Denying access to pay-per-view videos for those who modify their Android devices is the antithesis of openness.
This article titled “Google’s YouTube policy for Android users is copyright extremism” was written by Cory Doctorow, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday 31st May 2011 14.04 UTC
The news that Android users who have jailbroken their phones will be denied access to the new commercial YouTube pay-per-view service is as neat an example of copyright extremism as you could hope for.
Android, of course, is Google’s wildly popular alternative to Apple’s iOS (the operating system found on iPhones and iPads). Android is free and open – it costs nothing to copy, it can be legally modified and those modifications can be legally distributed. Android products come in varying degrees of lockdown; flagship devices such as the Samsung Nexus S are easy to set up to run competing, unofficial flavours of Android (such as CyanogenMod, which adds lots of useful features and controls to your phone that are missing from the stock Android version). Other phones use various kinds of hardware and software locks that try to get in the way of installing your own OS, and while Google doesn’t prohibit this behaviour from its vendors, it also doesn’t encourage it – until now.