Soliciting Donations in The Mac App Store

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by fiftyfour123, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. fiftyfour123 macrumors member

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    #1
    Anyone know if I'm allowed to solicit donations in a free Mac App Store app?

    Thanks
     
  2. annk Administrator

    annk

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    #2
    You can't solicit them here on Macrumors, if that's what you meant. It's in the rules, number 3 under "Instantly bannable offences":

    But maybe you meant something else?
     
  3. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Sounds like the OP means putting a Paypal donation button (or similar) within an app?
     
  4. MacDawg macrumors P6

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    #4
    I think he means creating an App that is free, but within the App it asks the user to consider donationing instead of charging for the App

    Sort of like some shareware does, if you use it and like it, donate
     
  5. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #5
    I think he referred to something like a popup or menu item or something like that, in an app submitted to the Mac App Store.

    EDIT: Looks like I was beaten to the punch on this. LOL
     
  6. annk Administrator

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    #6
    Heh, in that case you can ignore my post. :p
     
  7. fiftyfour123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Yeah, that's what I meant. Does anyone know if it's allowed, or will my app be rejected. The application in question is MenuWeather if anyone's wondering.
     
  8. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #8
    This says donations to recognised charities are OK (but not in-app). To me that implies that other donations (say to the developer to side-step the Apple 30% cut) are not.
     
  9. fiftyfour123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    I'm not trying to get around the 30% cut. I legally can't charge for the app because then I would have to pay Yahoo.com a huge sum of money to use their weather data.
     
  10. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #10
    Unfortunately the rules Apple put in place have to work for everyone and many others would simply be doing it for that reason. The best thing to do would be to submit it with the donation link and see what happens...
     
  11. fiftyfour123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    I guess that's what I'll do. Thanks for the help.
     
  12. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #12
    You could also try asking on the developer forums that Apple host. People from Apple do read those and sometimes reply...
     
  13. gorjan macrumors 6502

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    #13
    So you're actually trying to cheat Yahoo then?
     
  14. fiftyfour123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    No. My app is free because I want it to be free. But I also need to support myself, so I accept donations. Nobody has to donate if they don't want to.
     
  15. gorjan macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Isn't it kind of the same if it's a "donation" or a paid app? You get money for it anyway. Shouldn't Yahoo get it's cut for the services they provide to make your app run?
     
  16. fiftyfour123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    Like I said, nobody has to donate. It's an option. With a paid app, there is no option.
     
  17. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    #17
    That doesn't matter. If you are making a profit off of the data, Yahoo should be paid.

    What would be your defense if Yahoo sued? That you didn't change them, yet people just gave you money for no reason?

    I completely understand that programmers need monetary support, but unless you can find this data truly for free (like maybe from the NWS?) you should not be charging...even through an optional donation.
     
  18. fiftyfour123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    I'm not the only developer that does this. WeatherDock, which is another popular weather app for mac, also accepts donations. WeatherDock uses weather.com which also costs money for commercial uses.

    The NWS is not an option as half of my users are not in the U.S.
     
  19. gorjan, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010

    gorjan macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Have you actually checked with yahoo? If they're entitled to money if the money comes from donations?
     
  20. fiftyfour123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    I'll contact Yahoo. I just need to check with my lawyer first.
     
  21. gorjan macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I think that would be a good idea. It would be sad to get in trouble over some donations.. Good luck! :)
     
  22. dejo Moderator

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    #22
    Do Yahoo's terms for their weather data say you can't charge but it's actually okay to reuse for a free app?
     
  23. fiftyfour123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    They say it's free for non-commercial uses.
     
  24. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Are you a commercial business? Meaning, is your 'job' making software and getting paid for it? I think it is in your best interest to stay away from asking for donations for apps that use 'free' data like this. Use it as a goodwill guesture to show how well you create apps and treat it as an 'ad' in a way, for something more profitable in your collection..."if you like 'freeweather', you will love the $9.99 app 'awesomeweather' "... that way freeweather remains free and absolutely not coupled with money-making in any way shape or form, so there is no question about legality.

    You are travelling a slippery slope here. Apple may shoot you down in-app anyway, but assuming it passes through, you run the risk of having to defend against Yahoo and prove that you are not profiting from using their data. Of course, Yahoo probably has bigger fish to fry, but maybe this thread will bring this to their attention so..who knows...

    Here's a link showing a discussion about this very question:

    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3349497/what-constitutes-non-commercial
     
  25. fiftyfour123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #25
    No, this is not my job. I'm only 19 and still in college. I don't have a job, so I use this as a way to make some money. It's only really a hobby. Pending my talk with my lawyer, what I'll probably do is have the free version of the app with limited features and it won't ask for donations and it will use Yahoo's weather to include my international users. Then, have a paid version that uses the NWS, and has more features, obviously for U.S users only (unless I can find a free weather source that covers the whole planet).

    I agree accepting donations within the app is risky. Do you think it would still be ok to accept donations only on my website, and not within the application?
     

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