Last week, the dev community threw a bit of a fit over the takedown request that lawyers of HTC enforced on HTCRUU.com, a site that posted up leaked or unreleased RUU firmware for HTC’s devices. Some questioned the need to do this move now after having supported the ROM and RUU scene for so long, while others were nothing short of angry.
The request pointed out the fact that HTCRUU.com was using HTC’s name, logo, and trademarks without a license from HTC, which makes sense. But also, the request asked that HTCRUU.com remove all ROMs and firmware, as HTC does not allow third party distribution of its ROMs. The uproar over this situation was enough to get HTC to respond.
Here is the statement they just released on the subject:
Last week, there was some buzz about a website that contained RUUs for HTC devices being taken down at the request of HTC. We’d like to take a minute to provide some background.
The issue with the site in question was NOT that it provided custom ROMs or RUUs. The site used HTC trademarks without a license from HTC. The domain name contained ‘HTC’ and it used HTC logos, making it appear to be an official HTC website. Like any other company, we must protect our trademarks and brand. We cannot risk being associated with, and held liable for, software that we don’t have any control over that’s put onto an HTC device through a third party.
HTC openly embraces the community that chooses to flash custom ROMs onto their devices. The HTC Unlock Bootloader tool on htcdev.com evidences this support. We think the custom ROM community is valuable to the overall health of the Android ecosystem, and we have no intention of abandoning them. We love the passion of this community, and we hope you continue to build with us, use HTC products, and give us honest and direct feedback.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m taking the side of HTC on this, but come on, folks. If someone was distributing your company’s property without your consent, while using your name, wouldn’t you be a little concerned? Their points make sense, and I know that many people have been asking, “Well, why now?” That we aren’t sure of. It could be an order handed down from the top because a VP was having a bad day for all we know. Bottom line, this shouldn’t surprise anyone that a company wasn’t impressed by a 3rd party distributing their work. It sucks, yes, but it’s not surprising.
To read the entire backstory, hit up this reddit thread.