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Theme Hospital is available for free for Android devices, paid version violates MIT license

Yesterday we reported on the fact an unofficial port of Theme Hospital had arrived on Android from BarleyStudios. This version of Theme Hospital was available for download for $1.49 but as it turns out, the BarleyStudios version uses the same coding as the CorsixTH version and since BarleyStudios is charging for their port, it violates the MIT license regarding open source software.

The MIT License for open source software is described as a free software license which permits the reuse of code in proprietary works, so BarleyStudios or any other developer is free to take the coding and do what they will with it. The problem is you have to include the MIT License in the copy of the software you modify which violates the MIT License. On top of that, this coding is from the CorsixTH project which, since it is under the MIT License, is fine to compile and release onto Android but charging for it is very shady.

The good news is that the developer of the actual port of Theme Hospital, Alan Woolley is the original developer for the Android port of Theme Hospital and has made it available to download for free from both the projects homepage and his own developer blog.

Another questionable fact about the BarleyStudios version is the permission it requests. While the game does play fine, it does ask for a lot of permissions, most notably permission to access sensitive log data and info pertaining to your phone state and identity. Apparently this is for collecting core dump log files to debug issues with the game.

In a response to this, Woolley has said: “I have no idea what changes (barleystudio) has made to the code, if any. I will NEVER charge for this port as I think it discredits the work done by Corsix and the CorsixTH team to develop this amazing clone.”

As a result of this new information, we have removed the Google Play link in our original post regarding the BarleyStudios version due to it’s violation of the MIT License. We encourage anyone playing Theme Hospital to download the version Woolley has created from the links above to support his work on bringing this game to Android.

Website Referenced: Android Police




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