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Google Fixes Android Paid App Problem, Sorta

Late in February, reports emerged that said search giant Google had blocked access to paid applications for owners of unlocked G1s for developers. The Mountain View company said it can’t allow developer handsets (purchased unlocked at a cost of $400) access to paid or copy protected apps due to piracy concerns.

While there wasn’t much to go on, other than a comment from a Google employee on the Android support forums detailing, “If you're using an unlocked, developer phone, you'll be unable to view any copy-protected application, including Shazam and Calorie Counter. This is a change that was made recently,” the company has issued a firmware update for people using a Developer G1. Basically, the main theory was that Google was worried developers would buy an app, copy it and then return it under the returns policy.

The update sort of fixes the problem but not really. Engadget reports that ADP1 owners now have access to paid apps that don't have copy protection. In other words, you can buy paid apps as long as the author of the app didn’t bother to copyright it. Except if you think your application is good enough to charge people money, you probably think it’s good enough to warrant being copy protected.

We’re eager to see how ADP owners react to this one. When the original story broke, you guys suggested altering the purchase policy to say you forfeit your right to return an app if your phone is in developer mode.