updated 06:35 am EDT, Sun May 22, 2011
Google deliberately block Movies on rooted devices
Google has angered members of the Android community by blocking its Google Movies service on rooted Android devices. Users who have rooted their device and installed a custom ROM are greeted with an error message that reads, "Failed to fetch license for [movie title] (error 49)." Google Support is advising that the block is a deliberate move on its part as "Rooted devices are currently unsupported due to requirements related to copyright protection."
The move is seen as somewhat ironic for a platform that labels itself as "open." By contrast, users of jailbroken iPhones can download iTunes movies and mobile users of Netflix continue to be able to play copyright content on their devices. Users of the Motorola Xoom running Android 3.1 currently have access to the service, as long as their device has not been rooted.
When the service rolls out to users of Android 2.2 devices over the coming weeks, users who have rooted their Android 2.2 (or higher) mobile phones and tablets will not be able to access the service. It will only be open to users running OEM versions of the Android operating system.
While Google is currently saying that is the restriction is in place for copyrighted reasons, another possible explanation is that it has been put in place in order to help reduce instances of Android OS fragmentation. Android OS fragmentation has been an increasingly serious issue for developers who are finding it difficult to provide applications that will work across the Android platform. [via Android Central]