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Apple Embeds Message to OS X Hackers 575 575

zentechno writes "Apple has confirmed it embedded a message in the form of a poem to those who would hack its version of OS X on Intel hardware." From the article: "The embedded poem reads: 'Your karma check for today: There once was a user that whined/his existing OS was so blind/he'd do better to pirate/an OS that ran great/but found his hardware declined./Please don't steal Mac OS!/Really, that's way uncool./(C) Apple Computer, Inc.'Apple also put in a separate hidden message, 'Don't Steal Mac OS X.kext,' in another spot for would-be hackers."
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Apple Embeds Message to OS X Hackers

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  • Sense of humor... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Seems Apple has a sense of humor - Bill Gates could learn a little from them.
  • huh (Score:2, Insightful)

    Would be hackers?

    Given the fact that there are sites dedicated to porting OSX, the "Would be" is a matter of opinion.
    • Re:huh (Score:4, Informative)

      by the_Bionic_lemming (446569) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @02:11AM (#14753328)
      BTW - Here's the site that Apple is pissed over

      maxxuss [hotbox.ru]
  • Don't be (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @02:13AM (#14753333)
    a prick. slashdot is a little late on stories because a) they have paid subscribers that get to the stories a little earlier and b) because slashdot actually has moderators. They come up with a good headline, a proper description to start off a meaningful discussion.

    Basically, you come here for the discussion, go to digg.com for the speed.
    • They come up with a good headline, a proper description to start off a meaningful discussion.
      Score:5, Insightful

      Mods are hitting the Slashdot brand kool-aid hard today.
  • Screw that this is straight from the hackers keyboard!
  • Translation (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ctrl+Alt+De1337 (837964) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @02:22AM (#14753359) Homepage
    Dear Crackers,
    In anticipation of the Intel switch, we believe we have made our legal department 4-5X faster too. We're actively looking to test and confirm those benchmarks.
    XOXO, Steve
    • by G-funk (22712) <josh@gfunk007.com> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:03AM (#14753950) Homepage Journal
      Dear Apple:

      There once was a rich man named steve-
      For some reason he did believe,
      That the very best way
      Was keep hackers at bay
      But we all know that soon he will grieve.

      For squillions of geeks
      'Tis but a few weeks
      Till OSX runs on a dell
      Eventually
      This our steve will see
      And 'twill be a cold day in hell.

      Shareholders get mad
      When their shiny doo-dad
      Must learn to stand by itself.
      But that day is here
      And when dust has cleared,
      I assure thee OSX on a shelf.

  • It's funny... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ASUSanator (700145) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @02:28AM (#14753373) Journal
    ...because it's true (The content of the poem that is). I don't mind people playing around to see if they can get it running on their systems but when they go as far as the release the cracked versions with the intent to use them without even paying for it that is when it gets wrong.
  • by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @02:37AM (#14753394)
    There once was a geek who was bored
    All other systems he'd explored
    So he added one more to his hoard
    Though against his methods the vendor implored.
  • by vga_init (589198) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @02:39AM (#14753398) Journal
    It lacks balls, and it makes them sound very naive. What I like better is the Russian message that VAX's had embedded in their microchips for soviet engineers to find: "VAX: When you care enough to steal, steal from the best."

    Now that's what I'm talking about.

  • Pirate? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @02:44AM (#14753407)
    I'm not sure what it takes to be an English-language poet (as opposed to code poet) at Apple, but this one stinks. And running one OS, even a fully-copyrighted, commercial OS, on hardware its creator did not intend for it is not piracy -- it's fair use. I know we aren't supposed to have that anymore (after the distribution cartels bribed congress to pass the DMCA, but, hey look, there's still that pesky Supreme Court ruling that says we do), but we do. Fair use is taking the OS software I bought from Apple, even if bundled with one of their machines, and running it on any other hardware, software, combination thereof(, the record player if I want,) so long as I am not simultaneously (in time) running the software somewhere else. So, no mister/madam poet, this isn't piracy. This is, shock of shocks, innovation. Please stop name calling. We aren't children, even if you'd like to treat us like that. And we sure do not deserve to be compared to people who actually break the law. You should reserve those epithets for people who actually do pirate your software, as confusing the two lessens the meaning of the word when used in its proper context.

