Rogue Downloader’s Arrest Could Mark Crossroads for Open-Access Movement

Chronicle of Higher Education – “This past April in Switzerland, Lawrence Lessig gave an impassioned lecture denouncing publishers’ paywalls, which charge fees to read scholarly research, thus blocking most people from access. It was a familiar theme for Mr. Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School who is one of the world’s most outspoken critics of intellectual-property laws. But in this speech he gave special attention to JSTOR, a not-for-profit journal archive. He cited a tweet from a scholar who called JSTOR “morally offensive” for charging $20 for a six-page 1932 article from the California Historical Society Quarterly. The JSTOR archive is not usually cast as a leading villain by open-access advocates. But Mr. Lessig surely knew in April something that his Swiss audience did not: Aaron Swartz—a friend and former Harvard colleague of Mr. Lessig’s—was under investigation for misappropriating more than 4.8 million scholarly papers and other files from JSTOR.”

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