Yesterday morning I read about Movable Type's plan to charge for version 3.0. I was a little surprised. I knew that I'd have to pay for MT at some point in the future, but I didn't realize it would happen so quickly and would be so expensive. As others have pointed out--done succinctly by Jason Kottke--it's not so much the concept of paying that's troubling, it's the cumbersome restrictions put on personal licenses.
For instance, I have 8 blogs and 5 different authors on my system right now with plans for more of each. Today, I would have to pay $119.95 to run MT 3.0. This plan allows for 8 blogs and 6 authors and the next and highest personal plan, which goes for $149.95, allows 10 blogs and 9 authors. So, if I launch a new blog and invite some friends, which I have been planning to do, I could quickly be without an option for personal license.
The lowest level is currently $69.95, which is an amount I would definitely be willing to pay if it allowed unlimited, or at least a much higher, number of blogs and authors. And since I have already donated $45, it would only cost me an extra $25.
Additionally, there are a couple things included in the paid version of MT that I don't need. These are "professional support from Six Apart" and "access to fee-based services such as installation, advanced support, other services." Shouldn't there be an option for people who just want the software without support? I'd rather not pay for it if I don't have to.
It's worth noting that a free version will always exist. Currently, you can install MT 3.0 for free and have up to three blogs and one author.