Wireguard had 50k+ installs according to its (now dead) playstore page: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:kSsZsb...
AndOTP had 10k+ installs: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:buaKcF...
An update on the WireGuard situation: they have reinstated the app _without_ the donation link. From what I can tell from talking to Google insiders, there has been no change in policy. Officially, Google has not communicated at all with us about it, so we're not sure what's up. But at least our app is available again to users, which is great.
Disallowing developers from using in-app billing for donations, while also barring them from linking to external donation platforms, puts open source projects in a difficult position, and appears to be overly hostile towards funding open source development.
Google must clarify their position on whether they allow donation links in apps published on Google Play. The app takedowns  of the last few days show that this is a significant development, and it is of great importance for all open source developers.
It's best to publicly document the messages you receive during app takedowns, since app store policies are often vague, it's easy for reviewers to make mistakes, and having a clear reference for these decisions also helps the public assess the validity of the takedown.
> Here are some examples of products not currently supported by Google Play In-app Billing:
> One time-payments, including peer-to-peer payments, online auctions, and donations.
Google Play has been very clear about this:
> Fund solicitations
> Examples: Donation solicitations from parties without a valid 501(c)(3) tax exempt status clearly displayed to the public; solicitations from parties without valid proof of exempt tax status or proof of registration with the relevant country's regulatory bodies and authorities; and political organizations that have registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC)
For instance, Wikipedia displays an external "Support Wikipedia" link in the main menu of its Android app without violating Google Play's terms and conditions.
That's the question (at least for me) here: why are (non-tax-exempt) donations not allowed, beyond the tautological response of "because the rules say so"? I'm not familiar with the regulations around this area, so for all I know there's a great non-Google reason for this and Google just wants to avoid the hassle of conforming to some law. Or maybe donations is a feature they want to eventually support in Google Play and they don't want to have to force a bunch of apps in the future to switch once they add it (which would be a more disappointing reason). Perhaps they're afraid that it would create a loophole where people could get around the 30% cut since psychologically it feels shitty for someone to middle-man a donation, but then if they made donations Google-tax free, everyone would just choose "donation" and they'd have to police this.
By requiring government registration my guess is the hope is both that the fraudsters will be caught or dissuaded and if they do make it past the government registration then when the real devs complain Google can say "take it up with the government. They mis-licensed. We just followed their license"
Recently I created a small homepage with different re-packaged versions of Java: https://jdk.dev
All that alternative packages are free of charge but they have extended support from a number of big companies. All these companies funded separately, there's no common place for donations or something.
That's totally ok in the world of Free Software. Pick any source code you want, repackage, rebrand it, sell it as you wish and may the Force be with you. People do it all the time.
For example, if a person were to repackage someone else's open source project with a link that says, "Donate to support the development of this software" that's still fraud (assuming they keep the donations).
Back in days I paid for CDs with only open source software because internet was too slow. CDs were definitely priced for decent profit. The beauty of opensource is that we can do this legally.
Basically, if you include a donation link in your app without proving non-profit status you could be committing fraud, and Google could be held equally responsible to the crimes of the app being hosted. Google also has to report non-tax exempt profits made by any app/content they host in many locations, so only non-profit groups may link to a 3rd party payment system without violating legal statutes in some countries/states.
How is it fraud to ask for donations without being a non-profit?
> Google also has to report non-tax exempt profits made by any app/content they host in many locations,
I am not familiar with google's payment model, but is there no way to charge users except through Google for google play apps?
It's higher risk for sure. Non-501c3 donations are the kind of high risk small peanuts you can imagine a behemoth like Google wanting to get away from.
taps finger on temple
But why are we forbidden from linking to an external page that lists other ways to support a project, such as Patreon?
I think we should stop being apologetic, and begin to call out Google for the damage they are inflicting upon open source developers.
Nobody is allowed to use Google Play's in-app billing for donations, and only organizations with a valid tax exempt status can link to an external page that lists donation options.
> Any individual or business processing transactions with Google payments must adhere to these policies.
Likely this is Google avoiding additional regulatory complications/KYC. It's cumbersome to prove you're not enabling money laundering or funding terrorist organizations if you're an arbitrary money sink.
But I'd expect better than Google, a business with an astounding $836B market cap. They could just buy a company that primarily handles this sort of money flow (e.g. Streamlabs)
If an affiliated party is breaking regulations, you can often get in trouble by continuing to be associated with them once you're aware, and ignorance isn't a valid defense.
