MovableType 3D licenses are based on the honor system.

At least one blogger out there has pointed out that at the end of Mena’s explanation of the new licenses for MT she provides us with a “wink and a nod” that suggests there’s nothing stopping us from violating the license agreement.

We’re big on honor at Six Apart. We haven’t built in any nagware for license violations or phone home mechanisms. We trust our users’ good judgment and intentions. We intend to use our good judgment in being flexible about enforcing these limits.

The implication does seem pretty clear: Even though we’ve defined very clear licensing limits and pricing, we’re not going to be policing you guys so we’re hoping you’ll be honest. But we reserve the right to enforce our licenses if we feel you’ve gone too far in violating them.

I don’t think that’s a wise approach to take nor do I think it’ll work all that well. Haven’t they been paying attention to the lessons being learned by the music industry?

I’d much rather pay for my copy of MT than violate the free version’s license as I like the software and I think the folks at Six Apart deserve some compensation. I could purchase the lowest level personal license, but I’d still have to violate it to maintain my setup the way I currently have it. Even then with the cost being $69.95 I have to ask myself why I don’t just spend $45 on pMachine Pro where I won’t have to violate the license in order to have all the blogs and authors I want. When I consider that it would probably cost me upwards of $150 to be in the clear license-wise I then have to consider the fact that I may as well buy Expression Engine for that much money, get more features for my bucks, and still not have any upper limits on number of blogs or authors.

The irony is that unlike so many other folks are suggesting, I’ve been prepared to pay for MovableType ever since they announced MT Pro. If MT3D had the features that were promised for MT Pro along with truly generous limits on numbers of blogs and authors at a price that was comparable to the competition I’d be the first to whip out his bank card and get in line.

What we got was a version that holds much promise, but not much in the way of new stuff you can actually play with at a price and with restrictions that aren’t even close to what the competition offers (and I’m not even TALKING about the free blog packages) or the option to knowingly violate the license agreements while Six Apart looks the other way. WTF? How the hell is that a reasonable solution?

I find it interesting to note that you must have a TypeKey account to download the free version of MT3D, which I have done in order to take a look at. It does appear that the script itself isn’t crippled in any way and there’s nothing stopping me from just installing the upgrade and continuing on my merry way.

Other than my conscious, that is.

10 thoughts on “MovableType 3D licenses are based on the honor system.

  1. If it’s truly an honor system and personal users have the blessings of the company to continue to do what they will, THEN SAY THAT. Otherwise, you are taking advantage of the non-savvy users who don’t know that the wink and handshake happened months ago in some back alley.

    But as it stands, multiple author blogs get severely punished with their pricing, and people who use multiple blogs to implement features like photo blogs or remaindered links get punished as well.

  2. I’m with Chad here.  Unless some VC folks forced her to be no more discreet than that, it would be far better for them to say, “Do what thou willt if thee be non-commercial,” than dance around it like this.

    I wouldn’t use the word “punished,” but “discouraged” would certainly work.

  3. Yeah I guess punished is a harsh word. The whole tiers of pricing just rubs me the wrong way though. Multi-author blogs really ratchet up the license price. If I have 10 friends/family who causually post links and thoughts and discussion topics, then I’m off their price sheet! If I run a remaindered links blog, a thoughts blog, a photo blog, and a combo main blog that runs all 3 of the other ones together, then I’m at the $150 level!

    Maybe they are just saying MT isn’t the right tool for those job I guess *shrug*

  4. “I don’t think that’s a wise approach to take nor do I think it’ll work all that well. Haven’t they been paying attention to the lessons being learned by the music industry?”
    Maybe they are going out of their way not to be buttmunches like the RIAA are being… If you don’t want them to be that way, then don’t break the licensing agreement and validate the fact that not all humans are sleazy cheating dorks (like the RIAA likes to point out that we are…)

  5. I’m on the same page as you. I’ve been prepared to pay, but I figured it would be something like $29.99 for a single seat / basic personal package, with $10 per seat & blog.

