It looks like Mint now has a license, and while it’s a great start, it seems to still be silent on a few important questions. There’s nothing in the license about whether buyers have the right to upgrades (but oddly, the license contains definitions of both “update” and “upgrade” at the bottom, making it clear that there’s a distinction between the two and implying that buyers will be entitled to one with their license but will have to renew in order to have access to the other). There’s also no mention in the license of technical support (whether buyers get any), duration of use (whether there is any limit on the time period during which buyers use Mint), or the use of personal information (which is almost always covered by some additional privacy policy document, but also usually mentioned in the license). There’s a restriction on using Mint “to provide services to others,” but no corresponding commercial license that would allow that, and no obvious way for a web host to offer Mint to its customers even if it had the customers pay the license fee themselves.

Like I said, this is definitely a good start, but it highlights how difficult it can be to write for-sale software as an independent programmer. I certainly don’t think that Shaun has omitted anything from the license on purpose; rather, it’s likely that he was caught in the whirlwind of excitement about his new web app, and is now having to figure out how to split his finite time amongst the seemingly infinite need to fix bugs, handle payment issues, field support requests, and figure out the terms by which he’s releasing Mint to the public. It’s not a position I envy!