24-year-old Aaron Swartz, one of the first employees of internet-addled nerds' favorite message board, Reddit, was indicted last week on charges that he stole over four million articles from the online academic journal archive JSTOR. He faces up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Swartz, a programmer and activist who was fired from Reddit after it was bought out by Conde Nast in 2006, once boasted that he reads at least a book a week. He's been a proponent of Creative Commons and the free flow of information. That's a new one, a learning junkie breaking into JSTOR for another hit of that sweet, sweet knowledge. Forget prison: We need to keep Swartz out on the streets, peddling his learning to disaffected high school kids on street corners Win-win!

[NYT, image via Joi Ito/Flickr]