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QOTD: Google's license for the Android SDK

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Nov. 12th, 2007 | 07:42 pm

From the Android Software Development Kit License Agreement:

3.2 You agree that Google (or Google's licensors) own all legal right, title and interest in and to the SDK, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in the SDK. Use, reproduction and distribution of components of the SDK licensed under an open source software license are governed solely by the terms of that open source software license and not by this License Agreement. Until the SDK is released under an open source license, you may not extract the source code or create a derivative work of the SDK. Nothing in this provision is intended to prevent you from performing the ordinary activities of application development including, but not limited to, debugging, logging, and profiling.

(bold tags mine)

What happened to the whole 'full stack' and 'open source' thing? Beside that releasing a proprietary-but-marketed-as-almost-open-source SDK without source code is reinforcing the GOOG-is-the-new-SUNW stereotype, wasn't there supposed to be a bit more code out there, than just the parts that Google is obliged to publish per the (L)GPL anyway?

Let's just hope Google get around to releasing the actual Android code under an open source license before 2017. Meanwhile, I'm feeling reminded of the whole pseudo-open-source hype that surrounded Java 1.0, and took the major commercial players in Javaland almost 10 years to overcome.

Other fascinating quotes from the same document:

1.3 This version of the Android SDK is being offered to the developer community on an "Early Look" basis. With the help and input of the developer community, Google will continue to add new functionality and features to continually improve the SDK. Once the SDK reaches a more finished form, Google intends to release most of the components under the Apache v2.0 open source license.

Kind of contradicts the 'full stack' under ALv2 marketing from last week.

4.2 You agree to use the SDK and write applications only for purposes that are permitted by (a) this License Agreement and (b) any applicable law, regulation or generally accepted practices or guidelines in the relevant jurisdictions (including any laws regarding the export of data or software to and from the United States or other relevant countries).

A generic field of use restriction clause. Cute.

9.3 Google may at any time, terminate this License Agreement with you if:


(D) Google decides to no longer providing the SDK or certain parts of the SDK to users in the country in which you are resident or from which you use the service, or the provision of the SDK or certain SDK services to you by Google is, in Google's sole discretion, no longer commercially viable .

The innovative 'if you don't bring Google revenue, Google reserves the right to kill your product at any time' clause.

There is a bunch of other rather objectionable stuff, but dear me, this is pretty bad as far as license agreements for pseudo-open-source software go. I think I'll wait for the actual release under ALv2.

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