FWIW I agree with you, Google isn't prioritizing solving this properly and is opting to take the easy way out
We're talking about a hyperlink in the app. Linking to wireguard.com would be fine.
How about if wireguard.com had a big donate button?
How about if wireguard.com has 'Donate' in bold?
I know you're not the person actually signing off on this - but to the one that is - fuck you. In bold.
No-one is getting sued because of one step being removed in a hyperlink chain to a donate button. If they are it's getting thrown out instantaneously.
Characterising a link to a donate button as being in _any way_ related to aiding money laundering is ridiculous.
Cease this insanity.
Parties like Google and Apple are well aware of the potential consequences, and thus are similarly inflexible and disinterested in being nice to a fairly small group of use-cases that exposes them to an outsized amount of risk.
It's really, deeply unfortunate. It's incredibly painful for everyone who has to deal with this bureaucratic bullshit. Unfortunately, it being bullshit doesn't make it less real or less reasonable.
It is not a real concern for Google to have a hyperlink https://wireguard.com/donations buried inside an app distributed on the Google Play Store.
I don't believe your concern is legitimate. It's arse covering gone mad, sorry.
You can email me, my email is in my bio, and I will respond with a way that you can send me money. If dang reads this post and does not take it down, does that put HN at risk of AML action for potentially 'aiding the money flow'?
edit: actually, you can click through enough links on my bio and get directly to donation pages. now we're really fucked, right? who's gonna turn off the lights?
This website is different -- not just free -- there is no financial partnership in play (as far as I'm aware). But rules still apply. If you put a link in your profile taking donations for Syria, the operators of this site are obligated to comply with OFAC sanctions and I'd expect your profile to change pretty quickly.
In this case, I'm guessing Google is opting to choose the path of least resistance, and rather than perform due diligence and KYC for apps which solicit donations, they've chosen to just... not do that.
They've chosen to pre-emptively cover their arse against a risk less likely than an asteroid hitting Earth by just nuking the apps.
There's another thread on HN about this right now - I don't know how these people can like, exist, in this world, with every one of the hairs on their head individually combed into a perfect slick. Can you even eat breakfast without worrying about some tail risk?
Too much HN for today, methinks. I'm so glad that the normal people I interact with in the world aren't this wanky (I don't mean you or other posters here, but the bureautwats that actually implement this stuff)
You're right, and the Google is wrong.
Sure, maybe the argument can be made, but come on. We all know this is so that Google can get their nice 30% cut, and cut off any alternate funding sources for Android apps. Otherwise, shady developers will just require a "donation" instead of a purchase. That is behavior that Google would be reasonable to police, but to claim that action from financial regulators is what's causing this is just silly.
It's just your bog standard wanky corporate dishonesty. Nothing new under the sun.
It may also be worth considering that actions can, at some times and in some situations, be taken by human beings for multiple reasons with multiple independent motivations. All of which are real, genuine reasons.
Too many adverse effects you say? Sorry, that's just the way it is, no use complaining.
Since those are examples I hope this also covers tax-exempt charities in other jurisdictions.
I switched to the german site and it still only refers to american laws.
"Examples: Donation solicitations from parties without a valid 501(c)(3) tax exempt status clearly displayed to the public; solicitations from parties without valid proof of exempt tax status or proof of registration with the relevant country's regulatory bodies and authorities; and political organizations that have registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC)."
As far as I can tell (though I am no expert) it would be very difficult or impossible for an open source project to qualify for 501(c)(3) tax exemption. And even if it was, the cost in both time and money to obtain such a status would not be worth it for small open source projects.
"Any individual or business processing transactions with Google payments must adhere to these policies."
These apps weren't using Google payments, and it is suspected that they were taken down for not using Google's payment systems (despite not being allowed to).
Are the developers using google payments for other things/apps? Because in the context of these specific apps they are not using Google payments, so the policy wouldn't appear to be applicable.
This is the problem of developing free software on a non-free platform. They have absolute control of your work under their own terms, no matter how ridiculous they are. I never understood why the google play store is a socially acceptable idea for free software developers.
Ok, I had to stop there. They have no claim to this as long as they distribute within the store. It would be nice if google allowed this, but there is no obligation. App Stores are monopolies and should be regulated to allow open distribution.
Aside from that it should highlight problems with app stores as a model for software distriubtion in general, although I don't have much hope that this will happen in the immediate future.
That there even exists such a rule is ridiculous and unacceptable in my opinion.
