Movable Type Update Comes at a Price

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.