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January 14, 2013

Tribute without copyright

Scholars break down paywalls to honour activist Aaron Swartz, igniting debate over academic freedom.
Internet activist and programmer Aaron Swartz, who played a key role in stopping a controversial online piracy bill in Congress, has died at age 26, an apparent suicide, New York authorities said January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Noah Berger

Academics in the United States and worldwide are paying tribute to internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide on Friday. Scholars tweeted out links to their published work, using #pdftribute.

Swartz, a long-time advocate of internet freedom, worked to increase open access on the web and helped lead the charge against the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). He was facing the prospect of a million dollar fine and a long jail sentence for allegedly stealing millions of academic articles at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.