The title pretty much says it all, but here's the background.
I found a mobile app that scans bar codes, decodes them, and then provides a few links to find the product on various e-commerce sites (Amazon and the like). It's a nice app... straight-forward, fast, requests minimal permissions. I liked it so much I purchased the "ad-free" version for a few bucks.
But then I noticed that when I select a link to view (and potentially purchase) the product, it's redirected through affiliate sites like linksynergy or rover.ebay.com before landing on the final url. I emailed the author about it and he admitted it was to compensate his ongoing development efforts. He offered a way to configure it in such a way that it wouldn't redirect, and even offered a refund if I'd like.
So my question to the community is, what do you think about the ethics of this? Is it a legit way to monetize an app? It doesn't affect the effectiveness of the app from my end, yet something kinda stinks about it. Maybe I'm just overanalyzing things.
What do you think?