Swartz Executor Clarifies Publication Rights

June 1, 2016

Sean B. Palmer, the executor of hacktivist's Aaron Swartz's writings, will clarify how people can use Swartz's writings to prevent situations similar to the confusion that arose this spring around publication rights. Palmer will reportedly append a Creative Commons license to Swartz's blog and clarify that anyone seeking to publish his writings must donate 100 percent of net profits to charity, according to Eileen A. Joy, founding director of the publisher punctum books.

A group of editors and academics, led by punctum books, in April questioned why Verso Books and the New Press were selling a curated copy of Swartz's writings. The publishers had previously claimed "the exclusive right to reprint [Swartz's writings] in book form" to take down a similar book published by Discovery Publisher. The New Press later clarified that in a statement to Inside Higher Ed, saying "We do not have, nor did we ever seek, exclusive rights to any of Aaron Swartz’s writings, only the permission to publish them in book form."

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