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Open source observatory

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MIT Media Lab makes open source the default

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MIT Media Lab has declared open source to be the preferred software licensing model for its projects. According to Joichi Ito, Director of the renowned interdisciplinary research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the academic institution can achieve greater impact by sharing its work.

Being part of an academic ecosystem committed to liberal sharing of knowledge, I'm proud to announce that we are changing our internal procedures to encourage more free and open-source software, Ito writes in a blog post. Previously, software releases using open source licenses were approved by an internal committee. From now on any open source request will be viewed as the default and automatically approved.

We respect the autonomy of our community members and will continue to let them choose whether to release their software as proprietary or open. But removing the open source approval step will level the playing field.

This change is a reflection of preferences within our community, as well as an acknowledgement of our position in an increasingly interconnected world. Encouraging free and open source software realigns our policies with our mission. As an academic institution, we believe that in many cases we can achieve greater impact by sharing our work.