So Valve apparently has decided that it's time to extend this line of thinking into other games by introducing the ability for workshop creators to charge for their mods in Skyrim. On its face the idea of letting modders charge for what they've made seems reasonable, but in this particular implementation it's causing problems.
|New Ways to give Valve money!|
Second, even with the DMCA-esque report system there will likely be plenty of instances of thieves stealing other player's mods and presenting them as their own. This makes it the creator's job to actively police the workshop to protect their IP, and then go through the process of getting the offending mod taken down. Plus there is the risk of malicious use of the tool to take down legitimate but competing mods.
Third, there is no guarantee that a purchased mod will be supported going forward. Plus, with many mods relying on interconnectedness with other mods there is a high chance that one could be broken by the patch of another. Nothing ensures that a broken mode will be fixed.
Fourth, many mods build or rely upon others; does the mod yours is borrowing assets from get a cut for every sale you make? As it stands, it doesn't appear likely which means the common body/hair mods might need to add a cost just to ensure they get a pair piece.
The idea of letting modders charge is certainly a valid one; these creators need some support too. It's just that this particular implementation so late into a game's life when it already has a thriving community seems tone deaf on Valve's part. Offering a more direct way to support mod creators, rather than a direct purchase wherein Valve & Bethesda take home 75%* of the cut might have been more in-line with the community as it is. That's not to say that going forward they couldn't try this approach with other games, just preferably not ones that have such a history.
* Yes it is Valve's platform and Bethesda's IP; creators are technically creating unlicensed derivative works by modding Skyrim. Doesn't mean they have to be as mercenary, bear in mind much larger subsections of the industry exist because of copyright infringement...like STREAMING.