    And, Apple, you are free to innovate by releasing updates that make any progress on this front obsolete. It'll be a fun race that way.
    • Re:Pirate? (Score:4, Informative)

      by phalse phace (454635) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @03:07AM (#14753463)
      "I'm not sure what it takes to be an English-language poet (as opposed to code poet) at Apple, but this one stinks. And running one OS, even a fully-copyrighted, commercial OS, on hardware its creator did not intend for it is not piracy -- it's fair use."

      Actually, it's called a violation of their user license agreement.

      Quote:

      This license allows you to install, use and run one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so.
      • Fine, so I'll stick a mailing label on the front of my box that says "Apple". If I'm not selling it, I can label it as anything I want. Aw, what the heck; I'll be a nice guy and use one of their "offical" case labels, to make it an official Apple labeled computer.
      • Re:Pirate? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Budenny (888916) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @03:44AM (#14753539)
        People keep explaining this, and the Apple folks keep refusing to listen. But here goes one more time. The clause "You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer" is, I believe, unlawful under EC competition and consumer protection law. I've never heard this seriously disputed. It does two things: it violates the prohibition on anti competitive linked sales, and it violates consumer protection legislation. If you want to see for yourself, look up the UK sales of goods acts.

        Now, ask yourself, what is the legal and moral position of a company which is attempting to lead purchasers of its products to believe they have entered into an agreement which is unlawful in the jurisdiction of sale?

        If this is wrong, please do cite a few EC cases or precedents showing it is. But no-one ever has, yet.
        • Exactly. You are right about the EULA portion. Unfortunately, in my country (the USA), we have a law called the DMCA that prevents you from circumventing DRM. Since Apple used DRM in OS X for x86 that prevents you from installing OS X on a vanilla x86 PC, cracking it is against the law, and is punishable under a heavy fine and/or even prison time.

          Apple's restriction in the EULA is irrelevant, unenforcable, and most likely illegal. It is the DMCA that is the main issue.

        • Re:Pirate? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          You mean "European Union" not EC. There is very little European Union law on EULAs mostly because of the principle of Subsidiarity, which holds that the EU may only legislate in areas where the individual member states cannot act sufficiently. Subsidiarity has been the fundamental principle of European Union law since the adoption of the Maastricht treaty in 1992.

          Moreover, because of the practical differences in contract law among civil code countries, the common law countries (UK, CY, MT, IE) and the fo
      • Re:Pirate? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SEE (7681) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:51AM (#14753684) Homepage
        Actually, it's called a violation of their user license agreement.

        Which is nonsense, even if clickwrap licenses are nonsense the courts have decided to allow.

        I already own a copy of the software before I ever see the license. If Apple wants me to license their software, rather than buy a copy, they can present me with the terms of the license before I pay and make agreement to the license a condition of the transaction. Since the implicit contract of purchase is complete before I see the license, Apple should not be able to add post-facto conditions, any more than I can put post-facto conditions on their use of the money I give them. The transaction, and the opportunity to place conditions on it, is over when payment has been rendered and the goods have entered my posession.
      • Re:Pirate? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Malor (3658) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @05:09AM (#14753720) Journal
        Doesn't say THEY have to label it, though.

