Google sheds some light on the Cyanogen cease and desist letters -
As many of you know, the beauty of Android is the fact that it is an open source system. But many have a bit ticked off since hearing that Cyanogen, one of the most well loved Android ROM cookers on xda-developers, received a cease and desist letter from Google. Immediately, blogs and forums lit up with posts about Google trying to police their new Android platform. For months now, Cyanogen has been pushing the Android envelope by adding in new features from the Donut development branch and his latest ROM even included Google new Android Market app. At first it was believed that the addition of the new Android Market is why Cyanogen got the infamous letter from Google. I guess I’d be a little mad too if a new product I’d been working on for the past few months suddenly hit the streets without my knowledge or permission.
In an effort to clear the air a little, Google posted up a blog post on their official Android Developers Blog. Dan Morrill explains the difference between Android and Google’s apps. The cease and desist letter was issues because of Cyanogen’s use of Google’s apps in his ROM’s. Google points out that some of their apps are "pre-installed on some phones through business deals" in order to benefit the Android platform. Though Google does not sell their Android Market, Gmail, Calendar, and other apps, it’s pretty obvious that they are getting some sort of kickback from HTC and other manufacturers for including them in their Android powered phones.
It’s unclear what Cyanogen will do at this point, but I’m sure that he’s only the first of many Android ROM cookers who will be hearing from Google.
Source: Android Developers Blog