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Google pulls plug on yet another emulator and why they should have sooner

Reports are coming in all over the web of Google “playing evil” and taking down yet another emulator’s developers account down. Yong Zhang is the latest in what is now a long line of developers who upload emulators into the Android market to not only have his application taken out of the market but also his developers account closed without prior knowledge.

His claim to “fame” would be the he produced Nesoid, Snesoid, Gensoid, N64oid, Ataroid, Gearoid and Gameboid. All of which needed users to download games off the net in something called an ISO and loaded up on the SD Card to run on your phone.

This isn’t the first time Google has done this either. Just last month they pulled two more of these types of applications off the market due to Sega contacting them about doing so. What most users don’t get about this and why they are now saying Google is just like Apple and not being “open”. Is that 99% of the users will illegally download the games off the internet and play on the phone. Yes there will be one or two people saying no I actually have a hard copy of these games, but you take out of 100 people maybe 5 people of that if you are lucky and you can see why Google did this.

Even stated in the agreement users have when they sign up for an Android developers account states:

Intellectual Property: Don’t infringe on the intellectual property rights of others, including patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, and other proprietary rights. We will respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement. For more information or to file a DMCA request, please visit our copyright procedures.

which Emulators do. Also in the agreement it says,

(a) violates the intellectual property rights or any other rights of any third party; (b) violates any applicable law or is subject to an injunction

which once again these Emulators do as well. So why most of the users are not furious with Google, as well as Apple fanboys shouting, “see Google isn’t open”. Please be aware that in place are measures so illegal content, which this is, is taken down. the fact it has even been up this long actually looks bad on Googles behalf for allowing such applications to stay in the market knowing that its against the terms of agreement all developers have to agree to prior to getting an account.

Yes I understand and feel bad for the users who paid their hard earn money for these emulators its not something Google should repay but the developer for even taking your money to begin with knowing their actions were and are illegal. However the only one’s that’ll end up looking bad in this situation is Google for doing the right thing.

However if he did indeed wanted to continue with supporting his applications the power of Android allows for sideloading applications. Which means he could have his own website where he either sells the application there, or post it for free with a donation link.

This is my opinion that while Google may look evil they actually did the right thing… Whats your take on it? Leave your comments below.

Source: Engadget

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16 Comments

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  1. I agree.. but the funny thing is it would be a lot more severe if it cost $99 for a developer account, like with iOS and Windows Phone 7.

    It’s kinda crappy, but could he create like yong_zh3 and immediately repost them, and repeat as necessary?

  2. That’s an interesting point: the first emulator pulled off the Market was psx4droid. I have it sideloaded on my phone, and I have a few PSX ISOs on my SD card.. every one of which i ripped myself using free, easy-to-find software and no equipment more special than a PC with a CD-ROM drive.

    Also, it has been upheld several times in US courts that emulators are legal so long as they were developed from scratch and do not contain exact copies of copyrighted code. The BIOS is the only part of the emulator that needs to be en exact copy to run retail games, which is why it wasn’t included.

    But wait, emulators aren’t the only things in Market that could violate copyright. What about all the PSX BIOS finders and Rom downloaders? They DIRECTLY provide users with illegal copyrighted content! Why not pull them off the Market? Or hey, what about the Bittorrent clients? Or the other PSX emulator?

    It just seems really funny to me which content they pull and which they leave up. Its like they only pull something down if it gets popular.

  3. That’s an interesting point: the first emulator pulled off the Market was psx4droid. I have it sideloaded on my phone, and I have a few PSX ISOs on my SD card.. every one of which i ripped myself using free, easy-to-find software and no equipment more special than a PC with a CD-ROM drive.

    Also, it has been upheld several times in US courts that emulators are legal so long as they were developed from scratch and do not contain exact copies of copyrighted code. The BIOS is the only part of the emulator that needs to be en exact copy to run retail games, which is why it wasn’t included.

    But wait, emulators aren’t the only things in Market that could violate copyright. What about all the PSX BIOS finders and Rom downloaders? They DIRECTLY provide users with illegal copyrighted content! Why not pull them off the Market? Or hey, what about the Bittorrent clients? Or the other PSX emulator?

    It just seems really funny to me which content they pull and which they leave up. Its like they only pull something down if it gets popular.

  4. looks like he moved over to slideME.. https://slideme.org/user/yongzh and they’re all free! (for now)

  5. emulators are legal. plain and simple 😀 what you choose to do with the emulator is NO fault of the emulator. there’s music players in the mark. PERHAPS IM GOING TO DOWNLOAD ILLEGAL MUSIC TO PLAY WITH IT  *Waits for every music player in market to be banned*. Lame, Google. Lame.

  6. I doubt Google would comment on this, so the closest answer we would get would be from the people responsible of triggering Google into looking into the Application after leaving it in the market for so long.

    I’m willing to bet it’s the programmers behind the open source emulators.

    Also I do agree that taking down his developer account is severe.

  7. Actually I’d like to hear what Google has to say if it was a company that told them to take it down, Nintendo. Or if it was just them. However how they did it, I do believe is wrong. To take away the apps I get and agree with, but to also take down his account maybe not so much. If they asked him to take it down and he refuse then sure do it, but we all know that didn’t happen and they just gave him the boot. 

  8. Actually I’d like to hear what Google has to say if it was a company that told them to take it down, Nintendo. Or if it was just them. However how they did it, I do believe is wrong. To take away the apps I get and agree with, but to also take down his account maybe not so much. If they asked him to take it down and he refuse then sure do it, but we all know that didn’t happen and they just gave him the boot. 

  9. ROMs are not obtained via the market. So what? We aren’t even talking about ROMs to begin with. The crackdown here was to a breach of legal agreement between Yong Zhang and the devs of various open source emulator projects.

  10. That’s fine, but this is really a poor medium with which to prove your point. I for one am for the market too be as “legal” as possible but Google didn’t take down the emulator based on the legality of emultors themselves (for which they are perfectly legal). They took down a developer’s set of apps and disabled his account because he violates legal terms of agreements of open source projects which is against the law.

  11. Correct and now how many people do you honestly think have a hard copy of the game?

  12. Furthermore, there is nothing illegal about emulators themselves. Owning a hard copy of a game or console allows you to have a back up (ROM or BIOS file).

    Having these said files without purchasing the said physical copies is illegal.

  13. I’ll be honest I could careless about the news part I wrote this so I could add the Google is doing the right thing part, but since no one wrote about it yet I did it quick. I agree, they left out a MAJOR aspect but then again, how many there do you really think knows how things within Android applications work? 
    The fact Google even allows these to be in the market “shouldn’t” happen but yet they do. And when Google takes these down they look “bad” instead of doing the correct thing.

  14. Engadget is leaving a super important detail out. Yong Zhang the dev for all those ***oid emulators simply took open source emulators, put a java wrapper around the C code and published it on the AndroidMarket as his own application.
    Thus violating the Licence of emulators like Snes9x from which he took code from. Google isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary other than obeying the law.

    Google hasn’t taken down the other smaller emulators that run just fine as well, showing they still have somewhat of a soft stance on emulators (disregarding situations like psx4droid).

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