The issue here seems the same for all the mentioned emulators, while he have developed a common lower layer graphic library for them, the actual emulation code is from other famous open-source emulators (original project or ports, all with non-commercial licenses). E.g. snesoid is based on a snes9x port.
Anyone with a G1 or G2/Magic will remember when all the yong's emulators suddenly appeared on the market nearly two years ago, at the same time he published nes/snes/gba/mame emulators. Considering the time needed to develop a single platform emulator that supports a good share of games (usually years, maybe with few exception in the history of console emulation), developing them all from scratch would have been impossible imho.
Search for any popular app, like Angry Birds, and note that its normally pretty hard to find the actual app you're after amongst all the crapware (ringtones, live wallpapers, etc) that attempt to trick you into purchasing them.
For malicious apps, check all the press over the years regarding malicious Android apps in the Market.
So you are saying Google should decide what is crapware and what isn't? The only thing I think that needs to happen is they change the ranking algorithm for search so it's easier to find the real app, not that I ever have any problem with that.
All the press I'm finding re malicious apps is the ones saying Google has removed them, as they should. If you know any more that haven't been removed I suggest you report them.
And he also finally released the source code. It has always been based on PCSX despite Zod's bullshit claims otherwise. He was violating the GPL with it, and I'm glad Google pulled his app from the store as he started to comply with the GPL as a result. If only saurik would do the same to Zod's iPhone apps...
Jay (saurik) doesn't actually have any control over what's available in Cydia, just as Ubuntu doesn't control what's included in a third-party repository you add. You can, however, take it up with the repository hosting the packages: but in this case, I think ZodTTD hosts them himself. You'd have to likely get the actual copyright holder to demand he take it down, or post the source code.
Saurik has control over what is in the Cydia store, unless I am mistaken about how the Cydia Store works. He also has control of the community repos. PSX4iphone and snes4iphone are featured apps in the Cydia Store. ZodTTD is a community source. Having a serial GPL violator as one of the most promoted Cydia Store coders and a community source makes the whole Jailbreak community look bad.
That's a good point, I didn't realize they were in the Cydia Store. I've asked saurik about it. (I thought that ZodTTD had actually released the source, but it appears it is often years out of date.) And you can't ever sell SNES9x, which he is doing. Sigh.
The emulator apps have companion apps which download copyrighted ROMs for you. They push the download system in the emulator app description, as well as within the emulator itself. I wonder if that was the problem? Looking forward to the details.
I'm pretty annoyed with this, as I've purchased two of yongzh's apps, and don't have them installed on my phone currently - I was expecting to be able to reinstall them anytime.
So now Android has lost the two main things I liked, emulators and Grooveshark. If they're going to bring us all the bad things about Apple's system and none of the good, I might as well just get an iPhone next time. Or, if yongzh was infringing GPL as a few comments say, never mind! Hopefully someone normal will release these apps soon. There's plenty of emulator code out there to go by.
Everyone always goes overboard with their reaction to any app removal from the marketplace. I don't see what the big deal is, I'm glad to see Google keeping the market from being too dodgey. All of these "oh well this is pretty much Apple" comments are silly. If you are doing something illegal, you can distribute the .apk online, anything else can go on the market without a lengthy review process. It's worlds apart.
I don't know if this is why, but my sales are up about 10% today over compared to the last week's average, so I don't know how niche this really was but my guess is that emulation may have been curbing the gaming needs of many. Not sure though.
>So, from Honeycomb onwards, Android is no longer open source aside from the places where they are forced to be (through the GPL)
As others have pointed out, that's only for Honeycomb. Google has said all along that the code would be going public again once it's been cleaned up and the phone and tablet versions have been remerged for the next major release.
>(or were there some copyright claims involved here? e.g. making a TI-89 emulator should be ok for the market, but you can't include TI's ROM)
The comments over on reddit are suggesting that these emulators were based on GPL'd emulators and the developer wasn't complying with the GPL. If that's the case, Google was absolutely right in pulling them from the market. The market is minimally moderated, but blatant copyright infringement is still a no-no for obvious reasons.
