Free As In Beer24 Jun 2003
Re: USS Clueless - Free ain't cheap (originally mailed to Steven Den Beste, so the 'you' refers to him).
I'm a happy user of both Movable Type (for my blog) and CityDesk (for pro-bono work), and have paid for them both. I disagree that the licenses are all that different. Movable Type has _never_ been a free program. You've always had to pay for commercial use. The problem in this case is how to define 'commercial use'... at what point is setting up MT for a private user 'commerical use'? Likewise, a license for CityDesk does not give one the right the set up the program for another user... one has to get an additional license.
Coming from the Linux and free software communinty, maybe I'm more accustomed to reading licences carefully and the type of license offered for Movable Type. We differentiate between 'free as in beer' and 'free as in speech', and it's always been clear to me that MT is only 'free as in beer'. Just like the free version of CityDesk. Perhaps it's confusing because MT is a Perl script in clear text, that one can look at and change.
Six Apart cannot 'pull the rug out from under' MT users, even if they wanted to. Once you have agreed to the license and have obtained a certain version of the software, Six Apart cannot change it for that software that you already have. For example, they could decide to today that MT 2.64 and higher are no longer free for personal use. Everyone that already has MT 2.64 would not (and could not) be bound by the change. The change would only apply to all future users, and present users who wanted to update to the new version. (Fog Creek could do the same thing to CityDesk users. If they were to, say, increase the price by a factor of 10 and charge that price for all upgrades to 2.0, you could still continue to use 1.0.31 for the price you already paid.)
Anyway, it looks like the people at Six Apart are being as reasonable as they can be without compromising their business.