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Amazon's Kindle source code: Much ado about nothing

Dec 02, 2011, 13:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brett Smith)

"This week there's been a lot of fuss about Amazon releasing source code for software on its Kindle devices, including the Kindle Fire. A lot of the hype we've seen is simply unwarranted; while you can download the source code that Amazon was legally required to publish, most of the software on the device remains proprietary, and every Kindle is still Defective by Design.

Much of the confusion apparently stems from the fact that the Kindle Fire's operating system is based on Android. Google releases Android source code to the public under the Apache License, a free software, non-copyleft license. Android devices for sale typically include some nonfree software as well, but this source code is enough to build a fully-featured free operating system.

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