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Google Issues C&D to Open Source Developer Over Android Mods

Android not so open source after all

   
4:42 pm on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



Google Sends Cease and Desist Notice To Android Modifier
[izurl.com...]

CyanogenM0d, a modified version of the Android operating system, received a cease and desist notice from Google. The issue that Google has levied is that CyanogenModís developer is not just rewriting the open source bits of Android, but some of the closed bits, too. This means the Gmail and Gtalk applications, among others.

How Google Just Hurt Itself A Whole Lot
[izurl.com...]

...there was a little ROM that could called CyanogenMod. Basically, it is Android as it should be. Itís faster, works better, and has a whole slew of features that Google just didnít build in. For example, you canít run applications that are stored on an SD card with the standard build of Android, despite the small size of the on-board ROM. CyanogenMod doesnít have this problem.
4:54 pm on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've been following this on twitter.. for the most party all the blogs spin it favor of google/android. We'll see how it plays out.

I like what Android is doing.. but in a way, doesn't google pulling this sort of kill much of what android was about, the antithesis of control that is iphone/apple?

No matter how much people dog windows mobile i've seen some fantastic interpretations of windows mobile platforms customized by companies such as samsung and HTC that are simply amazing - is that now in trouble for the likes of Android?

8:47 pm on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



No matter how much people dog windows mobile i've seen some fantastic interpretations of windows mobile platforms customized by companies such as samsung and HTC that are simply amazing - is that now in trouble for the likes of Android?

I hear ya! HTC done a great job with mt previous phone that was running Windows Mobile, but HTC have done some great modifications to Android as well. The Phone smart dial interface and HTC flow have been integrated into the HTC Hero.

It would be interesting to know how deep HTC's mods went compared to the modifications carried out by the people behind CyanogenM0d.

Mack.

8:51 pm on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



It sounds more than a bit hypocritical given that Google is leveraging other-peoples-code to make Android. I understand the C&D is over the non-open-source bits but that begs the question - why ARE there any non-open-source bits in Android if Google is really pro-open-source? And why would Google even further against the open source grain by issuing a C&D to someone messing with those bits - to make them better. Doesn't this go against the whole idea of using open source / free software in the first place? Doesn't Google owe it's 'life' to open source systems like Linux? Karma FAIL.
8:58 pm on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You guys need to read up on the notice. He is only getting trouble for packing the new rom with some closed sourced apps, such as the official Gmail and Google Talk clients.
9:38 pm on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



You guys need to read up on the notice. He is only getting trouble for packing the new rom with some closed sourced apps, such as the official Gmail and Google Talk clients.

If i'm not mistaken there is other licensed code that is critical to booting the rom that is also included in the C&D basically making the entire firmware illegal.

Thus the reason he posted on twitter asking if Microsoft, Apple or Palm needed a phone guru ;)

What seems terrible to me is why now? why not before the very same developer incorporated his work on BFS into the android tree? Seems like google waited until they got what they wanted and boom.

Also, the reasons given by google are enough to make any person cringe.. the "we decided to do this because xyz to get google to xyz and made this open for xyz but.. we're protecting our ip".

So yeah, google made an open source project to get free developer time but in the end, they don't REALLY want an open source project to allow developers full access to their system but only to incorporate changes google can use to shove more advertising in your face.

10:02 pm on Sep 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



why ARE there any non-open-source bits in Android if Google is really pro-open-source

Exactly...... and what is worse the developer has advanced the source on their behalf which is what open source is about and they slap him.

They get free development, they can use his source to improve theirs and this is what they do?

Strange they didn't just offer the guy a job.

He should invoice them.

1:51 am on Sep 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Looks like the developer is going to push forward with releasing a new version minus all google apps & functionality. If you ask me, i can't see the developer being forever happy having to re-invent the apps now so its either going to slowly kill off his project or if he picks up steam fork out and leave google behind.
3:11 am on Sep 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Basically now the issue is the fact they would have to develop open source hardware drivers since those are IP protected by the hardware manufacturers who make/ship the phone.

wonder if HTC et all are going to share that technology or if the only way to have an open source phone is a completely open hardware platform which i DOUBT we would ever see running on a commercial US network

10:26 pm on Sep 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I think the hardware drivers issue can be addressed. If we look for example at the Linux OS, there have been loads of ports onto different hardware devices. Everything from a pc to a playstation. There are people out there who write drivers for pretty much anything without using the original code or driver software.

A couple of years ago I got a new Win mobile handset. I experimented by installing a linux version onto my old phone. The old phone was originally also running win mobile, but the linux flash essentially worked. People do port software to work on non standard hardware.

I think the question here is who owns the hardware? I know who owns the IP rights on it, but can it be used as I see fit. Can I use it as a doorstop and can I choose what software I want to take advantage of the hardware?

This could be very bad for Google. It does give the impression that they are using the developers to get what they want, yet stop any progress that doesn't steer Android in the direction Google wants it to go in.

At this point there is very little to prevent a breakaway group forming their own branch of Android and removing all Google fearures from it. Is this what Google wants?

Mack.

 

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