JSTOR Issues Statement About Aaron Swartz’ Suicide
Jstor is the company that Aaron was alleged to have stolen thousands of pages of files from. Aaron took his life this week. He was 26 years old, in the bloom of youth. He’d suffered from depression for a long time. He was going to go to trial on several allegations of illegal activity in April. JSTOR aggregates literally hundreds of journal literary and research articles and more… and charges a large annual fee for university libraries to have whole access, limiting free access to the articles carried by many libaries, museums and research institutions for those who are not affiliated with any of those. It appears that recent pressure has caused JSTOR to rethink access a bit. Time shall tell. Not sure about piggybacking giving sympathy for the death of a young person while also explaining/defending one’s business model. But, here tis: This is JSTOR’s statement from their website.
We are deeply saddened to hear the news about Aaron Swartz. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Aaron’s family, friends, and everyone who loved, knew, and admired him. He was a truly gifted person who made important contributions to the development of the internet and the web from which we all benefit.
We have had inquiries about JSTOR’s view of this sad event given the charges against Aaron and the trial scheduled for April. The case is one that we ourselves had regretted being drawn into from the outset, since JSTOR’s mission is to foster widespread access to the world’s body of scholarly knowledge. At the same time, as one of the largest archives of scholarly literature in the world, we must be careful stewards of the information entrusted to us by the owners and creators of that content. To that end, Aaron returned the data he had in his possession and JSTOR settled any civil claims we might have had against him in June 2011.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service and a member of the internet community. We will continue to work to distribute the content under our care as widely as possible while balancing the interests of researchers, students, libraries, and publishers as we pursue our commitment to the long-term preservation of this important scholarly literature.
We join those who are mourning this tragic loss.
Aaron’s last name was mispelled as Schwartz in the first draft of this article. The proper spelling is Swartz. The Headline has been corrected.