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

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Crime | 27 June 2014 (USA)
2:11 | Trailer
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 »





Credited cast:
Tim Berners-Lee ... Self - Inventor of the World Wide Web
Cindy Cohn Cindy Cohn ... Self
Gabriella Coleman Gabriella Coleman ... Self - Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy - McGill University
Cory Doctorow ... Self - Author, Activist, and Journalist
Peter Eckersley Peter Eckersley ... Self - Technology Projects Direactor at EFF
Stephen Heymann Stephen Heymann ... Self - Asst. U.S. Attorney Massachusetts (archive footage)
Brewster Kahle ... Self - Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive
Orin Kerr Orin Kerr ... Self
Lawrence Lessig ... Self - Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University -- Founder, Creative Commons
Zoe Lofgren Zoe Lofgren ... Self - Congresswoman, California's 19th District
Carl Malamud Carl Malamud ... Self - Founder of public.resource.org
Quinn Norton Quinn Norton ... Self - Freelance Writer, Wired Magazine
Tim O'Reilly Tim O'Reilly ... Self - Founder, O'Reilly Media Inc
Elliot Peters Elliot Peters ... Self - Aaron's Defense Attorney
Alec Resnick Alec Resnick ... Self - Founder, Sprout


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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Information is power


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


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User Reviews

The tragic story of Aaron Swartz, told by those closest to him
28 June 2014 | by xWRLSee all my reviews

This warm yet chilling documentary retraces the life of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide at age 26 after a couple of years of severe and deepening pressure from the criminal justice system, which was trying him for a number of felonies resulting from his breaking into MIT's computers.

We first see him as a young kid in home movies, then as a prodigy who while very young was brimming with new ideas for the Internet and applied genius-level programming skills to co-developing RSS and Reddit. Bored with college and with working for the business establishment, he turned to activism, promoting an open Web culture for the benefit of all users.

Swartz's activism turned into hacktivism, landing him in deep trouble with the Justice Department, which charged him with crimes that could have sent him to prison for 35 years. Touching, pointed accounts from family members and close associates describe what Aaron was like and how he responded to unyielding Justice Department efforts to use him as an example.

The interviews with law professor Lawrence Lessig and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee are unforgettably moving. The film does a good job of calling into question Swartz's harsh treatment by the same Justice Department that shied away from prosecuting the big money interests that brought down our financial system.

Whether you sympathize with Swartz or not, the film does a solid job of showing how blind justice in the U.S. can be when it wants to be.

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Release Date:

27 June 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,705, 29 June 2014

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Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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