[Update: Re-Enabled] CopperheadOS Disables Nexus Update Server due to Violations of their Licensing Agreement
CopperheadOS, the security and privacy focused variant of Android has ceased supporting its update server for Nexus devices, after competing firms flashed CopperheadOS on devices and sold them for profit.
The update server for Nexus devices has been disabled until we can find a way forward from the ongoing license violations.
It’s not okay to disrespect our non-commercial licensing terms for those official builds by flashing and selling it on hundreds of phones. That’s over now.
— CopperheadOS (@CopperheadOS) November 10, 2017
This means that Nexus devices running CopperheadOS can no longer receive OTA updates, further implying that users will have to flash future updates by themselves through recovery. This move will hinder all those who are selling devices with the ROM preinstalled, as those purchasing such devices are less likely to understand how to flash subsequent updates.
It is currently unknown if the developers will re-enable OTA upgrades at a later date.
The reasons behind disabling these OTA upgrades overlaps with why CopperheadOS cannot be purchased and flashed on a Google Pixel. On the Google Pixel, you either have to purchase the device with the custom ROM preinstalled or send in your own Google Pixel for flashing. This was done to avoid the same situation which the Nexus versions suffer from. The problem is not the open source nature of Android, but actually has been the release of flashable builds. Source licensing is not being violated.
Users are still free to build from source and use the OS non commercially, with the only problem being commercial use. The developers behind CopperheadOS do the testing and developing, but others are intent on stealing their work and undercutting their costs to make a quick profit. Until a way is found around the licensing violations, the upgrade server will remain switched off and users will have to flash upgrades themselves.
Update 11/12/2017: OTA Updates have been enabled again to avoid impacting legitimate users.
Source: CopperheadOS Twitter
We’ve enabled over-the-air updates again to avoid impacting our remaining customers on Nexus devices and other legitimate users. However, downloads on the site will no longer be available and we’ll be making changes to the update client for Nexus devices. https://t.co/jJTI6fpy5b
— CopperheadOS (@CopperheadOS) November 11, 2017