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Android Development Community Under DMCA Takedown Request Attack Again

March 13, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

You might remember when HTC went after HTCRUU.com a few months ago, because it was hosting their ROMs. Now DxO is after Github and some repositories that are hosted on their site and issuing DMCA takedown requests. There are 12 repositories in all that they want taken down, some include CyanogenMod repo’s. The DMCA notice is relatively vague, here’s what it says:

[3] I have a good faith belief that the file downloads identified below (by URL) are unlawful under these copyright laws because among other things, the files circumvent effective access controls and/or copyright protection measures;

[4] Reason:

Content Type: “Custom Firmware” files

Violation(s): Trafficking a device that circumvents effective access controls and/or trafficking a device that circumvents effective copyright protection measures.

The takedown notice is going after those that use the libDxOAF.so file, which is what’s in the stock ROMs to use the company’s Auto Focus Speed-Up feature (as noted by Android Police).  But they are going after more than just projects with the offending binary, but also those that name it within their scripts and/or configurations. Here are some of the devices that are affected:

  • HTC EVO 4G LTE (Jet)
  • HTC One XL
  • HTC One S (Ville)
  • HTC One X (Evita)
  • HTC Droid DNA (DLX)
  • Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE XT897 (Asanti)

Many of you may think that DxO is just going after projects maliciously, but it actually looks like they are going after a copyrighted driver. But it’s been difficult to tell if the filing was meant to shut down entire repositories or just the individual files. Of course, Github’s policy on DMCA Takedowns is not very specific for this situation unfortunately. We’re hoping that this just a misunderstanding, and that this is an overreaction from DxO’s lawyers, which wouldn’t surprise the most of us.

So far that’s all the information we know. Once we find out more, we’ll be sure to pass it along to you. You can check out the full text of the takedown notice down below:

Takedown Notice under DMCA

Date: March 11, 2013

Dear GitHub Copyright Agent:

I, the undersigned state UNDER PENALTY OF PURJURY that:

[1] I am, a person injured, or an agent authorized on behalf of a person injured by a violation of the U.S. Copyright laws, in particiular section(s) 1201(a)(2) and/or 1201(b)(1) of Title 17 of the United States Code, commonly referred to as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or “DMCA”;

[2] I May Be Contacted At:

Name of Injured Party: DxO Labs SA

Name and Title: [private], Legal Assistant

Company: DxO Labs SA

Address: 3 rue Nationale

City, State, and Zip: Boulogne-Billancourt, 92100, FRANCE

Email address: legal@dxo.com

Telephone: +33 155 20 55 20 99

Fax: +33 155 20 55 20 98

[3] I have a good faith belief that the file downloads identified below (by URL) are unlawful under these copyright laws because among other things, the files circumvent effective access controls and/or copyright protection measures;

[4] Reason:

Content Type: “Custom Firmware” files

Violation(s): Trafficking a device that circumvents effective access controls and/or trafficking a device that circumvents effective copyright protection measures.

[5] Please act expeditiously to remove the file-downloads found at the following URLs:

https://github.com/TheMuppets/proprietary_vendor_htc

https://github.com/htc-msm8960/proprietary_vendor_htc

https://github.com/rohanmathur/aosp_device_htc_evita/tree/master/vendor/proprietary/lib

https://github.com/CyanogenMod/android_device_htc_ville/pull/1/files

https://github.com/xkonni/android_device_htc_ville_old/blob/master/proprietary_files.txt

https://github.com/Bajee11/device_htc_msm8960-common/blob/master/common-proprietary-files.txt

https://github.com/midnight88/android_device_moto_asanti/blob/master/proprietary-files.txt

https://github.com/lmartin92/android_device_moto_asanti/blob/master/proprietary-files.txt

https://github.com/hfase01/android_device_moto_asanti/blob/master/proprietary-files.txt

https://github.com/intervigilium/android_device_htc_ville/pull/5/files

https://github.com/timothyswt/android_device_htc_ville/blob/master/proprietary-files.txt

https://github.com/cofface/android_htc_device_dlx/blob/master/proprietary-files.txt

[6] I have a good faith belief that the circumvention of effective access controls and/or copyright protection measures identified above is not authorized by law; and

[7] The information in this notice is accurate.

Thank you for your kind assistance.

Truthfully,

DxO Labs SA

[Signed]