Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2008 21:44 UTC
Apple The website of a Miami-based networking and security solutions reseller became inaccessible Monday, shortly after the company began advertising an unauthorized Mac clone for a fraction of the cost of Apple's cheapest system. Dubbed OpenMac, the USD 400 offering from Psystar Corporation is described as 'a low-cost high-performance computing platform' based on the ongoing OSX86Project - a hacker-based initiative aimed at maintaining a version of the Mac OS X operating system for everyday PCs. The website is back online now, and the machine has been renamed to Open Computer. Update: Psystar says they will continue to sell the Open Computer system, despite the fact that it appears to violate Apple's EULA. "We're not breaking any laws," they insisted.
Permalink for comment 309595
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Member since:

Actually, when you purchase and install the software you are signing an agreement (electronic signing in the form of 'I Agree' is also considered one) where by under the conditions set down by the licence agreement (you don't own the software, you licence it off the company) you agree to a certain set of conditions - in the case of Apple, you are not allowed to (or hack the software to) run it on non-Apple hardware.

Does upholind this matters? yes it does, I wish people would spend a little time thinking the impact of what dismissing EULA's would mean; the EULA is a licence contract, your are essentially saying that licence contracts me NOTHING - then what about all those companies who purchase IP off one and another? what about companies who licence software and use it as part of their own.

Er, no. Virtually every jurisdiction in the world has stipulations on validity of contracts, to the point that contracts can be invalidated even if agreed to by both parties.

Some jurisdictions prevent minors from entering into contractual agreements, for instance, which would immediately invalidate a license "contract". Some jurisdictions refuse to recognize "click-throughs" as acceptance, particularly when there is no recourse for the customer to refuse and be properly refunded for "contractual" terms added after the sale transaction. Some jurisdictions weigh the factor of consideration, whereby a contract essentially can't favor one party over the other without relatively equal benefit to both parties. And most jurisdictions, frankly, view software as any other copyright-protected product, and in doing so, enforce the appropriate protections for consumers and content producers, regardless of the EULA.

I wish people here would think about the issue a little more in depth and realise that a precedent set in one area of the industry *COULD* creep through and affect everyone else. Its not just a matter of 'the EULA screws over users' as people here like to claim - its a matter of whether licence contracts (or even contracts!) are even able to be up held in court!

We had a scam going on here in Toronto, and I'm sure it's happened in other regions, whereby private parking-enforcement companies would "ticket" people on private property with a violation notice designed to look like an official municipal parking ticket and a subsequent threat of legal action if the fine was not payed. The city has had to pass bylaws and regulations prohibiting that type of action, because it was deemed illegally coercive. So it is with EULA's. Just because they look legal, doesn't make them legal. But by the same token, just because an EULA isn't really valid, doesn't provide freedom to violate the other laws that protect software, such as copyright.

Again, you DON'T purchase software, you LICENCE it, and when you agree to the EULA, you are SIGNING a contract with the software company under what conditions the software is being licensed to you for!

See my point above. Many jurisdictions question the license vs. ownership theory. When you purchase a book, you're not purchasing a license to read the book. When you purchase a DVD, you're not purchasing a license to view the movie. Software is covered by the very same copyright laws. The idea that software is somehow "above" this is simply ridiculous, and the idea that it is somehow entitled to stronger restrictions is ludicrous. Software is content, nothing more. There are sufficient laws in place within most jurisdictions that can be applied to prevent the unlawful copying and distribution of it, enforcing controls on what you can do with legally purchased content simply exceeds the boundaries of what free government should do.

Frankly, the software vendors know this, which is why so many of the dominant ones are trying to move to software-as-a-service, because it nicely by-steps all of that. It provides an annuity-based revenue stream, and allows them to bypass the sticky issue of consumer rights.

Note, that's not to say I advocate software theft. And anyone that slaps a copy of OSX onto a non-Apple platform is stealing the software, unless they are also removing it from the original Apple system they purchased it on, or purchasing it from a store.

But EULAs have nothing to do with it. Copyright law is sufficient.

Reply Parent Score: 10