Movable Type now under a free license

Movable Type, the popular blogging software, has gone free/open, relicensing its code under the GPL, the gold standard for free licenses. We've used MT ever since we migrated away from Blogger (and Ben Trott, MT's co-founder, personally did the migration for us!) and it's great to see the company adopting best practices with its code-base. Even better is the company's statement about why they've adopted a free license: because they want to promote freedom.
Like many of us on the team, some of you have been waiting for this moment for years. For a business, an open source license affects boring things like how a product is created, updated, and distributed. But the open source movement has always been about something more important: Freedom. With a name like "Movable Type", we've always been keenly aware of the importance of freedom, as that name echoes both the birth of the printing press and the creation of independent media that an individual can control.

Our goal has always been to create the best blogging platform in the world and to put that power in the hands of as many people as possible.

Link (via MeFi)


  1. @ #1 (SleighBoy): Freedom to limit other people freedom makes no sense.
    For everyone else reading this: BSD licence permits re-licencing under closed-source (“proprietary”) licences. GPL has a restriction that re-licencing is allowed only to a compatible licence. Some say BSD licences are “more Free” because of that.

  2. MT used to be free – then not so much after they got VC funding – now free again. Maybe this new interest in promoting freedom has something to do with more successful software like drupal?

  3. I like how they refer to memcached as a “Six Apart open source technology”. The reason that it’s open source is that it was by Danga, and they released nearly everything as open source, including most of the code. (Of course, I have some respect for Siz Apart for keeping nearly everything open source after they bought out Danga.)

    I suspect the real reason why they did this was the rising popularity of WordPress, which is open source, a lot cheaper and doesn’t require web hosting that supports Perl CGI…

  4. It was never free as in speech, but for personal use was always free as in beer. I hope maybe now someone can fix its performance issues. Not sure how BB gets around them but there are plenty of former MT users (almost all on WordPress) who dropped it for that very reason. CGI is so last century.

  5. #2 (Eduardo Padoan) : Freedom is no restrictions. BSD operates on the assumption that people are good and will operate fairly (of course they all don’t..). But it gets the code out there and lets it be used by anybody how they wish. The basic mentality is to get the best possible code in use by all, for the good of everyone, and have it freely available for everyone.

    With BSD you’re not going to need to be calling in the lawyers when things get sticky.

    In the context of some blogging software I think it is important in principle to use BSD, but for things that matter like secure communications it’s nice to have (basically) everyone on the same page, using OpenSSH.

  6. As a (core) WordPress developer and supporter of Free software, this makes me very happy! It’s great that Movable Type is now part of the Free/Open Source community. Six Apart got a lot of flak (and I’d argue, deservedly so) in 2004 for the MT 3.0 licensing/pricing episode. But I really think they’ve grown as a company and have drastically improved their community relations, due in no small part to the efforts of Anil Dash. MTOS solidifies that comeback.

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