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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Aaron Swartz documentary “The Internet’s Own Boy” is available for CC-licensed preorder

Aaron Swartz. Photo Credit: Noah Berger “The Internet’s Own Boy,” Brian Knappenberger’s award-winning, acclaimed documentary about Aaron Swartz, will be in theaters around the country in the next few weeks and is also available to pre-order as a Creative Commons-licensed (CC-BY-NC-SA) video download. You can stream the movie for $7 from most platforms, and for $10, you can buy it from Vimeo as a shareable, remixable download. Please consider purchasing the documentary for your library. You won’t regret it. Aaron’s message and story remain extremely important and impactful to the future of the internet, access to public information and publicly funded scientific knowledge.

The Internet’s Own Boy – Trailer from FilmBuff on Vimeo.

    Movement for the Liberation of Old Papers

    Erik Ringmar, professor of social and cultural studies at the National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, wants others to join him in putting restricted government documents on the web.

    I say this is awesome! There’s certainly precedent for this kind of activism: Jared Benedict liberated a bunch of USGS maps and just last week, I uploaded the Iraqi Perspectives Report to the Internet Archive. Anyone else out there set free a government document? Leave us a comment.

    So, I’ve taken it upon myself to start an organisation called MLOP, the “Movement for the Liberation of Old Papers”. What I do is hack into restricted websites, download the documents I’m interested in, and then use my favourite open-source paint program to remove the copyright statements from each page. Next I assemble the pages into one single pdf file and upload it to the Internet Archive, where it will become universally available to both researchers and citizens. Yes, it does take a bit of time, but it’s a very worthy cause (and I have a hardworking research assistant to help me).

    I feel strongly about this, and I’m prepared to live with the legal consequences of my actions. This, after all, is the new frontier of civil rights – the right of access to information. How else can corruption be stopped and falsehoods exposed? How else can people in power be held accountable? I’d go to prison for the old parliamentary papers if I had to. Ever after I would proudly brag about having liberated an old House of Commons report from the clutches of market capitalism.