Licensing Reflections

Licensing Reflections

Licensing Stamp has been a consistent worry for me. As an indie macOS developer it’s a subject that is always at the back of my mind. I chose to sell Stamp outside Apple’s App Store mainly due to their high 30% tariffs but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the system, API’s and platform they’ve provided me as a developer.

As I invest my time building a cloud based system to license Stamp and work towards future implementation of Stamp files hosted and viewable in the cloud I question whether i’ve bitten off a bit too much. Here’s a non exhaustive list of things that should be considered in the pursuit of such a quest:

  • Billing - How are you going to deal with global sales, payments and tax? There is a whole finance technical Stack that you will need to implement if you choose to do this alone and if you choose the smarter option to use a Merchant of Record to relieve the pain of global sales tax then you still need to build a system that ties in with their API’s.

  • Privacy - What details need and can be stored in the cloud and what measures do you need to put in place to make sure its safe? Whilst I think GDPR is a good thing, it does make building something in the cloud that stores the smallest amount of personal data in the cloud really daunting, especially for someone new to web development. What measures are you making towards security and backups of data?

  • Legal - If you are rolling your own system you will need your own custom legal terms and conditions and privacy policies for your customers and you to abide by. I think legal advice is 100% worth it but it doesn’t come cheap.

  • Server Side License Management - Something in the cloud needs to keep in sync licenses, payments, activation of seats and the customer. How is that hosted, built and maintained? There are a thousand different ways to do this.

  • Marketing - How are you pushing customers to your website to make a purchase?

References

  • TIETZE, Christian. 2019. Pros and Cons of the Mac App Store [online]. available at: https://christiantietze.de//posts/2019/10/pros-cons-mac-app-store/ [accessed 26 November 2020].