Swartz Gets James Madison Award From American Library Association
Reddit cofounder posthumously awarded at 15th annual Freedom of Information Day
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/15/2013 12:21:51 PM
The award was handed out at the 15th annual Freedom of Information Day in Washington on Friday, March 15, by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif). Lofgren represents Northern California, including Internet companies allied with a Swartz-led Internet effort to block passage of SOPA and PIPA piracy legislation, which was eventually scuttled in part because of that opposition.
According to the association, the Swartz got the award for "his dedication to promoting and protecting public access to research and government information."
At the time of his death of an apparent suicide Jan. 11, Swartz had been hit by the Justice Department with a raft of felony charges with stiff penalties for allegedly using MIT computers to illegally download scientific journals (a reported 4.8 million documents) from a subscription site.
Swartz death has become a rallying point for those who believe the government and industry is overprotective of content, and the award provided more fuel to the movement. "I hope that Aaron's death and this award can serve as a wake-up call to the US Congress and the federal government," said Swartz; partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman in a statement. "We must no longer allow corporate greed to be the bottleneck to people's access to academic knowledge."
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