The Internet’s Own Boy on Internet Archive is a movie that is a must-see documentary.  I haven’t had the time to watch the whole movie, however I have just watched about he first third of it.  It’s exceptionally well done.  I’m learning a few things about Aaron that I hadn’t managed to come across before….  And I am once again being inspired by the example that he set for the rest of us to follow.

The Internet’s Own Boy on Internet Archive

And, the producers of this work have made it available under a Creative Commons license, and put it up on the Internet Archive.  This means you have absolutely no excuse to not watch it.  In fact, I will make it a bit easier by embedding the film right here in this article.

However, I will also recommend that you support this work by purchasing a copy of it.  It’s available for as little as $6.99 (USD) from numerous sources (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, etc.)  Visit the Takepart website for more information on purchasing / renting a copy of the film,

The Movie

Aaron’s Legacy

There’s a lot that can be written and said about Aaron Swartz.  Takepart’s movie is a good start at making certain a fair portion of that legacy is out there for all of us to see.  But there are other resources available.  For example, there is The Aaron Swartz Collection on the Internet Archive.  But that’s just the start, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of more items out there…just look at the results from searching the Internet Archive.

Shortly after his passing, I read all the correspondence between Aaron and Karl Malamud.  It was a tremendous insight into how Aaron interacted with people, how he could be impetuous at times, how he could be a troll when he wanted, and how he could take action when he felt it was necessary. (You will learn more about Aaron and Karl Malamud in the film, in particular around the PACER Thumbdrive project, which Karl started as a joke, and Aaron decided to take to a level that no one had imagined).

There is an important series of questions that you need to ask yourself, not just every once in a while, but every day:

  1. What is the most important thing you can work on?
  2. Are you working on it?
  3. If not, why?

That’s Aaron in a nutshell. It’s how he lived his life.  It’s struck a chord with me, and it’s one of the reasons that I run this site.  I do believe that this little contribution that I am making to open culture is having an effect.  I’ve been told several times that it is having an effect, and it’s the reason that I keep going.

We all need the example of Aaron Swartz in our lives.

Posted by George De Bruin


  1. Thanks for the tip SndChaser. I knew this doc existed, but didn’t know it was free-culture-licensed. LGY!

    1. Yes, we had just talked about this being available through Google Play and the iOS store on another show that I am on. So, when I saw that it was on IA I knew that it needed a bit more promotion. 😉

      FWIW – I would have been surprised if it *wasn’t* released under a Creative Commons license, given Aaron’s role in starting the Creative Commons. 🙂

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