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 +====== Guerilla Open Access Manifesto ======
 + 
  
 +Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for 
 +themselves. The world'​s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries ​
 +in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of 
 +private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the 
 +sciences? You'll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier. ​
 +
 +There are those struggling to change this. The Open Access Movement has fought ​
 +valiantly to ensure that scientists do not sign their copyrights away but instead ensure ​
 +their work is published on the Internet, under terms that allow anyone to access it. But 
 +even under the best scenarios, their work will only apply to things published in the future. ​
 +Everything up until now will have been lost. 
 +
 +That is too high a price to pay. Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their 
 +colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? 
 +Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to 
 +children in the Global South? It's outrageous and unacceptable. ​
 +
 +"I agree,"​ many say, "but what can we do? The companies hold the copyrights, they 
 +make enormous amounts of money by charging for access, and it's perfectly legal — 
 +there'​s nothing we can do to stop them." But there is something we can, something that'​s ​
 +already being done: we can fight back. 
 +
 +Those with access to these resources — students, librarians, scientists — you have been 
 +given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world 
 +is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for 
 +yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords ​
 +with colleagues, filling download requests for friends. ​
 +
 +
 +
 +Meanwhile, those who have been locked out are not standing idly by. You have been 
 +sneaking through holes and climbing over fences, liberating the information locked up by 
 +the publishers and sharing them with your friends. ​
 +
 +But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It's called stealing or 
 +piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a 
 +ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn't immoral — it's a moral imperative. Only 
 +those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy. 
 +
 +Large corporations,​ of course, are blinded by greed. The laws under which they operate ​
 +require it — their shareholders would revolt at anything less. And the politicians they 
 +have bought off back them, passing laws giving them the exclusive power to decide who 
 +can make copies. ​
 +
 +There is no justice in following unjust laws. It's time to come into the light and, in the 
 +grand tradition of civil disobedience,​ declare our opposition to this private theft of public ​
 +culture. ​
 +
 +We need to take information,​ wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with 
 +the world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need 
 +to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific ​
 +journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open 
 +Access. ​
 +
 +With enough of us, around the world, we'll not just send a strong message opposing the 
 +privatization of knowledge — we'll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us? 
 +
 +Aaron Swartz ​
 +
 +July 2008, Eremo, Italy 
guerillaaccessmanifesto.txt · Last modified: 2015/04/16 00:28 by 808