Have a rooted Android device? Well then, you are not welcomed in the movie rental service Google introduced at Google I/O 2011. Citing “requirements related to copyright protection,” Google’s decided to block all rooted Android devices from playing rented movies from Android Market.
Users trying to play rented movies on rooted devices will see an error message: “Failed to fetch license for [movie title] (error 49).” It’s just a nicer way of saying, “we hate rooted devices, get out of here.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise if this move comes from Apple. But the fact that movies rented from iTunes can be viewed on a jailbroken iOS device, and movies rented from Android Market are barred from playing on rooted devices, leaves everyone scratching their heads.
The most common reasons Android users are rooting their devices: get rid of carrier bundled irremovable crapware, get extra features which otherwise wouldn’t be possible, and generally gain more control to make the device truly theirs. To assume these users would eventually pirate movies on Android Market is unfair.
One way or another, a pirate will find a way to get movies without paying, even if you make it less convenient for him. The same can’t be said for paying customers.
A workaround is expected from the Android community. But seriously, why use a service that doesn’t want your money?