06/16/2014 07:06 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Director Of 'The Internet's Own Boy' Says Legal System Partially Responsible For Aaron Swartz's Suicide

Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz was 26 years old and facing possible imprisonment for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act when he took his own life. Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, who chronicled Swartz's life in the documentary "The Internet's Own Boy," thinks the legal system is largely to blame for the young digital pioneer's suicide.

"Certainly there were many factors, but this two-year legal nightmare that he went through -- you can't ignore that," he said. "He was exhausted financially and emotionally. He killed himself within a few days of his initial arrest. I don't think that's a coincidence, exactly."

Knappenberger's documentary tells the story of how Swartz went from downloading millions of articles illegally over the digital library Jstor to being threatened with legal consequences.

And he remained unapologetic through it all, according to Knappenberger.

"He didn't believe he had done anything wrong," the director affirmed. "He steadfastly refused to take any of the pleas, and there were going to be no more deals -- trial was looming. So I think that this case, of course, was a major factor."

Watch Brian Knappenberger's full conversation with HuffPost Live below: