I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing here Martin. Some clarifications follow.
I'm suggesting a Give a Little style arrangement where we can give to developers who manage plugins in the database.
- Enable gifts to come to developers who are listed in the plugin directory.
- Setup as a simple credit card payment (or whatever) You probably already have this. I have done a little research on this, and it is not complex.
- Then once a month, do a tally. If the income for developer X is above a certain amount, this is transferred into their account. If it is not above a certain amount, then it is carried over to the next month.
I know you are working on cloud and association. But this arrangement should not be a big, complex or time consuming arrangement to set up.
You (ie MoodleHQ) would not "managing small developer contracts". I've read the thread, and cannot see what this refers to.
You say "Any moodle.org system involving plugin-based payments needs to be quite simple to set up and have almost no maintenance costs" I think this will fill the boll.
I'm not sure that numbers will be large. If you are concerned to make this fiscally neutral as far as HQ admin goes, then just take a cut.
As others have said, it is better to have this inside MoodleHQ rather than something like Moodle Garage or some other entity. This will make it easier with no extra effort to attract funding from entities that may need some extra audit trail.
You say: "There are also the long-term effects of any changes on the community around this open source project that need to be considered well" I'm not sure what this means.
I realise you would rather income go directly to the Association or to HQ, but things have moved on in the last 18 months. This will be good for Moodle plugin users for sure. This is minimally invasive and constricting to the community: no giving without choice, no oughtness. All that can occur elsewhere in third party sites (as it does seem Moodle.org will not support premium models in the database)
Just my 2c worth.