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Apple sues three over 'Tiger' Mac OS X leak

Pre-release builds offered for download via BitTorrent

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Apple has sued three software developers, accusing them of posting pre-release versions of the next major Mac OS X update on the Internet without its permission.

The lawsuit is a further blow to the reputation of BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer download technology. Last week, a host of BitTorrent server operators were sued by the Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) for hosting unauthorised copies of movies.

Like the MPAA suits, the Apple action does not focus on the technology but the use to which it was put. The Mac maker claims the three men posted two separate builds of 'Tiger', the next major version of Mac OS X, on 30 October and 8 December. The three provided the operating system through a series of BitTorrent links on a web site.

Apple says the men obtained copies of Tiger through their membership of its Apple Developer Connection programme, which regularly provides "under strict confidentiality agreements" pre-release builds of upcoming versions of Mac OS X to software developers.

The suit follows other actions launched by Apple this week, this time against a number of unnamed individuals it claims leaked upcoming product information to a variety of Mac-oriented web sites.

And last week, the MPAA's lawsuits against movie sharers was followed up with a series of police raids in Europe against BitTorrent server owners in a number of countries. ®

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