Is RSOL PC Asking for Trouble?

Lora Bentley

What is it with companies building PCs that aren't Macs but will run Mac OS X? Do they really think there's a hole somewhere in Apple's end user license agreement, or do they have death wishes?


First there was Psystar, with its "Mac clone" escapades. The Miami-based company is currently involved in a trademark infringement and breach of contract lawsuit with Apple.


Tuesday, ITWire's Stephen Withers pointed out there's another company selling Mac OS X compatible machines. RSOL PC, also based in Florida (North Lauderdale), is offering Jive, a PC made from generic parts that is capable of running different operating systems. According to the RSOL PC Web site:

Tried and tested, the Jive will run just about any operating system you can throw at it, including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Fedora, Ubuntu and even OSx86

Like Withers said in his post, if the company knows the Jive will run OS x86, then someone installed it and tested it out on the machine. But RSOL is not putting itself at risk like Psystar did -- or so the argument will go, I imagine -- because there is an "important information" link on the Jive detail page that links to the following text:

If you intend to use the Mac OS X Leopard operating system (or its variant commonly known as OSx86) on the RSOL PC Multi-Platform Desktop Computer models, it is imperative that you understand the following:

The list includes things like:"The RSOL PC is considered a non-Apple labeled computer," "You will be in violation of the Mac OS X 10.5 software license agreement...," which means the user won't get any software updates, patches or technical support from Apple, RSOL PC will not provide software support for non-Windows operating systems, etc.


But my favorite is the next to last bullet point, which reads, in part:

If you do not agree or understand any portion of this document, please do not order your Multi-Platform Desktop computer model with the sole intention of running the Mac OS X Leopard operating system.

How many people (other than overly cautious attorney types like me) will actually read the entire "Important Information" document, if they even click through in the first place? And if they do read it, is one little paragraph going to deter them from buying the PC? I seriously doubt it. I realize RSOL PC is protecting itself, but I think it may have been easier not to mention OS X Leopard or OSx86 in the first place.


Some people would probably try it anyway, but at least they wouldn't be getting the idea from RSOL.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 29, 2008 4:18 PM Ryan Ryan  says:
Interesting comments. Here are a few points to consider:1) Psystar preinstalls & distributes the Mac OS or OSx86 without Apple's authorization, and has pictures of Apple's trademarks on their website. RSOL does not preinstall or distribute Apple's OS, nor does the website contain pictures of Apple's trademark. That's a pretty big difference.2) How many people (other than overly cautious attorney types like me) actually read software EULA's? How many read warranties? Is it preferrable to conceal certain facts about a product rather than disclose? Agreed, it's just human nature for people to skip over things that are apparently boring or not newsworthy, like contracts or disclaimers. They still serve a purpose nonetheless.3) Anyone familiar with Section 5 of Apple's Mac OS X EULA? That's a pretty big clue how the software was able to be installed & tested.4) Is it deceptive for an automaker to claim their vehicle can do 0-60 in 4 seconds, and has a top speed that exceeds the national speed limit? Is it fair to say the automaker encouraged the driver to go out and break the law because they pointed out one of the car's potentially unlawful capabilities? Should the automaker be held responsible if a driver gets a speeding ticket or displays an exhibition of speed when they pull off from a red light? Is it also fair to say more people engage in unlawful speeding because they got the idea from the the automaker? I seriously doubt it. Reply
Jul 29, 2008 6:11 PM Bish1 Bish1  says:
Hmmmm. More to consider:1. Sony, JVC, Panasonic, Toshiba etc made VCRs in the 80's with a "record feature" that included a some small disclaimer in the owners manual stating it was illegal to record copyrighted material without permission, but that didn't deter people from using that red record button and breaking the law. Was it illegal to sell VCRs? No. Did they inadvertently encourage people to break the law? Maybe.2. Dell, Hewlett Packard, Gateway, Compaq, Acer, and even Apple (!) say their computers come with DVD burners. Now how many unlawful things can people do with those devices? Are we to believe that all DVD burner owners have a home movie collection and that nobody ever buys one to bootleg their favorite movies from Netflix? Instead, should these companies omit the fact their computers come with a device that facilitates abuse of the copyright law? Imagine how much less bootlegging there would be! Is it illegal to advertise DVD burners? No. Are the manufacturers encouraging people to break the law? Maybe.So how's that different to claiming a computer can run OS X? Reply

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