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The other shoe

Six Apart changed the pricing and the license. You can now buy addons to a personal license at the rate of $10 for one additional weblog and one additional author. They have also removed the CPU limitation. Finally, although they didn’t mention this specifically in their update, they’ve changed the credit requirement from one link per page to one link per site.

They have not removed the prohibition against reverse-engineering, the restriction on automatic computer-generated publishing, and it’s still not legal to put a PayPal link on your Movable Type Personal License weblog.

Quick recommendations for others: if you’re doing a one-person simple personal weblog, I’d use the free version of Movable Type 3.0. If you’re an author who uses her weblog to self-promote, I would find a new solution rather than buy a commercial license. If you’re doing a group blog, you’re going to want to move, I think.

The new pricing plan is not a problem for me, both because I can afford to pay a little more than I’d like and because I don’t run a group blog on Movable Type. It is a problem for others. For a personal license, it would make sense to have an unlimited weblog/author option. Mean Dean has an excellent pricing suggestion. Probably a little low, but you could boost the base price for a personal license to $50.00 easily enough.

At this stage of the game, I’m going to wait and see. WordPress is proving a little cranky; it is not a polished product. The biggest blocker for me is that Brad Choate’s version of Textile 2 is slightly more feature rich than the version that comes with WordPress; I’d have to do a lot of hand-tuning on hundreds of entries to migrate to that solution. I’ll pause while I contemplate how unwise it is to use a platform-specific markup solution… OK, done.

I’ll keep fooling with WordPress and other blog solutions, however, because I think at this point I might want to be on an open source platform. It’s safer for me as a user. It’s not, again, that I’m not willing to pay for software — I paid $50 for Movable Type already! On the other hand, now that I’ve dug into the new plugin capabilities, I have to step back a little from my comments about new features. Movable Type 3.0 is exceedingly feature rich from a plugin point of view.

So, yeah, we’ll see what the future holds. A basic Personal License would cover everything I do; I may still want to move to another solution, depending on exactly how many cool new things third-party developers do with the plugin architecture.

7 Comments

  1. TheKees TheKees

    Where is this free version of 3.0?

  2. Go to the store — right now there’s a link in the third sidebar on the right.

  3. “They have not removed the prohibition against reverse-engineering,”

    Which I always thought was funny since it’s written in Perl and reverse engineering isn’t much more than looking at the code.

    “the restriction on automatic computer-generated publishing”

    What do you mean by this? Confused, I am.

    “and it

  4. Last comment first — it’s an opportunity cost thing. If I need to convince them to change, and if I think that’s going to be necessary often, I’d rather spend the time to change once to move to a different platform.

    Note that I have a friend in this situation, Michael Croft, and he’s sent Six Apart an email asking for other options. If he gets a good response, I’ll be much heartened! But I’m not going to assume he will until it happens.

    Re: reverse-engineering — exactly. A lot of this license looked like it was written by a lawyer who didn’t totally understand the product. It’s slightly wacky in places.

    I don’t think the PayPal donation link is legal. They specifically called out affiliate programs as legal, right? That implies to me that any method of earning money from the weblog is prohibited unless explicitly specified, and donation links aren’t affilate links. Again, the intention may be to permit PayPal but it’s gotta be spelled out explicity.

    Side note — I work with lawyers in my day job, cause I do technical review on a lot of contracts for my company. You can probably tell; I care about exact wording. Heh.

    Self-promoting… I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’d be more comfortable if it was explict. But surely selling books is a commercial enterprise on the part of a publisher, and surely self-promotion indirectly supports those commercial efforts?

    And the restriction on computer-generated publishing:

    “Use of the Software for automatic computer-generated publishing is not permitted under this Agreement.”

    What the hell does that mean? It utterly confuses me.

  5. I don’t think the PayPal donation link is legal.

    In talking to Mena this morning, I mentioned my donation button for MT-Blacklist. She said that didn’t make the blog commercial… [shrug]

    Side note — I work with lawyers in my day job, cause I do technical review on a lot of contracts for my company. You can probably tell; I care about exact wording. Heh

    Understood. In law, accurate language is important.

    Self-promoting… I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’d be more comfortable if it was explict. But surely selling books is a commercial enterprise on the part of a publisher, and surely self-promotion indirectly supports those commercial efforts?

    Again, unless you are a corporate entity selling books that your company produces, I am quite sure that that does not fall under the commercial license. That said, it would be worth sending an email to them about it.

    And the restriction on computer-generated publishing:
    “Use of the Software for automatic computer-generated publishing is not permitted under this Agreement.”
    What the hell does that mean? It utterly confuses me

    That’s from the license? Hell, I have no idea…

  6. Yeah, I really should drop them an email rather than blathering on here, shouldn’t I?

    Note that I don’t think these are horrible, egregious problems. I just recognize them as the kinds of things you get when a lawyer writes a license for a complex piece of technology.

    And yeah, the bit about computer-generated publishing is from the license. Wacky, huh?

  7. Yeah, I really should drop them an email rather than blathering on here, shouldn’t I?

    Yeah, as Derek says, it’s ironic… 🙂

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