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What is (or what should be) the policy on discussing the OSx86 project or the Hackintosh?

For those not familiar, OSx86 is the movement on the Internet (complete with its own Wiki, etc.) on getting Mac OS X to run on non-Apple hardware. A regular PC or Netbook which runs OS X is sometimes referred to as a Hackintosh.

On the one hand I figure disucssion of this nature would be forbidden since, as per Apple's EULA, it's illegal. However, there seems to be some level of debate as to whether or not Apple's clause is enforcible.

The PC manufacturer Psystar is (or was) selling PC towers with OS X on them, complete with a retail copy of OS X (but not the "same" copy as what is running on the machine since the code has to be modified in order to run or boot on a PC that uses BIOS instead of EFI). Apple is suing them but Psystar is not backing down. Some people theorize that Psystar is being funded by Apple's enemies (Microsoft?) in the hopes that the legal battle will prove the EULA clause to be unenforcable.

And reputable publications like WIRED even tell you how to do it and haven't been sued by Apple.

Since SO or SU would be a perfect place to ask a question like "What's the best Netbook for a Hackintosh?", what is (or should be) the policy on discussing something in a legally dodgy area such as this?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

For things that are blatantly asking for how to do illegal activity (how can I download warez, how can I pirate movies, etc.) it is likely going to get closed and deleted.

As a mod for SuperUser I have restrained myself when there was discussion over things such as a user asking how to categorize all of their downloaded movies. There was no implication that he was doing something illegal (or asking how to do something illegal) but I made a note on the post basically saying that SuperUser does not condone illegal activities and so on.

Another example, lots of questions about jailbreaking the iPhone. Though that is not illegal, depending on the post I may make a note that we do not advocate or recommend that you take actions which may violate your warranty and/or damage your device.

So to sum it up: if it's blatantly discussing how to go about conducting illegal activities, get rid of it. If it's discussing something which is a grey area, your best bet is to just make note that there are legal/warranty implications involved and such.

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Yeah, but I still don't think that addresses OSx86. Asking how to crack the copy protection of a game is blatantly illegal. Organizing your movie collection is not (for all we know they ripped all those from DVD's). OSx86 is not illegal in a "throw you in jail" sort of way but it's never been in a courtroom either. And I sort of feel like "IF I were to want a Netbook for OSx86..." sort of feels like the OJ Simpson "IF I did it" book. –  Schnapple Jul 30 '09 at 16:17

It should be open for discussion.

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I think SU, not SO, would be the appropriate place for a question like "What's the best Netbook for a Hackintosh?".

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