I labored to create thus public property, rather than my own property? Which public would own that research, given that the state university—not the federal government—paid for my assistantship?

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:21:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  ya know... your "me, me, mine, what about me" (9+ / 0-)

                  focus is representative of exactly why we have the culture we do.

                  I'm sick of all the fear-based, competitive, fend for yourself foundation to how we approach everything.

                  If we all shared everything for the common good, we'd all be fine.

                  If you got a publicly funded education, a publicly funded internship, etc, why shouldn't the benefits of that be public? Don't take public money if you don't want to share what that money pays for.

                  I was going to just be nice and let you have your "what about me!" moment. But I'm damned sick of it. That attitude is what drove this young man to his death. And somehow, I think what he was doing for the world was a far better thing than whatever book you're hoping to make money off of. He was selfless and tirelessly worked for justice and the public good.

                  Get out of my diary with your "how dare you tell me I can't make money after the public funded part of all of my education." I paid for my education. Lots of money. And still, I would share anything I know.

                  •  How much public funding makes "publicly funded"? (5+ / 0-)
                    If you got a publicly funded education, a publicly funded internship, etc, why shouldn't the benefits of that be public? Don't take public money if you don't want to share what that money pays for.
                    So anyone receiving funding from the public no longer has the rights to their own intellectual property? The second I take public funding, any work I do is now the property of the public and should be freely and publicly available?
                    I was going to just be nice and let you have your "what about me!" moment. But I'm damned sick of it. That attitude is what drove this young man to his death.
                    I sympathize with that young man, as many people I respect and admire had a great deal of esteem for him, and I don't think he should have been facing the level of prosecution he should have been facing.

                    But that doesn't mean that I am willing to give away the result of years of work on my part for free, not given the amount of time and energy I've invested in it—an amount of labor for which a fair market wage would dwarf the amount of assistantship funding I've received.

                    And that doesn't mean that I am in any way guilty for his suicide for not wanting to give away the results of my labor for free.

                    Get out of my diary with your "how dare you tell me I can't make money after the public funded part of all of my education." I paid for my education. Lots of money. And still, I would share anything I know.
                    That's nice. That's your choice. But you don't get to make that choice for others, nor are you in any way qualified to sit in judgment of those who aren't willing to give the result of years of their labor for free.

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:30:05 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You are conflating reading of the results with (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kyril, radical simplicity, Emmy, mrkvica

                      the use of the results to make a product or found a company. That is covered by technology transfer agreements with the university. If you think you can take the results of your research and set up a company or sell the rights of that research to a company without the permission and usually part interest in royalties by the University you are woefully underinformed.  This is about the ability to read  the research and maybe allow somebody who is in a company that would like to invest in your work and make you rich,  to even hear about your wonderous research since many companies do not want to pay the usual $39 to $46 cost of downloading a paper published in an Elsievers Journal.

                      I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

                      by OHdog on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:57:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You're missing the point (8+ / 0-)

                      Much of that information is in the public domain. The fee to access it is to cover the cost. There was nothing stolen. If Swartz provided another means of access that should reduce the investment needed to store and access that information.

                      There is no IP issue involved.

                      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                      by Just Bob on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 05:38:39 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Swartz didn't give away HIS work, ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sviscusi

                    he made a LOT of money from it.  There's no telling how much he made from his work on Reddit and RSS, just to name two.  And he was certainly entitled to do so.

                    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

                    by Neuroptimalian on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 05:27:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you need to read this: (8+ / 0-)

                      http://lessig.tumblr.com/...

                      how in the world you can portray Swartz as having done anything for money is beyond me. You clearly don't know what you're talking about.

                      "Here is where we need a better sense of justice, and shame. For the outrageousness in this story is not just Aaron. It is also the absurdity of the prosecutor’s behavior. From the beginning, the government worked as hard as it could to characterize what Aaron did in the most extreme and absurd way. The “property” Aaron had “stolen,” we were told, was worth “millions of dollars” — with the hint, and then the suggestion, that his aim must have been to profit from his crime. But anyone who says that there is money to be made in a stash of ACADEMIC ARTICLES is either an idiot or a liar. It was clear what this was not, yet our government continued to push as if it had caught the 9/11 terrorists red-handed.

                      Aaron had literally done nothing in his life “to make money.” He was fortunate Reddit turned out as it did, but from his work building the RSS standard, to his work architecting Creative Commons, to his work liberating public records, to his work building a free public library, to his work supporting Change Congress/FixCongressFirst/Rootstrikers, and then Demand Progress, Aaron was always and only working for (at least his conception of) the public good. "

                    •  also, it turns out that most agree he didn't (5+ / 0-)

                      even commit a crime.