        A Dymo Labelmaker [amazon.com] is one heck of a lot cheaper than an Intel iMac [apple.com].
    • I agree with your point (legal issues aside) about hacking OSX to run on any hardware you want... if any only if you actually purchased OSX to begin with. At this point in time this means you actually went and bought a Mac, as OSX is not available on its own. The same concept goes for music in my opinion... if you buy a CD you should be able to legally rip it to mp3 (or whatever!) so you can play it on whatever portable player you want. Notice though, that both these ideas involve paying the owner :)

      If howe
  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @02:47AM (#14753414)
    There is a very simple solution here that will alieviate a LOT of the reasons people will hack or want to get the hacked OS. Just sell it seperate. Yeah I know, that means a lot more hardware support, well, there is a VERY simple solution to that, leave the hardware support up to the hardware manufacturers, and let the customers know that if it is not on the "approved hardware" list, that it is unsupported and they are on their own to get it working, or SOL. The biggest reason that Apple has always had about not selling the OS itself is the fact that it only worked on their own hardware. In a sense, they did sell it, though, as upgrades to older systems. Well, guess what, now it runs on x86 hardware... why in the world would you want to limit your market? You have a product, and a good one, but you put an artificial limit of your own on what you will allow it to be used on, which effectively cuts you out of 99% of the market that would potentially purchase your product, and for what reason? Because you don't want to support all that different hardware? Guys get a clue from Sun Microsystems, Solaris 10 x86 is out there available for purchase, but if you don't have supported hardware, well you are SOL for that piece of hardware. You are free to hack away at it to see if you can get that hardware to work, but don't go crying to Sun if it doesn't because they warned you ahead of time. All Apple needs to do is the same thing and I am certain that there would be a LOT of sales generated, which to Apple is basically FREE MONEY!!! I mean, really, it is like they have their own money printing machines, but they stamp out CD's or DVD's and place them in boxes, which then get "exchanged" at the going exchange rate. It only costs a few dollars to make the copy of the physical media, box it, and ship it, why not bring in all the money they can? It is just assinine if they do not.
    • It would be easier to read your post if you used paragraphs.

      Apple has two hurdles to overcome before they can successfully sell OS X for generic Intel hardware:

      1) Convince manufacturers to write drivers for OS X. If 3/4 of he hardware out there RIGHT NOW lack OS X drivers for PPC, why would they magically have OS X drivers for Intel? So that means OS X won't be able to access your scanner, your TV tuner, your sound card, your mpeg accelerated video card, etc.

      2) Create a reference platform of supported devices, after they convince manufacturers to provide drivers in step 1.

      Without step 1, number 2 ends up being, more or less, an iMac or MacBook Pro. Which is more or less what they have right now, except that they haven't yet released OS X for Intel.
    • by moranar (632206) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @03:06AM (#14753459) Homepage Journal
      The reason, apart from hardware support, is that they'd be their own competitors. Apple makes huge profits on the bundle of proprietary hardware and software. If they sold OSX to other manufacturers, their whole hardware business would be pointless: who'd buy a real Apple mac if he could get a comparable experience for half the price?

      And Sun experienced this the same way. The x86 hardware they sell is undercutting their profits on their own architectures. That's ok only if they make more money this way.
      • by Budenny (888916) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @03:39AM (#14753528)
        So the argument is, Macs are about twice as expensive as comparable non-Mac systems, and the difference is Apple profits? Is that the argument?
        • The argument is that apple makes good profits in areas it knows and works well in. The argument is that Apple already tried licensing the construction of Apple "PCs" to other manufacturers and took big losses because those manufacturers were undercutting Apple's profits. I know the mac mini doesn't cost twice as much as a comparable PC. I wrote "twice" meaning that, in general an Apple computer will have a noticeably higher cost than a more-or-less equivalent computer.

          Those are the reasons why it's doubtful
          • by Budenny (888916) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:20AM (#14753613)
            See, I just don't think its true that the hardware business would be destroyed, and cannot see what evidence there is for it.

            Often Mac advocates want to have it both ways, say that Macs are no more expensive AND say that selling the OS separately would destroy the hardware business and with it the company. I think the reality is, they are more expensive, particularly at the high end, but not so much more expensive that there would be mass flight or substitution. Apple buyers are prepared to pay a premium to get something certified by Apple to work well.

            In fact, I don't think there is much evidence for a great suppressed demand for OSX on non-Apple labelled hardware. Its something people have always assumed was out there - and back in the days of Classic and Win 3.1, there probably was such a demand, but now, probably not. Obviously there would be incremental sales, as for unbundled Windows, and they would be useful because they would have 100% margin, but they wouldn't affect the main business.

