I had downloaded com.hamrick.VueScan sometime in late 2020. Its commercial software so I paid for a license…the license terms were “Updates free for 1 year, but after license expires, no more updates but you can continue using the product without restriction…”. Ok fair enough.
Flash forward until today. I only use this software once a month or so…suddenly I realized that it was now in “Unlicensed Mode”.
Obviously you can guess what happened: flatpak automatically updated it sometime in the past month and now the version downloaded was outside what my license allows…no problem I thought, I will just do a
flatpak update --commit=HASH com.hamrick.VueScan to rollback to the previous version.
Can’t do that, because every previous version just downloads the current version. In fact doing that, I get an error because flatpak recognizes that the metadata for the previous commit now doesn’t match what was actually downloaded from their site (snooping around I see its downloaded from cloudfare cdn). So its like every call to their site only downloads the latest version…hmm…
Thinking this was just an oversight, I emailed the developer / owner Ed. He pointed me to an “old downloads site” that has various versions listed…the problem is: The only versions available were the newest 2022 version and versions from 2019 and before. That is, versions within the last 2 year window are explicitly not listed on the site.
I communicated with him again and was told “you should probably keep backups, I can’t help you”
So, it appears he is intentionally doing this to force users to buying a new license.
So my question is: Is this ok by the TOS of flathub? Should flathub be listing commercial products that actively forbid users downgrading to previous commits for commercial lock-in reasons?
Seems pretty scammy to me…