back to article And we now go live to Apple v Corellium, where the iTitan is still lobbing copyright fireballs at the virtual iPhone upstart

Corellium and Apple are once again trading allegations in a legal brouhaha over the former's virtual-iPhones-as-a-service operation. Over the Christmas break, the Cupertino phone flinger filed an amended complaint [PDF] against Corellium in the US state of Florida regarding the virtualized Arm-based instances Corellium offers …

  1. IGotOut

    To me...

    ...it does seem that Apple have a case. Claiming we only do it for the greater good is flimsy at best. Lifting a product wholesale then selling it on slightly modified is blatant copyright infringement.

    Of course the sensible thing would be for the two to come to a licensing agreement, but I can't see that happening.

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: To me...

      I wonder if they could try to make iOS subject to FRAND due to its ubiquity. Probably not, but it would make more sense than the arguments the article listed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To me...

        You don't understand how FRAND works. You don't just "make something FRAND", and FRAND is only used for patents not copyright.

        FRAND is something that happens to your patents VOLUNTARILY. You agree to license certain patents on a FRAND basis to get something else you want - typically to be able to participate in the standards setting process and help decide what "5G" is or what "DDR4" is, etc. No company has ever been forced into offering their patents on a FRAND basis, it is voluntary 100% of the time.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: To me...

      Apple don't sell iOS so it isn't a product and Corellium don't sell iPhones so they do not sell an Apple product.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To me...

        It is still Apple property with Apple copyright. If not selling something means you have no rights over it, then people can take GPL code and use it in their products without obeying the copyleft. Is this outcome really what you want just to ding Apple?

    3. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: To me...

      Apple first tried to buy them, but failed. This is attempt two to kill them.

      They are using the "can't bread a software lock" part of the DMCA just like over priced ink sellers tried to do.

  2. Pier Reviewer

    Two wrongs...

    They’re both bad. Apple are upset that it’s easier to find bugs, Corellium are plainly ripping off Apple’s software.

    I’m very wary of using their offering tbh. The fact it’s aimed at security researchers and runs in the cloud makes it easy for them to monitor and sell on any vulnerabilities.

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    How did they manage to get the entire OS

    One wonders how they managed to get the entire OS ? I would have presumed that the Fruity Ones were very very carefull with their code.

    Is this ex-employee stuff or something more devious ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How did they manage to get the entire OS

      Given that Apple distributes a billion copies of each release, it is kind of hard to keep a lid on. They are using the binary (and presumably figured out where to tweak the binary to skip the checks for running on real Apple hardware) not the source code.

    2. Steve Todd

      Re: How did they manage to get the entire OS

      Bits of iOS are actually open source. The base OS is XNU, which is Apple’s flavour of Unix based on the Mach core and BSD user components. One assumes that there’s enough there to patch the binary iOS image that Apple distribute to anyone with an iPhone.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: How did they manage to get the entire OS

        In relation to the article and most notably the mention "illegally copied the mobile operating system", what does "Illegally Copied" actually mean in this case ?

        "Made derivative versions by modifying the software", I would like to know how they successfully modified a Binary Image to such an extent that they could fool it into believing that it was running on a complete platform. Not a script kiddie kind of venture, that takes some serious hardware/software knowledge and a Hell of Lot of reverse engineering, time and a bucket load of patience.. Not for the faint of heart...

        And that's before mentioning that the Hypervisor could simulate the BIOS, IOs, Interrupts, Timing etc of the entire IOS familly. Again, that's no mean feat..someone had to create/write that Hypervisor These guys obviosuly come from a very serious engineering background..

        This leads me to believe that they were possibly Ex Apple Engineers or stemmed from one of the major Chip Manufacturers that supplied Apple.

        1. jakeashacks

          Re: How did they manage to get the entire OS

          Corellium has everything they need.

          Lots of people that are experts in iOS and security? Check.

          Lots of time? Check. Corellium took many years to develop.

    3. jakeashacks

      Re: How did they manage to get the entire OS

      How does your iPhone manage to get software updates? The iOS firmware is available for download in apple.com.

      If you meant "how did they manage to get the source code", the answer is they didn't, they don't need it.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Apple is trying to extinguish the iOS bug-hunting and jailbreaking communities"

    Well duh. Apple has been locking down every new jailbreak technique with every new release of its iOS since forever.

    And it won't stop, because when you buy Apple you go the Apple Way or the highway.

    To be fair, Apple is far from the only company that doesn't want anyone to tinker with their code.

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    If Corellium had purchased physical Apple hardware (iPad, iPhone etc) and then modified them so they were jailbroken and you could connected to it remotely over the internet then Corellium would have a strong case against Apple. But hacking iOS to run on virtual machines without a license or permission from Apple its clearly copyright infringement and they haven't really got a leg to stand on.

    1. jakeashacks

      Not really. Modifying iOS is basically the same thing as jailbreaking, which is legal. Running it in non-Apple hardware is a license violation but so is jailbreaking, so...

    2. Benson's Cycle

      Is the DCMA still in force? Because that would be how you break the DCMA.

      At this point I find myself wondering the extent to which software development is being held up by US corporations being able to monopolise the market. Early industrial progress in the US was rapid because, basically, they stole everything that was liftable, and if it wasn't liftable they got crowbars. Now they want to stop the less developed world from doing the same.But you end up with a-plague-on-both-your-houses nonsense like this.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm over the top

    but if I owned a company that made a complex product, and some smucks were taking it apart repackaging it and selling it, cutting in on my sales. I might send someone to talk to them, with a shovel. Corellium should be happy they get a day in court, in Russia or china and many other countries, they would already be worm food.

    1. fix

      Re: I'm over the top

      But they are not cutting into sales? They are not selling iDevices, they are letting people play with iOS, which is not something Apple sells?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm over the top

        Correct they don't sell the OS, they license it. They sell the hardware.

        If you make and sell music/software, and someone takes and alters it a tiny bit, but it still sounds like your music/looks and acts like your code, and they sold it, giving you nothing,,,,,

        The fact is, they are cracking the software for people to develop exploits to commit crimes with. The governments hate competition. And if Apple didn't do everything they could to stop them, they would be negligent.

        1. whitepines Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: I'm over the top

          Interesting you use the word "negligent". To me, crypto locking an OS to force people into using the Apple App Store, then taking no responsibility for any loss or theft of data that happens anyway inside Apple's tightly controlled ecosystem is negligent. In fact, doesn't the tight locking make Apple the publisher, as in they're technically legally responsible for what happens regardless of any (illegal) EULA they tried to push on the user?

          Not that the other company is doing the right thing either, they're in pretty clear copyright violation on a use that (AFAICS) does not fall into a fair dealing type exception.

          Simple solution? Don't buy or use iCrap!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020