War for the Web
16 01.13

Excerpts from Aaron Swartz Interview – July 10, 2012


We met Aaron Swartz in spring of 2012 at the Freedom 2 Connect conference in Washington D.C. As one of the keynote speakers, he told his story about how he and a group of passionate Internet users rose up against a Goliath of government and corporate interests to defeat the infamous SOPA/PIPA bill. (You can watch his full speech here.) With calm understated confidence, Aaron reminded all of us of the power we have within ourselves to effect change in the system.

After his speech, we approached Aaron to ask him if he would be willing to share his thoughts with us on our documentary about past, present and endangered future of the Internet. Like he was with so many others, Aaron was incredibly open and generous with his time. He gave us our first official interview for our film, and we know that “War for the Web” will be that much better because of his wisdom and knowledge.

We share with you some unedited excerpts of Aaron’s insights, in which he discusses growing up in the age of the Internet, the importance of the freedom of speech and access to information, and how we as individuals are responsible for the future of the Internet.

Rest in Peace, Aaron.

J. Cameron Brueckner, Ben Caspi, Michael Wooldridge
Producers, War for the Web

This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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we are interested in translating the video in Albanian using subtitles.
Can we get it somehow?

The subtitles will be published on the same CC license.


Hi Redon, yes we have made the video available for download on Vimeo. Please feel free to translate it into any language or shorten it; we just ask that no one distort Aaron’s original words. Thanks!


what a hypocrite. i notice he didnt open source the code for reddit, and was happy to pocket the millions paid by conde nast for that software and web site. somehow its an abomination that musicians and writers and filmmakers want to be paid for the creative work, but software engineers demanding the exact same thing are heroes? were the stock shares in reddit somehow real property and music is not?


[...] Come Valigia Blu abbiamo deciso di rendere omaggio a Aaron Swartz sottotitolando in italiano parte di una intervista che Swartz ha rilasciato nel 2012 a War for the Web. [...]


Hi Saint Lebowitz, Aaron was only one of several partners in Reddit when it was sold, and it is unfair to say that he believed software code is more “real property” than creative works.

From our conversation with him (as well as many other documented sources), he believed that an open access to information and the sharing of work was essential to innovation. As he says in this interview, everything new is created from something before it. But he has never said that creatives shouldn’t be paid for their work. In fact, he believed that there were opportunities to create collective licensing agreements to ensure that creatives were paid for work they create, and he was instrumental in setting up the Creative Commons license to help people share their work in a manner suitable for them.


[...] this convention and after his speech, the crew of War of The Web shared some thoughts with him in the first filmed interview for their documentary about the world [...]


He is a brilant mind done a great job with Reddit :)


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