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.
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Tie-in-sale? What are you on about? I didn't mention that at all.

No, "may" as in "could", not that you did. Apple selling product A (OS X) and more or less forcing you to also buy product B (an Apple branded computer) is tie-in sale of some sorts.

Property rights entail, for one thing, that you can do as you very well please with your property, as long as it does not break any laws. (...)

All true.

However, I can buy a knife and use it to slice my bread; it's my property, and slicing bread with a knife is not prohibited by law. I can buy a CD, and use it as a frisbee; it's my property, and using a CD as a frisbee is not prohibited by law.

All true again.

I can buy OS X, and install it on a non-Apple computer; it's my property, and installing it on a non-Apple computer is not prohibited by law

Wrong and wrong again. You don't buy OS X. You buy a DVD which contains OS X (and with which you are perfectly allowed to frisbee) and some other stuff like a box and probably some hardcopy quick install guide. But you do not buy the software contained on the DVD. That software is property of Apple. What you pay for, apart from that DVD etc., is Apple's effort in making that software, and by paying for that, Apple grants you, if you agree to their EULA, the eternal use of that software. It's not yours, you are not buying it, no, it's a lease, a rent or whatever you want to call it. And therefore, property laws do not apply. If I rent a car, I cannot use it for racing the Nuernburg, because the rental license explicitly forbids driving on a race track. I you 'buy' OS X, i.e. license it, you cannot use it for installing on a non-Apple computer, because - well, you get it.

(installing that same copy on multiple machines IS prohibited by law, by the way).

No, it is not. It is prohibited because Apple tells you so in the EULA, and the law just allows Apple to tell you so. If Apple wants to grant you to install it on a 1000 computers, it is allowed to do so without breaking the law.

"The owner is free to use the property, as long as this does not violate the rights of others and the limitations that come forward from law and rules."

Indeed, but again, the software is explicitly not your property. Look, it's not that I am in anyway defending that this is even possible, I don't like it one bit, but it is reality.

Dutch Common Law (consumer sale) speaks only of "sale" and thus property rights, unless specific agreements have been made PRIOR to sale. PRIOR. An EULA is "agreed" upon POST sale, and as such, you OWN your copy.

It could be argued that consumers should know that buying an OS (or other software) means they do not own it, just as they do not own music when they buy a CD, or own a film when they buy a DVD. In that case it could be understood that it is not a type of "sale" but more of a type of "rental". Also, even if you are right about Dutch law (which is rather permissive in many ways in these cases), I'm pretty sure in the US Apple has a solid ground to stand on.


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