Legal or not, makes no difference in the same household

Discussion in 'macOS' started by flanamac, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. flanamac macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    I have seen the voluminous and erudite discussions here about the licensing schema which Apple uses to generate revenue.

    They apparently believe that for each computer in the same household, the license should only be used for a particular computer; so if you have more than one computer you plan to use the OS on, you need more than one license.

    Although I can understand this, it is simply a revenue maneuver, and their right to charge however they want; however, they cannot enforce this. I will demonstrate.

    If I have, say OS X Snow Leopard, purchased as a single license for $29, and load it on a single computer (laptop for portability), then we are all happy and the world goes on peacefully.

    But (and here is the sting), if I decide that I am going to have to begin taking classes at a local college and want to take my laptop with me for note taking, etc..., then come back home, transfer via a LAN my notes, etc... to my desktop for extensive homework assignments and want to utilize the same OS, I am out of luck unless I purchase another license.

    Has the user changed? Has the purpose for which I am using the computer changed? I could just as easily done my homework on the same laptop, but chose to be a bit more comfortable and perhaps utilize a desktop where I have backup systems residing where I don't have such a system on my laptop. Additionally, if I could use the OS remotely on the laptop from my desktop, then I wouldn't have loaded the OS on my laptop at all.

    As you can see, overall, the use of both computers is part of an overall system of how I see I need to utilize the equipment for my purposes and the OS being on two different computers is not serving two different people.

    In terms of the argument that you should have two separate licenses because you have separate hardware, which requires two separate OS's doesn't hold water since I could, although it would be cumbersome and preposterous, take the desktop to class, plug it in, avoiding the need for the laptop at the extreme of the continuum of convenience (having a laptop) vs. cost (expense of a laptop). Again, the laptop and desktop work together as a system and not separate computing entities.

    Therefore, according to Apple, as soon as I use the same license on the desktop, I have committed theft since I didn't purchase another license. We know this is all expected by the family license packs available.

    Well, this isn't enforceable since here is what I can do to avoid the theft.
    1) Install the OS on the laptop, and all applications, then make a Time Machine backup on a) external hard drive; b) secondary internal drive via replacement of the SuperDrive; or c) another partition on the same internal hard drive (probably easiest)
    2) Go to school, or wherever and take the notes, surf the web, etc...
    3) Get back home and do another Time Machine backup
    4) Insert the OS disk and erase the volume with the OS so as to remove the OS and essentially "return the purchased license to an unused state."
    5) Go to my desktop, install the OS, then, assuming I made a Time Machine backup on a transferable medium such as an external hard drive, connect the hard drive to the desktop, Time Machine the information I need, then do my work.
    6) When done working on the desktop, Time Machine again to the external hard drive.
    7) erase the volume with the OS and go back to the laptop for the next outing.

    Now, no one in their right mind would do the above; however, this is how Apple expects you to act if you want to avoid stealing their OS by putting a single license on more than one machine.

    Well, you do not have to ruminate for hours to determine my course of action. I simply purchase one disk, put it one both machines and move on. I have stolen nothing because I have not placed that OS on a machine intended for someone else's use; only my own.
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Purchasing another license for moral purposes seems like a good use of money.
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    You may well believe that this is OK but it is in direct contravention of the EULA you have agreed to. You could be (but are very unlikely to be) sued by Apple. Note that Apple could go to MS style activation to prevent this sort of license misuse if too many people do this. So think carefully about your actions as if they do I'll hold you and others like you responsible. Your situation is exactly what the Family Pack is designed for. Can you explain clearly, in one or two sentences (not a whole frickin screen), why you are not simply buying one of those? If you can afford two Macs recent enough to run Snow Leopard the small incremental cost is not a valid reason.
  4. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says....this subject has been beaten to death countless times over. You are violating the license agreement, and that is why Apple sells the Family Pack license for a *very* good decent affordable price....oh yeah!
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    interesting perspectives. would this stand up in court?

    personally i have no problem with using "illegal" software, but anything to make it more legal would be nice.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I'd pay an extra $29 just to not have to read such a long post! :D robbieduncan and Duff-Man speak the truth.... especially the fact that "this subject has been beaten to death countless times over." Again and again, repeatedly, redundantly, repetitively, obnoxiously, too many times, once more!
  7. AdeFowler macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2004
    Amen. we really don't want activation in OSX.
  8. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    2+ to have been beaten to death

    Are you just trying to asuage you conscience with rationalization. EVERY installation not paid for is money denied/stolen from Apple. Yes, I know they are doing just fine, but taken to extreme is can be a significant hit to revenue. And for those of us who like R&D and innovation, and who want to see Apple succeed, this is a threat to those goals.

    Apple trusts you to do the right thing. You violate that trust when you use a single license more than once. Come on, a Family Pack is a deal!
  9. gibbz macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2007
    You know, those pesky cell phone companies want me to pay a separate bill from my landline, even though the cell phone is a direct extension of what my landline does? Sure, I could rip out my landline phone and take it with me places and try to plug in, but why when I can just take a portable phone? I shouldn't have to pay for the cell service because the the landline and cell phones work together as a system and not as separate communication entities. :rolleyes:

    Saying it is so doesn't make it fact. You are trying really hard to justify here, but this has to be one of the most absurd comments I have read in awhile.
  10. flanamac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009

    Define morality. If you use a standard other than that which is unmovable, then your morality is different than Apple's and likely different than mine.

    If Apple asks how I use Snow Leopard, I will tell them I use it as per their licensing agreement where you can only have one copy running at a time on an Apple-branded computer, effectively, because I cannot use them simultaneously; therefore, for their purposes, I am not violating their license agreement.

