A federal judge has sided with Corellium in the case Apple brought against it, ruling the company’s software met the burden of “fair use.”
Corellium was founded in 2017 by husband and wife Amanda Gorton and Chris Wade. The company’s product allows security researchers to run “virtual” iPhones, eliminating the need to buy iPhones in order to look for bugs and security flaws in iOS.
According to The Washington Post, Apple initially tried to purchase Corellium, before switching gears and suing the company when the acquisition talks stalled. Apple claimed the company’s software broke its copyrights and violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by circumventing Apple’s security measures.
While the DMCA claim has not yet been thrown out, Judge Rodney Smith sided with Corellium on the copyright issue, finding the company’s software qualified as fair use. In particular, Judge Smith called Apple out for its “puzzling, if not disingenuous” claims that Corellium posed a risk. Apple has said the company’s products could open the way for attacks on actual iPhones if it fell into the wrong hands, and even went so far as to say that Corellium was selling its software indiscriminately.
Judge Smith found the Corellium had a sufficient vetting process in place to negate those concerns. What’s more, rather than circumventing Apple’s security measures to make a competing product, Corellium’s work benefits all of Apple’s iOS customers.
Apple works hard to cultivate an image of maintaining the moral high ground, often putting morality above basic profit. In this case, however, Apple got it wrong and Judge Smith’s ruling is a clear win for security researchers and Apple’s own customers.