Dedicated to Aaron Swartz (1986-2013)
In 2008, a short and passionate appeal appeared online which called for all of us 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.”
In January, 2013, its author Aaron Swartz took his own life. Among his many achievements included an important initiative to liberate the PACER court records database and leadership roles in several movements that support free culture. In the last years of his life, he faced serious criminal charges for following his own manifesto and launching one of the largest content liberation efforts to date: the downloading of millions of articles
from the JSTOR database.
If the threat of decades of prison time for the JSTOR raid was designed to strike fear into OA guerillas everywhere, the tragic death of this selfless supporter of the movement should be met with a renewed commitment to our ideals. It also offers us an opportunity to up our game.
This document aims to take the manifesto to the next step. This first version is merely an opening call, and it is in no way complete. Hopefully, this cookbook will grow to include many recipes and instructional essays for use by the open access guerilla. Improve on it, share it, and use it.