                      Just Bob's comment above starts to explain why:

                      http://www.dailykos.com/...

                      but, there are also records of the "expert witnesses" in the case that said he didn't commit any crimes because all the info he released was actually public info. He was just removing the barrier to access.

                    •  lastly, please remember that he was never (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Renee, joanneleon, shaharazade

                      found guilty of a crime. he is innocent until proven guilty.

                      so the government doesn't have the right to torment him.

                •  I think dissertations are available on the net (0+ / 0-)

                  I had to sign something like that when I passed my defence.

          •  No excuse (5+ / 0-)

            They need to distribute this information.  The federal government can pay for it, but someone has to ask for it.

            They certainly had time and money to lobby Congress to pass a law making access to it illegal, one would think they had enough money to ask Congress for money to distribute the information.

            This young man did nothing wrong.

            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

            by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:05:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Um... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrkvica

            Not. Did you ever check the prices for this "distribution" charge? The price is not in line with such costs, in the markert.  

            Things are more the way they are today than they ever were before. -Jimmy Flynn

            by onionjim on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 06:50:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You point is well taken, but there could be other (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UnaSpenser, Emmy, bink

        ways to provide access. Since taxes supported so much of the research it seems appropriate that taxes should provide access. Perhaps as an open portal through the Library of Congress.

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:38:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  JSTOR is a non-profit (3+ / 0-)

      The fees go towards paying for the right to republish the journals and infrastructure.  

      Praxis: Bold as Love

      by VelvetElvis on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 03:13:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  seems to me that we need publicly fund this (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal, Bluehawk, Just Bob

        if the research is already funded by the public, those who can't afford to pay the fees shouldn't be denied access.

        if we can fund wars and the oil industry, we can fund this.

        and we shouldn't be driving a man who pursued equal access to suicide.

        but, my mistake not realizing JSTOR is not-for profit.

        •  Don't mistake not-for-profit as meaning that they (6+ / 0-)

          are not in it for the money.  There a plenty of entities organized as not-for-profits that make a lot of money for those running the show.

          The results of publicly funded research should be freely available to the public.

        •  JSTOR released the articles (15+ / 0-)
          News of Swartz's suicide came only days after Jstor announced this week that it would make "more than 4.5 million articles" publicly available for free.
          http://news.cnet.com/...
          And this network was like an open closet.  Read the article by the person who was going to testify in his defense as an expert witness.

          This prosecution was ridiculous and wrongful. It wasn't even a crime.  I'm going to write some more about this.  I can't get it off of my mind. I was going to just include it in my morning diary but that is not enough.

          The facts:

          MIT operates an extraordinarily open network. Very few campus networks offer you a routable public IP address via unauthenticated DHCP and then lack even basic controls to prevent abuse. Very few captured portals on wired networks allow registration by any vistor, nor can they be easily bypassed by just assigning yourself an IP address. In fact, in my 12 years of professional security work I have never seen a network this open.
          In the spirit of the MIT ethos, the Institute runs this open, unmonitored and unrestricted network on purpose. Their head of network security admitted as much in an interview Aaron’s attorneys and I conducted in December. MIT is aware of the controls they could put in place to prevent what they consider abuse, such as downloading too many PDFs from one website or utilizing too much bandwidth, but they choose not to.  
          MIT also chooses not to prompt users of their wireless network with terms of use or a definition of abusive practices.
          At the time of Aaron’s actions, the JSTOR website allowed an unlimited number of downloads by anybody on MIT’s 18.x Class-A network. The JSTOR application lacked even the most basic controls to prevent what they might consider abusive behavior, such as CAPTCHAs triggered on multiple downloads, requiring accounts for bulk downloads, or even the ability to pop a box and warn a repeat downloader.
          Aaron did not “hack” the JSTOR website for all reasonable definitions of “hack”. Aaron wrote a handful of basic python scripts that first discovered the URLs of journal articles and then used curl to request them. Aaron did not use parameter tampering, break a CAPTCHA, or do anything more complicated than call a basic command line tool that downloads a file in the same manner as right-clicking and choosing “Save As” from your favorite browser.
          Aaron did nothing to cover his tracks or hide his activity, as evidenced by his very verbose .bash_history, his uncleared browser history and lack of any encryption of the laptop he used to download these files. Changing one’s MAC address (which the government inaccurately identified as equivalent to a car’s VIN number) or putting a mailinator email address into a captured portal are not crimes. If they were, you could arrest half of the people who have ever used airport wifi.
          The government provided no evidence that these downloads caused a negative effect on JSTOR or MIT, except due to silly overreactions such as turning off all of MIT’s JSTOR access due to downloads from a pretty easily identified user agent.
          I cannot speak as to the criminal implications of accessing an unlocked closet on an open campus, one which was also used to store personal effects by a homeless man. I would note that trespassing charges were dropped against Aaron and were not part of the Federal case.
          http://unhandled.com/...


