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View Poll Results: How will HTC's recent actions to stop distribution of RUUs affect your decision to buy from them?
This will have no impact on my buying decisions. 9 31.03%
I’d still consider a worthy HTC device but just wouldn’t root it. 2 6.90%
If that’s how it’s gonna be, I’ll never buy another HTC device! 18 62.07%
What’s an RUU or Sense? 0 0%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 25th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default [POLL]Given HTC's recent actions against devs and ROM distribution, would you buy another HTC device

Here's what's in the news:

HTC Forces Owner Of HTCRUU.com To Shut Down, Hand Over The ROMs (And Domain) | Android Police

HTC demanding I take down RUUs and even my custom sense roms | JMZ Taylor at reddit

HTC Cracking Down on ROM Community? | Pocketnow

HTC declares war against the dev community, takes down ROM websites across the web | androidauthority.com


Here are the main points:
  • HTC is actively pursuing websites that distribute its software (especially RUUs) and shutting them down.
  • HTC is also targeting the removal of all Sense-based ROMs including custom ROMs. This may include ROMs that port Sense to devices from other manufacturers.
  • HTC is fully within its rights to do all this as redistribution of their code (ie, Sense) is not legal without their permission. Hence, there is no legal foul on HTC's part here.
  • HTC's motivation for doing so appears to be that people mod their devices, brick them and then dishonestly take them to an HTC service center for repair/replacement on HTC's dime.
  • These activities are a move away from Android's open-source nature and toward what we see with Apple -- a closed OS totally controlled by the manufacturer.


What this means for the dev community:
  • You can no longer download an RUU to update your device manually.
  • You can no longer recover your device with an RUU if softbricked after rooting, greatly increasing the risk of rooting.
  • If you softbrick your phone and can't get the RUU, chances are you'll have to take it to an HTC service center and they'll deny you warranty service because you rooted/modded your device.
  • If you develop or distribute any ROM with Sense, HTC may come after you. This could conceivably include Nandroid backups of stock ROMs since they also contain Sense.

I hope I have represented both sides fairly so as to not poison the well. The point is this: Pursing this path is fully within HTC’s rights. On the other hand, we have a choice of who to buy from.

So what would you do? Buy from HTC or someone else?

___________

Edit: HTC oks the distribution of RUUs and JMZ puts them back up at androidfiles.org:

HTC: Sharing RUUs And Sense-Based ROMs Is OK, We Just Want The HTCRUU.com Domain | Android Police

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Old January 25th, 2013, 07:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: [POLL]Given HTC's recent actions against devs and ROM distribution, would you buy another HTC de

I see 1 website taken down, in which the user had HTC in the URL and had a HTC logo and proprietary HTC software distributed on the site.


I don't see the problem.


You can get the ruu from HTC just by asking for it in the event you have an issue

I don't know why anyone would distribute a nandroid, its got all of your sensitive information inside of it
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Old January 25th, 2013, 07:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's actually more than one website. They went after another website some years ago (I can't remember which one) and the also went after user Football at XDA.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 07:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: [POLL]Given HTC's recent actions against devs and ROM distribution, would you buy another HTC de

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It's actually more than one website. They went after another website some years ago (I can't remember which one) and the also went after user Football at XDA.
Football was releasing "leaked" ruus (which are also proprietary software). HTC thinks they're not final releases

This is simply damage control by HTC.

I'm not saying I like it, but people were way too flamboyant about distributing it
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Old January 25th, 2013, 08:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Most of what Football distributed (my experience with Wildfire S and One V) were official released ROMs. I'm not arguing with you though. I'm sure there were also some unofficial leaked stuff too.

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I don't know why anyone would distribute a nandroid, its got all of your sensitive information inside of it
I've seen people make and distribute Nandroids of fresh factory reset stocks ROMs dozens of times. It's a common and less painful way to manually update a stock ROM.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 10:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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as of right now i will be keeping a closer eye on this. i understand what rxpert is saying and he is right. this is more damage control more then anything. however if they start to impact what is being done over at xda or just the dev community in general then it will be bye bye time for me.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 11:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: [POLL]Given HTC's recent actions against devs and ROM distribution, would you buy another HTC de

If they were truly concerned about killing off custom ROMs xda would have been the first to go down.

