- The legal battle between Corellium and Apple has raised great concerns to researchers.
- If Apple wins, it would have dire consequences for the whole community around iOS.
- The EFF and various independent experts are warning about the risks and call Apple to reconsider.
Tech and legal experts are worried about Apple’s latest moves and warn that the tech giant’s fight against Corellium is basically endangering all software creators and security researchers. Almost two weeks ago, we touched the subject after Corellium decided to respond to Apple’s copyright infringement allegations, to which the virtualization firm answered by accusing Apple of copying their work and exploiting the community. As the battle rages on, more entities line up to back Corellium as they recognize the importance of this legal fight.
Apple’s problem is that Corellium sells tools that look and work exactly like iOS. Furthermore, and because jailbreaks are something that the Cupertino hasn’t been able to stop even after many years of fighting them, they would now like to classify them as cases of DMCA infringement. But Apple conveniently forgets that it is precisely this jailbreaking community that enables researchers to discover and report security flaws that hide in iOS. In spite of the fact that both sides fire valid arguments against each other, the risk right now concerns the software makers and the researchers.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has spoken to Forbes about this via its deputy executive director and general counsel, Kurt Opsahl. What Mr. Opsahl had to say was:
“This lawsuit is a departure from Apple’s peaceful coexistence with independent developers who use iOS ‘jailbreaks’ to develop new features and apps for Apple devices and to find security flaws in those devices. Apple’s claims in this lawsuit would make it illegal simply to create general-purpose tools that others might use to create jailbreaks. The DMCA’s rules on anti-circumvention already turn important security research, repair and independent software development into a legal minefield, and they reinforce the dominance of tech giants like Apple. Apple is threatening the vitality of an important sector of iOS software development and security research. This lawsuit underscores the need for Congress to reform the DMCA’s anti-circumvention rules.”
They are effectively trying to seize the entire iOS security market by arguing that because the Corellium tool can be used maliciously, it should be illegal – regardless of any other valid use case. 7/9
— Chase Dardaman (@CharlesDardaman) January 10, 2020
EFF is not the only entity concerned with what is to be decided by the Southern District of Florida Court, as many independent researchers, hobbyists, and ownership rights activists have taken the social media by storm with their complaints. If Apple succeeds, they will be the ones losing whatever benefits they reaped from the jailbreaking and researchers’ community, and the negative effects will far surpass whatever additional revenues will be made as a result of the definitive lock-downs.