This is a surprise to read and hear. From Google, Team Android, and everything being “open” this sure looks to be a little different. Obviously Google makes all the rules, and we talked about that in the Skyhook case, but this latest bit of news comes as a bit of a shocker. All we have is a comment on a Google Support page so this may not be completely true, hopefully its not.

Google recently added Movie Rentals to the Android Market starting at the low price of $1.99 to rent a movie. This great service has a lot of people excited and I’ve used it myself and streamed it over HDMI out on my G2x and it works great. Sadly we are now seeing a report claiming that if you are on a rooted device, movie rentals will not be available. Users are reporting that they are receiving this error, “Failed to fetch license for [movie title] (error 49)” and when looking for suggestions on the Google Support Page this was the grim response:

You’ll receive this “Error 49” message if you attempt to play a movie on a rooted device. Rooted devices are currently unsupported due to requirements related to copyright protection.

Something I hope is wrong and simply the first reply we have seen. Hopefully this weekend or Monday we will get more information regarding this. If this is the case it would be a turn in the wrong direction from things being “open” in the android ecosystem. I have complete faith in the dev and hacking community that something would be figured out for us “rooted” users quickly anyways. Just look at Netflix, it launched for a few devices and now is available on just about any phone as long as your rooted. So we will see how this all plays out over the next few days or week.

[via Android Market Support]