In the wake of my latest Advice from an Apple Tech article that focused on the use of BitTorrent to acquire older OS X installation disc images when the required OS X installation disc was unavailable, some points of clarification need to be made.
The article was in no way intended to advocate software piracy of any sort, even where out-of-print and otherwise unavailable OS X installation discs are concerned. To this end, I devoted a previous column as to how to legally find and secure Mac OS X installation discs that Apple may not be selling through venues such as eBay, Craigslist, local vendors and local user-group meet-ups. There’s always someone with the installation disc you need and they’re always willing to discuss a fair value price for the item on hand.
It’s also been brought to my attention that Apple does keep out-of-print OS X installation disc images available via its developer download page, which requires a fee of US$99 per year. This may be the best answer to the issue at hand and solves the legal and ethical questions in one fell swoop.
The intention was to discuss mission-critical deadlines where there’s next to no time to find the OS X installation disc in question. Yes, it’s always better to find the software you need legally, but there are also deadlines in which a legacy piece of software must be supported that can only be run through an older version of OS X, the installation DVD is out of print and a task must be completed.