Only In America Can You Steal Something Free

Only In America Can You Steal Something Free

We're coming up to the halfway point in the release of MVPour first record, and James and I have to tell you it's been a whole lot of fun. We're deeply grateful for all of you sharing some laughs at this line of work we've chosen and hope AdCap can bring a little levity to the desperate business of startup tech.

If we can break character for one tune in this release, we'd like to send one out to a hacker in Brooklyn that was taken from us far too soon. Like many people who write software for a living, James and I were crestfallen whenwe got the news of the arrest of Aaron Swartz and heartbroken when we got word of his passing. Neither of us knew him well, but like every engineer working on the Internet, we used his work every day and benefited from his constant advocacy for a freer, better Internet.

I was in San Francisco shortly after he passed and was one of hundreds of hackers who shuffled sullenly into the Internet Archive for a West Coast memorial in the weeks after the loss. Most of the eulogies were sad memories. A few were admonishments of the overzealous District Attorney whose insane application of the letter of the law led to the mournful gathering in the first place. But one call to action from Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman kept ringing in my head months after we left and the world, as it always does, moved on.

"Aaron's death should radicalize us."

Taren's challenge to that audience through the uniquely bitter tears of losing one's love was Aaron's passing marked a moment where we should all evaluate what we think about ideas and property. What we think about the application of law on the Internet. How we react when we lose someone this kind, this early.

If you're a hacker in the 21st century, how you look at what you love was forever changed by Aaron Swartz.

This one goes out to him.

Lyrics for this track are here.