Oops, 7 Days. Hey look I don't update on weekends.

OK so now that I've got a Tiger upgrade CD

which doesn't seem to require a key or activation, what's to stop me from loading my copy (with only a seat license) on every machine in my house? Just out of curiosity. Is there some kind of safety net for this in Apple's automatic update mechanism?
Permalink muppet 
August 6th, 2005
Nothing that I know of. But you shouldn't steal. Even if it is technically possible.
Permalink FaLing@Orbiz.ch 
August 6th, 2005
Who cares? You've already overpaid massively for the hardware.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 7th, 2005
It's a damn nice machine. Everything just works. You don't look at a Lexus and say, damn, you overpaid for the hardware. It is a luxury product, you are paying the price.

Why would high margins on hardware possibly justify stealing the software to run on it?

(why am I bothering...)
Permalink FaLing@Orbiz.ch 
August 7th, 2005
You can get a 5-license home pack for $199 and be legit.

Apple doesn't stop you from loading on as many computers you want, even though it is illegal to do so.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 7th, 2005
"...even though it is illegal to do so."

Actually I think it just puts you in violation of the license agreement, so it's "just" breach of contract.
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 7th, 2005
Theft is a crime, not a breach of contract.
Permalink Brad Wilson 
August 7th, 2005
muppet would be breaking copyright, not committing theft.

ignorance *is* a sin.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 7th, 2005
Until the DMCA, copyright was wholly a contract action - if you wanted to "punish" someone for violating your copyright, you had to take them to court. The nice thing is that this kept a feedback loop in place - you're less likely to sue over something that's worthless.

The DMCA added criminal penalties for various types of copyright infringement. The problem here is that prosecutors are a free "fire and forget" weapon. Even if a copyright violation won't lose you a penny of profit and you don't care about the violated material, you can just file the appropropriate paperwork and get the public fund to pay to take out the problem.

I hate the DMCA. It's an abomination.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 7th, 2005
And Philo goes up another notch in my book. Good show.
Permalink  
August 8th, 2005
To argue as the devils advocate...

"The nice thing is that this kept a feedback loop in place - you're less likely to sue over something that's worthless."

If your the music industry then you're dying from a million cuts... very tiny infringements which individually aren't worth suing over but taken together, by millions of people, hurt badly.

There doesn't seem to be anything in place, prior to the DCMA, to handle such a situation.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 8th, 2005
"If your the music industry then you're dying from a million cuts..."

Except it's not dying.

Anyway, my point was, Apple positions itself as a vendor of a computer that "just works" - a whole package that you buy once and use forever (or until the warranty runs out, or until something marginally better comes along). For them to also charge users for software updates is IMO inappropriate. Apple is a hardware company, and the OS is nothing more than firmware.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 8th, 2005
"Apple is a hardware company, and the OS is nothing more than firmware."

Wow, I've been saying that for years. Yeah the charging for OS upgrades sort of confounded me too when I started thinking of them as a hardware company (BTW, rumor has it, they're headhunting Sony VIAO engineers to help make the new Intel PCs because they don't have the in-house expertise). But look at iTunes and it's relationship with the iPod.

I'm leaning more towards hardware + "services," which include software.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
"If your the music industry then you're dying from a million cuts... very tiny infringements which individually aren't worth suing over but taken together, by millions of people, hurt badly."

Yes, just like the video rental business died after people starting buying two VCRs and taping from one to the other. I sure miss being able to rent videos.

Not to mention how the book business died after the copy machine was invented. I sure miss books.
Permalink Kyralessa 
August 8th, 2005
Or like how home taping killed the music industry...

http://simplyroxy.skyblog.com/pics/107652355_small.jpg
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 8th, 2005
In a related story, TiVO now has pop up ads for when you hit fast forward.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
Devils adocate again...

"Except it's not dying."

So it's alright to infringe on someone's rights as long as they aren't seriously harmed? Party at Flasher T's house!

"For them to also charge users for software updates is IMO inappropriate."

Doesn't Apply give people a free upgrade if they purchased a system within a time frame (6 months or so). They also offer free security and minor updates. Apple doesn't call themselves a hardware company; they create a unified experience -- hardware and software. Why should they only be able to charge for half that equation? Especially since the software is clearly the more difficult and more innovative and more important part.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 8th, 2005
+++Doesn't Apply give people a free upgrade if they purchased a system within a time frame (6 months or so). +++

NOPE.
Permalink muppet 
August 8th, 2005
Also, up until System 7.5, you could download complete operating systems from Apple off their website. They're not a hardware company? Dwah?
Permalink muppet 
August 8th, 2005
Even Marks little "well, since the ipod and itunes they've become hardware + services, and that includes software" explanation doesn't really hold any water. After all, they don't sell iTunes.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 8th, 2005
In fact, iTunes sells the iPod, in the same way the OS should sell the Mac.

The only *real* reason I can think of (besides greed) that the OS should be for sale is Apple anticipating the hardware eventually being opened up...
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 8th, 2005
"In fact, iTunes sells the iPod..."

Don't forget about the iTunes Music store. It pretty much demands that iTunes be free in order to get wide usage (same with Quicktime).

"The only *real* reason I can think of (besides greed)..."