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 04:39:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm right there with you. I don't think I can let (7+ / 0-)

            this one go.

            What this admin did to Aaron is unforgivable and unjustifiable.

            It is also their status quo. Our country is the dystopia we read about or see in SciFi stories all the time. We barely even have the veneer of real democracy any longer.

          •  But Carmen Ortiz still thought it was a crime (5+ / 0-)

            Some people have a lot to answer for.  It makes you wonder if this young man was targeted by the DOJ for reasons other than this particular incident.  Perhaps they wanted to make an example of him - Occupy-style.

            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

            by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 05:02:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  we need to remember that he was a leading (8+ / 0-)

              activist for an open-source internet.

              I think his fight against SOPA was more in the craw of the powers-that-be than this JSTORS/MIT incident.

              This is what abusive powers do. They find any way to go after you they can. They seek the way that is most likely to fall under the radar or has any possibility of being spun so that they can appear to be pursuing their law. ('cause the laws really aren't meant for us peons. it's all about serving those already in power.)

              •  Thanks for the clarification (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                stargaze, UnaSpenser, Just Bob, joanneleon

                There was likely much more donor pressure related to that activism.  This young man's death should make them reconsider.

                Citizen's United is ruining our government.

                Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 05:13:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  This is of course (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              stargaze, shaharazade, dionys1, Just Bob

              speculation, but that's exactly where my intuition goes -- make an example of him.

              Cyberterrorism is all the rage in our government and in our Dept. of Defense.  Money and contracts are flying toward it.  

              We've got what looks to me like almost a paranoia in our government about this subject, and a paranoia about uprising of citizens, protesters, both online and off.  Una makes a really good point about SOPA/PIPA. It's like the zombie legislation that never dies.  They keep bringing it back in different forms.  

              We've got an intensely secretive government and people who would uncover and disclose things, whistleblowers, hackers -- they are considered the enemy.  They seem to be just as intense in their targeting of such people as they are with terrorists.  Secrecy is an essential for our government to continue operating in the manner that it has been operating.  

              Look at the militarization of our local law enforcement agencies and the classification of peaceful protesters as terrorists.  

              Look at the obsession with surveillance -- domestic surveillance.  

              It's widely known that the internet, social media, are used for organization by the little guys against the obscenely powerful state.  Guys like Aaron were innovators who would always be creating new tools in the area of freedom of speech, sharing of information, etc.  

              It's hard not to connect dots and wonder if he was being made an example of. After all, MIT had asked the government to drop the charges.  He was a dissident and dissidents throughout our history or at least at certain eras in our history have been considered as enemies.  And this is one of those eras.  


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 08:01:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes, intensely secretive government (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade, Just Bob
                Una makes a really good point about SOPA/PIPA. It's like the zombie legislation that never dies.  They keep bringing it back in different forms.  

                We've got an intensely secretive government and people who would uncover and disclose things, whistleblowers, hackers -- they are considered the enemy.

                The boss needs you, you don't need him. -- France general strike, May 1968

                by stargaze on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:03:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  That's not the whole story. (0+ / 0-)

            Neither is this, probably, but it does tell us it wasn't just some innocent activity:

            In 2011, however, Mr. Swartz went beyond that, according to a federal indictment. In an effort to provide free public access to JSTOR, he broke into computer networks at M.I.T. by means that included gaining entry to a utility closet on campus and leaving a laptop that signed into the university network under a false account, federal officials said.

            Mr. Swartz turned over his hard drives with 4.8 million documents, and JSTOR declined to pursue the case. But Carmen M. Ortiz, a United States attorney, pressed on, saying that “stealing is stealing, whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars.”

            "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

            by Neuroptimalian on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 05:36:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Stealing is stealing... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marvinborg, taonow, Emmy, emal

              Unless you do it from the inside on Wall Street or as part of the MIC, then well you get away with it, and are probably invited to the White House to help write legislation.  

              President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

              by Jacoby Jonze on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 05:49:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  ugh. he didn't steal anything private. he made (11+ / 0-)

                public domain documents accessible to the public.

                all he did was get public material out from behind an access barrier.

                JSTORS ultimately recognized this and asked for the charges to be dropped.

                And, recently, they themselves removed the access barrier and made every document he shared publicly accessible.

                So, tell me again, what the justification for trying to put this young man in jail for 35 years was? and the relentless tormenting of him to his death?

                •  I was quoting Carmen Ortiz... (4+ / 0-)

                  and pointing out the ridiculousness of her hardline stance against Swartz.

