The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has launched an internal investigation into the school’s involvement in the suicide of 26-year-old computer programmer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz, MIT’s president L. Rafael Reif said Sunday. Swartz was accused of breaking into MIT’s computer system in order to access academic articles and make them available for free on the Internet.
Before he died last Friday, Swartz, who was a well-known computer programmer — but not an MIT student — faced a 35-year prison sentence on federal data theft charges for illegally downloading articles from the subscription-based academic research service JSTOR. 
Do you think Aaron helped with what he did? Well, what he did was legally illegal, but also very RIGHT in its essence. How can science and society progress if we have everything under a cloak of “pay or go away” ? But, believe it or not, I think we are discussing for the wrong question here…
Knowledge is NOT free and NOTHING can ever change that (as analyzed at this article). But do not misunderstand me. Not “free” as my friend “The Light” says here. JSTOR articles SHOULD be free for everyone to see! And it is indeed a terrible fascist movement of the DA and MIT to make this boy think he could be 35 years in jail for a crime which had no victimes… Knowledge is not “free” in the sense that one needs to put too much effort and time in order to even understand a JSTOR article once he gets his hands onto it!
Are you willing to put the effort?
Because no Aaron can help you with that… Unfortunately…
You know they are tying to take down Wikipedia bc a market is lost when all that “data ” is available to the masses. I believe in a way it is a form of knowledge bc I don’t have to put a face value on it bc the information is there at our fingertips and we can take the opportunity to decide if it is plausible and if we should learn it. so why should I have to subscribe to JSTOR for information that the founders themselves might have or have not discover them selves. What makes JSTOR more reputable than Wikipedia and what if any should we choose to believe the “knowledge aka data” that JSTOR has to offer.
Just another fine example of the ugly side of capitalism, purchasing the access to FREE information and putting a price tag on it while dismissing others as inaccurate or unworthy of being learn bc it’s a public encyclopedia free from biased conclusions to serve those who created it and profit from it.
Knowledge should be free, it should not be owned by any single private group of society unless you are seeking knowledge to seek fortune in which case you have failed from the moment you embarked. Knowledge should be readily available to everyone and not hidden away like vintage photographs.
Once who seeks and discovers knowledge would choose a Nobel prize over a patent, for the latter one only proves that the knowledge discovered no longer belongs to the seeker but the one whit the largest monetary unit and thus knowledge it self losses it value for its no longer knowledge but data.
JSTOR is another Encyclopedia Britannica with friends in Washington holding to dear life to its loosing market like Best Buy with the onslaught of Amazon pure and simple.
Knowledge should be free so a unified world can benefit from it but how can we if we continue to let JSTOR and others divide us by institutionalizing us into believing that their “DATA” is really knowledge and thus must be paid for while our “DATA” is just “DATA” bc it free and readily available to those that seek it.
I see your point. However note that only data can be free and accessible. Knowledge entails the will and effort and time to analyze that data in order to transform it into something meanlignful. This can never be “free”… Ready knowledge is a dangerous thing. There is an old buddhist saying which says everything: When the student is ready, the master appears. If you are not ready, not even 1,000 TB of information will help you…
True, knowledge requires will, effort, and time to analyze the data. That being said data should be free. Otherwise those who are willing to put in the will, effort, and time do not have access to the data, and they and society miss out on opportunities to further develop the knowledge.
In that sense, yes, data should be free. However again I am not sure how good will that be: Would we like all data be available for everyone? Or just for those who can make good use of that data?