Movable Type Licensing

May 14th, 2004

[Six Apart]It looks like the folks who make Movable Type, the CMS that I use to manage this site, have finally put together a more feasible licensing structure for their extremely popular product. As Mena Trott, co-author of the software explains on her site, this software has been used by literally thousands of freeloaders such as myself, as well as many commercial enterprizes.

In the past, MT was available absolutely free of charge, as “beggarware,” for non-commercial purposes, or a trivial flat-rate fee for commercial sites. Now it’ll cost folks $69.95 or more to get a proper copy with support. With the release of version 3.0, they will start limiting the number of sites and the number of authors for each lisence, making it possible for Six Apart to actually do business and pay their bills. It will still be available for free, with no proper tech support and a limit of one author and three sites. Were I willing to give my Sister my password so she can continue to publish the Kane Boys site, I wouldn’t run into any problems with upgrading to the free version of MT3.0 in the near future.

Alas, I am not in a position to blow the $69.95 on a multi-author license, and am against sharing passwords as a matter of principle, so it now becomes a very real possibility that this site will be switched over to an alternate CMS. The front runner in that is Drupal, and open-source project that has a lot of interesting features, and only a handful of drawbacks that I am aware of.

This potential changeover isn’t a matter of spite or malice, and I certainly don’t hold it against Six Apart that they wish to charge money for a quality product. The new pricing isn’t unreasonable, unfair, or unwarranted. I’m just a tightwad about such things.

Hat tip to Chunkbot for bringing this licensing change to my attention a scant 24 hours after it was announced.

One Response to “Movable Type Licensing”

  1. chunkbot Says:

    Mr. Kottke has an interesting point, if you take a look http://www.kottke.org/04/05/the-end-of-free

Leave a Reply