Well, despite acting pretty similar in the past in a few key cases (I crack my self up :P), TI has usually acted more or less sane when dealing with their hacker community. They have no issue with the numerous emulators out there for their calculators so long as you don't distribute one of their roms.
The boilerplate response: Android's open (except for Honeycomb), Android Market is not and has never been open and is nearly completely at Google's discretion, and you can normally install these apps outside of the market in cases like these.
That said, it is a frustrating move. The problem is similar to the one I foresee happening soon with the Mac App Store. Sure, it is great to have the convenience of the one true app store alongside the freedom to install what you please, but the power of the first tends to undermine the second until the freedom is mostly theoretical as the platform still is nearly entirely in one company's hands (e.g., the current state of Android).
The big difference is that with Android, you only need to change 1 checkbox in your settings and you can download apps from outside the Android Market (That's how you install the Amazon Market for example). With the iPhone, there's no way to download apps from outside the App Store.
So, from Honeycomb onwards, Android is no longer open source aside from the places where they are forced to be
That's factually incorrect and sounds like flamebait. They've stated that they're going to begin releasing the code again with Ice Cream Sandwich and not wanting to release bad code that was forced by a deadline isn't totally unreasonable.
the market is more of an Apple app store.
It's always been moderated. As has already been mentioned in another response the big difference is that on Android you can install apps from a different app store.
It's incorrect because he said "From Honeycomb onwards...". It is not an ongoing change in policy, but a one-time exception that was made specifically in the case of Honeycomb because Honeycomb was not really ready for distribution. Ice Cream Sandwich (i.e., Honeycomb+1) will be open like Froyo and its predecessors.
Android as an OS is open source, the Android Market isn't. The market is completely controlled by Google, and since you can still install .apk files without using the Market I don't think this is such a great deal as Engadget paints it to be.
Totally unrelated: interesting phrase, that "The market is completely controlled by Google". Especially given the (accidentally, I assume) missing capital M, it made me think of the "is App Store a generic term?" discussion. I think your post shows that generic words can, at the least, come very close to being specific terms.
The GPL and LGPL components have been released. The Apache License is approved by OSI, making it an "open-source license" by that organization's definition. Copyleft is not a mandatory component of open-source. Do you want to argue that *BSD is not really open-source because of its non-copyleft license? It may not match Stallman's definition of Free Software, but it does match OSI's definition of "open-source".
Google has a right to withhold the non-copyleft components if they don't feel they're ready for distribution. Open-source doesn't mean that you can force someone's hand if they're not ready to share. Can you call Theo de Raat and compel him to release an unpublished branch of modifications to OpenBSD and then accuse him of not really developing open-source programs because he only releases source "if and when he feels like it".
Google's hand was forced on Honeycomb and it wasn't really ready for distribution. If you're upset about this, you shouldn't buy a Honeycomb product because it doesn't come with a full stack of source. That's a great idea. Honeycomb+1 will have source like its predecessors.
And emulators with touch screen controls are an even smaller niche. I play my fair share of classic games, but the iOS/Android emulators never struck me as compelling - Megaman, for example, is just not playable without actual buttons, and I'd happily pay for RPGs (even remakes) that have touch interfaces as opposed to simulated buttons.
I would think that more people would want to play Super Mario on their phones than Angry Birds just based on familiarity. How many billions of people know Mario and how to play it already? Final Fantasy 1/2/3 are selling well on iOS. What is your source for your assertion over what mainstream audiences want?
One single ringtone, Crazy Frog, made its creators a cool half billion back in 2006: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/09/welcome... Sometimes you're just in the right place at the right time. Also, price/availability makes a huge difference--how many platforms was Angry Birds sold on and how much did it cost compared to Mario?
