Have you checked HTC’s Facebook page out lately? Tons of users are making it their duty to let HTC know that they’re violating GPL requirements by not releasing source code for new devices and updates. Here is the message being tossed HTC’s way every five minutes:
Please release the kernel source for the EVO 3D, EVO 4G, EVO Shift, Sensation, and Incredible 2. I love HTC devices, but am saddened that HTC refuses to follow GPL requirements to release source code.
If you don’t know, Android phones use code that the GPL requires be open-sourced if used in a commercial product. With this source, developers at XDA, AndroidForums.com and the likes can create custom kernels and make better ROMs for those who love rooting and hacking their devices.
An HTC representative had something to say after someone called them out for deleting users’ posts. While we never like seeing criticism deleted, we’re siding with HTC here – this is just downright spam. Thankfully, the representative took that time to explain why the source for several phones have yet to be released:
I completely understand your concern regarding the lack of source code, Nick, and I would be more than happy to clarify this for you.
Unfortunately, I cannot confirm whether these comments were actually being removed, or whether they were automatically removed due to being reported as spam, which is against Facebook’s ToS — we definately hear you guys, and we’re not deliberately withholding the code from you, and we absolutely plan on making it available, as soon as it’s ready.
We are still working on the source code for some devices. We are unable to provide it to you at this time as it is not currently in an easily accessible format. Sure, it works on the phone just fine; but, for development purposes, that same software also needs to be able to function with the SDK provided by Google. For it to be flawless for our customers, it’s going to take some time. As for a time frame, our usual estimate is within 90-120 days of the device’s release. Sometimes (read: most of the time) we can have it sooner than that. I assure you we are working towards having this software available to our customers as soon as possible.
And that’s that. Apparently, HTC isn’t stepping outside of the boundaries set by GNU. And yelling at them and spamming their Facebook page isn’t going to do much to help. Just be patient, folks – HTC’s usually good about this stuff. [Facebook, Thanks philosophics!]