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OSx86 Project forum halted after DMCA violation claim

Lawyers target 'Mac OS X on generic x86 kit' site

Application security programs and practises

The OSx86 Project, a website set up to co-ordinate coders' efforts to get the Intel version of Mac OS X to run on any x86-based hardware, has been partially shut down. The project's principals pulled the site's forum after being served with a cease and desist notice alleging violation of the US' Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

"We're sorry to report that despite our best efforts, the OSx86 Project has been served with a DMCA violation notice," the site's front page now reads. "The forum will be unavailable while we evaluate its contents to remove any violations present."

The move comes in the week that an early version of code to patch Mac OS X 10.4.4 to allow it to run on PC hardware was released while Apple updated the operating system to version 10.4.5, breaking the 10.4.4 patch, unsurprisingly enough.

Intriguingly, the software writer who posted the 10.4.4 patch, Maxxuss, also discovered that Apple programmers had embedded a rhyme in certain parts of the OS to check that the Mac hardware's Trusted Platform Module is present and decrypting properly.

The message 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.

Clearly, installing the operating system when you don't own the disc is illegal, and the process almost certainly violates Apple's end-user licence agreement. Just for good measure, the patch's "decrypted system files" probably infringe the notorious Digital Millenium Copyright Act and its European equivalent, the EU Copyright Directive. Future Mac OS X updates may break the patch. You have been warned. ®

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