Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Jan 2013 18:29 UTC
Google A blog post on the Free Software Foundation Europe site is making the rounds around the web. The blog post, written by Torsten Grote, claims that 'the Android SDK is now proprietary', because upon download, you have to agree to terms and conditions which are clearly not compatible with free and/or open source software. What Grote fails to mention - one, these terms have mostly always been here, and two, they only apply to the SDK binaries. The source is still freely available.
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Extraneous restrictions
by The1stImmortal on Fri 4th Jan 2013 22:35 UTC
Member since:

First: IANAL

There has been a paragraph significantly changed recently:

3. SDK License from Google
3.4 You agree that you will not take any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android, including but not limited to distributing, participating in the creation of, or promoting in any way a software development kit derived from the SDK.

(source: )

What scares me about this license change is that Google is attempting to prevent, apparently in perpetuity, those agreeing to the license terms from doing *anything* involving fragmentation of Android (web links? Mentioning on OSNews comments? building a new incompatible SDK from the Apache-licensed sources or forks?), or from promoting a software development kit "derived from the SDK" - that presumably includes older or legitimate forks (even, technically, ones that Google may legitimately license in the future!).

I didn't even realise that it was *legal* (or at least, enforceable) to prevent someone from doing something completely unrelated to the licensed material at issue in a one-sided license agreement. Like preventing people from doing things that "may cause or result in the fragmentation of android". That would be like the license requirement requiring users not to hop on one leg for the rest of their lives as a result of agreeing.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Extraneous restrictions
by rklrkl on Sat 5th Jan 2013 02:12 in reply to "Extraneous restrictions"
rklrkl Member since:

I think two issues are worrying about this clause:

1. There is no clause anywhere in the agreement that exactly defines what "fragmentation" actually means.

2. They give it an even wider scope by quoting the classic "including but not limited to" phrase, which you can interpret anywhere from "exactly what I've mentioned is included" to "the entire universe is included".

As a branding/trademark issue, it would better of Google to say:

"If you modify the Android SDK and then redistribute it, you may no longer use the word "Android" anywhere in the title of the redistributed SDK or use the stock Android images (green robot etc) to promote it. You may also not make any claims that it is fully compatible with the unmodified Android SDK."

In other words, something similar to the way Mozilla handles its branding (they are sensitive about the name and the logo if you start hacking the source and redistributing it).

Reply Parent Score: 2