Greed? No capitalism. People will buy it, so that justifies building it and selling it. If you look at the Mac OS X page it's huge into the benefits ("100's of new features") for Mac users. You get an the OS included if you buy a Mac -- purchasing new versions improves older macs that you've already bought! If Apple didn't sell the OS they probably couldn't justify the amount of work going into it -- it's really that simple.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 8th, 2005
They justified every OS up until System 7.5

...
Permalink muppet 
August 8th, 2005
AHA, I understand that you are trying to make a valid point. Good job. Also, your views incline me to believe that you are perfectly suited to run my new business:

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?off.9.178107.19
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 8th, 2005
You'll have to change the name to "Tea and Apology".
Permalink muppet 
August 8th, 2005
"Also, your views incline me to believe..."

I think you miss the point.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Devils+advocate

Moron.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 8th, 2005
Yeah whatever. That is the lamest "I was just playing devil's advocate" I have ever seen. In a way I am flattered. You didn't even try to debate.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 8th, 2005
Debate this:

"AHA, I understand that you are trying to make a valid point. Good job. Also, your views incline me to believe that you are perfectly suited to run my new business:"

What's there to debate? It's unfortunate you couldn't continue to debate and instead stooped to being a moron. Good job.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 8th, 2005
Well if you are too challenged to follow the debate I was CLEARLY making. I will be much more explicit.

Your narrow definition of capatilism is crap. Opportunistic is closer to what you mean. If you think that selling something just because you can is okay, because it's 'capatalism', how do you feel about my business idea?

Now I'm not sure you even saw that you were entering a debate on the merits opportunistic sales. But you sure jumped out of it quick with that Devil's Advocate thing. If you want to jump back in now that I've made myself simple enough for a five year old, I'm game.

And if you think you can win (or divert) with an insult contest, I think you'll find I'm pretty good at those too.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 8th, 2005
"Opportunistic is closer to what you mean."

Bullshit. We're talking about Apple selling their OS. How is that opportunistic? So seem to think they should be giving out for free, just because? You didn't prove it was greed or opportunistic in any way -- stating it doesn't make it so. My point is that people want to buy the product, they make the product (at some cost), and so they sell the product. That's a narrow definition of capitalism for sure but bringing up "opportunistic sales" is way out in left field or at least, at this point, totally premature.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 8th, 2005
"But you sure jumped out of it quick with that Devil's Advocate thing."

I jumped out because you, inappropriately, made it personal. And no, I won't run your company -- with competition from the Red Cross I don't think it'll last long. When you're ready to get real, I'll jump back in as quickly as I jumped out.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 8th, 2005
AHA, this is much better.

My argument would be that because Apple alone sells Macintosh hardware, all costs of producing the OS should be reflected in the hardware price, as it was for a long, long time. You never bought the OS, you bought the machine.

Now, I realize that this would drive their margin on the hardware down, but I think it is a much more fitting practice with their business model.

However, I'll concede that my argument is weak. (I don't know Apple's R&D costs for their OS, nor the revenue generated by selling it as standalone software.) I could be flat out wrong about calling it greed, and it may be the only way to sustain proprietary OS development.

But, I would be surpised if this is the case. I postulated that perhaps Apple was setting up a practice that would protect them in the event that they had to abandon proprietary hardware.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 8th, 2005
"You never bought the OS, you bought the machine."

For Apple that was true. But what about Sun (Solaris) or SGI (Irix) or NeXT (NeXTStep) or Digital (OpenVMS) -- history is full of hardware companies sold operating systems that were exclusive to their hardware. You make it sound like Apple is doing something unusual -- they aren't, at least not anymore.

"I could be flat out wrong about calling it greed, and it may be the only way to sustain proprietary OS development."

Hardware margins are pretty thin even if Apple is overpriced. I doubt there is much room in there to fund OS development from that. Desktop-quality operating system development is very costly and difficult. Apple's pace of development on OS X has rivalled what Microsoft has been doing with Windows. Microsoft gets a cut of every PC made (90% of the market) and you want Apple to build OS X based on a cut of every Mac made (5% of the market). That's a huge difference.

"I postulated that perhaps Apple was setting up a practice that would protect them in the event that they had to abandon proprietary hardware."

It's possible. NeXT already went that route and perhaps Steve is running Apple down exactly the same path. It's certainly starting to look that way.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 8th, 2005
+++Hardware margins are pretty thin even if Apple is overpriced+++

Yeah I guess a 100 point markup is considered a "thin margin" these days...
Permalink muppet 
August 9th, 2005
"Even Marks little "well, since the ipod and itunes they've become hardware + services, and that includes software" explanation doesn't really hold any water. After all, they don't sell iTunes."

Maybe you didn't get that I was talking about the iTunes music store. Do you really think I was talking about a stupid MP3 player?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 9th, 2005
Uhhh.. why would they sell iTunes the music store? You're making no sense.
Permalink muppet 
August 9th, 2005
Troll.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 9th, 2005
<marktaw>
"Apple is a hardware company, and the OS is nothing more than firmware."

Wow, I've been saying that for years. Yeah the charging for OS upgrades sort of confounded me too when I started thinking of them as a hardware company (BTW, rumor has it, they're headhunting Sony VIAO engineers to help make the new Intel PCs because they don't have the in-house expertise). But look at iTunes and it's relationship with the iPod.

I'm leaning more towards hardware + "services," which include software.
</marktaw>

This is what I was talking about Mark. I incorrectly (I guess) thought you were using iPod to iTunes relationship to explain why they are now selling the OS. Which didn't make any sense at all to me.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
August 9th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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