Several other open source apps are still missing from Google Play, including andOTP.
While WireGuard was bought back online, version 0.0.20191013 was briefly made available (with a donation link) before it got updated to version 0.0.20191016. Again, the current version of WireGuard does not contain a donation link.
This is the original version of the post, which has become inaccurate minutes after it was posted:
> WireGuard has been reinstated , and the donation link is in the app menu (version 0.0.20191013).
> Google has reversed its decision to remove an app that contains a link to a donation page, likely because of public scrutiny.
> I'm hopeful that people will continue to seek answers for why Google has begun to remove these open source apps, there are several of them mentioned in this thread alone. Please don't allow this to go unnoticed, the future of a bunch of less popular open source projects may depend on how this issue is perceived by the public, and addressed by Google.
>  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wireguard....
(slightly expanded version at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20829422)
Are we sure that this is a decision reversal, as opposed to just reinstating one (or a few) apps?
I haven't received any further emails from Google (yet?), so I'm still uncertain as to whether I have any sort of green light to republish a version with the link.
How google tries to claim any sort of support for open source is beyond me. What open source app doesn't need a donation link? Those approved and funded by google don't, okay. But other than that?
I just wish F-Droid had a better design but I guess that's just the nature of OSS. It always looked a bit shady and out-of-date, which probably hurts it's popularity.
Wait. I suddenly understand something I've seen previously...
There is a workaround! You simply upload two versions of the app, the free edition and the supporter edition. The support's edition is a paid app. You can ask the users who want to support you to install the paid app in your free app. The program itself is still 100% free and open source, there is no functionality restrictions in the free app, the donation notice can be turned off - just as a way to encourage donations. And it's nothing against the rules of the store.
They're thinking that they're a monopoly and can do whatever the hell they want without needing to justify themselves?
To be fair they didn't. You can accept donations if you're an actual charity (like Wikipedia is). The line they drew isn't perfectly fair, no, but it's not a full ban hammer, either.
Now that I think of it, Uber has you put your credit card in. I'm not sure why that's allowed
Quote from policy :
Developers offering products within another category of app downloaded on Google Play must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment, except for the following cases:
- Payment is solely for physical products
- Payment is for digital content that may be consumed outside of the app itself (e.g. songs that can be played on other music players).
A donation doesn’t magically make everyone else work for free.
Yes, they charge 1/10 of what Google charges. The 30% has nothing to do with how much it cost them to run the service, so let's not pretend that they _have_ to charge them.
(I'm not saying they should offer cheap/free donations, I just don't think it's fair to talk about how much it costs them to run the service given that that's clearly not the driving factor)
This is ridiculous. May as well only publish open source apps on F-Droid and similar.
These “donations” are more like tips, which are treated as taxable income.
I don’t see the problem here. The outrage in this thread seems more about people wanting a different set of rules for OSS and possibly avoiding income tax than anything else. If there are a different set of rules for OSS, then that just makes it easier to abuse the platform. Google’s policy seems fair to me.
But neither seems to have Google ! While the global license/patronage debates are already a decade old, and we have seen new companies get started and even established in this sector (Patreon).
For instance this "donations" page only seems to cover non-profits ?
Do I have that option?
But anyway, now what? Let's say things return to normal, but we still want to put the silly link in the app. Our appeal was rejected. We could send letters, I suppose. Perhaps this article on HN will get the attention of the right people? We could appeal the appeal, maybe. And then appeal the appeal for the appeal. At what point does this become a waste of energy that could be spent coding and improving the app in other ways? It's hard to know where to draw the line and which battles are worth fighting. I'm happy to hear folks' opinions on the matter.
I certainly agree, though, that it is unfortunate.
I would resubmit the app with the donation link and continue to document and share what happened. Please do not allow them to set a precedent with a popular project like WireGuard.
It's important to share every detail of the issue, the messages you received, your replies, and the policy links you were given about the alleged policy violations.
Let me say that I think you're morally right, but it is probably not a reasonable choice of actions for the author and the users of the app.
I'm sure you believe that.
Do you work at Google in a position to supervise app reviews? Because if you do, then you can help straighten this out.
If you don't, then it is hopeless. Technically, Google has the right to drop any app for any reason whether it is fair or not (so suing them or something isn't an option). OP already followed the ONLY channel that Google provides (an "appeal" handled, I presume, by a bot that generally issues quick, automated rejections. Sure, I wish Google had a better policy, with some sort of genuine appeal policy which included genuine human review, followed a consistent policy, and most likely had a public record of decisions... but they don't.
