back to article Open sourcers strike back at Google cease-and-desist

Three days after Google told an independent developer to stop bundling proprietary applications with his alternative Android operating system, fans of the popular package have shot back with plans to work around the move. The developer, who goes by the name Cyanogen, said here that he plans to overhaul his CyanogenMod platform …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    "clever work-around"

    Bloody obvious work around more like.

  2. Chris Thomas Alpha

    Pfff, it was my idea, not his

    I was on the IRC channel #android-root on saturday, talking about this very thing whilst wondering if someone can help me to fix my htc hero, I said exactly the same thing, then on sunday he repeated what I said and somehow that makes it his idea???

    not just google he is ripping off, my idea, own up punk

    pity I can't find the log now........

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Its not the company, its the revenue model

    When Google starts shipping and OS, they will act exactly like other OS manufacturers.

  4. Tony Hoyle

    Two weeks?

    To rewrite Maps, Mail, GTalk and YouTube? And setup a viable alternative Android Market? That's pretty damned optimistic. I take it the people saying this have never worked on a large software project before.

    I wonder why google went after this guy and not someone like JF, whos work all these firmwares are based on, or Haykuro, who's been around for a lot longer?

  5. frymaster

    Not just google

    ...there's some of the HTC apps shipped with the Hero in the mod too (like the greatly improved on-screen keyboard)

    on the one hand, it would be best for android as a platform if these apps were available to everyone... on the other hand, with other manufacturers getting involved, obviously HTC are likely to want to preserve their work, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are next in line with the lawyers

    as far as the google situation goes, couldn't they

    - release the marketplace ONLY, as an installable-over-the-USB-cable app (wouldn't need to be open sourced)

    - make the rest of the "default" apps downloadable from the marketplace for free (since every android should come with them)?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "pity I can't find the log now........"

    well isen´t that convenient.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Android: open source my ass

    Meh. Just get a proper Linux distro or Maemo.

    Even MS doesn't do this to Win Mob ROM cookers.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    "We're trying to make the Android it should have been in the first place, completely free..."

    Says who? Who is anyone else to say how Google should choose to market their OS? It may be open source, but f the source licence allows them to keep bits of it closed source well, that's up to them isn't it.

    If you don't like it then write your own OS and apps, rather than just trying to get round Google's licencing.

  9. Pete Smith 2

    @Tony Hoyle

    I think what they meant was that it'll take 2 weeks - 2 months to carry out the required modifications to the mod, i.e. remove the closed source apps from the mod, and write some software that will extract the apps from the original ROM backup, and put them into a new ROM.

    As others have said, it's the bleeding obvious choice: Google ask you to stop distributing their closed-source applications. You stop. You remove them. You write software to extract the binaries from an existing licensed ROM. You merge the two.

    Simples <squeak>

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Not just google

    "- make the rest of the "default" apps downloadable from the marketplace for free (since every android should come with them)?"

    This is the point where I think people are most confused... Android != Google's OS. Android is Linux with a custom open source framework and UI slapped on top.

    If you're a phone network and you want to include Google's proprietary apps with the OS, you license them from Google, that's Google's sole reason for Android and part of where they make their money. Part of that license is apparently the device must have "with Google" on it.

    It's no different to wanting to bundle MS Office with *shudders* a Linux distro, you pay MS for the rights to include it.

    Other than that you're right, making the Market downloadable from would solve Cyanogen's problem, but it would also single handedly remove the motivation for network operators to license the Google apps, and just stick a page in the manual explaining how to get them.

    I think the main problem here is that Google didn't enforce this from the start, creating confusion among what was and was not allowed in the modding community.

    I believe "Chris Thomas Alpha's" :) solution is the best way to go, users who already have devices with the apps continue to get to use them with Cyanogen, users who's networks havent paid for those rights don't.

  11. David Licence

    @Tony Hoyle

    "rewrite Maps, Mail, GTalk and YouTube? And setup a viable alternative Android Market?"

    No need - most of these can be replaced with other alternatives that already exist.

    Maps can be replaced by AndNav (or just downloaded to be installed separately), mail by any one of may applications, GTalk by Nimbuzz (which also supports Skype, MSN ...) and Market by SlideMe

  12. alistair millington

    google are not that bright afterall

    They use open source to make something, hoping people back it.

    Those people develop better products on it, better than google did.

    Google take the pram back and rattle back, because they can't control it anymore.

    Those developers realise they can do better and don't need google, after all it is open source

    They keep rattle, let google have pram and reinvent pram with an engine, and some cool go faster stripes.

    Silly Google.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Google censoring Cyanogen comments on Android Market

    All the comments that Cyanogen supporters have written on the Android Developer Challenge in Android Market have been removed. If you even try to write a comment on the Android Developer Challenge application that contains the word "cyanogen", it is not added to the comments.

    Whilst I disagree with the Cyanogen guys, I strongly disagree with Google for censoring them.

    Reg, there's a story in here.

  14. Ian 11

    "Strike back"

    lol @ "Strike back"

    How the fuck are they striking back? They're simply doing what they should've done in the first place and doing what Google wants them to do, this isn't striking back, this is bending over and doing the right thing. Talking back to make yourself look rebellious doesn't change that fact.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have Google Talk and Google Maps running on my Blackberry. I just downloaded them from Google.

    Why can't you download Google Talk and Google Maps on an Android phone? What happens if you (for what ever reason) delete them? You can't get them back? What happens if Google released an updated version of Google Maps, with new features? Android users are out of luck, because they're stuck with the versions in ROM?

    That sounds pretty dumb.

  16. ewans


    Cyanogen has done a great job of improving the standard rom's, to the point where many people would not use their Magic without his work. A real shame that he is being put through this, when his work has helped out so many people. And lets be clear - he is not in this to make money.

    For most who just use the standard ROM and put up with slow responses etc. this won't matter, but to thousands of others who benefit from Cyanogens work, and all the other Android and Windows Mobile chefs, this is a big deal - I really wouldn't be happy with my Diamond/Hero without a custom ROM, I would have got an iPhone - so T-Mobile in particular should be sponsoring their work!

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