In June, Six Apart announced that it would be offering it’s flagship product, Movable Type, under an open source model later this year. Lots of speculation has been swirling around it, so here are a few things you should know about Movable Type Open Source:
1. MTOS will be released under a GPL license. “If you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the recipients the same freedoms that you received. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.” This means that you can use MTOS on your site for any purpose with an unlimited number of blogs and authors to make as much money as you want. You can also repackage and distribute MTOS so long as it is released under the same license.
2. The MTOS code will be available some time this month via Subversion. In fact, you can get a non-open-source version of MT 4.01 right now from http://code.sixapart.com/svn/movabletype/branches/athena.
3. The first official release of MTOS will be in December of this year.
4. Since MTOS will be the core for all other Movable Type products, you can count on it getting all the latest performance and security enhancements from Six Apart.
5. MTOS will have all the features found in the current version of MT 4. It will not be stripped-down. In addition to releasing MT 4.01 as open source software, Six Apart will also be offering commercial enhancements like the Enterprise and Community Solutions to supplement it’s open source core platform. (Much like the MySQL licensing model.)
In a nutshell, the MTOS strategy is this: Six Apart gives away the Movable Type platform and pays for development by selling support and features like Enterprise system integration and full-fledged social network frameworks.
For more information, keep your eye on MT.org’s Open Source section.