HTC has let the ROM hacking community know, in no uncertain terms, that they mean business. They have issued a C&D letter to one Android ROM hacker and distributor, Conflipper, who runs Shipped-ROMs. HTC is alleging that Shipped-ROMs is in violation of rights by “illegal copying of HTC¡¦s original art work”, and that this could be “causing HTC irreparable harm”.
Seriously? It seems to me that this site is doing little to no harm by simply providing end users with ROMs, but it’s more likely that HTC’s big issue is with their software being hosted in places that they don’t approve. However, considering HTC’s fight with Apple over intellectual property rights, it’s entirely possible that HTC is taking precautionary measures to keep their own property safe for themselves.
Either way, it looks like Conflipper has sent a request back to HTC, asking them exactly which ROMs they would like taken down, according to his Twitter page. Read the full C&D below:
“Dear Sir or Madam:
I write to you on behalf of HTC Corporation (“HTC”), a Taiwanese company with a global business, who is the owner of certain intellectual property (“HTC¡¦s Intellectual Property”). It is our understanding that you are responsible for the hosting of an internet webpage located at http://shipped-roms.com (the “Site¡¨). HTC has also recently learned that the Site contains software/ROM related to HTC¡¦s Intellectual Property which entails illegal copying of HTC¡¦s original art work.
We have very strong reasons to believe that the HTC Intellectual Property was illegally obtained by fraudulent means. The subject dissemination and publication of HTC¡¦s Intellectual Property is in clear violation of HTC¡¦s legal rights and is an infringement of the HTC¡¦s copyrights, goodwill, as well as the other intellectual rights. The continuing distribution of HTC¡¦s Intellectual Property without authorization has constituted a serious criminal offence under the Copyright Act in the U.S. and the EU and other countries where similar laws are enforced.
As you would expect, HTC is the owner and the use of the copyrighted work described above has not been authorized by the owner. By publishing and displaying the Intellectual Property on the Site, you, as the publisher, along with the information source are infringing HTC¡¦s Intellectual Property rights, including but not limited to causing HTC irreparable harm.
For the above reasons, HTC requests that you immediately remove the Intellectual Property from the Site or of all infringing works derived from the Intellectual Property. You shall desist from this or any other infringement of HTC¡¦s rights in the future.
The above information is true and correct. If we have not received an affirmative response from you within two weeks indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, we shall take further legal action, and pursue all means necessary to protect HTC¡¦s legal and equitable rights. HTC reserves all its rights against you, including legal and equitable remedies.”
What do you think? Should HTC be taking these legal routes to keep their “art work” under thumb, or should they be focusing on other things? Let us know in the comments.