Movable Type Update Comes at a Price

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-05-14 Print this article Print

In releasing a developer edition of its Movable Type Weblog-publishing software, Six Apart introduces a new licensing scheme that has sparked debate among bloggers.

In launching the next version of its Movable Type Weblogging software, Six Apart also has unleashed a blogger flame war. The target: its decision to formally charge users for software licenses. Movable Type 3.0 went out Thursday as a developer edition with a more extensive set of APIs that allow developers and IT departments to create new plug-in applications and to tie the software into enterprise systems, said Anil Dash, vice president of business development at the San Mateo, Calif., company. But the new release also is ushering in a significant shift in Six Apart Ltd.s licensing and pricing for Movable Type. The company had offered previous versions of Movable Type for free—asking users for donations—except when used for commercial purposes.
Movable Type is one of a growing number of software tools used to create, manage and post content to blogs. Blogs are Web sites that have sprouted throughout the Web in a form akin to an online diary; they also are being used on companies internal sites as a way to communicate and collaborate.
Along with software, Six Apart offers a hosted service called TypePad. It competes with other blogging services such as Google Inc.s Blogger, which revamped its service earlier this week. With Movable Type 3.0, Six Apart is limiting its free version to single, personal users publishing no more than three blogs. For other personal users, Six Apart is charging between $69.95 and $149.95 depending on the number of authors and blogs published, according to its pricing list. For businesses and enterprises, a commercial license is available that ranges from $199.95 to $599.95. Next Page: "Its just completely outside the realm of useful for me," one blogger writes.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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