[info]dkmnow in [info]07refugees

Damage control?

This just in from BoingBoing.

While Ben and Mena Trott, along with the rest of Six Apart, surely made a handsome profit on the sale of LJ to SUP, I think it's safe to say that their public and corporate image did not fare so well. Despite a conspicuous lack of detail in the following, it's not hard to read between the lines...



Movable Type now under a free license
Posted by Cory Doctorow, December 12, 2007 11:41 PM

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."


Yes, you read that right. We only want to bring happiness and joy to all the little children of the world. Excuse me - I have to go to the bathroom.


This whole sitch reminds me of my first job and the company I worked for. That was the awesomest company ever with a president who was genuinely cool, caring, loved working with people and was a big, happy ball of energy. REALLY unlike anything you typically see in the corporate world.

One bad decision to be bought by one of a few companies who had made a bid ground the company into the dirt and beyond. This was your standard dot-com before the bubble burst, buying out companies like a kid with their first credit card, never thinking that real money had to manifest in order to actually deal with the purchase--and mismanaging them right and left because they had no clue what they bought.

It was awful. I felt so bad for the guy, mourned for the company... and left it for another company in the area when I could.

Diff sitch, yeah, but definitely a case of where "Squee! Someone who looks cool on paper wants to buy us!" turns into a terrible business lesson for the owners.
Unfortunately, the "lesson" would seem entirely lost on all the key players in this sorry spectacle. Top-tier 6A sycophant Anil Dash, whose blog entry was quoted in the report, seems to be living in a fantasy world, and even Brad Fitz himself just can't seem to grok the damage to his reputation, having he's sold his own baby -- and customers' loyalty -- into state/corporate slavery and prostitution.

But they may yet learn -- betrayal has an uncanny knack for finding its way back home.