It seems as if this may be the year for finger-pointing, as we’ve seen the epic Apple vs. Samsung trial, HTC vs. Apple, White House vs. Google, and now Google vs. Alibaba. The accusations are based around whether or not Alibaba’s OS is a shameless copy of Android; the only truth standing at the moment is the insane amount of pirated apps in the Aliyun app store.
The inherent problem with making something worthwhile, is there will always be entities that want to steal your creation and label it as their own. This is the quandary Google finds itself in, but much worse, Alibaba’s app store seems to highlight the piracy as a marketing gimmick. Alibaba is not disputing this fact but has asserted that Aliyun is not an incompatible fork of Android. The OHA may think otherwise, as they make the decision to bar members who make and release such incompatible forks.
To be fair, all app stores have issues with piracy and unconvential app naming schemes, the official Google app store being no exception to this phenomenon. But to say that Aliyun is not complicit with such behavior is to look at the issue through rose-colored glasses. Developers, however, are not involved in such actions; one specific Temple Run developer was contacted by the tech blog, Arstechnica, and admitted he did not know the vendor listed on the Aliyun pirated copy of the game.
There is nothing wrong with making and releasing forks of Android, such as what Amazon does, but it’s not a part of the OHA. Acer is and thus far, it has used the inner workings of Android, namely the Android runtime, framework and tools. Aliyun is then, by logic, an incompatible fork of Android, without express permission of Google and is breaking the rules of OHA membership. Alibaba had this to say about the matter:
Aliyun OS incorporates its own virtual machine, which is different from Android’s Dalvik virtual machine. Aliyun OS’ runtime environment, which is the core of the OS, consists of both its own Java virtual machine, which is different from Android’s Dalvik virtual machine, and its own cloud app engine, which supports HTML5 web applications. Aliyun OS uses some of the Android application framework and tools (open source) merely as a patch to allow Aliyun OS users to enjoy third-party apps in addition to the cloud-based Aliyun apps in our ecosystem.”
What do you think readers? Should Google only take an offensive position to protect Android or should they just go after the piracy issue? Maybe they should pursue both actions?