Oh no, it looks as if someone has been doing some serious snooping and found that Google Inc. have either been very naughty or extremely clever!
Android is based on the open source Linux operating system which itself is freely distributed under the GPL license. What this means is anyone wishing to can take the Linux O.S and copy, modify and redistribute the files and system anyway they like, but any modifications and new material based on the Linux code must also be freely distributed!
Analysts looking in to the structure of Android discovered that Google had copied hundreds of pages of code then deployed a home made program that removed any traces of copyright or GPL agreement, then built the popular Android OS on top of it.
No legal complaints have been made about the possible infringement, but if someone was to sue Google the outcome could be bad however it turns out!
If Google were taken to court and won the case, this would mean they would have found a way to take software meant for open source and then privatise it, effectively taking the code from those who created it.
But, on the other hand, if they were to loose that would mean all those paid for applications that are on the Android Market would have to be distributed freely under open GPL agreements, cutting off the only source of income Google makes from Android!
We will keep a close eye on how things pan out and keep you up to date of any rumblings.
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