Corellium and Apple Escalate Legal Fight

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Most of us may have been celebrating the holidays over the last few days. Apple and mobile device virtualization creator Corellium, however, used the festive period to escalate their long-running legal battle.

Apple Ups The Ante

The issue in contention is Corellium’s iOS virtualization tool. On December 27, 2019 Apple updated its legal filing to the DMCA. It claimed that developing something akin to an iOS emulator to help jailbreaking tools is copyright infringement (via AppleInsider). It described the issues as “straightforward case of infringement of highly valuable copyrighted works,” in the updated filing. The document also said:

The product Corellium offers is a “virtual” version of Apple mobile hardware products, accessible to anyone with a web browser. Specifically, Corellium serves up what it touts as a perfect digital facsimile of a broad range of Apple’s market-leading devices— recreating with fastidious attention to detail not just the way the operating system and applications appear visually to bona fide purchasers, but also the underlying computer code. Corellium does so with no license or permission from Apple.

Fight Back From Corellium

Corellium hit back. The company said “Apple’s latest filing against Corellium should give all security researchers, app developers, and jailbreakers reason to be concerned,” in a statement two days after Apple updated its filing. Corellium added that it was “deeply disappointed by Apple’s persistent demonization of jailbreaking.”

Not only do researchers and developers rely on jailbreaking to protect end users, but Apple itself has directly benefited from the jailbreak community in a number of ways. Many of the features of iOS originally appeared as jailbreak tweaks and were copied by Apple, including dark mode, control center, and context menus. In addition, jailbreak creators regularly contribute to the security of iOS.

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