Commercial service options for plugin devs?

Discussion in 'Plugin Development' started by darkhelmet, Feb 5, 2013.

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    I'm curious about some plugins that have managed to expand into commercial areas - charging for some additional services outside the basic plugin. I'm considering a wide range of ideas just to see if anything sounds promising enough that we might proceed on - but I want to make sure I have a better understanding of how the bukkit community guides such ventures.

    Obviously, the plugin itself can't be used for commercial purposes if it uses code from an open source/incompatible-license project. A few questions:

    - Can additional, more-feature rich versions of a plugin using only internally-written code be sold or leased through our website (not bukkitdev or other bukkit sites)? (For example, a free version of the plugin is hosted on bukkitdev, but an additional commercial version with additional features is sold for a small fee through an official website.)

    - Would we be allowed to sell additional non-plugin services to compliment the product?

    - Would we be allowed to sell private support, private customization, or other one-on-one services to servers/owners?

    I've really got nothing specific in mind but I'm interested in pursuing some way to bring in some better revenue. Nothing would please me more than to be able to work on our plugins and services with compensation or salary (p.s. already signed up for the curse rewards)
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    Attempted to do something very similar, they wouldn't "approve" the free version until I removed all traces of the premium version.
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    I'm not looking to mix any premium/free versions on bukkitdev, but am trying to get a solid idea of what's allowed versus not for providing for-pay services outside of bukkitdev.

    For example, some people are asking for versions of a plugin to be compatible with modded servers and they've expressed an interested in paying for such a product, either as a cost or for development time. I wouldn't post such a plugin through bukkit dev, but would like to offer it on our website.

    It would be completely separate from the free, bukkit-dev version. That's just a single example of multiple ideas we're considering.
  4. In short, no.
    Linking the two together would breach the rules/terms of service I believe.
    You're using the bukkit API which means, by the license I believe, you can't resell the product.

    This then rules out charging directly for the plugin or charging for access to use the plugin once it is installed. This rules out subscriptions or "memberships" even to premium features.

    If you make a good plugin you don't have to release the source code and could use the donations section to ask for donations to support the development.
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    Yes you can have premium features, offer additional services, etc, you can do whatever you want. But you can't advertise it on BukkitDev. As far as I know, if your website offers these, you can't link them to your site.

    AlexLeporiday Pretty sure selling plugins is not a problem.. You just can't advertise it on here.

    From BukkitDev TOS:
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    So the "bukkitdev submission guidelines" found at ( mentions paid services in the following ways:

    and as you quoted:

    Those are not very clear. "Selling a license for premium features related to a plugin" - related how? MCBans has a premium website subscription plan they charge money for and while it doesn't offer premium features inside the plugin itself, it is very much related to their plugin (aka their core product).

    Does it mean that they will reject our standard plugin if we offer a premium version through our website (and said version is not uploaded to bukkitdev at all and that conforms to commercial licensing)? Or does it mean they just don't allow us to mention such paid options on our bukkit dev submission (which we're fine with)?

    "ask for money ... gain a license for ... extra services ... for a plugin". That seems too vague because what does "for a plugin" mean? If we're charging people for a premium service or for a non-bukkitdev-submitted plugin or version of a plugin, or services we offer through our website only, or additional non-plugin products we offer for a small fee, those all could be considered "for a plugin" but clearly people are doing this.
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    Just sayin'- the plugin i linked to below requires you to have a subscription to enjin to make use of it. What does it mean? Hell knows. All I know is in order to use it, you need to pay money.

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    I'm pretty sure. Seen from many posts. You are allowed to sell plugins to people. Just NOT on the bukkit site. As the bukkit staff don't want to handle any misunderstandings or whatever that could happen where someone gets scammed.
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    It seems clear that it's allowed as long as it's kept away from the bukkitdev site, I just need to be certain because the last thing I need is for my primary plugin to be jeopardized.
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    Yes, that's what I've been saying. Offering a paid version or really any paid service is fine, just no mentioning it via BukkitDev.
  11. This includes selling your plugin, selling a license or account to use your plugins or selling additional features (Or Premium) as you put it.

    This plugin is a grey area as but is allowed as the plugin developer isn't selling the additional features and is hooking into Enjins API system. It is plugins like these are the bukkit team are keeping a close eye on however.
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    So, this disallows plugin devs to sell anything related to their plugin

    But why can server owners / the plugin users use plugins for commercial purposes (selling the plugins features to their users) (if the plugin dev doesn't disallow this via his own license of course) ?
    This is directed to the devs. But still players have to pay for the plugin usage in many cases.

    Wouldn't it be fair, to be able to sell "commercial licenses" (no extra services or features, just the permission to use the plugin for "commercial purposes", like it's already done on many servers with many plugins).
    So the server owner will still be able to sell the plugins features to their user (like they are already doing) if they really want to, and the dev would get "a piece of the cake" ..
    So plugin devs doesn't feel exploited anymore when server owners use the work they are offering for free to earn money ..
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