Apple Inc. failed to fully revive a long-running copyright lawsuit against cybersecurity firm Corellium Inc. over its software that simulates the iPhone’s iOS operating systems, letting security researchers identify flaws in the software.
The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Monday ruled that Corellium’s CORSEC simulator is protected by copyright law’s fair use doctrine, which allows the duplication of copyrighted work under certain circumstances.
CORSEC “furthers scientific progress by allowing security research into important operating systems,” a three-judge panel for the appeals court said, adding that iOS “is functional operating software that falls outside copyright’s core.”
I don’t recall this case well, did Corellium repurpose legitimate IOS licenses or were they flat out creating copies from thin air? I agree that Corellium should be allowed to offer their service for research even without permission, however I hope they’re not flat out spinning up VMs without backing licenses.
I’m really shocked by this. Operating system software falls outside of copyright’s core??!? What is this supposed to mean and what’s the justification? Am I the only one who finds this really odd?
This is the first time I hear anything about affording functional software less copyright protection. Literally all software executables are comprised of “functional elements”. I don’t know if this case could be precedent setting, but it seems like this could have ramifications for not only other operating systems but the software industry at large.