    $69? Yeah, I’ve seen pMachine get it done and what was it Trump said … “nothing personal, it’s just business” … that cuts both ways, including shopping around for the biggest blog bang for my bucks.

    They should have started out with a smaller, simpler pricing scheme that would have hooked everyone. They would have made up for the $69 to $29 disparity in sheer volume.

  6. It appears that the reason so many people are pissed is that they were never told of a fee and instead told “The next version of Movable Type will be version 3.0, a significant and free upgrade. Many oft-requested features will be integrated into this release, including:

    * Comment registration. As a response to both comment spam and to the increased usage of Movable Type on large community sites, we’ll be adding the option to restrict comments to registered users.
    * Improved comment and TrackBack management features.
    * New API hooks for plugin developers. Plugins will now be able to hook into many more pieces of Movable Type, including adding callbacks for saving and removing objects, building application methods with integration into the UI, and hooking into the publishing process. This opens up possibilities for plugins to add even more advanced functionality than they’re able to do now.
    * User interface rebuilt using CSS. We’ve seen with TypePad that a CSS-based interface gives users very fast application response times, and gives us a flexible interface for making application-wide changes, and we want to give this same speed and flexibility to Movable Type users.
    * Support for the Atom API. We’ve already added Atom syndication feed support in version 2.65 of Movable Type, and we’ll be adding publishing support for the API in 3.0.

    In addition to the above, we’ll be integrating some features into 3.0 that we’re not yet ready to announce, but which we know will be very exciting to MT users. Additionally, for those interested in posting from mobile devices, we expect this to be a welcome release.
    Movable Type 3.0 will be a free download and upgrade. We have full-time engineering resources devoted to this new version, and we plan to have a beta release in early Q1 of 2004.”

    Tina really explained it very well and also is the one who found what they said in December word for word.

  7. While we are allowed to modify the code if we wish, it’s not an Open Source project in any way so developing a fork and making it available isn’t legally an option. Besides, the problem isn’t so much with the code itself as it is the new licenses.

  8. Whelp. I have this to say: MT 3 is a pain in my ass. Really.

    I have been using MT since shortly (like 2 weeks) after it first came out.

    My husband has a website for some software he’s developing so I built him a site.

    Since I’m cool like that and he does have a “business” I paid the $199 for the license.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like it when people who develop software I use release new versions with no real upgrades or new features but instead just monkey the code around and change the format of the layout, functions and other stuff.

    For a few examples:
    - The new layout is weird. I don’t like it. I don’t like how MT forces their NEWS to be on MY mt menu page. What’s up with that? I don’t even watch world news, let alone MT news. When I want to know something I will look into it on my own, thankyouverymuch.
    - The Archiving is a mess. When I added a second blog for the German version of the “News” page on my husband’s site and created AND specified a new directory for the *German* archives (because I hate if they’re all in one dir - both German and English) the app still put the archives for the new, 2nd blog into the archive folder for the first one. Why? I don’t know.
    - Comments are a mess, too. Without a hack from Tweezerman, I was completely unable to have any control over the look of my comments template. Oy it’s a MESS. They use a new tag now, which has the fields “built into” it. So then HTH am I supposed to alter the size of the textare box? Magic? Nope, a hack. Also, they removed the “pop up” funtion for the comments completely. I mean, there’s no such thing. You have to write it yourself.

    With software this freakin’ expensive no hack should be necessary.

    I swear. (a lot in the last 5 days)

    Also, what’s up with that whole “Typekey” thing? So now I have to register with THEM to post comments on MT weblogs? LOL!

    It’s enough of a damn challenge to get me to WRITE a comment - let alone to register to do it.

    Also, they gave me no choice when I paid for the license. I was FORCED to register with typekey to download my product. *Piss me off.*

    Finally, even though we paid for it, they still have the nerve to ask for “a little credit” meaning can we pretty please leave the “Powered by Movable Type” link up? Please?

    Uhm no.

    What do you think about: Powered by $199.00. Or: Powered by my wallet. Or: Powered by Mastercard.

    2 middle fingers up.
    ~K

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