            All in all, its very hard to understand the strategy, other than that its some kind of cultural obsession in Cupertino.
    • by linguae (763922) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @03:26AM (#14753499)

      Just one problem, though. To use a playground analogy, Apple is the kid on the playground who owns his ball and refuses to let you use his ball outside of a few games that Apple likes to play on the playground. Apple will let you loan (or license) his ball to play four square, but won't let you use the ball to attach to a tether to play tetherball. Sure, you can tie the ball to the tetherball, but Apple will get mad and call up the yard supervisors and have you sitting in detention, thanks to a law called the PTMPA (Playground Toys' Millenium Protection Act), created by the TMAA (Toy Manufacturers' Association of America). The PTMPA disallows balls made specifically for four square to be used for tetherball, basketballs to be used for bowling, and other combinations, and is punishable by a hefty fine.

      In other words, Apple owns OS X, and has created rules about how you can use it. Because it uses DRM, you cannot legally install it under your brand-spanking new vanilla x86 machine, even if you ran out and purchased bought two MacBook Pros and owned tons of Apple stock, thanks to the DMCA. Yeah, I would love to purchase OS X for x86 and install it natively on my PC, but that isn't going to legally happen anytime soon. I don't feel like breaking laws to simply use an operating system; I would much rather use GNU-licensed or BSD-licensed software and not have to worry about the legality of running it on whatever hardware I feel fit to install it on. I also believe that installing OS X on a vanilla PC should constitute as fair use, but the DMCA overrides fair use. The best way to get legal OS X for x86 on a vanilla PC is to either write up your Congresscritter and ask him/her to pass a bill repealing the DMCA (or, better yet, since elections for Congresscritters are this November, vote for candidates who will repeal it), or talk to Apple and show them the $$$ in selling copies of OS X for x86 to an open market.

      It's sad what we have to deal with today thanks to our growing loss of fair use rights, but we have to deal with it for now until the political landscape changes in the realm of copyrights and fair use. In the meanwhile, we'll be either saving up for a Mac or working on making *nix easier to use and almost comparable to OS X. I wonder what Apple is more afraid of; selling copies of OS X and them losing money because people aren't buying their machines, or having to compete with a Linux or BSD distribution that just as good or better than OS X?

      • by hummassa (157160) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @06:47AM (#14753919) Homepage Journal
        In other words, Apple owns OS X, and has created rules about how you can use it. Because it uses DRM, you cannot legally install it under your brand-spanking new vanilla x86 machine, even if you ran out and purchased bought two MacBook Pros and owned tons of Apple stock, thanks to the DMCA.

        That should read "Because it uses DRM, you cannot legally install it under your brand-spanking new vanilla x86 machine, at least not under US law and other insane jurisdicitons with (also insane) DMCA-like regulations".

        Law 9609/98 (Brasilian "Computer Programs Intelectual Property Act"), art 6: "It is NOT infringement to the rights of the author of a computer program: (...) IV - to integrate it, maintaining its characteristics, to an operating or application system, if it's technically indispensable to the use of the software, and it's promoted by the user". IOW: if you bought your copy of MacOS X, you can hack it to use on your computer.

        Law 8078/90 (Brasilian "Consumer Defense Code"), art 39: "It is prohibited, to any supplier of products and services: I - to condition the supply of any product or service to the supply of another product or service" (this is called in Brasilian Consumer Law "venda casada" == "married sale", where one product/service only goes where the other goes). IOW: If I want to buy MacOS X, Apple cannot refuse to sell it to me, even if I don't own a Mac.
    • We've been over this about 1,000 times already.

      Apple can't sell their OS for generic x86 systems.

      The shortfall from the inevitable collapse of their hardware sales would drive the company into bankruptcy. Suddenly, no more Macs, no more OS X, and no...it wouldn't be open sourced in that case, so forget about that dream.

