HTC's GPL (non-)compliance

Well, Linux is not just free as in beer, but also free as in speech. As I wanted to dig a little deeper into HTC’s modifications applied to the Desire’s Linux kernel I did, what I am entitled to as per the GPLv2 the Desire’s Linux kernel is licensed under: I requested the source code via HTC’s support as the “HTC Developer Center” at, which usually hosts the Linux kernel source code drops for their Android phones, does not mention the Desire yet:

Dear HTC support,

I would hereby like to request the Linux Kernel source code for my HTC Desire phone according to section 3 of the GNU General Public License v2 under which the Linux kernel the Desire is based on is licensed. A download URL will be fine.


The answer I received was somewhat unexpected, but I will leave the judgment up to the reader:

Dear Thilo-Alexander

Thank you for your enquiry about linux.

Sorry we don’t support Linux, even though linux and android have similarities they’re not made for eachother. But here is the link for our kernals, happy Easter!

Best regards,

xxxx x
HTC Tech Support
Tel: +44 8458900xxx

Better luck next time… I replied through their ticketing system insisting on a source code copy (along with a short educational section about the true origins of the Android platform ;-) ). Let’s see what their next reply will look like…