Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist and RSS 1.0 co-creator, committed suicide last week and now even Linus Torvalds has made some statements regarding this delicate subject.
The death of Aaron Swartz came as a surprise for a lot of people. It seems that the reason for his gesture was the prospect of spending 35 years in jail for a copyright infringement.
The famous activist was accused of stealing articles from JSTOR, with the intention of distributing them online, through a P2P network.
In any case, Linux Torvalds has posted an opinion on his Google Plus profile in which he accuses the US Attorney in charge of prosecuting Swartz, Carmen Ortiz, of lying.
Without going into the case details, Aaron Swartz was facing a 35-year sentence, along with a huge fine which could have gone up to $1 million.
The US Attorney, Carmen Ortiz, made a public statement a couple of days ago, denying that they were going for such a hard punishment.
“The prosecutors recognized that there was no evidence against Mr. Swartz indicating that he committed his acts for personal financial gain, and they recognized that his conduct – while a violation of the law – did not warrant the severe punishments authorized by Congress and called for by the Sentencing Guidelines in appropriate cases.
At no time did this office ever seek – or ever tell Mr. Swartz’s attorneys that it intended to seek – maximum penalties under the law,” stated the announcement.
Linux Torvalds, on the other hand, has published an official statement from the US Attorney's Office in which it clearly stated that “"SWARTZ faces up to 35 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and a fine of up to $1 million”.
In his flamboyant style, Linux Torvalds called Carmen Ortiz a liar and invited her to apologize, although the words he used were not so kind.