HTC Cracks Down on ROM Hackers With Cease and Desist Letter

Illustration for article titled HTC Cracks Down on ROM Hackers With Cease and Desist Letter

We've covered a fair few of the ROM hacks here on Gizmodo, which many parts of an extremely active network of hackers/Android-lovers have created. Now though, HTC is cracking down on them, sending Conflipper's community a cease-and-desist.

Conflipper has been behind a few of the most high-profile hacks, but is also particularly skilled at digging out mentions of upcoming Android phones in the developers' code. He gives the army of Android lovers the tools to customize their phones, but also stirs up a lot of publicity and hype for HTC's products.


Nonetheless, HTC has ordered the month-old Shipped-Roms community, led by Conflipper, to "cease and desist," taking offense to the illegally-published/copied "original art work," meaning most probably their phones' code. The letter, published on Shipped-Roms, says also that it's a "serious criminal offence," not just in the US but also the EU and "other countries where similar laws are enforced."

Judging by the comments though, the Android community isn't going to take this one lying down, with one of them saying "HTC (High Tech Crap) should only thanksgiving us for fixing their crappy roms,if it wasnt for Rom Development they would sell half of their phones." [Shipped-Roms via MobileCrunch via Phandroid]

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Stepping out from obfuscation for a moment...

As others here have mentioned, the greatest selling point on HTC handsets is the fact that there is a divrse and dedicated Dev/Cook community out there, Worldwide, that provide secondary enhanced support for XDA devices that both prolongs and enhances the life of the handsets in question.

As a result,the value of the handsets from HTC are priceable as a higher commodity, not just because of their hardware/software combination, but by the umpteenth number of enhancements/improvements that enthusiasts do with these handsets. The appeal of a fully moddable handset appeals greatly from techies that want more from their device than a fairly limited, yet stylish alternative with little ability to make it one's own.

HTC is making a grave error here. While they insist that they are protecting IP, they risk alienating a huge share of their customerbase that had long stuck with since eariler in the last decade.

But if that is the game you want to play, HTC, people like me (and there are many of us... The BASE of your customership) will simply take our money and subscribe to other handsets that are willing to let us make the handsets our own.

It's your call, HTC. Keep this up, and you'll start wondering why people are buying less of your products. Or retract this ridiculous C&D, and embrace us, the mod/dev community, as we have embraced HTC since it's days as a self-branded handset company.

What's it going to be HTC?