The way I see it they were protecting their brand, and actually were very nice about it in the emails.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 11:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The domain I can understand, it was a bit silly using one with 'htc' in the url. I don't see how the ROMs were harming them, If you're savvy enough to flash a custom ROM, you know it's not HTC's problem if it goes tits up. And I hope you've got a good Nandroid to fall back on.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 12:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Personally I loved my HTC device when I had it, I have thoroughly enjoyed my GNex but I still thought about possibly going back, but if they are going to act like this in the face of a huge base of consumers that unlock/root their devices then phooey on them.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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ive only had LG devices so this has little impact on me. it sucks and i dont think that i would buy a htc device in light of this. thats what android is OPEN SOURCE! this sux!
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Old January 26th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with Rx, a lot of smoke here and very little fire.

This is the same HTC that heard our petition and gave us a bootloader unlock tool (we weren't smart enough to petition for s-off at the same time, we all thought that they were the same thing lol).

There was a brand problem with the site name and with the code names being used for the RUUs.

Does it suck a little? Maybe. Does it hurt anyone needing an RUU? I don't think so, would welcome hearing otherwise. Do they know about us and XDA? Certainly, some of their staff have been members and they lurk here from time to time.

I agree with ocn, it bears watching, you never know.

I don't agree with using an anticipation of more for decision making. Wait and see what comes. If anything. Imo.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: [POLL]Given HTC's recent actions against devs and ROM distribution, would you buy another HTC de

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I agree with Rx

I can check that one off the bucket list
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Old January 26th, 2013, 09:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The last HTC phone I owned was the MyTouch 4G, that lasted about 3 weeks. The only reason I bought it to begin with was because I was switching to Tmobile to get the Nexus S and I was switching 3 weeks before it was released.

HTC has always made their phones more of a pain to root, and therefor I have avoided them for years. Sense has always been the worst skin IMO. But, I will not ever buy another non-Nexus phone regardless of the OEM.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 11:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyMon View Post
I agree with Rx, a lot of smoke here and very little fire.

This is the same HTC that heard our petition and gave us a bootloader unlock tool (we weren't smart enough to petition for s-off at the same time, we all thought that they were the same thing lol).

There was a brand problem with the site name and with the code names being used for the RUUs.

Does it suck a little? Maybe. Does it hurt anyone needing an RUU? I don't think so, would welcome hearing otherwise. Do they know about us and XDA? Certainly, some of their staff have been members and they lurk here from time to time.

I agree with ocn, it bears watching, you never know.

I don't agree with using an anticipation of more for decision making. Wait and see what comes. If anything. Imo.
If this was only affecting jmztaylor's site I might agree with you, but remember that they shutdown footballpda and forced him to close his RUU threads at XDA and take down the RUU's he had uploaded to filefactory, which is what prompted jmztaylor to host the RUU's in the first place. Combine that with the fact that they are now encrypting OTA updates and it seems pretty clear that they are going down a path of discouraging any modification of their Sense ROM's which is pretty much what the lawyer said in jmztaylor's email thread.

IMO, this is definitely not an isolated incident and seems to be the beginning of a new direction for HTC. Perhaps they are planning to become the "secure" alternative and go after government and corporate accounts? The new blackberry.

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Old January 26th, 2013, 11:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyMon View Post
There was a brand problem with the site name and with the code names being used for the RUUs.

Does it suck a little? Maybe. Does it hurt anyone needing an RUU? I don't think so, would welcome hearing otherwise.
That's part of the point. They are trying to halt the distribution of RUUs, which is clear from their lawyer's correspondence with JMZ:
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTC's lawyer
On the ROM front, HTC does not endorse or allow distribution of its ROMs by any third party.
James had to give up all of the RUUs he had distributed as well as ROMs he had customized. The result is that making changes to a rooted device just got riskier. You'd better make sure you have a nandroid backup, but if you don't or the nandroid doesn't solve your problem, you're off to an HTC service center, likely to be denied warranty service.

This is why the headlines call it "cracking down" and "declaring war" on the dev community.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 11:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: [POLL]Given HTC's recent actions against devs and ROM distribution, would you buy another HTC de

Headlines always sensationalize things to get clicks. That's how they stay afloat. Everything gets blown up to get people to read.

You can get an ruu from HTC simply by asking for it. Better yet, they'll give it to you in a signed zip file to update on your storage. No pc needed.

The way I read it the lawyers were more confused than anything about what the custom roms were. These are lawyers were talking about here, not android enthusiasts.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 12:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rxpert83 View Post
Headlines always sensationalize things to get clicks. That's how they stay afloat. Everything gets blown up to get people to read.
I wasn't referencing the articles, but the email thread itself.

Quote:
You can get an ruu from HTC simply by asking for it. Better yet, they'll give it to you in a signed zip file to update on your storage. No pc needed.
And how exactly do you do that? The only RUU I've seen publicly available on the htcdev.com website was a GB version for the Evo 3D that was needed to fix a problem with their unlocking process.

