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Me and several collegues of mine are working on open sourced framework (licensed under GPL) in the mobile field. Our code depends on the Android SDK.

Looking into the license of the SDK itself you can read the following license.

On the other hand Android is open sourced with most of classes licensed under Apache 2 (few of them under GPL and maybe some other licenses). Thus everyone is free to checkout the code and compile it as described here. If I go down the compilation route would I not get binary of the SDK with a license that will allow my open sourced framework to use it?

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That license states:

3.5 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 the License Agreement.

Nevertheless, I would try to ensure that you can compile the necessary parts of the SDK from source, because as best I can tell the GPL's "System Library" exception does not apply to the Android SDK and would prevent users from redistributing your framework. So:

If I go down the compilation route would I not get binary of the SDK with a license that will allow my open sourced framework to use it?

Yes.

You can also use the Replicant SDK, a fork which is not subject to those terms of use and avoids any trouble with them.

framework (licensed under GPL)

Is it based on someone else's GPL framework? If it isn't, you can license the code however you want. If you want to allow proprietary applications to use your framework, you should use the Lesser GPL.

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  • Thanks for all the details! 1) I have tried compiling the parts I need from source and everything works like a charm. 2) it seems replicant supports only old versions of the SDK (up to 4.2). Up to this version android sdk was accessible through maven central too 3) Actually this is automated testing framework. People are free to use, but extensions must be shared. – Boris Strandjev Aug 2 '16 at 16:16

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