You can make money without doing evil…

Well this is what google says in their corporate philosophy but I seriously doubting this.

If you are not aware of the most recent cuffle about google, let explain and perhaps rant a little.

Google; in an attempt to prevent the spread of the gpl-2 license from the linux kernel on the android platform to user’s application decided to clean the kernel headers of it so it can be used in the bionic libc.

My understanding of the gpl-2 license is that once you have applied the license to your code, you are free to change it, include it and attribute your changes but the gpl-2 remains, so I can not see how they can clean the code of the license when the license itself prohibits it.

Cleaning up the linux headers files does not seem such a big deal at first especially given the linux chaps have the own sanitised version themselves but it really does open it a huge whole in the open source arena. If you can remove the gpl-2 from the linux headers which contain macro’s aka inline code then why can’t you do the same for other gpl-2 software and release it or use it anyway you wish. After all if google can do it without doing any evil… why can’t anyone else do the same?

Is this the end of gpl-2 or just the start of new legal battle with the do no evil company being covered the brown stuff.

So what should google to next…
– standup and say “sorry” and “we will fix it”
– move bionic libc to the proper sanitized headers
– reissue a firmware that mitigates issue
– put some more love in the open source arena and stop taking evil shortcuts

Anyway rant over… lets see what happens next…

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