Quote:
The way I read it the lawyers were more confused than anything about what the custom roms were. These are lawyers were talking about here, not android enthusiasts.
Most lawyers I know are really into CYA and wouldn't say things like this unless they were authorized:

Quote:
(from HTC's lawyer)
On the ROM front, HTC does not endorse or allow distribution of its ROMs by any third party. (In particular, many of those hosted here are from pre-release phones.) The ROMs pose a significant consumer protection issue for HTC, since it does not control the software and, if installed on users' devices, it could cause harm to the user. If you are aware of any third party sites providing ROMs that HTC should know about, please do let me know - it would be very helpful.
That's taken directly from the email thread and he doesn't sound confused to me.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 12:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: [POLL]Given HTC's recent actions against devs and ROM distribution, would you buy another HTC de

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And how exactly do you do that? The only RUU I've seen publicly available on the htcdev.com website was a GB version for the Evo 3D that was needed to fix a problem with their unlocking process.


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Simply by emailing them when you have a problem, or if you're proactive as soon as you get a device so you'll have it on hand.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 12:12 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Simply by emailing them when you have a problem, or if you're proactive as soon as you get a device so you'll have it on hand.
I'll give that a try and let you know how it goes. What email address have you used to get them?

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Old January 27th, 2013, 12:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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If this was only affecting jmztaylor's site I might agree with you, but remember that they shutdown footballpda and forced him to close his RUU threads at XDA and take down the RUU's he had uploaded to filefactory, which is what prompted jmztaylor to host the RUU's in the first place. Combine that with the fact that they are now encrypting OTA updates and it seems pretty clear that they are going down a path of discouraging any modification of their Sense ROM's which is pretty much what the lawyer said in jmztaylor's email thread.

IMO, this is definitely not an isolated incident and seems to be the beginning of a new direction for HTC. Perhaps they are planning to become the "secure" alternative and go after government and corporate accounts? The new blackberry.

ramjet73
None of the ota updates for my phone this year, the Sprint One X variant, the Evo 4G LTE, have been encrypted, including the recent Jellybean update. I disassembled the last one, so I am rather sure of that.

If you know of OTAs that were encrypted, I'd certainly like to hear about them.

The last RUU was encrypted, and cracked quickly enough.

Since football's closing, RUUs still seem to be plentiful in the wild.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 12:46 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Headlines always sensationalize things to get clicks. That's how they stay afloat. Everything gets blown up to get people to read.
I wasn't referencing the articles, but the email thread itself.
+1

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Originally Posted by Rxpert83 View Post
Simply by emailing them when you have a problem, or if you're proactive as soon as you get a device so you'll have it on hand.
No thanks. I'll keep riding with Samsung for right now and downloading the latest firmware for whatever device I own from sammobile.com whenever I need to. And I'll root and make changes to my Samsung devices without fear.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 12:53 AM   #22 (permalink)
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CafeKampuchia is a pretty cool guy. He roots Samsung phones and eh doesn't afraid of anything.

Posted from my s-off HTC lol
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Old January 27th, 2013, 12:58 AM   #23 (permalink)
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None of the ota updates for my phone this year, the Sprint One X variant, the Evo 4G LTE, have been encrypted, including the recent Jellybean update. I disassembled the last one, so I am rather sure of that.

If you know of OTAs that were encrypted, I'd certainly like to hear about them.

The last RUU was encrypted, and cracked quickly enough.

Since football's closing, RUUs still seem to be plentiful in the wild.
My understanding is that the Jelly Bean 4.1.1/Sense 4+ OTA update for the One S C2 (Ville C2) is encrypted, but I got that from an XDA thread and that may be misinformation. However, the subject of this thread is the availability (or lack thereof) of HTC RUU's and why would they start encrypting them unless they are trying to discourage development of custom ROM's that are based on them? The fact that they were easily cracked is a credit to the developers, not HTC.

Is there an email address that you have used to successfully obtain RUU's from HTC? I do intend to follow through on that to see what kind of response I get at this point.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 01:05 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Actually, I'm more afraid for all the noobs out there that don't do nandroids/do nandroids & loose them/restore their nanadroids and still get bootloops. There are plenty of them out there. Hopefully they'll be able to find their RUU somewhere out in the wild.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 01:17 AM   #25 (permalink)
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However, the subject of this thread is the availability (or lack thereof) of HTC RUU's and why would they start encrypting them unless they are trying to discourage development of custom ROM's that are based on them? The fact that they were easily cracked is a credit to the developers, not HTC.

