Movable Type License Harmful to Group Blogs

Consider, for instance, the Site Announcements sidebar at the Austin Bloggers web site. The announcements are implemented as a Movable Type blog. There currently are seven authors setup on that blog. This means the project would need a Personal Edition Volume License II, at a cost of $190. This would permit up to nine authors on the blog.

There are three problems with this. First, I don't have $190 to invest in this not-for-profit project. In fact, I'm a little resentful that Six Apart is trying to squeeze Austin Bloggers for this amount of money.

Second, that Personal Edition Volume License II may serve us now, but what about a year from now? We'd expect that with time there will be turnover in the webmaster team. Additional people will be added, but current authors won't be deleted. They still may have articles in the archive. We could bump up against the nine author limit before long. Once we hit that limit, then what? This is the highest available non-commercial license level.

Third, if you go to the Austin Bloggers web site right now and look for our Movable Type blog you may be a bit puzzled. You won't see one. That's because there isn't any current site news. There isn't a whole lot posted there, especially since I've moved the meeting announcements to a calendar in the sidebar. The function just isn't heavily used. Sure, maybe a blog is overkill for our announcements management, but why not? It seemed like a good idea when I could do it for the cost of a donation. At $190, Six Apart can pound sand.

I can understand Six Apart trying to firm up their licensing schemes. Unfortunately, they blew it big time. They are trying to squeeze too much from those who are trying to do interesting things with their package in a not-for-profit environment. Even worse, they've made their package completely unsuitable for multi-author blogs.

I'm not going to begin an immediate migration. I am, however, going to stop new Movable Type deployments. I'm currently setting up a blog for an Austin community technology web site. We've prototyped on Movable Type, but no damn way am I going to move that to final deployment. I don't know if Six Apart intentionally decided to abandon these sorts of projects, but that's the effect of their action.


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re: Movable Type License Harmful to Group Blogs

If you need any help or have any questions about a possible WordPress migration, let me know. I've moved all three of my sites (weblog, sunhelp, ciscohelp) to it, and done a 1.2-beta to 1.2-delta upgrade without problems.

re: Movable Type License Harmful to Group Blogs

Well, the one out is that there's no compulsion to upgrade, nor to license pre-3 version.

I agree that the terms do make it difficult for a lot of people to upgrade and stay within those terms--me included. I'd be down for $150 if I upgrade.