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FSF passes collection plate for free Android clone Replicant

The Register - The Free Software Foundation has launched a new fundraising program aimed at getting Replicant, the free software version of Google's Android smartphone OS, running on more devices.

Replicant – named after the androids in Ridley Scott's movie Blade Runner (but not the Philip K. Dick story upon which the film is based) – is a fork of the Android source code launched by a group of hackers in 2010, with the goal of creating an Android distribution based strictly on free software.

Android is developed as an open source project, but that doesn't make it "free" by the FSF's definition. Although some of Google's Android code is released under the Gnu General Public License (GPL), and is therefore free software, much if it is released under the Apache License – which, though an open source license, does not meet the FSF's criteria for software freedom.