Is there an email address that you have used to successfully obtain RUU's from HTC? I do intend to follow through on that to see what kind of response I get at this point.

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I've never needed an RUU so I wouldn't know the email address, but I am sympathetic.

I do know that my local Sprint corporate service center would apply an RUU for me if I asked, I've talked to them about that before out of curiosity.

I'll leave Rx to post the email address, I'd expect it to be support.

As to why the last RUU was encrypted, all we can do is speculate. Why do they roll with s-on out of the box?

When unlocked with s-on, what's notable that you can't access? The /boot and radios, and they eventually publish kernels.

That leaves the radios.

Notice the many lawsuits over radio technology between Apple and everyone else this past year around the world?

I hate encryption as a user, I'm on my third s-off model, but if you asked me as a corporate suit if I thought that locking the door made sense in today's legal climate, I guess I'd have to think about it.

HTC could have issued a cease and desist long ago to XDA, us, and everyone else linking to RUUs, yet they haven't.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 01:49 AM   #26 (permalink)
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As to why the last RUU was encrypted, all we can do is speculate. Why do they roll with s-on out of the box?
I wasn't joking when I said HTC may have decided to go after the government and corporate business that belonged to blackberry in the past, and may intend to make their devices the most secure and protected for credibility in those market segments. I've heard that they do a lot of business with the US military already, and most corporations won't allow rooted phones on their networks. IMO their devices are still the best hardware available for cellular devices.

Obviously that's speculation on my part, but in their current financial condition they must be seriously considering alternative marketing strategies.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 02:34 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I didn't think you were joking, I thought that was a good possibility.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 05:56 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Really like HTC hardware but am hesitant on their ability to be modded. My Flyer is only one of two not to be rooted. Actually like Sense, but sure I'd run with it for a phone.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 08:01 AM   #29 (permalink)
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If HTC learned from the dev community and folded the best bits into their ROMS, or offered an 'enthusiats' (unlocked/permission to hack) rom for a reasonable price and still came down o those who hack the 'standard' roms would we have a problem with that?
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Old January 27th, 2013, 10:16 AM   #30 (permalink)
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If HTC learned from the dev community and folded the best bits into their ROMS, or offered an 'enthusiats' (unlocked/permission to hack) rom for a reasonable price and still came down o those who hack the 'standard' roms would we have a problem with that?
I would.

My phone, my right to do with it as I please, and I don't intend to pay extra for a right.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 12:32 PM   #31 (permalink)
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To me this is the last straw. HTC has consistently worked against the dev community and this is the latest chapter in a long campaign. I, for one will not choose HTC when my upgrade comes around based solely on their efforts to lock down their phones.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Not consistently - new models in the last couple of years have unlockable bootloaders (maybe not if you are on Verizon, but if so that's Verizon for you). Unfortunately that's not full S-Off, which is a huge shame, but it's better than it was when I bought mine.

I'm not arguing that this isn't a severely retrograde move, but it is if anything a change of recent direction.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 01:36 PM   #33 (permalink)
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i think that the real shame would be if they decided to take action over at xda or other dev community's websites. so far i see only one or two mentioned. once that happens then for sure i will be jumping ship. but as long as i can get my files from xda, i'm ok for now. lets hope that does not happen in the near future.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 02:06 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: [POLL]Given HTC's recent actions against devs and ROM distribution, would you buy another HTC de

I doubt they would go after xda-developers. I think that they would more likey target those devs that are working on sense roms and distributing them.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 02:28 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Yes because HTC builds quality phones and I have become accustomed to using sense
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Old January 27th, 2013, 02:33 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I doubt they would go after xda-developers. I think that they would more likey target those devs that are working on sense roms and distributing them.
If they were serious about killing custom roms, why not go to the source? All it would take are a few cease and desist letters. I doubt most sites (as well as devs) would put up the legal battle to continue.

Since they haven't, I maintain that this is an isolated incident and not part of some grand scheme to kill off sense development
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Old January 27th, 2013, 02:35 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Yes because HTC builds quality phones and I have become accustomed to using sense
I'm curious then why your profile shows a Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC phones listed are older models.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 02:43 PM   #38 (permalink)
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If they were serious about killing custom roms, why not go to the source?
But they are going after the source. If they can stop the distribution of RUU's and/or encrypt them and take away the raw materials that developers need to make custom Sense ROM's, why would they need to shutdown sites like this one and XDA?

