31
Mar
image

Among all the awesome (or really bad, depending on your mood) April Fool's jokes today, Google's web form for submitting Android Market copyright infringements towers above all, especially considering it's not a joke, at all. We really doubt that it's intentional because this behavior was present before April 1st arrived to California, and it is mind boggling that something like this would fall through the cracks and get past Google's Quality Assurance. Alas...

Upon submitting the relatively lengthy form that is meant to report copyright violations in the Market, instead of a Thank You message, the [most likely innocent smalltime] copyright holder is presented with the following:

image

So, imagine that you spent hundreds of hours developing an application and suddenly found that someone ripped it off, stuffed it with ads, and submitted back to the Market. You come to Google to report the violation but instead get slapped in the face. This is pretty much what our tipster, the owner of 2 screensavers that the Go Team is allegedly infringing on, felt like earlier today.

Here are larger versions of the form (left: mine, with some fake information I put in to pass validation and make sure it's not an April Fool's joke; right: our tipster, Terry Welsh):

Update: Turns out it says "crap" even if you don't fill anything out. Go ahead, just press Submit.

image image

And here is the relevant piece of HTML code responsible for this travesty:

<form class="contact_form contact_form_lr_dmca" name="request" id="request" method="post"

action="javascript:alert('crap');"

onsubmit="return formValidation_lr_dmca(this,'error_msg_lr_dmca');" enctype="multipart/form-data">

Not cool, Google. Not cool at all.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Joshua

    His screen savers are completely open source. . . Where is the infringement at?

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      He claims the apps violate GPL. I'm not sure myself, because I'm not even positive the Market apps use any of his code, but we'll get to the bottom of this eventually.

    • SlimDan22

      I think it may violate the GPL because the screen savers are add supported (in the settings menu) , so they are making money off them plus i don't think they asked for the original authors approval like the other ports of the screen savers

      • Asphyx

        Technically you can sell or make money off of GPL but you still need to provide the source code which if they added banners probably means they are combining it with proprietary code which is forbidden under the GPL.

        You can add your own code to any GPL licensed product but the stuff you added must also be GPL licensed and free to change.

        Still not really ethical what they did but it depends on how they did it before you can say if it really violated GPL.

  • Topgun

    People need to have a sense of humor...thats funny as hell. From that html its still posting it so time not lost. I love it

  • http://www.pretentiousname.com Leo Davidson

    It's probably a message someone put in to debug the page (e.g. confirming that javascript function was run when that button was pushed) and then forgot to remove afterwards.
    It's a good lesson that you WILL forget to take out that kind of debug message one day and thus it's a good idea not to put anything in them that you wouldn't want someone to see, like the word 'crap'. I've put far worse things in similar messages in my younger days. :-)

    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      But where's the fun in NOT running the risk of having salacious debug messages appear in the wild?

    • Chester Moy

      Usually "lol" or "blah" or "this" .. but "crap?"

  • Harsha R

    This is hilarious!!! =D

  • http://blog.shinma.com shinma

    I recently had an eye tracking hotspot take the undeniably distinct shape of a full set of male genitalia. In Powerpoint, I circled the hotspot in question and added a "WTF LOL" call out to the slide so I could get a screenshot, and then deleted the slide. Only afterwards, of course, did I think "wait... what if it reverts to an older version by accident?" Fortunately the client has a great sense of humor.

  • the man

    lol! reminds me of my c++ days. i used to use a lot of 4 letter words.

  • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

    First, HTC fails to release code and Linux developers tell HTC to fuck off. Motorola decides to build it's own mobile OS. Microsoft starts suing Android partners over patent violations and Google locks down its code too, becoming the thing it promised never to be: gatekeeper al la Apple's App Store moderators.

    Now Google is giving small fries the finger.

    Yet, some will still argue that Android is the best mobile OS on the market, defending its openness despite not producing a fork.

    Interesting.

  • silverrow

    The "crap" response is gone, in my part of the world (W.Eur). What I get is "Error: Please hit your back button and enter a valid email address." which is legit, since I submitted it empty.
    But I do think it was just a prank.

  • ari-free

    hey google why not just tell developers "We are completely out of our league. Please just move your apps to Amazon so that you can deal with professionals."