Monday, November 12, 2007

What's wrong with Italian developers?

From the Android Developer Challenge FAQ:
The Android Developer Challenge is open to individuals, teams of individuals, and business entities. While we seek to make the Challenge open worldwide, we cannot open the Challenge to residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, and Myanmar (Burma) because of U.S. laws. In addition, the Challenge is not open to residents of Italy or Quebec because of local restrictions.
Ok, I can take the axis of evil are out of the cash prizes for building Android applications, but what is wrong with the residents of Italy?? What did the Italian government do, this time? Or is it a plot to leave out the best mobile developers in the world (apologies for the developers of Quebec, with whom my fellow Italian developers supposedly share bad local restrictions...)?

One of the Italian readers of this blog added a comment, pointing to the explanation by Fabrizio Giudici. In a nutshell, the Italian government adds so many rules - and requires Google to put a security deposit of $10M in the Italian banks - that kill the ability for Italians to compete with the rest of the world. Quite sad. These are the days when I am glad Funambol is incorporated in Delaware ;-)

One of the readers added a comment pointing me to this article in "Il Punto Informatico" (in Italian, sorry). Carefully reading the Italian law - which is never easy ;-) - it appears that maybe Google has been overcautious, because there seems to be an exclusion for "scientific art" (which must included software, in particular if developed by Italians :-) . I contacted the Italians in Google I know and they told me they are working on it... Let's hope we'll get the country back on track. The economy needs the $10M prizes...