Movable Type 3.0 Controversy

By Deane Barker on May 17, 2004

MovableType Madness: Dean over at blogs4God presents a really good wrap-up of the furor over the new Movable Type release.

Unbeknowst to me, Six Apart made a change over the weekend to say that mutiple Weblogs in MT used to create one site (for instance, if you have another blog to handle static pages for your site), do not count towards the Weblog limit in the license. They also removed a single CPU restriction that they said was in there by mistake, are allowing you to purchase additional blog/author packs for $10 each, and have increased the number of authors allowed in the mid-level version from 3 to 5.

Don Park links to some good resources as well, including this very wise column by Timothy Appnel over at O’Reilly:

As a developer and one who makes a living writing code, this reaction to Six Apart’s new licensing is really disheartening and on a certain level frustrating to see. I am a firm believer and backer of free software. […] I’ve personally released quite a bit of open source code myself and will continue to do so. However this apparent expectation of the vocal part of community that it is their right to have all great works of software at no cost is bothersome. If users don’t have the funds or won’t pay on principle for my time, effort or talent – how do I eat?

He makes a good point. Not everything in the world can be free, as much as we would like it. Yes, I love free software, but I also know when stuff is worth paying for. I’m reminded about what Nick Bradbury wrote in the pre-release FAQ to FeedDemon:

Will FeedDemon be free? Will it be open source? Sorry, no. I have nothing against open source, but I also have two kids to feed :)

I personally don’t have a problem with Six Apart charging for this version. Movable Type was a gift so far, and I guess I never expected it to be free forever. I think they could have priced it a little lower, but it’s still worth it.