22
Aug
motorola-logo-big

Despite a lot of fun Motorola hardware leaks lately (even some love for AT&T), Moto would like to remind us that they aren't much friendlier than Apple when it comes to unintended dissemination of their intellectual property.

The recently leaked update to Android 2.2 for the DROID X has been quite a popular download for daredevil users, and apparently Motorola has taken notice. While the ROM is now undoubtedly in the hands of every modding and development community member who has any interest in it, that isn't stopping Motorola from issuing cease and desist letters (e-mails) to those hosting the file.

E-mails from Motorola's Director of Information Security Richard Rushing have been sent to sites like MyDroidWorld, who were kind enough to post the contents...

Pursuant to 17 USC 512(c)(3)(A), this communication serves as a statement that:

(1). I the duly authorized representative of the exclusive rights holder Motorola for Droid X Keyboard Software, know as “repackaged-signed.apk”

The follow URL contains the software which we have confirmed as Motorola Copyrighted Software

http://www.xxxxxxxxx.com/downloads/update.zip

(2). These exclusive rights are being violated by material available upon your site at the following URL(s):

http://www.xxxxxxxx.com/downloads/update.zip

(3) I have a good faith belief that the use of this material in such a fashion is not authorized by the copyright holder, the copyright holder's agent, or the law;

(4) Under penalty of perjury in a United States court of law, I state that the information contained in this notification is accurate, and that I am authorized to act on the behalf of the exclusive rights holder for the material in question;

(5) I may be contacted by the following methods:

Richard Rushing
Senior Director Information Security
Motorola

xxxxxxxx@xxx.com
Office xxx-xxx-xxxx
Mobile xxx-xxx-xxxx

I hereby request that you remove or disable access to this material as it appears on your service in as expedient a fashion as possible. Thank you for your kind cooperation.

Richard Rushing
Motorola
Senior Director Information Security
xxxxxx@motorola.com
Office xxx-xxx-xxxx
Mobile xxx-xxx-xxxx

At this point you may be thinking, "But Android is open source!" and indeed it is - the problem here lies in Motorola's additions to the Android OS.

Motorola is using the fact that the DROID X's keyboard is copyrighted software to make a legal argument that the download package as a whole needs to be removed from the website in question. This is well-within their rights as a copyright holder, though it doesn't exactly make them seem friendly. As an analogy, this is sort of like producing unauthorized commemorative NBA team dinner plates; even if you don't sell them, you're still violating copyright.

Motorola could have easily listed a dozen (or more) pieces of copyrighted software on the DROID X that are part of the update package. But, if they did list all the copyright violations it would be a bit like shooting themselves in the foot - a savvy modder could then remove the infringing software piece by piece, invalidating Moto's claim.

Really, it's hard to say if Motorola is just blowing smoke, as C&D letters are pretty effective at scaring their recipients with the possibility of litigation. Continued infringement by a noteworthy website would be the only way to see how far Moto's willing to go on this one - but frankly, I don't see this fight elevating beyond scary words.

Source: MyDroidWorld via Engadget

David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Seth

    I am glad for the work that Motorola has done with both Google and Verizon promoting the "Droid" brand and the Android platform. However, actions like locking their bootloaders and threatening to sue people for distributing leaked builds of Android do not help to build a community or give Android a good name.

    This is the kind of crap Apple is so fond of and is precisely the reason I refuse to buy or recommend anything that is made by Apple, and even go out of my way to convince people NOT to buy Apple products. Of that same mind I will not buy anything Motorola and will do all I can to convince others to buy HTC products over anything, and Samsung, Dell, LG, even Sony Ericsson over anything Motorola. There are far too many other options for Motorola to be making enemies among the power users of their products, and I hope they pay dearly when all of us use our influence to hurt their sales.

  • SiliconAddict

    Apparently when you become the biggest single device seller of Android phones you also become a douchebag.
    IMHO they have now officially become the industry's second biggest D-Bag behind Apple.
    Thanks Moto for making my choice for my next phone exceedingly easy. I could overlook the encrypted bootloader, I could overlook the snide comment about said bootloader and those who want to tweak THIER device, but when you throw a damn temper tantrum over an update.....yah. Who gives a frack if someone loads this. If they frag their own phone WHO CARES. They are the ones who are going to have to pay the price. And most likely already do with a warranty.
    HTC or Samsung all the way at this point. Pity. Such nice devices.

  • babe ruth

    Ya fuck you motorola

  • sqlboredom

    I am also going elsewhere with my next phone purchase. Had nothing but issues with the Droid X. If said customer wants to update firmware so that perhaps the faulty HD camcorder application would work better, then so be it. Moto, you are fail.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com danny

    I never understood Why verizon went to motorola in the first place. i have the droid x great phone even with the camera problems, the volume problem the camcorder resolution sucks. if there is an update release it. first of august now it's september october next? get a grip.

  • jones

    MHey somebody give that faget from motorola's number and ill give him a peace its not a violation that is a program for our phone and android is open sorced so f that duchbag

  • krizalid

    you know moto, HTC is a lot better than you in attitude. cliq will be my last.