Google’s Lack of Transparency and Openness in the Android Market Will Hurt More Than Just Grooveshark | Electronic Frontier Foundation

[…] And because Google won’t say why Grooveshark’s app allegedly violated its terms and conditions, Grooveshark has no opportunity to try to cure.

It’s hard to not speculate about what happened. We can only assume that a complaint from the RIAA would be based in copyright. That Google would perform a copyright takedown without requiring a valid notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is surprising to say the least — especially given that Google just last week filed its reply brief in the Viacom v. YouTube appeal vigorously defending its policy of responding only to valid DMCA notices where copyright complaints are concerned. (Separately, we question whether there’s a theory of copyright law under which Google would be liable in the first place, given that Google merely stores the code for another service provider’s app — code that we seriously doubt is itself infringing or otherwise illegal and which isn’t even executable on the Android Market platform.)

And if the RIAA’s complaint was not one under the DMCA, we – and others – are left to wonder: Did Google take down the Grooveshark app because it will compete with Google’s rumored soon-to-be-released cloud music service? Did Google’s takedown intentionally coincide with its appearance before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on IP in an effort to make itself more sympathetic to Congress? Is Google simply letting itself be controlled by the whims of the RIAA and the larger content industry as a whole?

We’d like to believe that none of these is the case, yet Google’s failure to provide a concrete explanation leaves us guessing. And Google’s larger failure to implement a policy that provides clear-cut rules and procedures for alerting app developers of their alleged violations of Google policy and giving them opportunities to cure runs counter to an environment of inclusiveness that Google has long touted. Despite recent events, we continue to hope that Google will stand up for these principles and maintain an Android Market that is open and transparent.

via Google’s Lack of Transparency and Openness in the Android Market Will Hurt More Than Just Grooveshark | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

So, think we can all stop patting Google on the back for their “free and open source” operating system yet? Because I certainly remember when people were applauding Apple for OS X being “Unix”… Sure, both statements are technically true, but they come so loaded with false implications as to be effectively untruths.

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