Tweezer's Edge gets results from weblogs.us?

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Two days after posting about weblogs.us violating Movable Type's license, weblogs.us announced they will be migrating their users to WordPress:

A year ago in my girlfriend's basement weblogs.us was born. Now a year later and 800 noncommercial blogs later, I'm happy to announce some changes.

We are:
#1 upgrading to WordPress.
#2 adding FTP support
#3 increasing storage space from 100MB to 1GB.
#4 adding full statistics reporting
#5 plus a few other treats...

[I]f there's anything missing, that you would like added, please let me know! This upgrade will be for all of our current users. Once everyone is upgraded and happily blogigng [sic] blogging, we will start on the hundreds of people that signed up in our queue, and finally we will reopen signups to the world (possibly using an invitation system much like Gmail uses.)

I wonder how many of those 800 users will like having to switch from Movable Type to WordPress?

The P.S. at the end bothered me a little:

PS I would also like to thank Robert Scoble and Dave Winer for linking to us early on and sending many great bloggers our way :-)

This appears to be true - Robert linked to weblogs.us with this post at the end of February, 2004, and Dave linked to them back in November of 2003. I find it somewhat disappointing that two leaders in the blogging community promoted and linked to an illegal MT hosting service. (They probably didn't know weblogs.us was an illegal MT hosting service, but they should have.)

While searching for Robert's and Dave's posts, I found the following comments to the first post (06 Nov 2003) in the weblogs.us archive (at the very bottom of the page):

How sweet. I do wonder if this is breaking any policy with SixApart though
-Rave, Ramblings, Rants, Randomized

[Does anyone know if what I'm doing here is okay with SixApart? if this is a violation of any thing, please let me know. Thank you, -J.D.]

Too bad someone didn't speak up sooner. But really, rather than expecting someone else to inform you that you're violating Movable Type's license, you could have read the license yourself, posted a question in the MT Forums, or sent an e-mail to Six Apart.

I hope the migration to WordPress goes well for weblogs.us and their users.

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I was browsing tonight through my links to find a source for a post on this blog. I found a beauty on the Tweezers Edge. This post was about weblogs.us this is an organisation that provides free weblogs. The only... Read More

6 Comments

I'd like to clarify about the interest at weblogs.us in moving to WordPress. JD first mentioned to me that he was thinking about making the move to WordPress in June. We have discussed the idea several times since then, and the discussions revolved around the usefulness and ease of use that WordPress might provide. Basically, this has been a growing interest for far longer than two days, and the decision to move to WordPress does not appear to have been primarily influenced by this discovery of a Movable Type license violation.

Hi David,
First, I like your blog The photo of you commanding the USS Enterprise photo on the about page is priceless!

Also, thank you for bringing the Movable Type license issue to my attention again. You may think I'm stupid for reading the MT 2.661 license to specify that non-commercial web hosts using a single installation on a single server are permissible, but I guess the only entity that can truly tell us what the intent was is SixApart. I’m going to take your good advice and contact SixApart.

Finally, thank you for the spelling corrections on my last post and also my thanks to Alcrani for providing a bit more background about why we’re switching. If you’d like to fact check his story, please check “WP Goes (More) Multi User.” It’s from October 10th when I found out about WP multiuser edition. WPMU finally enabled us to start figuring out the MT –> WP transition. The final pieces of the puzzle was getting faster hardware installed and talking it over with my girlfriend this weekend. Now that I see your article(s), it makes me even more excited to switch to WordPress to make sure we can freely help and host as many bloggers as possible.

Thanks again for your help and your well wishes David, I’ll keep you posted on SixApart’s reply.

Best wishes,
-JD

PS After hearing about mBlog's closing, I took a chance and emailed them to see if there was any way I could help their bloggers' get their data back for free. They were very courteous and sent me the schema for their database. Tonight I'm going to try to write my own export script to hopefully automate the export process so the exporting will be free. Note: I have no knowledge of any mBlog/SixApart negotiations or plans, I'm only trying to get bloggers their data back :-)

The decision to migrate to WordPress may not have been "primarily influenced" by the violation of Movable Type's license, but it appears to me that it may have been hastened. That's assuming that weblogs.us is even aware that they're violating the MT license - I haven't seen any acknowledgement from them of their MT license violation or any sort of apology to Six Apart for using their software to illegally host 800 weblogs for a year.

If weblogs.us wasn't aware before, they are now! Talk about timing!

I don't see how you can read the MT license to permit "non-commercial web hosts using a single installation on a single server" when the license also prohibits "hosting, or offering to host, the Software, on any basis". The intent is clear to me, but you can ask Six Apart. They will tell you the same as what I've posted - I know because this topic has come up numerous times on the MT Forums and on various weblogs for a long time (at least the last 18 months).

Re mBlog: I'm surprised that mBlog was willing to let you help. I'd bet there's more than a few bloggers who will appreciate your efforts if you are successful.

I managed to get this out out of JD, I think he must have contacted six apart, here is what he said in his comments: "Our existing users aren’t forced to switch to Wordpress; existing users can switch if they want, or they can stick with MT 2.66." To read all of what he said click here.

Chris is correct, I called SixApart in October 2004 and talked to them. We came to an agreement that our existing MT users would continue using MT and new users would be WordPress based. We have been happily hosting ever since. No bloggers were forced to switch blogging applications. Many thanks to SixApart.