Google Releases Android Market Policies; Returns, Remote Removal Of Apps

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imageGoogle (NSDQ: GOOG) has released its Android Market Business and Program Policies, with some interesting elements. The first thing noted — and that which has attracted a lot of attention in the blogosphere — is that consumers have 24 hours from purchasing an application to return it for a full refund. Only apps are covered in this. This should give people confidence when they buy an application, in that if it turns out not to be suitable they can return it (if they install and test it right away).

Google also reserves the right to remotely remove applications from Android handsets. This policy is best explained by copying it directly: “Product Removals: From time to time, Google may discover a Product on the Market that violates the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement or other legal agreements, laws, regulations or policies. In such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your Device at its sole discretion. If that occurs Google will make reasonable efforts to recover the purchase price of the Product, if any, from the originating Developer on your behalf. If Google is unable to recover the full amount of the purchase price, it will divide any recovered amounts between the affected users on a pro rata basis.”

Other elements include unlimited number of re-installs of applications obtained through the Android Market, the fact that upgrades have to be done through the developer rather than through the market, and Google will not get involved in billing disputes between a customer and developer, nor provide customer support for applications. The types of content prohibited in the Android Market are pretty straightforward: No nudity or sexually explicit material, hate speech, illegal activity such as impersonation or copyright infringement, and no products or services that violate Carrier Term of Service for allowed usage. (via Androinica)

2 Comments

Adam M

I'm curious what is meant here by "laws." What "laws" will govern users — the law that inheres to their mobile provider contract or the law in place wherever they happen to be at the moment? If I'm traveling to some repressive country with my Google phone, and that government decides that they are banning dissemination of the BBC or the New York Times, will Google have the authority (or obligation) to remove remotely any news reading apps that might run afoul of local censors?

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