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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kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

This may be splitting hairs, but at what point do you actually agree to a contract with Apple?

1) At the retail store where you purchase the copy of OS X? No, I am not given a chance to read the contract before I purchase the software.

2) At installation? Maybe, it would depend on the install. If I click on the "I Agree" button during a normal install, you might have a better case for it. However, if I extract the packages manually onto my drive, I would never be presented with the installation license agreement and therefore never have a chance to accept it.


Some would claim that at the point of sale; for me, that can't be correct because in NZ (along with most other countries) there are consumer protections which allow one to take back the product. Others would say that as soon as you put it in the machine and agree to the EULA displayed (and it is displayed, if you choose to ignore it - tough). Where as I would go so far as to say that once you have installed, agree and it works, you have closed the deal.

You have agreed to all the terms and conditions of the EULA, and there fore, you have signed a contract with the software company to use the software only in the manner as outlined in the EULA; if you have an issue with the EULA, then get a lawyer and ask whether you can re-negotiate it - otherwise it is a situation of 'put up or shut up'.

Slightly different topic: the EULA states that the software must be installed on an Apple-labeled computer? I have seen the argument all over the web to just slap an official Apple sticker on the machine. But, I have never seen a counter-argument to this. Would someone care to provide one?


Apple-labelled meaning, a machine with Apple firmware; the same definition they used for their PowerPC; there is nothing stopping anyone from creating a PC, the line is drawn when you use Apple intellectual property (aka Apple Firmware) to enable you to run Mac OS X on a non-Apple machine - it would require, even if just a couple of lines of code, Apple firmware or emulation of it. All which violate it. Hence the reason why it was never a breach of contract to sell PowerPC equipment, it was the burning off the Apple firmware on the non-Apple machine which is a breach of contract.

Reply Parent Score: 2

droidix Member since:
2008-03-13

Apple-labelled meaning, a machine with Apple firmware; the same definition they used for their PowerPC; there is nothing stopping anyone from creating a PC, the line is drawn when you use Apple intellectual property (aka Apple Firmware) to enable you to run Mac OS X on a non-Apple machine - it would require, even if just a couple of lines of code, Apple firmware or emulation of it. All which violate it. Hence the reason why it was never a breach of contract to sell PowerPC equipment, it was the burning off the Apple firmware on the non-Apple machine which is a breach of contract.


Again, splitting hairs, but does the contract actually define "Apple-labeled" as "machine with Apple firmware" or, does it reference another document that does?

I might be wrong on this, but no actual copyrighted Apple firmware code is used for EFI emulation in modern day hackintoshs. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Again, splitting hairs, but does the contract actually define "Apple-labeled" as "machine with Apple firmware" or, does it reference another document that does?


You are the one coming up with the term 'Apple-labeled', the MacOS X EULA is quite clear, alo

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You have agreed to all the terms and conditions of the EULA, and there fore, you have signed a contract with the software company to use the software only in the manner as outlined in the EULA; if you have an issue with the EULA, then get a lawyer and ask whether you can re-negotiate it - otherwise it is a situation of 'put up or shut up'.


Utter nonsense. As others have already tried to explain, I can sign a contract with ten billion million signatures, but if that contract violates some basic rights I have as a human, that contract will not stand the test of any judge in the western world.

There are known cases of EULAs that stated things like "the user is not allowed to publicise negative information about this product". Such an EULA would violate a very basic human right in the western world: the right to free speech. Consequently, such an EULA would never stand the test of common law (breach of contract is a common matter, not a criminal one).

By telling me I cannot install my copy of Leopard on a non-Apple computer, the EULA violates basic property rights; and at least in The Netherlands (but I'm sure this goes for other western countries too), property rights are way up there with the right to free speech, since they are a cornerstone of western society. Signing any contract that violates this right, whether you knew about it or not, will mean nothing; I don't think there will be any judge in the western world that will not smash the Apple EULA to smithereens.

Contrary to popular belief, you actually DO own software. You paid for it, just like you paid for a DVD or a CD. The same copyright laws apply, and the same property rights apply. Just because Steve included a bunch of text with an "I agree" button underneath doesn't change anything about all this. A contract that violates basic rights you have as a human will BY DEFINITION be void.

EDIT: Assuming you install it on just one computer, of course.

Edited 2008-04-15 07:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

As others have already tried to explain, I can sign a contract with ten billion million signatures, but if that contract violates some basic rights I have as a human, that contract will not stand the test of any judge in the western world.


True. At least, a contract is not legaly binding if you agree to your rights (i.e. as described in law) being violated. However, I doubt whether the OS X EULA (and Vista's for that matter) contains much that would 'violate some basic right'.

There are known cases of EULAs that stated things like "the user is not allowed to publicise negative information about this product".


Irrelevant, as, as far as I know, the OS X EULA does not contain such a statement, and even if it would, that's not what prevents you from using the software on a different machine.

By telling me I cannot install my copy of Leopard on a non-Apple computer, the EULA violates basic property rights;


It'd be a very ammusing excersize seeing you trying to defend that in a court of law. You may claim it's a type of tie-in sale ("koppelverkoop" in Dutch law) and you may feel disgruntled about it, but Apple really doesn't take any property from you (that's what property rights are about) when they prevent you from using a product on a machine of your choice.

Signing any contract that violates this right, whether you knew about it or not, will mean nothing;


I'm pretty sure that a contract that transfers the ownership of something you have to someone else is perfectly legal binding. It is called "sale". You must have some really strange notion of "property rights".

I don't think there will be any judge in the western world that will not smash the Apple EULA to smithereens.


Perhaps not, but that's because there'll be no actual court case. Remember that Microsoft's Vista license has similar provisions like preventing you from running Vista in a virtual machine. I'm pretty sure these are reasonably sound licence agreements, and I'm also pretty sure we won't see many court cases about them.

Contrary to popular belief, you actually DO own software.


Now really? Good think you know this for sure, as I always thought the software is licensed to you instead of sold to you. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure the only thing you actually own is the DVD, the case etc. Come on Thom, present hard evidence instead of blurbing about.

You paid for it, just like you paid for a DVD or a CD.


I paid to go see a movie in a theatre? Do I now own the theatre? Or the movie? I paid to rent a car. Do I now own the car?

The same copyright laws apply, and the same property rights apply.


You also do not own the contents of a CD or DVD. They are not licensed to you as software is, but there's very strict regulations about their use.

A contract that violates basic rights you have as a human will BY DEFINITION be void. EDIT: Assuming you install it on just one computer, of course.


1) The OS X EULA does not violate any basic right, as far as you have demonstrated.
2) If I install it on two computers, it's OK for my basic rights to be violated???


JAL

Reply Parent Score: 1