Month before his trial for massive file downloading at MIT, Internet activist commits suicde

Aaron Swartz, 26, who co-founded Reddit and who allegedly broke into an MIT wiring closet to download large numbers of academic articles from a non-profit database, committed suicide, the Tech reports.

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig expresses his outrage at the Department of Justice's prosecution of the case even as the database's owner declined to press charges:

From the beginning, the government worked as hard as it could to characterize what Aaron did in the most extreme and absurd way. The "property" Aaron had "stolen," we were told, was worth "millions of dollars" - with the hint, and then the suggestion, that his aim must have been to profit from his crime. But anyone who says that there is money to be made in a stash of ACADEMIC ARTICLES is either an idiot or a liar. It was clear what this was not, yet our government continued to push as if it had caught the 9/11 terrorists red-handed.

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