HTC today responded to concerns about the future of custom ROMs after a site that was hosting ROM Update Utility files -- HTC's proprietary full restore files -- received a takedown letter from a lawyer representing the manufacture. The site -- -- posted the apparent exchange at Reddit (and was later picked up by Rootzwiki). HTC on its blog today explains that it was the branding -- the use of the HTC logo along with the domain name -- that was really at issue. 

Wrote HTC:

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.

Stockpiling RUUs remains a bit of a gray area -- we've seen other sites taken down over the years -- but HTC pointed to its bootloader unlocking problem (which remains subject to the whim of its clients -- the carriers) as proof that it's committed to the modding community that that "we think the custom ROM community is valuable to the overall health of the Android ecosystem, and we have no intention of abandoning them."

Source: HTC


Reader comments

RUUs, ROMs not the target of takedown, HTC says


No, they don't. Once someone creates something, it's free for any and every one to distribute in any fashion they choose /s

I wonder if I can use that line with the guys building a house down the street?
Where do you live? I want to share some some of your stuff.

It doesn't even appear that they're protecting their actual software, since they say the issue is not the roms/ruus themselves.

I think they're just worried about the site appearing to be an official HTC web site providing official, supported roms. It's absolutely understandable that they'd want to avoid potential problems from this.

I don't see why they would disagree with a site hosting a RUU. It helps the end user get back to their factory OS easily without having to send it to HTC.

"which remains subject to the whim of its clients -- the carriers" Carriers are not the sold clients of HTC, they are also the independent retailers. E.g Carphone Warehouse, Amazon etc. I brought my One X unlocked from Amazon.

HTC also sells many products directly.

Some of phones wouldn't exist for independent retailers to sell if a carrier didn't put in a huge order to make those devices.

Of course, but MNOs are not the only client. Outside the US, its about 50/50 for those who go direct and those who go through operators and subsidies.

I call bullshit.

HTC has always went after people hosting RUU files, back to the Windows Mobile days -- including ones that never used their name or logo. They just said what they think people wanna hear.

I do agree they have a right to do this, though. Everyone and their brother is stealing and reverse engineering their work.

so what? if its worse or no better, than those people just look like idiots. if the independant devs work is better or can work on different devices that HTC couldn't be bothered to update, then its HTC who is a little foolish.

If you sit down and read the email exchange the lawyer states that all RUU's and ROMS by JMZ needed to be taken down. This may have been done without the knowledge of HTC but none the less the concern was put out there. The owner of the site also clearly stated that he agrees with HTC as to the site name being misleading and needing to be changed.

I find it hard to see this statement as HTC "continuing" to support their community. With petty locks like S-ON status and the lack of development community support such as driver assistance and open lines of communication I find it hard to see the company as "developer friendly"

HTC communities on XDA are slowly fading as more and more members move to companies like Samsung, LG and Sony.

This is a company that does not listen to their community at large and only tackle issues when hit with bad publicity.

I get and understand the use if HTC's logo without permission being a no no but having the letters HTC in the domain as a grounds of closing a website seems a bit crazy. Using that train of thought, imagine how many websites Apple could close down... Or HP...

Can't wait for new sony z. Had it with HTC and there rubbish. I have used Wildfire, Sensation XL, Sensation, One X. I now have the misfortune of using a One S using the S3 . HTC seem to have forgotten they ever released it in Australia and so I miss out on JB. Rom development for S3 is non existent and now thanks to HTC caring for its community, I can't even get a hold of an RUU to Unbrand my unlocked phone!!!!!!
HTC have seen the last of my dollars. Couldn't careless if they go belly up.