Originally Posted by inkswamp
And I would recommend a Reading 101 class for you.
I'm not sure what your response was supposed to mean, but it bears little similarity to any arguments I've made. My eBay comments were in response to Apple's silly contention that OS X is an upgrade. If that's the case, then that means you cannot legally install OS X purchased off-the-shelf on a Mac bought on eBay with the drive wiped clean and with no OS discs.
That is a ridiculous, unsupportable assertion. Every Macintosh computer ever sold has included an original license to install and run Mac OS. I will repeat that because it needs to be clearly understood: Every Macintosh computer Apple has ever produced, has included a license to run Mac OS.
There are a finite number of original licenses to run Mac OS in existence in the world. Specifically, exactly one original license to run Mac OS exists for every Mac that has ever been manufactured. Every other license that has accompanied any retail boxed edition of Mac OS has been permission to upgrade the OS version of an existing license.
Whether or not you wipe the hard drive clean is irrelevant - the license to run Mac OS itself doesn't disappear along with the software. The license is not a piece of software, or a file on a disc somewhere that can be deleted, but rather a legal agreement granting permission to run the software in the first place.
The fact that certain pieces of OS X installation media may have or have not been capable of being installed on a wiped-clean hard drive is an arbitrary technical decision made by Apple, but I don't see it imposing any legal requirement on the "upgrade" status of the software license.
Using an "upgrade" OS X disc on a Mac that has been wiped clean is not illegal, because Apple gets to decide what preconditions are necessary to qualify for an upgrade. If at their discretion they decided that, for Leopard, an Apple-manufactured computer is the only qualification, regardless of whether the hard drive actually contains any previous version at the time of installation, then that's their decision to make.Every
"upgrade" disc produced by Microsoft for the Windows platform is capable of being installed from scratch on a blank hard drive. (Yes, this even includes Windows 95, 98 and ME, despite what was said in a previous post.) Microsoft doesn't care if the previous version of the OS is actually present on the hard drive or not, they just want to have confirmation that, at some point in the past, a legitimate copy of the original qualifying software has been purchased for the computer in question. If you're installing on a blank drive, the installer will verify evidence of previous ownership by allowing you to insert a key or other unique identifying feature from a previous installation disc at the time of installation to prove the existence of the prior license. This is necessary because, in the beige box PC world, where Microsoft doesn't regulate the manufacturing of hardware, there is no guarantee that any particular compatible piece of hardware actually was sold in a bundle along with a license to run Windows. So Microsoft needs to resort to external checks to verify the prior existence of a license.
Since all Macintosh computers capable of running OS X have had some unique feature in hardware or firmware which the OS can inspect at installation time to verify that the computer is a genuine Apple-manufactured machine (except in cases where ether the OS installer or the computer's firmware has been hacked), and since every Macintosh computer was sold with a license to run Mac OS
, Apple doesn't need to bother checking for a previous installation, or asking to verify the state of the previous installation disc. The very fact that it's being installed on genuine Apple hardware in the first place is a guarantee that a previous Mac OS license must exist.