July 31, 2014

Swype Releases Official Statement on Distribution

We’ve all done it, in one way or another. Downloaded a Swype.apk file to give Swype’s amazing keyboard a try. Found a Swype.apk and sent it to our friends. But the fact is that some aspects of distribution are illegal according to Swype Inc.’s copyrights. Swype has released an official statement, directed mainly at users on XDA, about when it’s okay or not okay to distribute Swype on devices. The official statement is below.

[spoiler show="Show Statement" hide="Hide Statement"]While we at Swype are obligated to protect our intellectual property, we also feel that the enthusiast community is valuable to the long-term success of our business. With that in mind we’d like to offer some rules for posting content related to Swype here on the XDA-developers forum.

The overriding principle behind our policy is that distributing Swype in any way which would allow its use without a license is a violation of our terms of service and our intellectual property rights. This includes the use of features for which the user does not hold a valid license. Therefore the following situations are not allowed:

  • Distribution of Swype standalone APKs in any form;
  • Inclusion of Swype in ROMs where the Swype licensing mechanisms have been stripped;
  • The addition of features, such as the voice input button, to devices where the user does not hold a license or appropriate rights for these features – this includes the distribution of additional languages; and
  • Any other use of Swype that infringes any third party copyrights or other intellectual property rights or violating any third party terms of service.


The following, however, are allowed by Swype (assuming you have all other required third party rights):

Inclusion of Swype in ROMs for devices which come with Swype preinstalled, where the version of Swype matches the version distributed with the device and all licensing mechanisms remain intact, and where the user is not infringing on any third party copyrights or other intellectual property rights or violating any third party (e.g., a device manufacturer or carrier) terms of service; and
The use of MetaMorph(R) to modify graphical elements in any licensed installation of Swype.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in making sure our intellectual property and that of third parties is protected, while still allowing those who love to customize their devices in such awesome ways the liberty to do so. Swype reserves all of its rights.

[/spoiler]
Basically what it says is that adding Swype to a ROM built for a device that ships with Swype is fine, as long as it’s the same version number and all the licenses are intact and included. Furthermore, modding Swype.apks with Metamorph to change the UI of it is totally permitted, but of course the distribution falls back to the first rule. I think Swype is being fairly reasonable about this. Most companies would have someone’s profile on XDA shut down for distributing their software, but not Swype. I’d say that’s commendable. Any questions?