Is Front Row illegal

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by R.Youden, Feb 5, 2006.

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  1. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

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    #1
    I have just started a thread about using a mac mini to run Front Row and I have been shot down in flames. Now what I would like to do with this thread is sort the issue out once and for all.

    This is my perspective on the situation.

    I went onto the Apple website and LEGALLY downloaded Front Row 1.0.1, I then downloaded an enabler for Front Row which means I can run Front Row on any mac I want.

    Now to look at it in more detail:

    Apple provides FR 1.0.1 for free with no restrictions. It does not say it is illegal to download if you dont have an iMac or anyother restrictions, all it has listed is a requirements list but that does not make downloading the file illegal.

    The enabler is the application that obviously causes the problem. I understand that people have reservations about this program as it enables you to do something Apple doesnt want you to do. To the same extent there is a program that enable you to watch QuickTime films in full screen mode which in something Apple wants you to pay for in QuickTime Pro, is that download also illegal. You can argue that ANY program that enables a feature that a paid for program does is also illegal.

    Would getting Windows on an intel Mac be illegal?

    Now if you had to pay for FrontRow then yes it would be illegal but as you can download it for FREE from Apples own website I can not see how people justify this action being illegal.

    I dont want to cause any issues here, I just want to clear this up once and for all. What is everyones elses opinion?
     
  2. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I don't see this as an illegal software issue, more of an unsupported software issue much like loading Windows onto an Intel iMac. If Apple wanted to stop this practice, they'd put greater restrictions on loading FrontRow to begin with ... they do it with just about every other piece of software, why not this one?
     
  3. Shotglass macrumors 65816

    Shotglass

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    #3
    I got my FrontRow from [name removed] for my Mac mini. I don't think it's illegal. Apple should have made it available for the other macs, anyway. It was their mistake, I just got what should be mine. That opinion might be a little weird, but I still don't think it's wrong for me to use it. I've spent so much money on apple products that it's only fair for me.
     
  4. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

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    #4
    Couldn't see why anyone would have issues with what you have done. if they have, well thats their problem.

    edit:- Seems I was wrong regarding its legality. Still haven't changed my opinion though. Really don't understand your reasons for starting this thread.
    Each to his own I suppose.
     
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #5
    You did not download Front Row, you download a Front Row Update. It just so happens to have all the files you need to run FR. This update will not run on Macs that do no come with Front Row. So you downloaded an enabler. Basically, you tricked the updater in thinking your Mac came with FR so you where able to get something you did not pay for. This my be considered circumventing copyright protection software/code. In the US, this probably breaks the DMCA which is a federal offense. It probably breaks laws in other parts of the world too. So that is why we discuss it here.

    If you want to put it on your computer then go ahead, it is your choice. I know many people who have done it. Apple or the FBI isn't going to be knocking at your door to arrest you because they won't know you have it. That doesn't mean you should be shouting it out to the world. MR like to stay free and clear of any illegal (and even possible illegal) activities.
     
  6. howesey macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    It's legal as long as you have a licence and you stick to it. To download software, no it is not illegal, but to use it without a licence is. You could have 1,000 copies of Windows XP and give them to people, this wold not be illegal, it would be illegal for them if they installed and used them though. I know this applies to the EU and USA.

    Hacking software, or fooling it is known as a crack. Which is illegal.

    |As to Windows, it would be illegal in most cases as Windows XP Home and most Pro versions are only allowed to be used on a single processor machine, as stated in the licence.
     
  7. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #7
    Ummm, no, it's illegal. Copyright law forbids making copies of software and distributing them to others. In the case of the frontrow update, Apple can distribute it because they are the rightsholder, but no one else can without Apple's permission.

    I would be shocked if Apple's license agreement allowed people to install the update without owning the previous version, which you can only obtain legally by buying a frontrow-equipped computer.

    It's an interesting question as to whether using software that circumvents reading the license agreement would be illegal. You obtain both pieces of software legally, and since you never see the license agreement, you also never violated the license either. I suspect, however, that the software which defeats the agreement is illegal, as Grapes 911 suggests.
     
  8. Verto macrumors 6502a

    Verto

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    #8

    :rolleyes: No, it wasn't their mistake; it was their DECISION. You sound like a selfish teenybopper.
     
  9. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    Madison
    #9
    Front Row really doesn't give you much of an advantage with out the remote, if nothing it might make you want a new Front row enabled Mac even more.

    But to the OP,

    I don't think any one here really has a good enough grasp of the law to tell you one way or another if you have broken any laws. You'll see a lot of contradictions just as you have already.
     
  10. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    You can buy an Apple IR remote ... the question is will it work with any IR connection?

    Personally, I have an iMac with FrontRow and don't get this discussion ... FrontRow is cool to show off to people once, it's not something I ever use. Wow, I can make my iMac look like a huge iPod! Can I have my computer back now?
     
