The CommonsBlog


Dropping the OUYA Chapter

I will be dropping the OUYA chapter in the next update to The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development, which is slated to be released next week.

My OUYA console is presently demanding that I agree to a new “Marketplace Terms of Service” in order to do anything with that console. Failure to accept these terms logs me out of the console. Hence, the “Marketplace” is apparently the console itself, despite the fact that there are plenty of ways to use the OUYA that do not involve downloading and using apps from the OUYA app distribution portal.

These revised terms of service contain clauses that would prevent me from maintaining the OUYA chapter:

  • Those who agree to the terms are no longer allowed to use the OUYA name without written permission. This will make it rather difficult to refer to the console, as “The Console That Must Not Be Named” is a bit wordy.

  • Those who agree to the terms are not allowed to use the console “for any commercial purpose or for the benefit of any third party or in any manner not permitted by these terms”. This book would reasonably be considered a commercial endeavor.

  • Those who agree to the terms are not allowed to “violate any applicable law or regulation”, with no scope control on “applicable”. I jaywalk with some frequency, and it would not surprise me if my very existence violates some law somewhere. Besides, I write a lot, and therefore Zombie Cardinal Richelieu will probably be able to hang me.

  • Those who agree to the terms cannot “encourage or enable any other gamer or individual to do anything listed above”, and I fear that writing about the OUYA might “encourage or enable” people to use OUYA’s name without written permission, even if I were to somehow craft the chapter to avoid that name. And so even if I were to obtain written permission, I am not in position to require that my subscribers each attest that they have received such permission or otherwise agree never to use the OUYA name.

I have not accepted these terms of service, and therefore I can no longer use my console for anything much more than a doorstop, a role for which it is not well-designed.

Subscribers doing OUYA development should make a point of holding onto a copy of Version 5.1 of the book, to have a copy of the OUYA chapter in its last-published state.

If, at some time, I determine that there is a revision of these terms of service, where these clauses are appropriately amended (or perhaps removed), I will look to restore the chapter to the book.

I apologize for any hassle that this may cause, and affected subscribers are welcome to rip me a new one if desired.


The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development: the most Android knowledge allowed by law! :-)