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Is the Google Music Manager Beta for Linux considered an open source program?

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Probably not... – Uri Herrera Aug 5 '11 at 23:52
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Just using common sense and 2 minutes of googling, you can infer the following:

  1. Google doesn't even let you download the software before you've signed up. You have to go looking for it on filehosting services, or know about the direct link (here). If it were open source, everyone would be free to distribute it, and you would likely see many more mirrors just from googling 'Google Music deb'.

  2. So I downloaded the files, both the Linux and Windows version, and tried to crack open whatever files I could, but I couldn't find any license files in plaintext. What I could find was a list of third-party software that Google had to declare they used. It's all Apache/MIT/BSD/LGPL-ed; no copylefted stuff. Coincidence? Hm ...

  3. Google is already toeing the line with this project, as record labels never like the thought of blanket license agreements. Google knows well what a trouble Youtube is (have you ever tried accessing music videos from, say, Germany?), and there's a reason it's limited to the US for now. It's not because Google managers are nationalists, I can tell you that much. At any rate, this is a case where they might think that security by obscurity is a way to at least keep people from reverse-engineering and causing legal trouble.

  4. (Edit: Afterthought) The libre-software enthusiast that I am, I have to concede that Google would gain very little by releasing the source in this case. In fact, the service may rely on some storage-and-search systems that they would rather keep to themselves, and that may matter more than the couple community contributions that may or may not come in.

But then I found this blog post by a guy who published the EULA. That should clear things up.

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Very informative, +1 – Uri Herrera Aug 6 '11 at 4:27
My primary concern was that if the music manager software breaks my system can I get a fix from askubuntu, getting a fix from Google usually takes months and most of the time never. After reading all this I think I'm safer with the Ubuntu One music service. – Rob Aug 6 '11 at 15:07
probably yes :) – sebastian_k Aug 6 '11 at 23:43

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