“Most of Android is licensed freely under the Apache License 2.0. The Linux core is mostly Free Software under the GPLv2. However, there are numerous components of the default software stack on the HTC phones that are proprietary software. Most notably, nearly any component that touches the hardware directly is proprietary software.”
Google has long been bashed for gradually steering Android away from Linux proper and allowing carriers and handset manufacturers to dilute it with proprietary software. Replicant aims to right that wrong.
Developed by LibrePlanet Italia and Software Freedom Centre, Replicant seeks to be the 100% free software compliant mobile operating system that is built on Android.
Currently, Replicant is being tested on the Google Nexus 1 and other phones that come with root privileges. It is still very early in the development stage. However, if you feel you are already excited about a purists version of Android, then you can grab a copy of one of the unstable images.
For those who think Android will be bad for the community as a whole given the path its being taken, Replicant should be a welcome project.