You can look at r/videos and see how many examples there are, the link in  provides quite a few...
So hey, go get people to repost across social media, maybe get a nice trendy hashtag going like #freewireguard and maybe their "AI" (or PR department) might actually do something useful.
Because to me, I've noticed more and more companies only reverse decisions or backpeddle once there's enough shit flying at them (See Blizzard recently, for example).
> Donations to 527 designated tax exempt organizations are also permitted.
So if Wireguard becomes a proper tax exempt organisation it would be ok.
If you want donations but aren't tax exempt there is basically no way to do it. However you could easily work around it by offering something trivial like a badge (games can use IAP to purchase trivial things like hats). The downside is that Google take their 30% cut.
And then Google get 30% of it.
AKA follow the money.
just to stir the pot and see what happens.
A donation is not a purchase.
I've never donated to WireGuard before, and I didn't think about donation (I installed WireGuard from my package manager and didn't realize a donation link exists), until now.
Just donated 25 USD.
Thanks Jason. No thanks, Google.
Whoever came up with this policy and started enforcing it at Google is completely tone-deaf, needs to be fired and publicly called out so we can set an example as a community that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated.
We have contacted engineering leadership at Google and they are in the process of figuring out who it is internally.
We just need processes to learn and avoid doing mistakes twice, and shaming is a poor way to do it.
If I risked being ashamed when making decisions, I would probably avoid decisions altogether. This would be awful. The discussed decision is not even out of law.
What we can do though, is to tell people we know and love about F-Droid and suggest them to only fall back to the Play Store if they don't find what they want, and that they should be aware that by doing so, they enter the jungle and that this jungle follows Google's arbitrary rules, some of which are not in their own interests.
No one needs them for discovering new software. You go to the app store to get a specific piece of software you already know about and whose reputation you’ve already verified.
No one needs them for code signing. If you want the real firefox.apk you can download it from https://firefox.com/ and notice a lack of SSL alarms going off. What’s the code signing for — to let me know that HTTPS works?!
All I really want is an OS facility that only executes code that has been installed explicitly by me, and always in a sandbox. That’ll stop that dodgy email from executing r00t.sh via an exploit in my mail client.
App stores and code signing popups are proxies for that kind of OS facility, but I’d rather it was just part of the OS explicitly.
App stores leave me with all sorts of unwanted properties, namely Google / Apple throwing their unwanted opinion around. Search for Instagram in the iOS App Store: the top UI element is “InstaMap”, thanks Apple!
There's also people that don't know that they need "Firefox", they just want a browser. Or a tool to print envelopes or crop an image. So they search in the app store and they know it'll probably be okay.
If you search for this online you'd get a bunch of SEO spam sites, shady tools among other things. At least due to the developer fee and reviews there's at least some barrier of entry (Also if it's not perfect).
> App stores leave me with all sorts of unwanted properties, namely Google / Apple throwing their unwanted opinion around. Search for Instagram in the iOS App Store: the top UI element is “InstaMap”, thanks Apple!
Apple's search is notoriously bad and the perfect case to apply Hanlon's razor.
Bad plan, both on iOS and Android. You should not be installing random apps unless you vet them first.
People keep going back to the "users are stupid" argument, but (particularly on Android) the app store does not protect users. Installing random apps or trusting the first app that shows up is a terrible thing to teach dumb users to do.
If you want to protect users to the point where they don't need to think at all, you need to be way more locked down than iOS/Android currently are -- you need Nintendo Switch levels of moderation, vetting, and sandboxing. The problem is that very few people (dumb users included) want that level of vetting for a smartphone.
I trust it enough to believe it won't start crypto mining in the background or connect to random servers and sending the content of my computer somewhere. For the average user it's probably the better option than downloading the top Google result and just executing it.
Sure, they wont do crypto mining, but that's because it would drain your battery quickly, and people would notice and uninstall.
Isn't the whole point of sandboxing and the permission systems exactly preventing phonebook and location data misuse? Especially location tracking prevention was a pretty big part of the iOS 13 announcements.
The current migration towards more sandboxing also helps. For instance, Android has restrictions on how much an application can do in the background without showing up as a persistent notification, and xdg-app's sandboxing can restrict how much of the content of your computer an application can access without using a file open dialog.
