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61

The external contributors to the Android codebase are not private hackers. They are companies with business models that depend on the support of the Android platform. If you look at the email addresses of the contributors to the official Android sourcecode repository you will see that the vast majority of contributors seem to be Google employees. But if you ...


39

I believe them that they want to release it eventually, but it's not legal to delay like this, right? If indeed Fairphone is distributing a device with an embedded Linux kernel but not making the corresponding source available to recipients of that device, that's a rather cut-and-dry GPL violation. An author whose work is included in Fairphone's version of ...


24

Disclaimer: I haven't contributed to Android in any way, but I've been actively contributing to other open source projects. Why help Google make more money? How does the society benefit from such a contribution? Aspect 1 of 2: The Contributors' Objective There may be all kinds of idealistic goals to open source software development, such as promoting ...


19

In the core Android OS space, much of the free software effort is on alternative ROMs1, such as LineageOS, /e/, Paranoid Android, and the like. Many of these projects have removing Google's control as a principal aim: right now, the very first line on /e/'s website says "WE’RE OPEN! You can still shop for our unGoogled smartphones here". Nearly all install ...


11

Not according to the definition of open source we use here, which is the OSI's. That requires that The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software and that The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software So if I ...


9

So there's a bug in an Android comapatibility library. If you change the icon of a FloatingActionButton after it's been laid out (I wanted to animate it), the display doesn't update. I download the source, make the one-line code fix, and used the modified version in my sources. At that point, I can either file the bug report, and have the change show up in ...


8

I was wondering since the Linux kernel in Android is under a free license while the other software is under Apache license. In which license we can say Android is? Android is using multiple licenses and the overall collection is primarily under the Apache license but not only. Some parts are GPL, some BSD and some Apache (and many other FOSS licenses). The ...


6

The objections to Android are basically the same as the objections to any other distribution that is not fully free. If you see complaints more frequently or intensely about Android, this is probably due to its position as a de facto default operating system for virtually all mobile devices that are not manufactured by Apple. That is, Android's prominence ...


6

Your new app clearly builds on the old GPL code. Without the old GPL code you would have needed more resources to deliver the same app quality. You have extended the old code and you must also publish everything, the unmodified old code and everything you have changed or added under the same GPL license. You must also acknowledge your app is a GPL project. ...


6

First of all, Android != Google. Yes, Android is maintained and mostly developed by Google, and a key factor in Google’s business plans, but it is still open in the sense that the community can take it, fork it and use it any way they like, which includes use cases which might go against Google’s interests. I think of open-source developers as people with ...


5

Basically, non-free software and GPL software can be "combined" if the combination forms an aggregate instead of being a single software deriving from the two. This is mentioned in section 5 of GPL v3: A compilation of a covered work with other separate and independent works, which are not by their nature extensions of the covered work, and which are not ...


4

If the sound is available from the copyright holder under a free or open source license (likely a Creative Commons license, for a sound file), or if the work is in the public domain (e.g., copyright on the work has expired), then you may use it in your app, provided you follow any requirements imposed by the license on the work (at minimum, this will include ...


4

The Android SDK is distinct from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) which provides the kernel and other core Android components. The Android SDK includes open source components but is not itself open source. It also includes proprietary components. Permissive licenses such as the Apache license allow extra restrictions to be added. Copyleft licenses such ...


4

Assuming you mean the MIT-X11 licence, this requires that: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. So yes, you do need to preserve their copyright notice, and the text of their licence, even in the shipping binary. This is generally pretty easy in Android apps, which ...


4

I've been contributing to various FLOSS projects over almost two decades now, and the dominant motivation for most if not all of my contributions wasn't some ideal of building a better future for the mankind. It was scratching my own itch. I know this also applies to many other contributors. It always starts with a bug in a tool that you're using, or with a ...


4

The source code itself is available here: https://android.googlesource.com/platform/sdk/+/master/ There is Android Rebuilds project which provides binaries build for this source code without non-free EULA: https://android-rebuilds.beuc.net/


3

Unless you go out of your way and convert the images to an array of numbers and include them in that way in your source code so that they become part of the built binary, your app is not a derived work of the images it shows. This means that the images and the app itself can be licensed independently. As the original images are under the CC BY-SA-4.0 ...


3

No. The simple fact that the code is being shown in a (tutorial) video does not give you the right to copy/transcribe that code. To use code written by others, you need to have a copyright license and unless the video or description mentions an open-source copyright license for the code being shown, you most likely don't have one. What you are allowed to ...


3

I'd consider that a license violation to use CC BY-NC licensed material in such way. The CC BY-NC license says already in its name that the licensed content must not be used in commercial context. There exist a study from CC which gives general interpretation of the NC clause as On a scale of 1-100 where 1 is “definitely noncommercial” and 100 is “...


3

Can I [show ads] or [sell my software for money]? Yes. See GPL FAQ - Does the GPL allow me to sell copies of the program for money? You can also show ads, but remember that the GPL requires you to publish source. So if a customer does not like the fact that you show ads, she is allowed to recompile your app without that feature enabled. Or she is allowed ...


3

Trademarks are a complicated matter and eventually something quite important in the FOSS world as branding is essential to some projects whether they are commercially backed or not. For instance, the branding elements of a Red Hat® or Ubuntu® distro are what makes these --otherwise free-software-based distros-- eventually non-redistributable in some cases. ...


3

The Android kernel is a variant of the Linux kernel. Since the latter is GPLv2, the former must also be, and it is. So the "sanctity" of the GPL on the Android kernel is intact; you can get the source for those portions at places like this. If you make and distribute your own modified version you will also have source-distribution obligations to honour. ...


3

There a few benefits I can imagine in making such contributions. First, from a practical point of view, I'm guessing such companies have their own patches they'd want to rebase on top of the upstream as it moves forward, in order to consume new features, performance improvements, and bugfixes. The larger these patches are, the harder this rebasing is - so ...


2

Ah, this explains much. I've recently taken to using riot.im for E2E-encrypted instant messaging on my Android phone. It's aggressively open source (they have an F-Droid link on their front page), and also under fairly intensive and well-funded development. However, it persists in showing a notification at the top of my screen, and from time to time ...


2

This is a very big question. Before anything else, you should think more concretely about what you're planning on doing. Both the Lybrate and Medshr apps are zero-cost; if you're going to develop a fully-free competitor app that uses your proprietary back-end, that's great, but the group of people who care about freedom as opposed to cost in their phone ...


2

Question 1 If the client application and the server application are in different repositories, both can have any type of license that will be compatible because the communication of the applications in a web service is through the network. Different happens when using code we import libraries from external repositories, where before using a repository you ...


2

You can use any GPL-licensed software for any purpose you like - on he condition that you follow the license. This means you even have permission to use it in scams and software of dubious usage and moral standing, too. In my understanding, on Android the term "module" usually refers to what commonly is referred to as library and not just an independent ...


2

This is probably allowed if you include a tool to deconstruct the APK into class files in your distribution. The LGPLv3 says in 4(d)(0) that you must: Convey the Minimal Corresponding Source under the terms of this License, and the Corresponding Application Code in a form suitable for, and under terms that permit, the user to recombine or relink the ...


2

The API (and only the API) is under the Apache v2 License, so you can use that under its terms which includes commercial usage; that doesn't make google's TTS open-source though. Actual access to the API and services requires agreement to further terms from google which are described in the documentation and when signing up for / signing-in to a google ...


2

You can release your application under the GPL. You cannot alter copyright notices in Flutter, but you didn't ask about doing that.


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