Charging for in-game items is a tricky business.
Charging for in-game Minecraft items and perks is a very sensitive subject, one for which Mojang catches a lot of flak since every customer assumes Mojang must be involved, even if the charges are levied by a server Mojang has no control over. Not that long ago Notch Tweeted his displeasure - liberally seasoned with cold germs, by the sound of it - and the internet belched forth some pungent rebuttals. Mojang's literally worse than EA! THE SKY IS FALLING!
That's not what's going on, Mojang replies. The problem is that, while charging for use of a server has always been allowed, and monetizing videos has been permitted ever since YouTube Let's Plays became a thing, charging for in-game items, xp boosts, access to certain game modes and so on has always been forbidden in the EULA. Yet many servers do exactly that, which causes huge problems.
"I don't even know how many emails we've gotten from parents," grumbles Notch, "Asking for their hundred dollars back their kid spent on an item pack on a server we have no control over." So far Mojang's stayed out of it, as it has a lot of other issues on its plate, but the larger it gets the more complaints about in-game item charges come flooding in. Something had to give.
Mojang agrees that people running servers are what makes Minecraft so special, and servers aren't cheap. There's a whole new set of rules up over here detailing what can and cannot be done under the EULA. Now even in-game items are OK, provided they're cosmetic - pets, hats, particle effects - but whatever you do, make sure the customer knows Mojang isn't the vendor; your server is.
"There are new rules," says Notch. "These are new exceptions to the EULA. All of these make the rules more liberal than things were before." That gives server owners a few more cash generating options to choose from, and hopefully reduces the volume of complaints about in-game purchases sent to Mojang.
Oh, and hands off the capes. Capes are Mojang's thing.
Source: Markus 'Notch' Persson