I can still download Movable Type 2.661 from Six Apart's website, and will not be restricted in number of authors and blogs if it is for personal/non-commercial use.
Wrong. If you downloaded the Movable Type 2.661 or older after the license change on May 13, you are still bounded to the new license, which limits the number of authors and blogs you can have depending on how much you have paid.
Let me summarise the story so far.
- 13 May: SixApart announced Movable Type 3.0D, together with a new license term that restricts number of authors and blogs. Many bloggers are not happy.
- 15 May: SixApart clarified the license and slightly altered pricing structure, but many bloggers are still not happy.
- 21 May: Six Apart is quietly making the license more flexible for the users, and hopefully there will be formal response from them soon.
- 23 May: Movable Type 2.661 is reported to be downloadable again from Six Apart's website.
Many bloggers have decided to stick with the old Movable Type 2.661 that they have already deployed, so that they will not be restricted by the new license introjected when Movable Type 3.0D was released. I myself included. While I have moved this site to GPL'ed WordPress, I have also decided that I will stick with Movable Type 2.661 for a while with FOCUSer.net, as long as people over there are happy with it.
However, new bloggers might be deluded to think that as long as they are using a version of Movable Type prior to 3.0D, they are okay with unlimited authors and blogs. So, there was pressure on 6A to put MT 2.661 downloads back on-line. Some people have also started to provide private mirrors to host the old tarballs. However, according to Phil Ringnalda at this thread on the Movable Type's support forum:
And although you can (apparently, from what I hear) continue to use 2.6x under the old license if you downloaded it under the old license, it isn't a matter of "the 3.0 license versus the 2.6x license" but a matter of the "before May 13, 2004 license and the after May 13, 2004 license." Download either one today, and you are downloading it under the terms of the current, 1 author and 3 weblogs for free, license.
If you downloaded MT2.661 through 6A's secure site, you would have clicked through the license agreements and accepted them. Your MT2.661 installation, while functioned in the same way as the one downloaded prior to May 13, it is now bounded to its new license agreement, with restrictive terms and conditions. And no, you cannot host unlimited authors nor unlimited blogs with it.
So, what does that leave with the Movable Type users, who might host a community blogsite with a large number of authors and blogs?
- Pay up! If you think Movable Type worths it, then do support Six Apart financially. Hopefully they can also come up with something more flexible in time.
- If you are a new blogger, you cannot download MT 2.661 and expect to host many authors for free. You have already accepted the new license agreement before you click on that Download button.
- You cannot offer your old MT 2.661 tarball on the web, as the old license agreement forbids distribution.
- If you were too lazy to upgrade to MT 2.661 before, and stuck at an older version - there is no way you can upgrade without accepting the new license.
- If an exploit has been discovered in MT 2.x, then really bad luck! You cannot upgrade to the current patched release without accepting the new license agreement. However, the old license does allow you to "modify or alter" the software for your own use. So if you are a good Perl hacker, then possibly you can patch it up yourself. However, the license forbids distribution of your modification, i.e. you cannot provide your patch on the Internet. So everyone else stuck on MT 2.x has to figure out their own way to hack the code.
- Switch. A single installation that supports unlimited authors? Lots of them. A single installation that supports unlimited blogsites across different domains, simple deployment, easy migration path from Movable Type, Open Source/Free software, etc? Hopefully the next WordPress would come close.