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The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Crime | 27 June 2014 (USA)
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The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26.
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tim Berners-Lee ... Himself
Cindy Cohn ... Herself
Gabriella Coleman ... Herself
Cory Doctorow ... Himself
Peter Eckersley ... Himself
Brewster Kahle ... Himself
Lawrence Lessig ... Himself
Zoe Lofgren ... Herself
Carl Malamud ... Himself
Quinn Norton ... Herself
Tim O'Reilly ... Himself
Elliot Peters ... Himself
Alec Resnick ... Himself
David Segal ... Himself
Stephen Shultze ... Himself
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Storyline

The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz's help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz's groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron's story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties. Written by Anonymous

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Taglines:

Information is power


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

27 June 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aaron Swartz: Siec jest nasza  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,300, 29 June 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$48,911, 20 July 2014
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Did You Know?

Quotes

First Title Cards: Unjust Laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we edeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have suceeded, or shall we transgress them at once?- Henry David Thoreau
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Written and Performed by Agnes Obel
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User Reviews

 
The struggle for free data continues
7 July 2014 | by See all my reviews

Orin Kerr, professor and former federal prosecutor, describes the motivation of the government's case as their fear that, as stated in his "Open Access Manifesto", Aaron believed it was a moral imperative to be committed to breaking the law to overcome a law that was unjust, and that, if allowed to succeed in "nullifying" the law, that everyone would have access to the data base and therefore "the toothpaste would be out of the tube" and somehow chaos would ensue, or as he phrases it, "Swartz's side would win". Apparently, free access to scholarly and scientific journals must be restricted to protect the people from themselves.

There is also the issue of civil disobedience in general and the ways those in power portray such actions and those who encourage them. As one other reviewer here states, "when you commit an act of criminal civic disobedience, you should do so accepting that you will most likely pay the price for that action". That is true, however, as Gilbert and Sullivan suggested, the punishment should fit the crime, especially when, as in this case, the "crime" is questionable at best. I wonder how the current US administration would view the acts of Gandhi or Mandela were they occurring now and posing a threat to their political status quo and not seen safely through the rear view mirror of history. It wasn't that long ago that many in power in America considered Mandela , in particular, a "terrorist".

This excellent documentary is a cautionary tale that all free thinking and well meaning people must see and understand. Secrecy is power and governments will do whatever they can to protect it. As Aaron himself suggested, this is a battle that will never be won, but can never be abandoned.

See this film.


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