                  President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

                  by Jacoby Jonze on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 06:58:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ok. thank you for clarifying. Thought you were (0+ / 0-)

                    supporting Neurooptimalian's stance that Aaron was a criminal who deserved how he was treated.

                    •  I haven't said he "deserved" anything. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sviscusi

                      I AM saying that there's more to the story.

                      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

                      by Neuroptimalian on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 07:33:49 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  no. there isn't really. everyone involved seems (0+ / 0-)

                        to be very clear. were you involved and have inside information?

                        •  "Involved"? No. (0+ / 0-)

                          Do I know for a fact that there's more to the story?  Yes.  Will I get into the details?  No, they'll be revealed soon enough through authorized sources.

                          "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

                          by Neuroptimalian on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 08:28:22 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  How much will be factual? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            emal, shaharazade

                            And how much will be a disinformation campaign against a young man no longer alive to defend himself?

                            Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                            by Betty Pinson on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 08:49:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Authorized sources? (0+ / 0-)

                            lordy that's rich considering that this whole horrible miscarriage of justice was all about making information and knowledge for free public access. 'Authorized sources' meaning whatever total bs. the DoJ decides merit's prosecuting and persecuting someone who fought for open sources not authorized ones. What gets me is that people defend this. Nothing belongs to the public anymore the only authorized recourses are all owned and for profit. Public is a dirty word these days it's a crime to access anything that bypasses the walls set up by the owners of the place after all were not authorized.  

                          •  Regardless, the actual surveillance photos ... (0+ / 0-)

                            of Swartz's break-in at MIT, including some that show him attempting to hide his face, have made it to the Internet in today's news, thus his acts and consciousness of guilt are no longer arguable.

                            Facts are facts, and illegal acts have consequences.  Individuals seldom get a pass because of the "honorable" intent of their acts.  What's the old adage?  "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time"?

                            "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

                            by Neuroptimalian on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 03:03:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  He didn't break into anything (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              UnaSpenser, Lady Libertine, stargaze

              MIT had an open network.  And JSTOR allowed anyone on MIT's network to download those documents for free.

              It doesn't surprise me at all that the NYT got it wrong though and that they toed the government line and put it on the front page.  It would not surprise me at all if the DoJ and/or the US Attorney's office has a damage control operation going on right now.  

              Read the article from the man who was going to be an expert witness at the trial, a cybersecurity expert who explains how it all went down.  He has all the forensic information about the case. He's looked at the history and knows the commands and scripts that were used to download the academic journal articles.   He has no conflict of interest and did not know Swartz personally nor would he normally come down on the same side of things politically as Swartz would so it's not even ideological.  

              It's a matter of integrity though and he wants the truth out there.

              He specifically says that there are a lot of people out there saying and writing things out of ignorance and misinformation.  

              The Truth about Aaron Swartz’s “Crime”

              I did not know Aaron Swartz, unless you count having copies of a person’s entire digital life on your forensics server as knowing him. I did once meet his father, an intelligent and dedicated man who was clearly pouring his life into defending his son. My deepest condolences go out to him and the rest of Aaron’s family during what must be the hardest time of their lives.

              If the good that men do is oft interred with their bones, so be it, but in the meantime I feel a responsibility to correct some of the erroneous information being posted as comments to otherwise informative discussions at Reddit, Hacker News and Boing Boing. Apparently some people feel the need to self-aggrandize by opining on the guilt of the recently departed, and I wanted to take this chance to speak on behalf of a man who can no longer defend himself. I had hoped to ask Aaron to discuss these issues on the Defcon stage once he was acquitted, but now that he has passed it is important that his memory not be besmirched by the ignorant and uninformed. I have confirmed with Aaron’s attorneys that I am free to discuss these issues now that the criminal case is moot.


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 08:14:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Any public library that paid for JSTOR offered it (0+ / 0-)

      to the public, completely free of charge. That is the whole point of JSTOR, which was created as and still is a completely non-profit organization protesting the exorbitant rise in prices set by for-profit companies who rule the market (like Reed Elsevier, for example) and who disrupt the dissemination of knowledge among the public. JSTOR, compared to the other key players, was the Robin Hood here and it was created solely out of principle.

      You also talk about this "knowledge" as if it's being funded by taxpayer money only. Well, you won't see much research done if everything was as readily available at home as you want it to because it would cost universities money to actually buy and maintain the continually evolving technical and technological aspects of providing said content free of charge (talk about a non-profit business model set to fail in oh, about four months' time?) and more importantly, those folks who spend years and years of work on an article and the accompanying research wouldn't be compensated in the least - it's companies like Elsevier who profit from academic journals instead of the actual generators of the knowledge you're talking about.

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