Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Apr 2011 22:48 UTC
Google Is Android still open now that Google has postponed the source code release of Honeycomb, version 3.0 of the mobile operating system? I've been reading a whole boatload of articles and blog posts on the web claiming Android is no longer open, but it seems like very few people seem to actually understand what 'open' really means when it comes to the GPL and the Apache license. Here's a short primer.
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Oh, come on!
by acid_head on Wed 6th Apr 2011 07:39 UTC
acid_head
Member since:
2007-05-23

Really, someone who has Xoom should request the sources from Motorola!? Are you seriously thinking they would get anything? When Google made it clear that they won't give away the sources at least for a while?
You seem to be confusing the copyright holder (Google) for a licensee (Motorola). Google as copyright holder can release the source/binaries under whatever license they want. They release it to the public under GPL (for versions lower than 3.0) and they probably release it for Motorola and other big customers under a proprietary license. If you think that Motorola has to releas any source you are sadly mistaken.
The clear, plain to see in my oppinion, thing is that Android versions lower than 3.0 are FOSS, while Android 3.0 is not. At least not yet.

Edited 2011-04-06 07:43 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Oh, come on!
by quique on Wed 6th Apr 2011 07:54 in reply to "Oh, come on!"
quique Member since:
2005-07-07

Really, someone who has Xoom should request the sources from Motorola!? Are you seriously thinking they would get anything? When Google made it clear that they won't give away the sources at least for a while?

Yes (explantion below).

You seem to be confusing the copyright holder (Google) for a licensee (Motorola). Google as copyright holder can release the source/binaries under whatever license they want.

Right: and that's what they do with Android. Up to 2.3.3, Android was released as FLOSS under Apache2. Android 3.0 is not Free/Libre/Open Source.

However, Google is not the copyright holder of the Linux kernel. That part of Honeycomb is GPL'ed.

Therefore, if you get Android 3.0 from Motorola, you're entitled to get its kernel's source code if you request it (but only for the kernel -or any other GPL'ed component-, not for the whole system).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Oh, come on!
by acid_head on Wed 6th Apr 2011 08:45 in reply to "RE: Oh, come on!"
acid_head Member since:
2007-05-23

So you agree with me that Android 3.0 is not FOSS yet. That was the point of the article, not if Google is in compliance with the GPL components they use (which I'm sure they are). But all the GPL or other FOSS licensed components that make up Android do not make an Android by themselves. So, my conclusion (and yours) stands, and it's pretty obvious.

Reply Parent Score: 1