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I just upgraded from Tiger to Snow-Leopard. I bought the $30 upgrade disk and it worked, no problem.

I am just curious from a theoretical and technical perspective what stops me from giving this disk to friend and letting them upgrade too. (I am not asking about whether someone should. Just if it is possible.)

I don't remember entering a pin number or something like this. I am curious what kind of security apple has in place to prevent you from doing this.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Nothing. Apple does not enforce OS licensing restrictions, except for the Server version of OS X (which requires a serial number).

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This is also the case with retail discs of iLife, that don't have a serial number. – roguesys Nov 2 '10 at 19:42
    
Keep in mind that since (without some trickery, obviously) you can't run their OS off of their hardware anyway, so they don't have much reason to care. That would be like Microsoft attaching their licensing activation servers to the dashboard on your XBox 360 - who cares? – Shinrai Nov 2 '10 at 19:53

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