Aaron Swartz, creator of a website that became part of Reddit, has died just weeks before he was to be trialled for downloading millions of online scientific articles without permission.
The Age reports that Swartz is believed to have committed suicide in New York, while The Guardian, Los Angeles Times and CNN have all reported his death.
Swartz was charged in 2011 with downloading millions of articles from online scientific journal store JSTOR, with accusations that he stole the articles in a bid to make them available for free. The case prosecutor – the US Attorney for Massachusetts – accused Swartz of intending to distribute the articles widely on file-sharing sites.
3STOR eventually reclaimed the documents and never pressed charges against Swartz for his actions. Upon hearing of his passing, the journal website was “deeply saddened” by the news and passed on their sympathies to his extended family.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to Aaron’s family, friends, and everyone who loved, knew, and admired him”, the website posted.
For help or information on suicide prevention contact Lifeline on 131 114, or visit beyondblue.org.au.