XDA vs Microsoft Redux: Hoax or Legit? (Update)

To refresh, back a few months some letters went out to XDA regarding their hosting of custom ROMs containing WM6.5.  Then it appeared to many of us that this was some hoax, specifically the legitimacy of one "James Young"...internet investigator! (dun dun...dun!) came into question.

Flash forward a few months and replace WM6.5 with WM6.5.1 and we get a (redacted) letter basically saying the same thing.

Real or fake?

We think this is fake, again.  Unless Microsoft has radically changed its position on this issue from a few months ago, we see no reason to believe these threats.  Once again, we cite Microsoft from March:

“Taking action against sites such as XDA-Developers isn’t a matter of concern for Microsoft” says Maarten Sonneveld of Microsoft Netherlands against tweakers.net. “What happens there, the modifying of ROMs, is illegal. The intellectual property however is not with us. The ROMs are intellectual property of the producers of the phone or the mobile phone providers if it concerns branded telephones. We simple only deliver the OS.”

Going further and across the pond, we note that PPCGeeks has not received any such notice regarding WM6.5.1, which seems pretty lame for a "clamp down" (although we suppose that some fake letters could be sent out right-quick).

Our advice? Treat this seriously, but not too seriously.  How to do that?  Simple: if your receive a "take down notice" from...some dude via email, we strongly suggest you actually get in contact with that person BY PHONE and request official information (who they represent, names, more phone numbers, etc.) before you rip down your hard work. 

Most DMCA notices target the ISP who then contact you, as you are not actually hosting the alleged offending file. If they don't even know your real name, you don't have too much to worry about.

Update: Mike (Wideawake) of PPCGeeks let us know that indeed, months ago they too had a request from Microsoft to take down WM6.5 but...he actually had a phone call from a Judy Weston at Microsoft and his ISP received a take-down notice.  That is what one should expect in these situations.  Thanks Mike!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.