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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<title>Upcycling Android</title>
<body class="toplevel upcycling-android">
<div class="color-box background fullwidth top" data-color="android-blue">
<div class="fullwidth-content">
<div class="android-logo"><a href="/activities/upcyclingandroid/">
<img id="head" src="/graphics/upcycling-android-head.png" />
<img id="text" src="/graphics/upcycling-android-text.png" />
Free Software can help to save life of your Android device. Read on this page the common legal questions related to avoid software obsolescence.
<h3>Does flashing your device (e.g. an Android phone) and replacing its operating system void your statutory warranty, if you are a consumer located in the European Union?</h3>
<strong>In general terms, no.</strong> The statutory warranty
does not become void by replacing the OS on an Android phone.
Just the fact that you modified or changed the software of your
device is not a sufficient reason to void your statutory
warranty. Vendors should provide a warranty for a period of 2
years. as long as you have bought the device as a consumer in
the European Union<a class="fn" href="#fn1">1</a>.
The Sale of Goods Directive (EU) 2019/771, maintains the <a
the FSFE reported in 2012</a> <a class="fn" href="#fn2">2</a>.
In case your Android device stops working in 2 years, even with
the OS installed by you, the seller has to fix or replace it.
The new law applies to any goods with digital content. Android
devices (e.g. smartphones and smartwatches) are examples of
such goods.
In case the vendor refuses to provide a warranty and you need
to go to court, the law protects you by imposing on the vendor
the duty to prove that you had caused the defect. If your
device becomes defective in the first year of use, it is
presumed that the defect was there before the purchase <a
class="fn" href="#fn3">3</a>. However, if your device becomes
defective after the first year, but before 2 years run out, you
are still covered by the warranty. The difference is only that
if the defect arises after the first year, the vendor can claim
that the defect was caused by some action that was triggered by
non-normal use of the device.
Unless the seller can prove that modifying the software,
flashing your device with some other OS or firmware was the
cause for the defect, you are still covered by the warranty. A
good test to see if it is the software's fault is to flash it
back with stock firmware/OS and see if the problem persists. If
it does, it is not a software-caused problem. If it is not
possible to revert it to stock software any more, it is also
not a software-caused defect.
Many manufacturers of consumer devices write into their
warranties a paragraph that by changing the software or
flashing your device, you void the warranty. This refers to a
“voluntary warranty” is the one which the seller or
manufacturer can, but does not need to, offer as an additional
service to the consumer. This is unrelated to the statutory
warranty (also called commercial guarantee by law)<a class="fn" href="#fn4">4</a>.
Nevertheless, if through the vendor, the manufacturer or anyone
else offers a voluntary warranty, they should be bound to it as
Regarding drivers updates, device vendors must keep the
consumer informed of and supplied with updates, including
security updates, that are necessary to keep devices in
conformity during the warranty period, even if a different OS
is installed. The Digital Content Directive (EU) 2019/770)<a
class="fn" href="#fn5">5</a> imposes the duty on the vendor to
provide such updates, unless the trader proves that the
consumer's digital environment<a class="fn" href="#fn6">6</a>
is not compatible with the technical requirements of the
updates. The vendor should, however, inform the consumer about
such requirements in a clear and comprehensible manner before
the conclusion of the contract.
These provisions do not apply to second-hand devices. However,
in case the vendor agrees to a shorter liability or limitation
period, she/he must be bound to it as well.
In case the vendor refuses your right to repair or replace the
device, you can sue her/him in a civil litigation and report
the incident to the national consumer protection authority.
Consumer associations also can help inform you if there is an
need for hiring a lawyer for this kind of process in your
<h2 id="fn">Footnotes</h2>
<li id="fn1">A "consumer" is a natural person who has acquired the device for private and non-commercial purposes.</li>
<li id="fn2">The Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive (1999/44/EC) has been repealed by the Sale of Goods Directive (EU) 2019/771 with effect from 1 January 2022.</li>
<li id="fn3">Art. 11 of Directive (EU) 2019/771.</li>
<li id="fn4">Art. 2(12) of Directive (EU) 2019/771.</li>
<li id="fn5">Art. 12(4) of Directive (EU) 2019/770.</li>
<li id="fn6">Art. 2 (9) of Directive (EU) 2019/770 defines digital environment as means hardware, software and any network connection used by the consumer.</li>
<p>This project is financially supported by:</p>
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<p>The publisher is responsible for the content of this publication.</p>