Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 4th Jul 2009 00:40 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Now this is interesting news that hit my inbox at 2:22 AM (don't ask). It seems like the concept of selling Mac clones is more lucrative than many have anticipated, as I've just been informed via email that the German PearC has expanded its business into the BeNeLux (Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg) and France. Together with the news that Psystar emerged from chapter 11, it looks like the market for Mac clones is more lucrative than many of us had imagined.
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The problem with this line of argument is that as a matter of fact, in all OECD jurisdictions, limits on what contracts a seller may impose on a buyer are accepted and part of sale of goods law.

For example, the obvious one, in the UK if you buy mail order, the distance selling regulations give you the right to return for refund within 7 days, no questions asked. It does not matter what contract you sign, it will not be enforceable against this. Similarly, you have various rights under the Sale of Goods laws, and even if you sign a contract renouncing them as a consideration for getting a more generous warranty, this renunciation will not have any legal effect. The same applies to anti competitive practices.

What you are basically doing is adopting a libertarian attitude, but restricted to powers you want Apple to have, without considering what effect giving everyone including Apple those powers. This is why I say that it is not primarily about Apple. Of course, what you would like is for Apple but no-one else to have those powers. That is not going to happen, and should not happen.

Now, it may be reasonable to say that any seller should be able to impose any conditions of sale and that buyers' only recourse should be not to buy. One can imagine societies which regulate consumer purchases in this way. It is just that our societies have chosen a different way, and in them it is not a reasonable argument to say, of one particular company, that "you cannot simply sign a contract and claim some percieved right to simply ignore it just because you feel your freedoms are being trampled on, man".

It depends on the conditions. Some will be enforceable under consumer protection and contract and competition law, others not. There is no reason why you should comply with contractual conditions which have no legal validity in your jurisdiction.

I have two views on this. One is that Apple's specific clause about where you may install or cause to be installed will not in fact be enforceable in the EC.

The second is that it should not be, because, like the ability to incent people to give up their rights under the sale of goods acts, it is not good for society or consistent with the way we run retail sales at present.

One can amusingly turn your argument on its head. Yes, if Apple loses exclusivity on OSX and this causes you not to want to buy Macs or Apple shares, well, sell the shares, don't buy the machines. Yes indeed, follow your own advice!

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