First of all, I need to explain why this article is necessarry. We have so many folks out there who’s only goal it seems to harm others just because they don’t have a real life. They claim to be good loyal citizens by reporting everything they think it’s somehow “illegal” to authorities. Feels like being in China.
In the Past this wasn’t really a problem. A Domain Hoster, Webspace Provider or other authority mostly said “are you personally affected and can you proof the law violation you are accusing?” Than 99% of this type of guys just went back in the mud they came out from in the first place.
But today it’s the other way round: With anticipatory obedience for these guys they fire people from their jobs, announce as loud as they can that they don’t hav any connection to them – or like in our case just simply shut down their little Website.
But why did they shut down our first Website after all?
Well, these guys think just because we offer a free Ubuntu based Linux Distribution which has a look & feel of macOS, this would be already “illegal”.
But to make this very clear:
No one can Copyright or Trademark “Look and Feel” because Look and Feel are Uncopyrightable!
This is why Apple and Xerox lost their case against Microsoft when MS-Windows came out. Apple just copied the Look&Feel from Xerox and Microsoft copied it from Apple.
Linux wouldn’t even be used on more than a dozen university machines right now if making things look like other things were illegal…
It’s also why there are so many Mac-related Icon-Themes, Themes for the Plank-Dock, Themes for Cursors etc. – which are all not illegal. Otherwise they wouldn’t be available in the open and the websites who host them would have been punished already.
For example: If this would be illegal, than everybody who uploads the official macOS Wallpaper-Background would comit a crime.
See here a page where you can legally download MacOS Wallpapers:
If this would be somehow “illegal”, Apple would have already sued this website owner and many, many more.
So the first question everyone should ask himself is: Is it illegal to just share the macOS Wallpaper? No? Than what about the Icons or the Dock-Design?
If so, why isn’t there any copyright lawsuit agains offical sites which only share these things like Gnome-Look.org? Wouldn’t big tech sites who make these downloads available being sued as hell and don’t offer these downloads anymore?
The answer is: Yes, they would. So why aren’t they? Well because if you just share Wallpaper-Images, Icon-Themes and so on, this isn’t anything a big company like Microsoft or Apple ever would care about.
You are not allowed by law to Reverse-Engineer or disassemble the code of a copyrighted operating System. Means if we would “hack” the code of macOS and alternate it in a way that you could run it on any normal hardware, this would be illegal.
But what is with all the “Hackintosh” out there? Well people who do this technically violate against the terms&conditions of Apples macOS since it’s stated there that this software isn’t supposed to be installed anywhere else than on mac Hardware.
But do they commit a copyright infrigment? No, they don’t, since they don’t “hack” the code of macOS itself but they just hack their PC-Systems to trick macOS by telling it, this PC-Hardware would be in fact a normal Mac – and macOS starts.
And obviously Apple also never had a lawsuit against anyone who build a Hackintosh. Also never had a lawsuit against any website who offers tutorials about how to build a Hackintosh. And also no lawsuit against people who sell PC-Hardware with preconfigured Hachintosh’s, as long as they don’t demand money for this service.
But back to my project: Am I even using macOS? No! We are based on Ubuntu -it’s absolutely legal to share Ubuntu all around the world. And we use Wallpapers of macOS and Icon and Dock-Themes to make it look like macOS.
So we now already figured out that obviously all these Wallpaper and Icon-Themes around there aren’t illegal to download and use, there was never and will never be a lawsuit because of the use of Icon-Images and Wallpapers of any kind of operating system. Which brings me to my next question: If it’s not forbidden to upload these themes, to share them and to upload them – why should it be forbidden to do all this and than share the result with others again?
Doesn’t make sense right? There are tons of descriptions out there, youtube tutorials and so on all like “Make Ubuntu look like Mac”.
All these tutorials share Icon Themes, Wallpapers and so on and give you a step-by-step guide where you can download them and how you can make your system look the same.
Obviosly this too isn’t in any way “illegal” – or again they all would have been sued so far. And anyone who follows these tutorials also obviously doesn’t do anything illegal.
So once again and finally: Why should the part of sharing this result with others and jsut offer them an already pre-configured free system with all these themes already in place suddenly become illegal?
I think most of you got my point by now, the other’s I can’t help. Try to sue me if you want, if you are not Apple Inc. yourself (and even than I would be impressed about the answers to my questions above) you can’t anyway. So best thing for guys like you is my advice: Get a life and stop blaming people who just want to share their work with others without harming anyone!