Oct 17th, 2008

The first ever time we visited the Android Market there was a loooong Terms Of Service you had to accept. Rather than proceed with haste, as 99% of G1 owners will likely (and rightly) do, we read through the terms and recorded our first read through.

While the video is far from exciting, it does uncover a few gems that we’ve summarized below the video:

Android Market Business and Program Policies
The agreement includes not only the Google Terms of Service but also a new Android Market Business and Program Policies found at (http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/mobile/android/market-policies.html). Some of the most interesting policies found in the document:

  • You will be able to “return” applications you paid for within 24 hours of purchasing them via the Market Interface on your phone.
  • KILL SWITCH. Much debated on the iPhone, Google has also declared their authority to remove applications from your phone: “Product Removals: From time to time, Google may discover a Product on the Market that violates the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement or other legal agreements, laws, regulations or policies. In such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your Device at its sole discretion. If that occurs Google will make reasonable efforts to recover the purchase price of the Product, if any, from the originating Developer on your behalf. If Google is unable to recover the full amount of the purchase price, it will divide any recovered amounts between the affected users on a pro rata basis.
  • Unacceptable Content. Google has listed practices that are unacceptable, prohibited and will result in having your account banned. They are: Nudity & Sexually Explicit Material, Violence/Bullying/Threats, Hate Speech, Age (must be 13+), Impersonation, Private Info, Copyright Infringement, Illegal Activities, Malicious Products, Prohibited Products.

The kill switch issue is important, but it seems that Google is offering this as a last resort way out. When you have a platform like Android that is supposed to grow along WITH technology, you never know what new types of attacks could be capable using an Android Application. By including the KillSwitch, Google gives themselves the capability of removing an application from your phone should the situation be dire. I’ll gladly give them this capability… it makes me feel more safe – hackers, spammers and scammers will inevitably target Android and iPhone users as they become more widely used and thus lucrative.

Google Made A Typo!
At about 1 Minute, 50 Seconds into the video you can see the typo. I catch the typo live and can’t help but laugh. Here is the messed up sentence:

1.4 In order to use Android Market you must be 13 years of age older. If you are between 13 and 18 years of age, you must have your parent orlegal guardian’s permission to use the market.

My response was, of course, “13 years of age older than WHAT/WHO?” You can’t know if you’re 13 years older than something if you don’t know the age of that something. A less sarcastic and annoying person probably would have just said, “They forgot the word OR.”

Android Market Website? Sounds Likely…
Article 3.3 says you shouldn’t try to access the Android Market illegally but when describing automated scripts, crawlers and scrapers it specifically says, “comply with the instructions set out in any robots.txt file present on the Market Website.”

See that word there… Website? Yeah… pretty crucial. And that “robots.txt” seems like its pointing towards an HTML world wide web document that acts as an application repository. They DID mention a YouTube like Application experience so we can see this coming. It would also make sense as far as allowing developers to submit applications, which has thus far been absent from the Android Market process.

Terms Of Service: Part 2
Yeah this TOS doc was LOOOOONG. We needed coffee to GET to part 2. After that it was pretty much easy sailing… meaning nothing too exciting happened in the TOS. Nevertheless:

Part 2 is noticeably more boring although they do let you know that Android is not intended for use in Nuclear Facilities… what the heck? Does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plan on rockin’ a G1?

Once I skim the rest and get into the Android Market for the first time you can see that my excitement is hard to contain. It was an amazing feeling… especially knowing I was one of the first ever consumers Media/Press to explore the Android Market.

Stay tuned for more videos that aren’t so… legally jargoned up.

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