Justin Peters - The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet
In his first book, Peters, a founding editor of Polite, and currently a contributing editor at The Columbia Journalism Review and correspondent for Slate, looks at the state of the digital commons. Putting today’s free culture movement into historical perspective, he explores the history of copyright, notions of the public domain, and their evolution to a “copyleft” and open access. The heart of the book, however, is the life and death of Aaron Swartz (1986-2013), a “data moralist” and hacktivist who fought for open information; instrumental to the creation of Reddit and Creative Commons, Swartz was indicted for wire fraud after illegally downloading academic articles—federally-funded research that Swartz and others have maintained should not be considered private property.
Peters will be in conversation with Josh Levin, executive editor of Slate.