Utilizing the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), French image processing company DxO Labs has requested several repositories of open-source ROMs, including some CyanogenMod repositories, be shut down for distributing code that references libDxOAF.so, which evidently contains proprietary code for managing the camera.
An .so file, according to what I’ve been able to find, is a compiled driver made or licensed by the manufacturer of a device. In this case, it’s referencing a compiled binary that was most likely included with the phone or device that you have, but in theory could have been ported to another device. It also most likely had something to do with the camera, considering the source of the complaint.
The DMCA request targets 12 different github repositories that reference or distributed the compiled driver. Although the details aren’t too specific – other than the proprietary driver was being referenced, distributed, or rigged to work – based on a Google search and LandOfTechnology, it appears to include the HTC EVO 4G LTE, HTC One XL, HTC Ville, HTC Evita, HTC DLX, and the Motorola Asanti.
If referencing or distributing that driver file in AOSP is considered a copyright violation worthy of DMCA takedown notices, then you’ll most likely end up having to save a copy of your .so files from your Sense-based ROM and install it separately after flashing a ROM if you want your camera to work on anything but stock.
I’m not entirely sure what to think on this particular mess, but considering that DxO’s libraries probably only work on the devices that have already paid for them to be included, it seems this might be a jab at open source. However, it also might be to prevent their drivers, which are closed-source, from ever helping the open-source world in which they are used.
From what I gather on Twitter and Facebook feeds, HTC is not behind these DMCA shenanigans, and it came as a surprise. What do you think?[github] Thanks, Alex!