Less Restrictive = Restrictive

Bloggers monopolized the front room at a party at Manuel‘s house yesterday. Faces turned ashen and voices grave when the subject of the Movable Type licensing structure came up – not so much because of the subject itself, I think, but because everyone knew that I was sure to go on at length about it.

I probably need to lighten up.


That’s better.

Six Apart has moved quickly to refine the Movable Type 3.0 licensing structure based on customer feedback. The number of authors and weblogs allowed under the cheapest paid license is being raised to five authors and five weblogs. The two higher license tiers will be eliminated and one blog/one user add-on licenses are now available for $10.

The definition of a weblog, as it’s used in the license, has been refined; the license now specifies that one Movable Type powered website, regardless of how many Movable Type “blogs” are used to generate it, is one weblog. (eg: The main body of Justin’s Skull / Bones site and the “Erstwhere” link blog on its sidebar are counted as a single weblog.) Inactive weblogs and inactive users aren’t counted, even if they’re still backed up on the Movable Type installation.

If I upgraded, Struat.com would be covered by the basic paid license and I’d be able to launch one more Movable Type project. But I know that, going forward, I’m going to experiment with blog-type projects, start new sites and shed others, and I don’t want to have to constantly reassess what I’m doing based on whether or not I’m one user over the license-set limit. The new licensing terms are still too restrictive. The per user/per weblog licensing model doesn’t work for me. I’ll use another program for my Marco Polo project, probably the next WordPress release or another open source CMS. I’ll stick with Movable Type for my current MT-powered sites and will support my brother’s Movable Type powered site. I made a small donation to Ben and Mena a couple of years ago, and that can be applied as part of a licensing fee, so I might eventually get a paid license and upgrade to Movable Type 3.0 just to see how it goes. If I do that, I’ll definitely keep the current installation intact, in case I want to revert to that setup and less restrictive license. As for my book site, I really should have been open to a free alternative even before the commercial license became more restrictive and I’m glad that I’ve had the chance to re-evaluate.

Finally, I’ll say that I’ve been happy with Movable Type ever since I installed it. Without Movable Type this site probably wouldn’t exist – either that, or it would really suck.


onepotmeal: “S called his editor and said, Hey, I’ve been thinking, I want to relicense my book.”

Client and Server: “One day, you get a call from the car dealer and they ask you, “Hey, we’re working on a new model and we’re looking for people to test it out and tell us what’s wrong with it. Now, mind you, in order to use this car, we’ll have to take your old one away.” You think, OK, sure, let’s do it.”

kottke.org: “The tiered personal pricing still doesn’t make sense.”

Ben Trott in May 5th IT Conversations interview: “Movable Type has always been a really great tool, and the fact that we’ve had 38 cents donation per download says that even though the donation model worked out well for us when it was just Mena and myself it’s not going to support a company.”

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  1. Hey Jeff can you have Samantha e-mail me? We’ve been trying to get a hold of her for a few days to no avail.

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