    It is the same thing as if I wanted to listen to certain music at my grandparent's house when traveling, but only have one CD with the music on it; so I make a copy and take with me to my grandparent's house instead of bring the original since I do not want to take a chance of destroying the original. I am still the user and owner of the license, so the license follows me, not the software.
  11. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    Wow... That's a long, long, long...
    ...long rant.

    I happen to agree, however in summary:

    If I, a single user, have more than one computer, I should be able to use the one, single user license edition of the software. If I have a "family" where more than one person will use these computers, then buying the "family pack" makes ethical sense.

    And if anyone challenges you, claim you were just about to reformat one and sell it, and in the process of transferring your data and software. Booyah! If they mention it's taken you two years to do that, just run.
  12. flanamac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    An invalid argument and doesn't correspond to my argument at all. Your landline doesn't work the same as the cell line and if they were provided by the same company would represent two separate products.

    Your argument better fits the reason why I purchased a laptop and desktop (years apart by the way), not the software running them. If I chose to run Tiger on one, then SL on another, then those are separate products warranting separate purchases.
  13. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    You're not buying a license for a person. You're buying it for one machine. So if you want to use the OS on another machine - to be legal - before you install on another machine - you would need to uninstall the software on the original machine.

    Again - you are not licensing use for a PERSON - you are licensing use for a MACHINE.

    Just like if you walk into a restaurant and they have an All You Can Eat special. That's not All You Can Eat at the restaurant and anywhere else you go that day. It's only for the location it's been designated.

    And really - over $29? I consider the whole premise of your post ridiculous
  14. flanamac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    Again, ethics is defined by those involved and between the parties; however, glad to see that you understand my point.

    I could also make an argument that family packs are also the same if you believe that a family is an inseparable unit (even by geography), not a conglomerate.

    But then we have to define family, right. I would define family as those living under your roof. Just because my wife occasionally would get on the desktop to use it doesn't make that any different. Her benefit is my benefit, her loss my loss. We are a unit.
  15. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    Another thread on this?

    Really people, if you want to buy one cd for 5 macs then just do it. If you want to download the iWork trial and activate it with a dodgy serial just do it. If you want to skip buying Snow Leopard at all then just torrent it. If you want to install only cracked apps on your iPhone then just do it.

    But don't come into the forum and get people all shouting about morals. It's tedious. Everyone knows what's "right" and what's "wrong". Decide what you want to do and just get on with it without dragging everyone else into it.
  16. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    The same could be said about your CD copying argument. CDs are licensed under different terms than Mac OS X. In fact, you don't even have to explicitly agree to a EULA to use them. Their terms are defined by law.
  17. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    What they actually expect is that you will not obsess over saving $29.
  18. flanamac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    Again, this is an invalid argument because the food is not portable for the individual and is a one time use, ingested product, unlike software which is not a one time use item for the individual. Additionally, the food at one restaurant is a product of that restaurant, not the product of the other restaurant which would charge separately for its own product; therefore, food at separate restaurants are separate products. The license for the OS is the same product and I can take it wherever I go. If I decided to erase the desktop volume each time I left the house with the laptop, then I am legal, so if the desktop has the OS left on it when I leave, and no one else using it, then what is the difference?

    If a law/legal agreement demands irrationality, then that means only the insane are allowed to comply. What does that say for the lawmakers?

    Perhaps some of you would ask what I would do if I could change the legal agreement and still protect the potential revenue for Apple from the development of its OS. I would charge $500 a license, then I would simply license per person, prohibiting sale of the license under any circumstances.

    Two comments: 1) this is a gross assumption; 2) interesting you had to put quotes around this and signals the day and age in which we live.
  19. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    I understand your point and I agree to some extent but sometimes things are just illogical and irritating like that. It's just how it is.
  20. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    And how would/could you enforce that?!

    Again - when you agree to the EULA - you are licensing use for one MACHINE not one PERSON. Period.

    As another has said. Either do what's legal or don't do what's legal. It's up to you. You always have a choice. And whatever consequences arise from that choice also belong to you. I don't think you'll find absolution on this messageboard. And even if you found a huge following agreeing that it's unfair - the point is moot. You know the "rules". Adhere to them or break them. It's really no ones business what the heck you do. It's an agreement between you and Apple. No one else.
  21. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    No, we don't have to define "family". It's Apple's product, when you bought it and agreed to the EULA, you agreed to their definitions of terms such as "Family" and "Single Use".

    And the EULA is pretty clear: "This License does not allow the Apple Software to exist on more than one computer at a time." (for the Single Use).

    The best argument you have isn't in the terms "Single Use" or "Family", but their use of the word "exist", i.e. would physical observance of the Apple Software on a hard drive be enough to prove it's "existence".
  22. flanamac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2009
    What I choose to obsess over or not is my business, not Apple's. The market is determined by those willing to trade based on their internally determined value, not anything else, unless forced by tyranny.
  23. uuaschbaer macrumors regular


    Aug 31, 2009
    Agree with the OP, I think the EULA is intended by Apple to cover itself. Don't forget that the EULA is an agreement, not a law, so no police on your doorstep. It's probably not even theft if you're sued.
  24. StrongBad macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2003
    by your logic, the moment the laptop and the desktop perform any function at the same exact moment (including simply being powered on) you have violated your interpretation of the license.

    In fact, the process of directly transferring any data from one to the other is where the biggest violation comes into play.

    At the end of the day, the manufacturer decides if they're selling a "per user" or "per seat" license agreement. Apple chose per seat so get on board or go buy Windows 7.
  25. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    In the pc world with programs that use activation, most software vendors allow you to install to two computers, your desktop and your laptop.
    This is more rational than the one machine limitation since the licenses are really about using the software so if you have copies of your software installed on two machines and you use them consecutively then you are still the only user.

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