Ninjutsu OS, a tool that completely modifies Windows 10 with a lot of tweaks, has been sued by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) on behalf of Microsoft on charges of violate the Copyright Law (DCMA).
Ninjutsu OS is a unique piece of software. Although Windows 10 can be modified using applications from the same operating system or third parties, this tool is intended take Windows 10 modding to a whole new level. Of course, illegally (according to Microsoft), because the customization, adjustments and deactivation of the features of Windows 10 (even when it improves some of its sections such as privacy) is equivalent to a violation of the license.
Launched on May 7, Ninjutsu OS claims to transform Windows 10 into a penetration testing center, adding a large number of tools (around 800) aimed at security experts or users who want to approach these environments, eliminating or disabling the instead features considered unwanted or unnecessary in such an environment.
“I created this project to help beginners and students in the field of information security. As you know, it is very difficult for beginners to build Windows and install all the tools and libraries for some of the programs you need in this field ”, explain the creator of this development.
As of June 6, 2020, the project has been hosted on Github, but according to the BSA complaint, it violates Microsoft’s copyright. “BSA has determined that GitHub.com (specifically, content available on GitHub via the link” https://github.com/ninjutsu-project/ninjutsu-project.github.io “) provides access to registered, non-public information and patented by our member Microsoft ». It is because of that request the link block and its deletion.
Is Ninjutsu OS illegal? Is a lawsuit necessary?
At first glance, some may conclude that Ninjutsu OS is equivalent to a heavily modified, but pirated version of Windows 10. However, a video explaining how the software works suggests that users will really need owning an official license for the modifications made to work correctly. The creator of Ninjutsu explains to TorrentFreak that this is the case.
The developer comments that the ability to adjust, disable or remove features in Windows 10 is done using two tools: Win10-Initial-Setup-Script and O&O ShutUp10, “allowing users to decide how Windows 10 should respect their privacy when deciding which features spam should be disabled.
It is clear that Windows 10 is proprietary software that, compared to open source solutions, cannot copy its code, modify it, and even less redistribute itself. However, the BSA / Microsoft complaint seems to focus on “unauthorized tweaks” or removal / disabling of Windows 10 components, rather than copying their content.
Really, users with the right tools and knowledge could achieve a result similar to that of Ninjutsu OS. And in fact, extensive tuning is necessary for many of us due to the large amount of unnecessary Bloatware, services and / or applications that the system includes. It remains unclear in light of this lawsuit if disabling these components to personalize or enhance the user experience violates the Windows 10 software license.