I'm playing around with Google's Music Manager a little, uploading a few hundred tracks just for fun and downloading a few I grabbed from a recent promotion. I'm not sure how I feel about cloud music, but it seems like a decent idea. Surprised Apple & Google don't care about the bandwidth. How much can a dollar a track really buy you?

But the link to the OSS used in the Music Manager isn't quite enough. Many OSS apps that include or are themselves Free software display the GPL or LGPL in their entirety when you install, making you "accept" the GPL before using the software. I always thought that was the wrong terminology -- you're not really "accepting" it so much as the developers who made your software did. In retrospect, however, this in-your-face license makes a lot of sense. Many applications only have the required OSS licenses in their About boxes, and that just barely seems to meet the letter of the law for some OSS license requirements, imo, even though I'm guilty of doing the same thing. I think you're required to give the license to your user and a link to code, and hiding just the license in an obscure menu item isn't the way to do that.

Google does even worse in the Music Manager. In the About, there's a link to a page (admittedly a page copied locally by the install, though it is an html page that requires a browser to view) that has more links to licensing realted to the software they've used in Music Manager. In some cases, like libmpg123, the link is directly to the LGPL. In others, like id3lib, the link is to that software's home page, not the license. That seems bogus.

I will credit that page with an appropriate link to the tarball (http://dl.google.com/dl/androidjumper/src/current/music-manager-source.tar.bz2), which is nicely done.

But the tab for About with a link to YA page of links, on which you may have to hunt to find the license, is closer to Kevin Bacon than the letter of the LGPL.

EDIT: But it's hard to stay mad when Google Music handles FLAC with its Cloud player. Awesome.

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