End of jailbreaking? Apple amends lawsuit to allege copyright infringement in an effort to quash jailbreaking
Apple has amended its legal action against Corellium, which in turn is alleging that the iPad maker is seeking to end the jailbreaking of its devices.
Apple had launched a lawsuit against the virtualisation software provider Corellium in August, and has now amended the lawsuit to include copyright infringement. It claims the firm is profiting from “perfect replicas” of iOS.
Corellium with its iOS virtualisation tool essentially allows customers to create and interact with virtual iOS devices, all within the browser.
The frameworks of an iOS simulator is commonly used by security researchers for example.
But on 27 December, Apple amended its lawsuit that it filed versus Corellium and said that that developing an emulator or similar iOS emulation to facilitate a jailbreaking tool’s creation is a copyright infringement.
“The product Corellium offers is a “virtual” version of Apple mobile hardware products, accessible to anyone with a web browser,” said Apple’s lawsuit.
“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,” it said.
But Corellium has hit back at Apple in an open letter, and warned that developers and jailbreakers should be “concerned” by Apple’s move.
“Apple’s latest filing against Corellium should give all security researchers, app developers, and jailbreakers reason to be concerned,” wrote Amanda Gorton, CEO of Corellium.
“The filing asserts that because Corellium “allows users to jailbreak” and ‘gave one or more Persons access… to develop software that can be used to jailbreak,’ Corellium is ‘engaging in trafficking’ in violation of the DMCA.”
“Apple is using this case as a trial balloon in a new angle to crack down on jailbreaking,” said Gorton. “Apple has made it clear that it does not intend to limit this attack to Corellium: it is seeking to set a precedent to eliminate public jailbreaks.”
“We are deeply disappointed by Apple’s persistent demonization of jailbreaking,” said Gorton. “We are prepared to strongly defend against this attack, and we look forward to sharing our formal response to this claim when we file it in court.”
Gorton said that developers and researchers rely on jailbreaks to test the security of both their own apps and third-party apps – testing which cannot be done without a jailbroken device.
She cited the recent analysis of the ToTok app revealed that an Apple-approved chat app was being used as a spying tool by the government of the United Arab Emirates.
According to the researchers behind this analysis, this work would not have been possible without a jailbreak.
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