I brought this up before (see Movable License and GPL & Movable Type) but either people didn’t listen because Movable Type was free enough, or perhaps because I’m some sort of crackpot, but in the Movable Type license is this bit:
Term, Termination, and Modification. You may use the Software under this Agreement until either party terminates this Agreement as set forth in this paragraph. Either party may terminate the Agreement at any time, upon written notice to the other party. Upon termination, all licenses granted to you will terminate, and you will immediately uninstall and cease all use of the Software. The Sections entitled "Title," "No Warranty," "Indemnification," "Limitation of Liability," and "General" will survive any termination of this Agreement.
Six Apart may modify the Software and this Agreement with notice to you either in email or by publishing content on the Six Apart Website, including but not limited to charging fees for the Software, changing the functionality or appearance of the Software, and such modification will become binding on you unless you terminate this Agreement.
As everyone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about says, I am not a lawyer, but to me it appears that Six Apart can, at anytime, terminate the license you have, and force you to delete the software. It also seems to say that Six Apart can change the license (“Agreement”) at anytime simply by posting something on the Six Apart web site. This is a wakeup call to people who have said they can do whatever they want with their copy of version 2.x of Movable Type.
So, am I a crackpot, or am I reading this right? I know, they won’t do it, they’re nice people! Right? Sure… I mean, I’m you’re friend, you can trust me. I promise I won’t stab you, but I might. I probably won’t… but you know, I might in the future…
I will once again reiterate. I think Movable Type is a nice piece of software, and Six Apart’s founders Ben and Mena seem like nice people, but the license just doesn’t work for me. That is all. If it works for you, hey, that’s cool, use the software, just know what you are getting into when you agree to something. (Oh, feel free to plug the URL of the current license into the WaybackMachine, you’ll find slightly different versions of the license, but they’re all similar enough, this isn’t something new.
Oh, one more thing, I think this part is new, but don’t let your kids use Movable Type, as the license also states:
The Software is not intended for use by persons under the age of 13 and may not be used anyone under such age.
So if you let your children use Movable Type, you violate the license. Heck, it might even mean that if a 12 year old leaves a comment on your Movable Type-powered site you’ve viloated the license. Who knows?
Are we starting to see the importance of licenses?