When Google says “stop,” you stop (and desist). Just ask Cyanogen. The prolific Android hacker/modder/developer has apparently been issued the dreaded “cease and desist” notice from the almighty Google. From what we can gather, Google isn’t taking Cyanogen’s Android hacking lightly – especially the part where he distributes closed-source Android apps like Market, Talk, Gmail, and YouTube with his customized Android ROMs. The problem is that Cyanogen isn’t licensed to distribute those apps. For his part, Cyanogen is trying to arguing that he’s developing these customized Android ROMs for “Google Experience” handsets that are already licensed to use the controversial apps.
If Cyanogen were a lesser-known Android modder, this might not be a big deal. But, Cyanogen pushes out some of the most popular custom Android ROMs available today (One of my own Android smartphones is running a Cyanogen ROM). With over 30,000 users favoring a Cyanogen-flavored Android build to the more vanilla stock builds, a lot of people are going to be left out in the cold if Google refuses to work with Cyanogen.
The ball’s in Google’s court. Unfortunately, like a grouchy old neighbor hoarding your errant Frisbees, Google may not give it back.
Cyanogen will try to continue CyanogenMod ROM development by stripping his ROMs of any Google Experience apps. Read more about it here.