Aaron Swartz still image. Photo by: The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz / Brian Knappenberger / YouTube
Aaron Swartz still image. Photo by: The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz / Brian Knappenberger / YouTube

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Written by: Matthew McGuire
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Aaron Swartz, once a computer programmer for Reddit, advocate and developer for Creative Commons, as well as a political activist has passed away in 2013, but his memory lives on. Brian Knappenberger directs and writes a story about his life as a computer scientist.

As a media producer on the Web, I find myself experiencing a lot of the same obstacles that Swartz does in this film. It gives incredible insight on how information is stored, distributed and protected.

It is an inspiring story that started with the imagination of a young man.

The documentary was launched with the help of Kickstarter. 1,531 backers pledged $93,724 to help bring this project to life. The project was released at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It is also available with takepart.com.

This story steps past the typical hacker, and shows an activist that was in the pursuit to free information. I find that information and data should be protected by copyright, but find that the price for information should be equivalent to the work and resources put into maintaining that data.

“Aaron believed that like what is the most important thing I could be working on in the world right now, and if your not working on that, why aren’t you?” – Taren Steinbrickner-Kauffman

Watch the full documentary below via The Documentary Network. TDK uploaded the file to YouTube under the Creative Commons act which Aaron Swartz help found, as noted in the film.

The film is directed and written by Brian Knappenberger. Tim Berner-Lee appears as a guest, as well as interviews with the Swartz family.


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The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz | Trailer

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