Last week we reported that the latest iOS 5 update paved the way for iPhone 4 users to get Siri on their devices.
iOS 5 hacker MuscleNerd claimed that the iOS 5.0.1 update includes Siri-related system files that were previously encrypted, making it possible to extract the necessary files for a Siri port without infringing on Apple’s copyright.
This meant that hackers have the possibility to make Siri legal on older Apple devices.
However, according to Adrian Kingsley-Hughes from Zdnet, this isn’t so legal after all.
In order to sustain his point, Hughes posts a fragment from Apple’s software license agreement for the iPhone 4S [emphasis added]:
Permitted License Uses and Restrictions.
Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to use the iOS Software on a single Apple-branded iOS Device. Except as permitted in Section 2(b) below, and unless as provided in a separate agreement between you and Apple, this License does not allow the iOS Software to exist on more than one Apple-branded iOS Device at a time, and you may not distribute or make the iOS Software available over a network where it could be used by multiple devices at the same time. This License does not grant you any rights to use Apple proprietary interfaces and other intellectual property in the design, development, manufacture, licensing or distribution of third party devices and accessories, or third party software applications, for use with iOS Devices. Some of those rights are available under separate licenses from Apple.”
In other words, distributing any Apple code without permission could send you into a nasty legal fight with the company.
But decrypting the files could lead to copyright infringement since distributing Apple’s property isn’t necessarily fair.
“So by decrypting the files, Apple has made a port of Siri ‘technically’ possible, but calling it ‘legal’ is a huge stretch,” Hughes concludes.