Getting Your Feet Wet With Hackintosh/A Grey Area, Legally Speaking

Disclaimer

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While I attempt to inform you and all other readers about the legality of installing Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware in a Hackintosh setup, I am not responsible nor held liable for any sort of monetary, emotional, etc. loss that you may suffer as a result of you following this book or your attempt to follow this book. In addition, I am not liable for any criminal or civil charges incurred against anyone or party as a result of reading, following, or attempting to follow this book. The information in this book can be publicly searched and located on the Internet through a search engine, and is only amassed here for readers' convenience. The legality of building or using a Hackintosh may vary by your country of residence, so it is strongly recommended that you seek local guidance over this topic if you have qualms about the issue before you continue any further.

How It All Began

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The Hackintosh (or "OSx86", as it is now affectionately referred to) movement first began in 2005, when Apple made the transition from the PowerPC architecture to Intel's x86 architecture. With that, somebody asked the trivial question "Can we port it over to non-Apple hardware?" Naturally, Apple had installed many checks and "gimmicks" throughout the system to ensure that this didn't happen, but with enough time, workarounds were found. Mac OS Leopard (the first release after Apple's transition) very quickly became a Hackintosh favorite, with higher end computers moving on to Snow Leopard, Lion, and now Mountain Lion and at the time of writing, even 10.9, Apple's OS X "Mavericks" developer preview.

Several well-known Hackintosh lawsuits have gone down in history, the best known one probably being Psystar vs. Apple. In a nutshell, Psystar was convicted of encouraging its users to attempt the OSx86 hack, in some cases even distributing the operating system to customers. Eventually, Apple filed a lawsuit against Psystar, saying that Psystar's actions were a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) under US law. Psystar was eventually banned from distributing the operating system.

Fortunately for most of us, installing a Hackintosh for the average Joe is just a violation of Apple's EULA (End User License Agreement) -- which basically means that you will not be eligible for servicing or customer support at an Apple store -- you're on your own. Psystar was most likely penalized for illegally distributing Apple's operating system, which was a legitimate violation of the DMCA. As long as you obtain your copy of Mac OS X through legal and legitimate methods (and there are some rather sketchy ones out there), you should be in the clear. However, you should still be weary that OSx86 is a grey area in terms of legality and ethics.

Also a note tools by tonymacx86.com are better left alone as they aree to simple and add stuff that has been added without the owners consent/recognizing the owner.