I live in a city now and no longer have my own tools/garage, but I know enough about my car to know the shop down the street was trying to screw me when they did a bait in switch, wanting to charge $950 for an alternator repair (and claimed my battery; less than a year old was bad). I called around, towed it to another shop and paid less than half of that...and the battery was perfectly fine.
I should have checked the reviews on the first shop because they were some pretty bad ones. Now I know better, but there are a ton of people who just accept it, maybe because they're car was already towed there and they simply don't know any better.
Because that is the majority of the users and because it's hard to find reliable information on the internet even if you're willing to do the research into this sort of thing. I'm certain there are plenty of things that you are probably not knowledgable about and don't put the time to learn about as well.
I so badly wish I could agree with you :)
Sadly, observing the non-tech folks around me, some of which don't even know what an app is, and some of which think the only apps they'll ever use on their phone is the ones it came loaded with ... it's not true.
What is needed is an android app. store that is decentralized / distributed, where the "trust" of an app is a consensus-based score and that has the popularity of whatsapp.
Androids app sandbox is pretty leaky. It has a massive surface area, and the chances of finding exploits to get out of it to find root are high. Also, even from within the sandbox, there are lots of evil things you can do (for example, start on boot, and go fullscreen and use all the ram so the back and home button SystemUI process gets killed and your app is unkillable.).
The 'badness' of the android app model is a big chunk of the reason Google wants to be gatekeeper - otherwise android apps could just load and unload like webpages do. That and profit.
The most popular third party rooting services don't seem to support past Android 8.
Clearly it isn't easy to root these things.
If someone has changed the files on the distribution servers. A Hacker News reader will have no problem recognizing it and stop installing, another one will compare the signature and keep it as evidence.
Of course, the overwhelmingly majority cannot recognize it though.
The website from which you, the customer, download the software often is built and managed under less controlled and more vulnerable circumstances, often with third party involvement. Any bad actor in a long chain of internal caretakers and potentially external hackers can replace the to-be-downloaded artifact HTTPS with malicious junk. Code-signing mitigates this.
But only the readers of Hacker News can recognize it. I think it's one of the most powerful argument for a walled garden. Not that I support it, but I acknowledge it's still a powerful argument.
"Isn't just clicking _next_ until the app starts?"
But we have fdroid and the GNU/Linux ecosystem is going to eat android’s lunch anyway.
As mentioned in the announcement, you can switch over to F-Droid (for the time being) to get the latest version: https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.wireguard.android.
Why do you have that caveat ? You can use f-droid forever.
I understand that it's probably Google's fault for not providing APIs/permissions but it's still terrible UX. I only use F-Droid when an app isn't available on the Play Store.
As evidence of this, Google does allow donations if the publisher is a 501(c)(3) (see https://support.google.com/faqs/answer/75724?hl=en).
There has to be a better way to handle these sorts of things.
Were they even notified beforehand?
If this is really an attempt at preventing garbage apps from spamming or tricking users, this is both overly broad (many false positives) and badly targeted (many false negatives). Why is it that iOS doesn't have this policy, and has significantly fewer garbage apps?
Maybe if Google were to allow third party app stores, folks could choose the one that fits their ability to evaluate the sophistication of apps themselves. For example, some folks might want to pay for extra security checks on the apps they use, while others want to install anything and everything under the sun.
Oh right, it's because Google wants me to have some kind of "pro" app that is effectively a license, that they can get their 30% cut of.
They don't give a damn about fraud via this method. They want their money.
All in all, that whole "break-up" argument is just political white-knighting by wanna-be elites (ie. Warren & co).
As for continuing being GAFA advocate (while still thinking they should be compelled to open up "Stores" to competition), vertical integration provides enough economy of scale to achieve ever greater complex things. Also, 1) you can't just "break-up" any GAFA. They're just gonna move out of State and be welcomed somewhere else, and 2) what you're asking put Government in a very awkward position as setting up both enough regulations to block new players, but also blocking player to achieve a certain size. Finally, this argument is getting awfully close to the "broken window" fallacy. You can't just "create competition" out of thin air.
Amazon/Facebook is a different problem. Amazon is colliding with the old retail chain and weakening their power in DC (Amazon is not doing anything more that has been done in brick and mortar stores ~forever). As for Facebook, it is threatening Governments themselves (privacy is just just a convenient red-herring).
I'm pretty sure they just want their cut.
A small amount relative to the value that you're giving to the world, but hopefully a few pints won't go amiss.
I'd love to use the F-Droid version but it's not up-to-date, and isn't published by Jason, so it's not signed by him either.
