First and foremost, thanks for the clarification.
Originally Posted by DavidW
Copyright protection on software is a little different than other IP in that there must be some provision for making copies of it. That's because most software must be copied into a HD and memory before you can use it. Without this provision, you would be violating Copyright laws every time you load the software on to your computer. Thus the copy of the software in your HD is also protected by Copyright laws. Whether that copy of OSX you loaded on to a PC, with the help of the "boot-123" disk, is altered in such a way that it violates any Copyright laws, I don't know.
To my understanding, which could be wrong of course, if i don't alter any part of OSX i installed on my PC to make it run, i.e. patch kernel extensions and stuff like this, i don't violate any copyright laws. Basically it's the same thing as EFI-X is doing, but only without a hardware device, and EFI-X is considered basically legal as far as i could read throughout different forums.
There is a provision in Copyright laws that allows for an "adaptive" copy of a software. Whereby you are allowed to "adapt" a copyrighted software, that is in your HD, to make it work on your machine. But the catch is that you can not sell or give away this "adaptive" copy when you sell your machine. Even if you include a copy of the original software. It (the "adaptive" copy) must be destroyed once you give up ownership of the original software or the machine it's on. Unless you get permission from the owner of the Copyrighted software that it was "derived" from. Apple will most likely not care if you sell a Mac with an "adaptive" version of OSX on it. But Apple doesn't have to give you permission (or grant you a license) to sell a PC with an "adaptive" version of OSX on it.
See... in germany and i guess whole europe it's almost always handled like this. As soon as Apple (or any other company) brings their software to the free market they loose any right to control what people can do with this software in regards to reselling et al.
Of course copyright laws still apply, but they cannot prevent you from installing the software on any device (different laws regarding EULAs over here as well) and sell the device including the original data carrier afterwards.
I guess this is the point, which makes discussions on open forums quite difficult when people from different countries try to argue about the legal aspects of such a trade without recognizing that laws can be fundamentally different in different countries.
As far as i can see, and i really can be wrong with this, consumer rights in the US are far more restricted that f.e. over here in germany. To me it seems the customer gets a lot more protection from government and laws in germany than in the US as the customer is almost always in a much weaker position as a company (at least thats the view of the legislator in germany).
My conculsion is that Apple has to sue each and every company that sells PCs with preinstalled OSX in each country as a judgement in the case Apple vs. Psystar will only apply to other US based companies. And as laws sometimes are quite different in this aspect it may be that installing OSX on normal PCs and sell them afterwards might be perfecly legal in one country while in another country it's not.
So neither can one say "it's illegal", nor can one say "it's perfectly legal" as one always has to consider in which country a person lives.