ZDNet confirmed with three different Google employees at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco that the core Android platform will be 100% open source. Even multimedia codecs, which historically are held close to the vest will be open. Except where noted, everything will use the Apache software license (ASL v2). This is the same open source license used by projects like the Apache HTTP server, Tomcat, Harmony, and many other large projects in the open source community.
There are two exceptions to the Apache license rule:
- Software that is already covered by by a free/open source license will continue to use that license. Most notably, this includes Google’s enhancements to the Linux kernel. Linux uses the GNU Public License (GPL v2) so enhancements to the kernel will use the same license.
- Any software that touches Eclipse, for example the Eclipse Android Development Tools plug-in (ADT) will be licensed under the Eclipse Public License (EPL), because that’s what Eclipse uses.