Currently, there are several methods developers monetize their apps, and paid apps are one of them.
I know that many of us here would greatly prefer having an Open-Source ecosystem, but the fact is that developers need to make money, somehow, to make quality apps that make the Snap Store beautiful, and paid apps are one of those methods.
Currently, snap supports snap buy command for monetizing apps, however the server-side has not been implemented yet for this. There are several issues with this though that I believe need to be addressed with this, or they (at least) have not been talked about yet. Namely:
- snap buy offers no protection to prevent a user from copying a snap and sending it to a friend, without permission (does it?)
- Will Snap take commissions? If so, where do they go?
My thoughts on each of these issues:
DRM is a horrible thing, and it would seem hypocritical to support it in a FLOSS stack. However, without it, many developers may be reluctant to support Snap Store, or might raise the price to include potential illegal copying. My suggestion is that, rather than create a whole DRM-debacle, we make a pop up, similar to “This software was illegally copied. Though we won’t stop you, won’t you please just pay $2.99 (or so) for the whole app, legally?” Another improvement would be to say, “you must use the terminal to install this app without permission.” In other words, the GUI won’t help you cheat (it must be manual).
Where does the commission go? All commissions should clearly go to improving Snap, and nowhere else. Is there a clear way to get this point across / prove commissions are going where they should go?
Could Snap theoretically support Bitcoin/Ethereum payments?
I know that the Snap community has not written or is ready to write the source code for buying Snaps yet. However, there is no harm in planning or thinking about it.