The Guardian prematurely published an article on Google Android software, according to a correction published in its Jan. 30 Corrections and Clarifications column.
There were two errors in the article that shouldn’t have been published, according to the correction, but tracing the errors is a bit messy. A comparison of the cache of the original article with the re-written article indicates that some of the original article was cut and used in a different article. Altogether, the two articles published on the Guardian’s website about Android software list three corrections.
The article, by Charles Arthur and Samuel Gibbs, wasn’t ready to be published and had errors, according to the correction. The Guardian correction says the article “was launched in error online before all editorial processes had been completed, and contained errors.”
One of the errors in the article included that “Google charges Android device makers a licence fee for Google mobile applications,” the correction stated. The Guardian has now “rewritten and restored” the article, according to the correction.
We asked the Guardian for more information about the curious correction, including if the article was accidentally published because of a technical error or an editorial error. A Guardian spokesperson told us it had no further comment outside of the correction statement.
The original Jan. 23 article appears to be available via a Google cache. It was originally titled: “Why Google Android software is not as free or open-source as you may think.” The title of the re-written article is “The hidden costs of building an Android device.”
See below a Jan. 27 cache of the article.
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Besides changing the title and fixing errors, the re-write of the article appears to include cutting the article in half. The re-written version currently on the Guardian‘s website is just 387, but the original article was much longer, clocking in around 850 words.
Some of the information that was removed from the re-written Guardian article is now in a related Guardian article, “Administrators called in at hardware firm KMS after row with Argos.” (That article also carries a correction for a headline and caption error. That correction reads: “This article was amended on 29 January 2014 after the headline and picture caption inaccurately described KMS as a software company.”)
The full Guardian correction reads:
“The original article was taken down pending investigation, on 28 January 2014. The article was launched in error before editorial processes had been completed and contained errors for which we apologise. The story said that Google charges Android device makers a license fee for Google mobile applications. This is wrong. In addition the article stated in reference to a licence fee that: “It is a lot of money, but you can’t see it anywhere [in Google’s accounts].” This is also incorrect.”