      Everybody loses.
      • Tell us again, why exactly would hardware sales collapse?
        • by Y-Crate (540566) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:07AM (#14753589)
          "Tell us again, why exactly would hardware sales collapse?"


          It's quite simple. The PC market is much more price conscious than the Mac side of things. No one is going to pay the "Apple Tax" for hardware when they can build a PC for a few hundred bucks, or pay a small premium for someone to do it for them. Apple would still gain sales from style-concious consumers, but the overwhelming number of OS X users would drop the Mac in a heartbeat and go with something cheaper.

          We know this because it happened once before already. Read up on your Apple history with regard to the mid-90s. That little episode was enough to bring the company to its knees.
          • >No one is going to pay the "Apple Tax" for hardware when they can build a PC for a few hundred bucks,
            >or pay a small premium for someone to do it for them.

            Yep yep. Anybody well-versed in economics knows that false economies are a bad bet over the long term. It's anyone's guess why you want Apple to subsist on this type of economy.
        • Well, Apple only sells a handful of computer variations and specifications, and they are mostly in the high end. In the PC world, however, you can build a custom-made PC with any specification you desire. You can build yourself anything from an el-cheapo $200 machine with a decent Celeron or Sempron processor, all the way to dual dual-core Opteron and Xeon boxen that costs thousands of dollars. Imagine if Apple had to compete with Dell; Apple will hold its own against Dell's higher-end offerings, but App

          • "Apple can't compete against Dell's $299 specials for desktops and $499 specials for laptops (after rebates, of course)."

            Maybe not, but the question is, why would this destroy the hardware business instead of just enlarging the market? Why would the same Apple customers who now are buying premium hardware not simply carry on doing so? And more people who are now not Apple customers would in future buy other, non-premium hardware.

            I am still not seeing it has any chance of destroying the hardware business.
        • Yeah, what is the problem with selling a product that would make money? Apple has never offered hardware of general interest. Their hardware pitches have always been along the lines of, "Look, it's 64 bit!" or "Look, it runs without a cooling fan!" When you make product decisions based on how it will impact current product lines, that's the road IBM took towards capitalizing on the PC market (hint: they didn't).
    • by dr.badass (25287) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @03:59AM (#14753569) Homepage
      There is a very simple solution here that will alieviate a LOT of the reasons people will hack or want to get the hacked OS. Just sell it seperate.

      This makes no sense at all. The main reason people want a hacked OS is because they are cheap bastards. By definition they aren't interested in spending money. Trying to sell them something that they are already stealing is not an effective tactic.
      • by hummassa (157160)
        The main reason people want a hacked OS is because they are cheap bastards. By definition they aren't interested in spending money. Trying to sell them something that they are already stealing is not an effective tactic.

        Nope. Main people they want a hacked OS is because the un-hacked OS does not run on their machines and for the moment they are not interested in new hardware, thank you, just in new software. People who say "no, I don't want the Super Size combo" and "yes, I know two apple pies is just fifty
  • Oh yeah? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    There once was a user that whined
    The phone companies robbed him blind
    He'd do better to phreak
    With a 2600Hz beep
    So a blue box was designed
    Please don't steal phone calls!
    Really, that's way uncool.

    *saw this over at MacRumors
  • by Funkcikle (630170) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @03:33AM (#14753511)
    RIAA to sue Apple for use of copyrighted lyrical style, lack of DON'T STEAL MUSIC hidden message.
  • by Budenny (888916) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:43AM (#14753663)
    "An unfair term in a contract covered by the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations (UTCCRs) is not binding on you.

    Test of fairness A term is unfair if: * contrary to the requirement of good faith it causes a significant imbalance inthe parties' rights and obligations under the contract, to the detriment of consumers."

    "Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977

    "Consumer Sale of Goods Contracts

    "Consumers cannot have their legal rights removed in sale of goods contracts. Furthermore, it can be an offence to mislead consumers about their legal rights. To do so could result in a criminal prosecution. For example, notices such as "We do not give refunds" are misleading and cannot be used. Enforcement is undertaken by local Trading Standards Departments."