Publishing it on the website with a built in update-check might be one solution I'd be happy with, it'd only need a text file hosted on the website and a check, perhaps each time WG is activated to see if there is an update. Modern Android versions can be toggled to allow installing software from external sources, so the app could "install itself".
I am curious how this ends up working out. Google takes a cut of the donations now... but the process of buying is probably easier. So maybe it will increase donation revenue, and make it easier to support free software.
(Taking a step back; it is pretty weird to have apps opening links to web pages that take your credit card number. The app store operators are right to view that with suspicion because I'm sure that for every legitimate open source project, there are a million phishing scams.)
Google could make a positive impact by introducing new features that help users seamlessly fund their favourite open source apps, right from their Google accounts. GitHub has recently introduced a similar initiative called GitHub Sponsors .
> Taking a step back; it is pretty weird to have apps opening links to web pages that take your credit card number.
There is nothing weird about accepting payments outside of Google Play, and it is allowed if the payment does not result in buying a product that is used within the app. Buying a movie ticket, or operating an online store with a third-party payment processor are perfectly fine use cases which are allowed on Google Play.
The additional feature can just be text that says thanks for the money, feel free to give us more money in the future.
For instance, D-Sub is available for free on F-Droid but costs something like ~$4 on Google Play.
AndOTP is available on F-Droid, not sure about Wireguard but I'd assume so.
This is great solution to sustain the app developmant and spread the word about F-Droid!
at some point someone gonna pay for the datacenters, the wires and all these stuff needed for software distribution.
Try running your own site on your own servers and paying for the data traffic and then do the math.
30% is ok
Say app has 10MiB, 100,000 downloads is ~1TiB, 1 have a 1GiB/20GiB VPS with that monthly bandwidth which I pay $1/month.
So distributing 100,000 copies costs $1.
I'll give Google $1 for distribution of 100000 copies of my app. Fair?
Yeah, I'll give Google a bit more for payment processing, perhaps. But actual distribution costs nothing really, for most apps.
not every developer is willing to learn and spend time configuring & managing a server. that's not the same skill set.
First we're talking about the free app for a good cause, so you're already providing an app for free, so you've assumed some sacrifice for others for whatever reason, and setting up a website for it may be comparatively negligible part of the whole cost to you in terms of time.
In my case I would have already had an infrastructure and knowledge how to host things, so it might take a few minutes to put some new files up on a machine used for other projects. Additional costs being pretty much 0.
And there may be benefits (even if I didn't have the knowledge and infra) like learning something new, or now having an infrastructure and knowledge that helps you save expenses or time in the future. So that would offset the costs. You can't just look at costs alone.
I remember that being a problem in the app store for windows phones. Lots of fake apps that used the VLC name and logo, for example.
Google should be thankful in the first place that developers are making apps on their ecosystem (doubly so for open source apps), because without them, Android and the Google Play Store itself isn't worth much. It's their part of the deal to stay relevant.
Edit: I'm referring to https://opensource.org/osd
Having read round some more, it seems you possibly could sell a different version, of course you would have to offer the source code which others would be free to give away, (this is for the gpl). I don't know if the discrimination clause of the Open Source Definition would come into play though.
> Open source developers shouldn't be forced to lock away additional functionality in their apps
I don't think functionality was what was suggested. Literally cosmetics. A nice banner that says thanks for supporting the project would likely be sufficient.
Edit: Although I agree it shouldn't be required. As a workaround it doesn't seem too bad though.
Until some morning when suddenly, they're not!
Annoying how hard it is to be independent of FAANG control.
Do they ban all donation verbiage or just IAPs that do nothing?
Doesn't Google take a whopping 30% cut of the purchase price for both in-app purchases or direct purchase of the app itself? That's a pretty big bite out of the donation.
Unless I’m mistaken, this is only possible if you’re donating to a registered charity. Many view open source as more noble, but OSS developers don’t magically get a different rule book :)
(I don’t disagree with your perspective here, but the prevailing sentiment in this thread seems to be that OSS developers should get a different rule book.)
This is not tax advice; consult a tax professional for your own personal situation.
I contribute to projects that are committed to never locking away features behind licenses or in-app purchases, because most open-source projects in that space eventually went down that route.
At the bottom of an “About” page:
If someone is not a 501(c)3 org and just a solo person, why do donations have to go through a particular website link?
It seems like the same thing (getting money) can be accomplished without needing to use links from an app.
My immediate thought at reading the title "So sell a supporter animation that plays in an about menu".