This story on how rooted Android devices are being blocked from watching Google Movies seemed to pick up a lot of steam over the weekend, but it’s funny because @p3droid and I talked for a couple of hours about this on Twitter just after Google I/O got done almost 2 weeks ago (another reason to follow us!). We both run rooted XOOMs and manually upgraded to 3.1, but were greeted with the nasty “Failed to fetch license” error that you are seeing above from the Android Market support pages. We even thought we had found a fix which involved upgrading and then deleting su and Superuser.apk, but that ended up not working for everyone. In fact, I installed 100% stock images from Motorola on my device, accepted the OTA update and still cannot access movies.
So my thoughts on this are, “this sucks, but is not unexpected.” We all know how long it has taken Netflix to get past their security fears with Android, so I can only imagine how those negotiations went down when Google asked movie companies directly for permission to sell their titles. And I would hope Android’s security reputation isn’t also the reason that they have been unable to secure contracts to sell music, but wouldn’t be surprised.
This new wave of anti-root on Android is a little unsettling, especially since many of us joined this army because we loved the idea of having total control. But in the end, it’s all a business and rooted users seem to be looked at as evil hackers and thieves these days, so I’m afraid this is only the beginning.
Cheers to everyone who sent this!