Over the past couple of weeks, there's been a bit of a kerfuffle surrounding HTC and its shut down of HTCRUU.com. The general consensus across the Android community has been quite understanding in some respects – after all, HTC has every right to protect its intellectual property. The problem was, however, that in the original takedown request, it also demanded that all hosted RUUs and Sense-based ROMs be indefinitely removed, as well. This, of course, didn't sit well with the dev community.
As a result, HTC took to its official blog, vowing its "continued support for the developer community." Since actions speak louder than words and HTC's lawyers were demanding that all RUUs and Sense-based ROMS be removed, there was a clear disconnect between what HTC was doing and what company spokespeople were saying. Just to make this very, very clear: HTC had, and still has, every right to put a stop to the hosting of RUUs and Sense-based ROMs, as both are property of the company. However, the Android community understandably wanted a clear, direct answer: is it OK to host these types of files, or will any site that redistributes them be getting a C&D from the company? It looks like we finally have our answer.
According to RootzWiki, HTC has confirmed with James Taylor – the former owner of the now defunct HTCRUU.com – that hosting RUUs and Sense ROMs is OK, so long as the site in question doesn't infringe on HTC's trademark by using its name or logos. Therefore, sites like XDA, RootzWiki, and the like are all safe to continue operations as normal, and HTC fans can continue to flash modified Sense ROMs onto their devices. That's good news.
Moving forward, all RUUs will be hosted at ruu.androidfiles.org – which HTC has apparently said is acceptable, as the site doesn't infringe in any way.
With this action, HTC has, in fact, verified its support of the development community. Despite hitting a few bumps along the way – which were perhaps misunderstandings all along – the company has restored its good name with even the most hardcore Android users.
Good on you, HTC.