'I have about 20 authors with twice as many blogs and I don't make money from this site. I can't afford to pay for MT.'
'I love it, it's good product, but there's no way I am paying for it.'
'They want us to pay for it? It's outrageous!'
'SixApart are evil, since they want to stop giving their work for free!'.
(Ok, that last one I made up, but I wouldn't be surprised if somebody somewhere said it)
By now everybody probably has heard about MT3 and the reaction from the users. Ben and Mena came up with a good product at the right time. They spent two years of their time on Movable Type. Let's say they worked two years at another paying job and they did $30K a year (and I am sure they would've made more than that, being the smart people they are). This is an investment of at least $120K between the two of them. In other words, Ben and Mena paid $120K. If you have a site and are using MT, part of these $120K have covered some of your expenses (indirectly, of course).
Let's say MT didn't exist. Let's say you had to write it yourself. What's the price of all the time you would've spent on it? What's the price of two years of your life?
We are not talking here about a big 'evil' software house. We are talking about two people that have a house, have to pay their bills and have to eat something. Did they not work hard? Are their efforts worth nothing?
People would write a $70 check to the cable company every month without even thinking that most value they get out of it is watching reruns of old shows. That's $840 anually for things you most probably have seen at least once before. Yet these same people wouldn't even consider paying $100 for something that enables them to express themselves and reach hundreds or thousands of people.
And that concludes this month's rant...
Update: A lot of people complain about the pricing structure of MT. That is not what I am ranting about here.
Update 2: Some of the Slashdot's comments are amuzing:
“...Not only do they still have a free version but also, no-one is forced to upgrade. It seems people aren't interested in whether it's free as in speech but when it's free as in beer, changes in the pricing structure bring bitter recriminations...”
“...If it was free as in speech, then a group of developers could fork it and keep a free beer version.
A lot of people like free as in speech because it gives a good chance of a free beer version existing...”