    These quotes are from Department of Trade and Industry Guidelines.

    It must be very doubtful that a EULA which forbids you to do things with the product after you have bought it, that you can perfectly well do, and which you have some reasonable reason to want to do, can be lawful in the UK or the EC. In fact, putting clauses in a Eula which mislead the consumer about his rights under the law in this regard appears, from the above, to be criminal.
  • by Marlor (643698) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:54AM (#14753690)
    The embedded poem reads: 'Your karma check for today: There once was a user that whined/his existing OS was so blind/he'd do better to pirate/an OS that ran great/but found his hardware declined./Please don't steal Mac OS!/Really, that's way uncool.

    While I realise that Apple have to protect their technology, Steve Jobs' anti-hacking comments lately have been a bit hypocritical, given his history. Here is a more appropriate poem:
    Your karma check for today:
    There once was a user that whined
    The phone companies robbed him blind
    He'd do better to phreak
    With a 2600Hz beep
    So a blue box was designed.
    Please don't steal phone calls!
    Really, that's way uncool.
  • by FidelCatsro (861135) * <fidelcatsro@@@gmail...com> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @05:15AM (#14753732) Journal
    I know this may sound a tad taught
    but I am sure you have all read Slash-dot
    This hacking we do is not aimed at you
    And we don't mind if we all get caught

    we find the law a touch stringent
    and pedantically we must say its not stealing..
    but Copyright infringement .

    Though we are sure that this is not always the case.
    If we bought it then we own this ,so Face.
    You the see problem with the EULA
    is that when you pay
    Its as binding as an plastic toupee

  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) * on Sunday February 19, 2006 @05:17AM (#14753735) Homepage
    So let me get this straight: In the beginning, removing an item from a store without paying for it was considered "stealing". Then, simple copyright infringement became "stealing". Now, Apple is saying that if I go to the store, buy Mac OS X, and get it to work on my computer, I'm "stealing"? WTF?
  • Mac OS X crippled (Score:4, Insightful)

    by layer3switch (783864) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @06:18AM (#14753859)
    So lets get this straight.

    Apple takes FreeBSD which runs on just about any platform including Intel and put into Darwin/MacOSX then Apple cripples OS to run on DRM Intel board, and embed messages to be found by people who decripple the OS to run on any Intel board.

    Now who's calling who uncool ? Decrippling is totally cool in my book while Crippling is not regardless of legality.

    Apple! I'm calling you out. 3PM after school, by sandbox!
    • by Nasarius (593729)
      Apple takes FreeBSD which runs on just about any platform including Intel and put into Darwin/MacOSX then Apple cripples OS

      Well, no. Darwin is a freakish hybrid of Mach, FreeBSD 5, and Apple's own work. The device driver interfaces are not compatible.

      That said, the "poem" sounds pretty childish.

  • Change of heart (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Len (89493) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @12:41PM (#14754919)
    I remember when Apple used to help me hack their OS. I've got an Apple II manual with a listing of the ROM source code - including comments - that let me add some cool features like printing text on the graphics screen.

    Now, you're a "pirate" if you try to "decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, modify, or create derivative works of the Apple Software or any part thereof."

    Whatever happened to "1984 won't be like 1984"?

  • by penguin-collective (932038) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @03:18PM (#14755670)
    OS X is a combination of an open source kernel (Mach), an open source kernel interface (BSD), open source command line tools (BSD), and open source compiler (GNU). It's a GUI that was bought from NeXT, which originally took the language and much of the library design from Stepstone and Xerox, and the imaging model and imaging system from Adobe. And for the last decade, Apple has not invested much at all in research--pretty much every "innovation" they have shipped was invented elsewhere.

    Yes, Apple has the copyright on the whole thing, and BSD doesn't disallow what they are doing, but it's not like OS X is some hugely innovative piece of software that was entirely created by Apple. So, assert your rights in court if you like, but stop the whining--it's inappropriate.

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