Before I go into my question, I first wish to say, as I have said in the first-gen Intel HD Graphics thread, I now have real Macs and am not nearly as active in the Hackintosh scene. That being said, I still have an interest in it, and I still browse this forum from time to time.
However, something interesting caught my eye in this thread: http://www.insanelym...or-my-hackbook/
In it, the OP is asking for a location for a distro ISO of a specific version of OS X/macOS. While posting direct or indirect links to pirated goods (distros included) are obviously not allowed in the rules, it was my understanding that the discussion of distros is allowed here for a number of reasons -- The main one being that distros were a part of our history. That being said, the second post doesn't cite the rule of illegal download links, but instead, cites the rules about commercial spin-offs, like TonyMacx86. This is interesting to me for a number of reasons.
First, the only distro maker to my knowledge that would now be considered a commercial spin-off is iATKOS, given that any new version now is only available after a donation. But to my knowledge, that doesn't make all distros inherently a commercial spin-off. In fact, the one being referenced in the OP is Hackintosh Zone, formerly known as Niresh. His stuff has always been available for free, and to my knowledge, his past distros have been tolerated for discussion before. Yet, somehow it became known as a commercial spin-off?
The only reason that might be justifiable in calling it that is because his site has ads. But if that's the case, so does InsanelyMac, and surely you don't consider yourself a commercial spin-off, right? Besides, who in their right mind would host this stuff for free, use their own money for bandwidth and server costs, and make zero profit? That doesn't make much sense. (I know I'm playing devil's advocate here, but it just seems absurd that ads would be a reason to call something a commercial spin-off. TonyMac has ads, but that's not one of the reasons we don't support him here! And we also support open source developers who have donation buttons, yet we don't consider them commercial.) I guess I'm struggling to see why InsanelyMac would consider Hackintosh Zone/Niresh a commercial spin-off.
Also, for that matter, what about those like iATKOS, where they once produced free distros but became a commercial spinoff? As old as their free distros are now, does that mean we no longer support them altogether? Or, is discussion and support of the free distros still allowed, with the paid ones restricted accordingly?
And if anyone is wondering why I just didn't PM the guy or reply in that thread, I feel like this is a question that is not entirely related to the OP, and that it warrants it's own discussion, especially for newbies who don't understand what makes a site a commercial spin-off. We have a locked thread specifically about Tony, and I'm sure no one would disagree that Psystar in its day was considered a commercial spin-off. But even what goes into a moderator's or admin's decision as to what to and what not to consider a commercial spin-off would be helpful, especially considering there isn't a term used a lot in the Hackintosh world or the Internet in general. Just about everyone (newbies included) knows what P2P means, but commercial spin-off? Does that mean we can talk about The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, but not The Suite Life on Deck? (Sorry, that was the best joke I could come up with!!)
I just want to be clear on what these examples are according to the forum rules, and if it's at all possible, where does one draw the line from sites we can discuss and support and sites that are commercial spin-offs?