is it legal to run in emulation a copy of Mac OS you own?

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swapjim
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is it legal to run in emulation a copy of Mac OS you own?

Post by swapjim »

I'm in talks with computer museum to setup an emulation kiosk that'll run as many old OSes as possible (non-Apple as well). We'll need to talking with a intellectual rights lawyer to see if we can do this in a legal manner. But just to get the basic idea, if I own the copies of each OS I'm installing on the emulator, then everything is legal, right?

Also, when I installed Mac OS 7 through 9, a few months back, I don't remember being asked for a serial number. Do I remember correctly? OS Classic doesn't have a serial you need to enter during installation?
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Cat_7
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Re: is it legal to run in emulation a copy of Mac OS you own

Post by Cat_7 »

Hi,

Lovely initiative! Old Mac OS does indeed not need a serial number. Neither do the new ones, as they are meant to be tied to the hardware they run on.
There are some issues:
Owning the disks needed to run the Mac OS's you want to emulate is fine, but not enough to run some emulators. Once you need a rom file (as with Basilisk and SheepShaver), that rom file comes from a real machine. I believe lifting the rom is not allowed, and running the emulators on non-apple hardware is also not allowed. Perhaps even running the Mac OS on a different Apple machine than the one for which it was originally meant is problematic.

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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: is it legal to run in emulation a copy of Mac OS you own

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

Cat_7 wrote:I believe lifting the rom is not allowed,
As far as I know, you may use the extracted rom file as long as you still own the actual machine it came from.

These are still the formal rules. But Apple stopped years ago to take action against violating EULA and copyright rules related to pre-MacOSX system software and machines it runs on.
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adespoton
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Re: is it legal to run in emulation a copy of Mac OS you own

Post by adespoton »

Another option in the near future for specific machines is to use MACE as your ROM image -- as it's a clean room implementation of the ROM and System, it should be able to be massaged into a form that can be a drop-in replacement for various emulators. Right now I think with some hacking it could replace the Mac Plus.

Of course, MACE can also replace the entire OS, allowing a kiosk to just run classic applications on top of a modern MacOS.

Another possible solution would be to use PCE/macplus.js right from the archive.org website, as they've got LoC exemptions -- it seems to me that running the archive.org library in a museum should fall well within fair use considerations no matter what the copyright state of any of the components. But then, IANAL, and even copyright lawyers will disagree on the details in this area.
swapjim
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Re: is it legal to run in emulation a copy of Mac OS you own

Post by swapjim »

Sorry for taking this long to respond. The project paused and I was busy with lots of stuff. We're resuming it now.

Thank you for your responses.
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adespoton
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Re: is it legal to run in emulation a copy of Mac OS you own

Post by adespoton »

Please let us know what ends up happening! I'd donate my collection, but I'd want to be assured that you had an LoC exemption in place first.
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Re: is it legal to run in emulation a copy of Mac OS you own

Post by swapjim »

adespoton wrote:Please let us know what ends up happening! I'd donate my collection, but I'd want to be assured that you had an LoC exemption in place first.
Check your PM.
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