  11. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #11
    How can this be true when no-cd crack sites for PC Games exist and their URLs never change?
    They all have disclaimers saying they are only for your own personal use, assuming you own a copy of the game etc etc. in fact one of the better known ones is based in the US and has been since 1997 (according to a Whois search on the domain)... if it was illegal surely it would have been shut down by now, as no-cd patches have far more illegitimate uses than the "legitimate" one I have describe?
     
  12. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #12
    I'd say it's probably more useful if you've got a mini that you're using as a media center. But in that case, it's not legal to own it! What a dilemma! Hopefully Apple will release a new media center PC soon, and the question wil be moot.
     
  13. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

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    #13
    Its only legal if you already have the original version, which you'll only have if you've got a recent iMac - this is from the download page and clearly states the license terms:
    Version:
    Post Date: November 17, 2005
    License: Update
    File Size: 4MB



    I wouldn't categorise myself as a software nazi and I'm fairly ambivalent when it comes to non-legal software, but I'm afraid that this point of view is just not on. If you haven't bought it then you have no right to it. You spent your money on Apple products as you wanted and got exactly what you paid for. What makes you think you're entitled to more? Weird? You're dead right.
     
  14. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #14
    If I had to guess, it's because they're not making a copy. Copyright is about making copies. What I don't know is if circumventing a license agreement is illegal. I suspect it is.
     
  15. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    U.S. copyright law allows you to own and use DVD cracking software BUT it's illegal to sell it in the U.S. (Reminiscent of the Pulp Fiction dialogue about Amsterdam drug laws.) So if you happen to get a copy, you're fine as long as the DVDs you rip are for personal use ... start sharing the content online and you're breaking the law.
     
  16. haiggy macrumors 65816

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    Ontario, Canada
    #16
    What about the screen spanning hack for iBooks/iMacs? Is that illegal too? I'm sure more people have that than FrontRow and believe it to be legal.
     
  17. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

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    New HAMpshire
    #17
    Yeah, I agree- it is like someone saying I bought a 98 Jeep wrangler with a solid hard top...but the new ones now will come with a multipiece hard top so I should be entitled to one of those now cause I have always bought Jeep products (four). It is my right! NOT!

    Now, before someone flames me and says software is different because it doesn't cost Apple any more money for this one program to be downloaded...no it doesn't but that doesn't make it different when it comes to the legality of it. It is something they spent money on to develop. They also made the DECISION to put it on ONLY the new iMac. I would guess one of the reasons they made this decision is to help the new iMacs sell better to at least some people who want that functionality. Just like they provide software like Tony Hawk or others on new machines. When I got my iBook I didn't get Tony Hawk...then they started bundling it with new iMacs- does this make it my right to have this software on my older iMac? NO. I get what I pay for. Somtimes they offer updates to software and even some free software but it is their decision who and what can run that software.
     
  18. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #18
    The license agreement in the installer restricts the use of the software to the usual "Apple-labeled computer" -- whatever that is. There is no mention of models and such.
     
  19. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #19
    I don't have a problem with it.

    However there is the little problem that Front Row is pretty pointless without a remote.
     
  20. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #20
    I've read that is it believe to be illegal to use no cd cracks. I don't see how this is any different. I say believed because there is no way to know for sure until someone challenges it in court.
     
  21. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #21
    Apple has SLA's for basically everything they sell. I see none for Front Row. People are saying it's illegal, but I can't find a single spot on Apple's site or on the license agreement upon installation which forbids it.

    Of course, I might have missed something.

    But if someone wants to assert it's illegal, please post a link to the site which explicitly says so, or a screenshot of the license agreement saying so.
     
  22. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #22
    You are incorrect (sort of). Yes, US copyright allows you to make copies for you own personal use. But the DMCA says you cannot rip or make a copy of a DVD that has copyright protection (which pretty much all retail DVDs now have). This has been in court and in all instances the courts have said the DMCA has precedence over Fair Use. So, it is illegal to rip or copy your own DVD even if it is for personal use.
     
  23. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #23
    Maybe because they don't sell it...? :rolleyes:

    As mentioned above, the download of 1.0.1 is under an update licence, which means it's only legal to install and use if you own a licence to 1.0. That is only available with the iMac (and soon MacBook Pro) that had tis feature...

    You'll have to look at Front Row 1.0's original licence to see what's allowed or not, and if you don't have that... well...
     
  24. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #24
    It's probably legal. Apple didn't make the hack, and the people who DID make it are distributing it their way. It's like (trying to) boot Windows on an Intel Mac, Apple doesn't care if you do, but won't support it if it breaks. Hear no evil, see no evil, support no evil. :D
     
  25. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #25
    Why does the fact that it's an update mean that it's only legal to download and install if you have 1.0?

    1.0.1 is the entire app - the 16KB Enabler just resets some system properties to indicate that a remote is available.

    I see many assertions that it is illegal to install Front Row 1.0.1 via the Enabler. I see no proof to back up those assertions.

    Note that I see very little to redeem Front Row on my Intel iMac, so it's not like I feel that I need it elsewhere. However, i've yet to see any proof whatsoever that it is illegal.
     
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