Apple Spanks Wired Over Hackintosh Video

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Wired received an unexpected wake up call on Wednesday when Apple contacted the publication with a request that it pull an article showing how to install Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware.

The article by Brian X. Chen included a video explaining in step-by-step detail how to turn a generic netbook PC into a Mac OS X machine -- or Hackintosh -- with a USB flash drive and a utility called OSX86 Tools. Apple, however, was not amused and contacted Wired's parent company, Conde Nast, with a request to remove the article.

Earlier in the day it wasn't clear if Apple was suing Wired, or merely making a request. At the time, Mr. Chen commented on Twitter "Just found out Apple is suing Wired for my video tutorial on hacking netbooks to run Mac OS X. One hell of a way to start off the day."

CNET was later able to confirm that Apple was not suing Wired, so for now the online publication has been able to avoid the wrath of Apple's legal team.

Wired did remove the how-to video from its Web site, but the article is still available on line.

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Because enabling someone to commit a crime makes you an accessory to the crime. The courts are catching on to that.

Sort of the way hate speech is a crime because it crosses a line into criminal territory.

It’s too bad he Twittered incorrect information because it got the rumor mill going and even led to this improper headline. Spanks? By a phone call asking that they remove it? Really? Spanks?


What crime? 

Why do you believe turning a generic netbook PC into a Mac OS X machine—or Hackintosh—with a USB flash drive is some kind of crime?

It doesn’t even violate the DMCA Section II’s provisions against making a copy by circumventing the copy-protections of an intellectual property (and that’s even if the DMCA Section II itself is NOT an illegal/unconstitutional violation of the US Supreme Court’s Sony/Betamax v. Universal Studios decision’s protection of our right to make copies of copywrited properties which we have bought or are otherwise legally entitled to possess, as long as it is for strictly personal use).

Laurie Fleming

Oh bollocks. Go and read the EULA - Apple does not permit running OS X on non-Apple hardware. This is where Psystar has really got itself in the poo, claiming pretty much what you are doing.

When you buy an OS, you’re really purchasing a licence. When Apple says that you may not run it on non-Apple hardware, and you do, you’re breaking the licence.

You may not like it (and that’s a whole different argument), but that’s what you sign up for when you install the operating system.


read the EULA - Apple does not permit running OS X on non-Apple hardware. .

When you buy an OS, you?re really purchasing a licence. When Apple says that you may not run it on non-Apple hardware, and you do, you?re breaking the licence.”
OK, Yes, that is what Apple says you may not do, but Apple’s license rights really don’t give Apple the legal right to enforce that; to prevent anyone from using any software the person may own upon any device s/he might like to so.  The law is not on Apple’s side in this case.

Where Psystar has really got itself in the poo, was by SELLING (for $$) the unauthorized use of OSX.



However, the DMCA doesn’t apply.  If you were copying the MacOS X DVD as a backup in case you broke, burnt, or destoryed the original and if you needed to by-pass some security to do that backup then it would apply.  However, no where does DMCA give you the right to run software on an unauthorized machine.

Remember, MacOS X is *ONLY* authorized to be ran on Intel/PPC machines sold by Apple.  And under the current ELUA (until someone challenges and wins in court) it is not allowed to run it on a generic whitebox.  The hack is more akin to the old Sega Lawsuits over a no-name company that was unable or unwilling to pay Sega for the right to use their development tools that set a bit on a cartage that stated “This game is Sega Authorized” (Do note Sega won without too much of a contest back then).

So, if we like it or not.  That is the way we sit legally.

Laurie Fleming

Psystar keep on trying to come up with legalese which purports to allow them to do what they do. When one tack doesn’t work, they jibe and try to come up with another one. And that won’t work either.

Many years ago I worked for a small software company supporting accounting and job-costing software. I discovered that one of our customers had sold a computer to another company, but as part of the deal had “sold” the software as well. Since the software was under an annual licence, they had no legal right to do that. After pointing out the not-so-fine print on the licence, they agreed that they were in the wrong. I’m well aware that New Zealand law and US law may differ in this area, but I’d warrant that the differences are slight.

Apple’s licence does give them the legal right to enforce it - as has been proved in other software cases. The first-sale doctrine, often cited, doesn’t apply because that relates to *copyright*, not a *contract*.

From CNet: <quote>There’s little doubt Psystar is installing Apple software on non-Apple-labeled computers, said Richard Vermut, a lawyer with Rogers Towers in Florida who specializes in software licensing and technology patent matters. “Generally speaking, a software developer has the right to sell software with these shrink-wrap licenses, or end-user agreements, and they are enforceable” unless the terms of the license would harm the consumer or otherwise violate existing laws, he said.</quote>

Getting back to the Wired article, the situation is very similar. Chen was aiding and abetting in the breaking of the contract. The terms of the licence are not harming the consumer, nor are they violating existing laws.

Not a Crime

Breaking a EULA is not a crime.  You lose what was given to you in that license.  It is not a crime to open your iPod up and replace the battery or hard drive.  This is a violation of the EULA, but not a crime.  Even if Apple could/would take you to court, it would not be criminal court.  Breach of contracts are not criminal matters and are settle in common law courts.  By being in breach of the contract, Apple no longer has to provide you any services that were promised in the contract.  If Apple can prove that by you installing OS X there was the most aggregious of breaches of the EULA, then a court could order you to pay whatever the damages are.  EULAs already face challenges in courts for how enforcable they actually are.  Regardless, it is not a crime to install OS X on to anything.  It’s a completely different code of law than the criminal code.


CNET has had the same type of video online since 7-07


It’s certainly laughable what people will try to pass off as a criminal act nowadays.

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