Lady Gaga may outsell the Beatles this year, but in 2015 it's almost near certain the Beatles/Elvis/Frank Sinatra and other classics will still be selling. There is always going to be a demand for new product, but the iconic games/bands/movies are still as relevant as before and there will be demand to have these classics ported to the new medium.
I think this is one instance where talking about the "average consumer" is meaningless, since if you define the average to be something like the median 50% of the population, you're still excluding the 50% of the population at the ends of the distribution.
No, you're absolutely correct, more people do want to play Super Mario than Angry Birds, but more people do not want the hassle of getting a ROM, learning what the heck a ROM is, etc. That Nintendo and the other companies haven't dedicated a small team to native Android / iPhone development to make some small games for the phones surprises me.
I agree, but I just thought it was always a strong strategic move for Android because all the people who wanted to play Donkey Kong or Zelda would at least have the option to do so, whereas for iOS you have to jailbreak your device.
It seems like the timing is too coincidental/coordinated with the Sony Xperia Play phone launching. Why would you buy games from the PSN store when you can buy an emulator for $8 and then get the games for free? It's in Google's interest to keep Sony happy, more than it is a few developers. Google also leaves a loophole because you can still side-load the apps.
That's a fair argument regarding PSX4Droid, but I doubt that's the case with this group of emulators. Sony doesn't have any relationship with the SNES or the Genesis, so with the exception of maybe a few ported games, it's doubtful they'll be selling that IP on their own store. In fact, the controller on the Xperia Play would make those emulators a pretty compelling reason to buy it.
I'd wager this was related to either ROM distribution or violating the license on the emulator code.
I doubt this is about "keeping Sony happy" specifically.
It might be that Sony is the entity that raised the infringements to their attention, if the reports of GPL infringement and other "non-commercial use" licensing issues are correct.
Why would Sony be defending GPLed code? Possibly following "the enemy of my enemy can at least be used to inconvenience my enemy" rule. Though there is no evidence that a high profile company is behind the take-down at all - it could well be that one or more of the open source projects caught wind of their code being used in breach of their chosen license and complained to Google and that the timing of Xperia's launch is a coincidence.
Emulators themselves do not constitute copyright infringement. For instance, if I wanted to write my own software to run on a Super Nintendo I can do so and run it on an emulator or build a cartridge and flash it on there to play it on the real system.
The copyright infringement starts when you're making unauthorized copies of the data on game cartridges.
The removed apps infringe the copyright of the emulators they were copied from as they do not adhere to the license terms (non-commercial only for snes9x in snesoid, GPL for Mupen64Plus in n64oid and so on). This isn't about the legality of all emulators, just yongzh's.
Only the the actual implementation code (and subsequent compiled result) is under copyright, anyone is free to write an independent implementation that's not based on any of the original copyrighted code.
(There is of course the possibility of patents covering the innovations in the SNES, but that's a separate issue from copyright, and I have no idea how software patents in Japan worked around the time the SNES got released.)
Copyright is concerned with protecting original works, so it depends on what exactly you're referring to by "API". My interpretation is that the technical document describing an API is an original work and that the library implementing an API is an original work (provided they do not copy or modify existing works protected by copyright, then they are derivative works), but the idea the API conveys is not protected by copyright (this is what's known as the idea-expression divide).
This is further complicated by the fact that we're discussing the law here so we can't assume anything to be logical or consistent. In the US, the DMCA have specific portions concerning the legality of reverse engineering for various purposes, which have implications for someone wishing to write an independent implementation of an API. Maybe someone would argue that any implementation written according to the API specification is a derivative work?
I don't think there's a definitive answer to your question, since AFAIK this haven't been tested in court. In fact, in the ongoing patent/copyright dispute between Oracle and Google, Oracle claims Google violated Oracle's copyright by reproducing Java API's in Android.
(Disclaimer: IANAL, and I've probably misinterpreted something along the way)