Not to mention that after a few more threatening emails to developers like the ones that jmztaylor received (and presumably footballpda) no developer is going to want to touch HTC Sense ROM's anyway.

Besides, if the developers are still creating custom HTC Sense ROM's there will always be a way to distribute them, so if HTC doesn't want modified ROM's on their customers' phones the only effective way to achieve that is to stop them from being developed.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #39 (permalink)
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But they are going after the source. If they can stop the distribution of RUU's and/or encrypt them and take away the raw materials that developers need to make custom Sense ROM's, why would they need to shutdown sites like this one and XDA?

Not to mention that after a few more threatening emails to developers like the ones that jmztaylor received (and presumably footballpda) no developer is going to want to touch HTC Sense ROM's anyway.

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I've already given my thoughts on the jmz and football situations. Any company is going to want to prevent leaks and protect their brand.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 03:01 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I've already given my thoughts on the jmz and football situations. Any company is going to want to prevent leaks and protect their brand.
Based on the lawyer's statements in the emails, it sounds like they are trying to do more than that. The focus seems to be on eliminating the use of custom and "pre-release" ROM's to reduce their exposure to user issues and damaged phones, but time will tell.

Edit: BTW, I'm still interested in the email address you have used to get the RUU's directly from HTC.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 03:20 PM   #41 (permalink)
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I don't have a secret email for it, you should be able to get one through support.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 03:26 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I don't have a secret email for it, you should be able to get one through support.
So have you actually gotten RUU's directly from HTC? I'm willing to try but I got the impression from this post that you are aware of some procedure that works.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 03:43 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I just recently bought the S3 after having the Thunderbolt for a year and the S3 is only to last until my upgrade in May when something better comes out
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Old January 27th, 2013, 03:50 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I just recently bought the S3 after having the Thunderbolt for a year and the S3 is only to last until my upgrade in May when something better comes out
So you prefer HTC Sense over TouchWiz based on actual experience. I've never used a Samsung Android phone but I think I would too.

And I definitely like the build quality of the HTC phones better based on the Samsung models I've seen.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 04:23 PM   #45 (permalink)
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But they are going after the source. If they can stop the distribution of RUU's and/or encrypt them and take away the raw materials that developers need to make custom Sense ROM's, why would they need to shutdown sites like this one and XDA?
Ok. An RUU gives developers a safe baseline with which to build a custom rom.

It's nice, not required.

One of the lead devs on the team I'm on was the first to release the LTEvo Jellybean rom as a base for other devs and for users, based strictly on a clean OTA update. That same dev was the first one to release the same rom based on the decrypted RUU when it came out.

Difference between the two roms - zero. Nada.

If you know a device's physical layout, you can perform a clean update and pull the stock rom when complete. Only an unlocked bootloader is required.

I used to build my own roms, just for me, doing a rom pull, it's not difficult. (Don't call me a rom developer, I never took it that far, don't expect I ever will.) Again, RUU not required.

Many devs prefer or insist on using only the RUU as a base. And there's nothing wrong with that, not a bit.

But there's more than one way to skin that cat and get the same results where the roms are concerned.

And if they never release an RUU again, install the stock unrooted rom for the present version, lock the bootloader, take the OTA (to get new firmware), unlock, and re-flash su.

All they can do so long as the bootloader unlock exists is make it take more steps. They can't stop it.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 04:23 PM   #46 (permalink)
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I like sense personally, but after playing around on a friends note 2, I think I would get used to touchwiz pretty quick.
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Old January 27th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #47 (permalink)
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meh,

i'll pass on any carrier added bloat launchers they use. give me aosp and pure android any day. its one of many for me on why i will always root my phone provided it is still legal....LOL
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Old January 27th, 2013, 04:58 PM   #48 (permalink)
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All they can do so long as the bootloader unlock exists is make it take more steps. They can't stop it.
Or go after the developers that modify and distribute their proprietary ROM's. It wouldn't do any good to shut down the "legitimate" sites since as someone has already pointed out that would just drive it underground.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 05:04 PM   #49 (permalink)
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meh,
i'll pass on any carrier added bloat launchers they use. give me aosp and pure android any day. its one of many for me on why i will always root my phone provided it is still legal....LOL
Given that you've owned three Sense based HTC phones in a row, you must either buy them for the hardware or you've had a recent AOSP epiphany.

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Old January 27th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Given that you've owned three Sense based HTC phones in a row, you must either buy them for the hardware or you've had a recent AOSP epiphany.

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nah, not and epiphany. i rooted them and flashed an aosp rom to them and i do like the hardware.
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