MIT Free Culture - About

Our projects educate the MIT community and sometimes the world. We educate ourselves too by regular discussions with local experts.

Fair Use: free speech trumps exclusive rights

Copyright restrictions apply to more works, last longer (effectively forever), and forbid more uses today than ever before. This is the wrong policy, and it makes fair use—the protections for free speech against copyright restriction—important as ever.

MIT Free Culture members created YouTomb to monitor how fair use is treated and mistreated by copyright holders on YouTube, earning press coverage from dozens of publications worldwide. Last year we presented two films and a speaker from Sweden to discuss the radical "pirate" activism that aims to win there. (No, we don't all agree.)

Free Software: free as in freedom

When software creators make their work free for everyone to use, share, study, and modify, the result is better software and a better society. MIT gave birth to the free software movement, and today houses some of the foremost scholarship in explaining how it works.

MIT Free Culture members committed to free software work for MIT classes to admit free software and MIT research software to be free, and ran an "iRony" install party to help students and others replace their iPods' unfree, DRMing software with a free system. We aim to bring a speaker on free software this year.

Open Access: knowledge is for all

Scientists aim for their work to be read, but they sign their copyrights over to publishers who charge their colleagues exorbitant prices; open access to research publications would better serve both science and the public that funds it.

MIT Free Culture members committed to open access work to educate students and faculty about the issue, and coordinated with librarians to raise awareness with price tags on the most expensive journals.

Join us

We meet every two weeks to talk about projects and hear from local experts. Time and place are announced to our mailing list. Come by to join our projects, start your own, or just hang out and discuss.


We're happy to answer questions at freeculture (at