I just noticed that the Android SDK is now non-free software. If you go to
and click on one of the files, you are presented with lengthy “Terms and Conditions” which for example say:
In order to use the SDK, you must first agree to this License Agreement. You may not use the SDK if you do not accept this License Agreement.
This sentence alone already violates freedom 0, the freedom to use the program for any purpose without restrictions.
Today, the truly Free Software version of Android called Replicant came to the rescue and released a free (as in free speech) version of the SDK.
Apparently, Google made this step to prevent fragmentation of the ecosystem. What are they going to do next? This situation is far from perfect for software freedom. Developing Android Apps in freedom is only possible as soon as the Replicant developers catch up. Looks like Android stops being a Free Software friendly platform.
So let’s all help that this trend is stopped and Android remains Free. Signing up on the android discussion list is a good first step to asses the situation and plan further action.
Update: It has been pointed out by some people that the SDK Terms and Conditions are older than previously assumed. Google only requires explicit agreement now and shows the terms before download. That wasn’t the case earlier.
Update2: Replicant developer Paul Kocialkowski wrote a blog post as well and explained in more detail what the problem with the SDK is.
Update3: A new effort is under way to provide more recent versions of the SDK and Android Studio.