Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 26th May 2009 20:56 UTC
Mac OS X Getting Mac OS X up and running on a computer without an Apple label has always been a bit of a hassle. You needed customised Mac OS X disks, updates would ruin all your hard work, and there was lots of fiddling with EFI and the likes. Ever since the release of boot-132, this is no longer the case. Read on for how setting up a "Hack"intosh really is as easy as 1, 3, 2.
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Your "legal" argument is completely wrong
by rhavyn on Wed 27th May 2009 00:03 UTC
rhavyn
Member since:
2005-07-06

Your entire legal hypothesis seems to rest on this statement:

"Since Darwin is open source, this is completely legal, and doesn't break the DMCA since you're not actually hacking any protection measures."

Unfortunately, you are completely wrong. The DMCA says that any circumvention of a copy protection device is against the law. It doesn't matter if all the pieces used to circumvent the copy protection are legal. It doesn't matter how trivial the protection is. The fact that there is a copyright protection device preventing you from installing OS X (which I'm assuming isn't under debate since you seem to have, at least implicitly, stated that there is one), any circumvention is illegal no matter how you go about it.

Edited 2009-05-27 00:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

I would argue your wrong. I would argue that the device isn't a copy protection device since in fact it isn't actually needed to use the computer. The fact that a boot loader will load OS X is not circumvention, since if I was loading Windows or Linux, it would be perfectly fine. Not using something on your computer is NOT circumvention. Altering your motherboard so that the device works differently IS circumvention. There is no alteration to the workings of the motherboard. Hence it should be perfectly fine. Course, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple does something to make this not work.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alex Forster Member since:
2005-08-12

No, he's right. Apple actively prevents you from installing on a regular PC, and Boot123 circumvents that protection. It's a clear-cut DMCA violation. Don't get me wrong, I write this with a motherboard on its way that will allow me to run vanilla OSX86, but I don't pretend that it won't be illegal.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Unfortunately, you are completely wrong. The DMCA says that any circumvention of a copy protection device is against the law. It doesn't matter if all the pieces used to circumvent the copy protection are legal. It doesn't matter how trivial the protection is. The fact that there is a copyright protection device preventing you from installing OS X (which I'm assuming isn't under debate since you seem to have, at least implicitly, stated that there is one), any circumvention is illegal no matter how you go about it.


The question is: Did Apple actively put countermeasures or DRM on the retail Leopard install DVD's to stop users from installing it on a non Apple computers. Far as I can tell that answer is no. Apple did not include the drivers and other pieces of software that would be required to run out the box on a non EFI computer with a standard bios. But I have not seen any evidence that Apple put in DRM to stop people from installing MacOS. And even now (I have a MSI Wind U100 with Mac OS on it) when you install updates they don't add any software that in its self would kill a Hackentosh.

Just the same as Apple added a DMCA claim against Psystar but has not pushed it by asking a court for a DMCA infringement injunction to stop Psystar. I think that is because Apple does not have a case using the DMCA alone.

Reply Parent Score: 3

alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Both DMCA and copyright allow you certain privileges in respect of acts which are either to enable competition or to enable interworking.

DMCA explicitly allows you to hack in order to bypass restrictions which limit competition. Garage door openers, mobiles and so on. Copyright in the US allows you to crack and alter in order to make interworking possible, and it also allows you to publish the methods.

If we consider that efi is an international standard, there is no way that placing your machine in a state to install OSX via it is unlawful.

Thom has of course violated the EULA clause which forbids installing on non-Macs. Whether this clause is enforceable? Because that's all that seems to be actionable in his method? Almost certainly not in the EU. Probably not in the US.

Reply Parent Score: 3

mstuartm Member since:
2009-05-29

I disagree. It is perfectly legal to modify Darwin code as one sees fit. If Apple's copy-protection scheme for OS X relies upon Darwin, it cannot legally enforce that scheme, since doing so would violate the terms of Darwin's open-source license.

In other words, Apple can't put code into Darwin, declare that code part of its OS X copy-protection scheme, and assert that it is thus illegal for other developers to alter that code. If Apple even attempted such a thing, it would by definition amount to a licensing violation -- and thus would be unenforceable.

If Apple's copy-protection scheme does not rely upon Darwin, then modifying Darwin does not qualify as circumvention in the first place.

And hardware-based protection is a moot point. If you're using non-Apple commodity hardware, then there is no firmware-based protection to work around -- and thus no circumvention.

The real legal issue here, IMO, is the Apple EULA for OS X. I strongly suspect that by "labeling," Apple is not simply referring to a cutesy decal on the system case. Rather, in this case, "labeling" is shorthand for "Apple-branded," or in other words, Apple-proprietary hardware.

I certainly wouldn't want to discourage anyone from pursuing this experiment -- software EULAs are generally a revolting species of legal monster, and Apple's EULAs are no exception. And this presents absolutely no threat -- none -- to Apple's business, since there is zero chance this kind of hack will cost the company any paying customers. But really, I think it's a mistake to take the world "label" too literally in this context.

IANAL -- but then again, I don't charge $400 an hour for my opinion, either :-)

Reply Parent Score: 1