Let's say I own the Google Play account under which an open source app is published, and I no longer have any interest in owning personally the Google Play account for that app. Development is as active as ever, with developers joining and leaving at a fast pace.
Is there an established foundation to which I can donate my app's Google Play account? The foundation's role would be:
- Everytime the app's F-Droid APK or metadata is changed (by the app's current maintainer or another member of the current app dev team), mirror the change to the app's Google Play.
- If there ever happen to be a big security vulnerability and F-Droid disable, then disable it from Google Play too.
- If in the future a fork takes over and becomes clearly more maintained than the original, then switch to syncing from that fork's F-Droid item. Such a decision must only be taken after following a well-defined and open procedure (for instance: public announce of intention, feedback, decision of the foundation's board).
- Publish Google Play's statistics, for instance by running this script once in a while.
- Not absolutely necessary, but allowing the current project manager to access Google Play's with the permissions "Reply to reviews" and "Manage Alpha & Beta APKs" would be wonderful.
Bonus if the foundation has FOSS as its core mission (unlike Sourceforge), is long-established (like Debian), is financially secure (like Ubuntu), and is generally trusted by the FOSS community (like FSF).
"Donating" my app would mean transferring the app from my developer account to the foundation's developer account, so it would be transparent for users, for instance existing users would continue to receive APK updates.
That would solve four big risks that threaten open source apps on Google Play:
- The owner of the app's developer account becomes evil and adds spyware/advertisement (that happened to TuxPaint).
- The owner of the app's developer account transfers the app to a well-meaning person who just has a different idea of what is best for the users and publishes updates that include non-open source code, or even rewrites the app from scratch and publishes it without making it open source.
- The owner of the app's developer account suddenly dies or otherwise becomes unable to update the app.
- The owner of the app's developer account can not find a trustable new maintainer.