General Question

jamms's avatar

Is Apples End User License Agreement legal?

Asked by jamms (609points) April 18th, 2008 from iPhone

If I bought Leopard, why couldn’t I install it on a dell? Its the equivelant of buying a ford and not being allowed by contract to use the car on certain roads.

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8 Answers

robmandu's avatar

No idea from a legal perspective.

But from a pragmatic perspective, after the near meltdown of Apple back in the ‘90’s when they attempted licensing out the Mac OS to third-party platform vendors, I hope it never happens.

The Mac is experience is intended to be superior, even premium. And Apple is able to do that, in part, by having complete control over the hosting hardware.

Compare just about any official Mac product to a comparable PC from Dell, HP, whatever, and you’ll see that price out nigh identical, often with the Apple even slightly cheaper.

That said, I think Apple is missing out on a key market segment:

I don’t want or need a machine with a built-in monitor, I don’t need the power of an eight-core Mac Pro, but I’d like my Mac to be faster and more expandable than a Mini. […] Tired of waiting and hoping for the Mac of my dreams to appear, I decided to take the technology into my own hands and build it myself. And thus began my experiment to assemble my very own OS X-running machine.

netspencer's avatar

I don’t know if that annalogy is exactly the same. Technically its true that its the same idea but apple wants to ensure the best expireience. They also want the money from ppl getting their computers. This eat they also don’t have to test it on every computer. Part of what makes NCs so great is that they work so semlusly. I think thats because they make both the software and hardware. Why would they risk that. Their is no reason.

jamms's avatar

I understand their rationale. I get that they are trying to control the experience. But the question has nothing to do with that. My problem with this is whether or not apple is legally allowed to tell me that the software I have legally purchased cannot be used on any machine I choose.

shared3's avatar

Yeah, as long as they make it clear to the consumer. That said, they probably won’t take action against you for doing so, as long as you are not doing it for a profit.

jamms's avatar

Would it be illegal to make a business from it? If apple is paid for their software, why is it different to do it yourself or have paid someone to do make it happen?

richardhenry's avatar

@jamms: because by purchasing Leopard, you made a ‘promise’ to Apple to use it within the guidelines they provided. You misuse the term ‘illegal’, as it isn’t considered to be directly illegal — it’s a breach of contract. You won’t get arrested for it, Apple would have to take civil action against you for breaking the rules they set out when you bought the item.

If you began to profit from your own breach of the guidelines set out by Apple when you purchased their product, then Apple would be very likely to want to take civil action against you. It’s not good for their business for a solution to have been made widely available that means that people no longer have to buy a Mac computer.

Interestingly, Ford could very well introduce a terms of use for a new vehicle, limiting it’s driving to only certain roads. The difference between this case and Apple’s OS, is that if Ford did this nobody would buy the car, and yet people are buying Mac OS X Leopard in droves.

wildflower's avatar

I doubt very much that a multi-million dollar company like Apple would gamble with liability by having legally void license agreements.
Especially when you consider they also operate in countries with strict statutory rights and marketing laws, as we have in the EU.

richardhenry's avatar

Long story short, it would be nice to have the right to install Leopard on whatever computer you wish, but it doesn’t work that way. You make an agreement with Apple (and any other company that employs a TOS) to use the product only within the rules they specify when you purchase it.

That’s not to say they will necessarily care if you break the TOS provided you don’t start shouting it from your bedroom window or trying to make money from doing so.

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