file sharing in Custodians 2015

it margins: our knowledge commons
grows in the fault lines of a broken system. We are all custodians of
knowledge, custodians of the same infrastructures that we depend on for
producing knowledge, custodians of our fertile but fragile commons. To be a
custodian is, de facto, to download, to share, to read, to write, to review,
to edit, to digitize, to archive, to maintain libraries, to make them
accessible. It is to be of use to, not to make property of, our knowledge

More than seven years ago Aaron Swartz, who spared no risk in standing up for
what we here urge you to stand up for too, wrote: "We need to take
information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the
world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the
archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to
download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need
to fight for Guerilla Open Access. With enough of us, around the world, we'll
not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we'll
make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?"9

We find ourselves at a decisive moment. This is the time to recognize that the
very existence of our massive knowledge commons is an act of collective civil
disobedience. It is the time to emerge from hiding and put our names behind
this act of resistance. You may feel isolated, but there are many of us. The
anger, desperation and fear of losing our library infrastructures, voiced
across the internet, tell us that. This is the time for us custodians, being
dogs, humans or cyborgs, with our names, nicknames and pseudonyms, to raise
our voices.

Share this letter - read it in public - leave it in the printer. Share your
writing - digitize a book - upload your files.


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