There’s an uncomfortable balancing act of tolerance between the manufacturers of Androids and the developers engaged in the custom ROM community. While the work of the latter can infringe on the copyrights of the former, in the end the development scene encourages users to buy the manufacturer’s hardware, and so long as users aren’t bricking handsets and going crying for warranty service, the two sides have generally been able to live with each other. HTC looks like it might be rethinking just how permissive it wants to be, upon having its lawyers shut down HTCRUU.com.
James Taylor, who ran the site, posted the details of its shutdown, along with correspondence from HTC’s lawyer, on Reddit earlier today. In the emails he posts, HTC is clear that its issue isn’t just the use of the company’s name in the site’s domain, nor any claims that HTCRUU hosted unreleased ROMs, but that HTC doesn’t want its copyrighted code out there at all.
HTC’s lawyer writes, expanding upon comments regarding leaks, “even ‘release’ ROMs pose similar issues, because they could be modified or changed in a way that could harm the device or its user, and that fault would be imputed to HTC. We really do need you to agree not to provide any HTC ROMs for download.”
Sure, this is just one site, but could this be the beginning of the end for custom HTC ROMs, and attempts to bring Sense to other phones?