Android App writers ignore Open Sauce licensing

While being touted as another Open Saucy success story,  Android Apps writers are actually flouting the rules to get their software out there.

A new study from open source services vendor OpenLogic claims that 71 percent of Apple iOS and Google Android apps are not in compliance with GPL/LGPL and the Apache open source licences.

OpenLogic looked at 635 apps, including both free and paid on the Apple App store and Google Android Marketplace.

More than 52 apps include Apache licensed code while 16 included GPL/LGPL licensed code which require developers to provide copies of the licenses.

Under the GPL/LGPL licence developers provide a means by which users can get the source code.

Kim Weins, senior VP of products and marketing at OpenLogic, told Linux Planet that it was not surprising how little compliance there was out there.

Some apps that appeared to write their EULAs with no awareness that their app contained open source, perhaps because the lawyers who wrote the licence did not know that the developers used any.

Developers and companies don’t have a complete picture of their open source usage or how to comply with the licences.

Of course OpenLogic sells a product which provides tooling that can be used by developers to do a self-service scan on their apps, which might explain its enthusiasm with making sure all is above board.

Android is being touted as an Open Source success story but now there appears to be a question about how the Open Source model can function when developers don’t seem to flag the code’s use on such a wide scale.

Wiens has no plans to name and shame violators so it looks like Android will be packed full of dodgy code which belongs to someone for some time to come. EyeSpy: Below angry open saucers will complain about our spelling of “Open Sauce” which has to be one of the oldest jokes dating back to The Rogister (tm) where it was first spotted on an Ancient Egyptian rock tomb by an entrepid hack Rufus T Spinola and bought into current use.