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Google is pulling open-source apps which feature donation buttons

By Ryan Daws

17 October 2019, 16:04 p.m.


Google is cracking down on open-source apps which feature a donation button to help support the developer’s 

work.

The open-source community has been riled up after WireGuard, a free VPN management app, was pulled 

unceremoniously from the Play Store for accepting donations.

"They (Google) said it was because we're in violation of their 'Payments Policy,' presumably because we have a link 

inside 

the app that opens the user's web browser to wireguard.com/donations/,' Donenfeld wrote in an email to WireGuard 

users on Wednesday.

According to Google's policy, apps in the Play Store must use the company's own in-app billing system for purchases 

made inside their apps. However, the in-house billing system currently doesn't support donations and Google takes a 30 

percent cut.

WireGuard’s own donation page supports payments via PayPal, Stripe, Patreon, and even Bitcoin.

Someone posted a copy of the email to Hacker News where it’s been at the top of the page for most of the day. 

Naturally, the email has gained a lot of attention and caused an outcry over whether Google’s policy hurts open-

source projects.

This isn’t the first time Google has taken action over open-source apps with donation buttons. Manyverse, an 

app which describes itself as “a social network off the grid”, was also removed by Google after adding a donation

button.