I've seen questions about pirating software down voted and closed. I'm wondering if Hackintosh questions are also disallowed? If so, why?
Simple. It's a legal grey area. Super User doesn't want to build a reputation for encouraging something that may or may not be illegal, so it was decided to stay safe rather than sorry.
I have actually proposed to have the tag banned here and given some more reasons why.
Sathya ♦: There is no reversal in status. This answer still holds good from a moderation point of view.
Simple. As discussed in many similar matters on Meta Stack Overflow, there is no such things as worldwide legal agreements. Apple can put into their usage agreements whatever they like, in many countries that would never hold in court. One could use the comments to warn people about it, or when answering mention it as well. But forbidding questions smells like censorship.
So, I'd allow these questions.
All innovation explores the limits of performance and behaviour.
Hacking is just making hardware do something you know it is capable of doing. When the designers don't meet expectations--whether non-tech-related considerations motivate restrictions on permissible usage, or the designers simply fall short in the inspiration department--it is only natural to marshal one's D.I.Y. resources.
Superuser should be one of those resources. The contributors here are both helpful and knowledgeable. It's a powerful combination that should be allowed to foster creativity and encourage innovation. Collaboration isn't forced on anyone who isn't comfortable with the ethical foundations of a question--if you don't want to get involved, just don't answer the question.
No country allows its corporations to single-handedly impose statutory limits on its citizens--even when the corporation is as successful and respected as Apple. It is absurd to imagine that any arbitrary EULA might enjoy the force of law.
There is nothing illegal about asking questions that abjure a EULA--you cannot call it a "grey area" if there is no law to skirt.
There is nothing illegal about offering ideas on how one might subvert a EULA. Speculation isn't contravention--and neither one is illegal.
Any site that calls itself Superuser has to allow a degree of freedom for forward-thinking.
The existing answers focus on "legal" issues and censorship. I think that is the wrong way to frame it, and not the basis on which a site scope decision should be made.
None of this comes under criminal law, so it isn't even a question of legality. If there is a legal issue, it is whether Apple's EULA is enforceable in a way that would allow Apple to collect damages. If Apple won a court ruling affirming its claims, or another party won a ruling that told Apple to go suck wind, that would provide a basis for discussing site policy.
Short of a court ruling, there is simply the EULA. Apple can specify any terms they want; it's their product. You don't own it, you only pay to use it within Apple's terms. If you don't like the terms, buy something else. If you agree to Apple's terms, your voluntary agreement is what binds you to them.
Implications for the site
Let's put aside the business issues, like do we want to expose SE to potential heavy-handed action by Apple; e.g., using deep pockets to win a judgement against SE regardless of merit.
Most questions of scope differentiate technical factors to define what is within SU's bailiwick. Devices other than computers and their peripherals are off-topic. Software recommendations go to another site. The community is expert on those kinds of issues and it's appropriate to decide scope by consensus.
What makes Hackintosh special is the legal and ethical issues people associate with it. I suggest that those kinds of issues would be more appropriately driven by core, guiding principles. If we decide, as a matter of policy, to make Hackintosh questions officially off-topic, it should be based on core principles rather than the winds of consensus.
Let me suggest that a guiding principle would be a version of the Hippocratic Oath, "First do no harm." We don't make IT administrators' lives miserable by advising people on how to circumvent their policies. We don't use this open forum to instruct people on how to create malware. We don't help people circumvent the terms of service with their Internet provider. If they want the ISP's service, they agree to abide by their terms. How is that really different?
I think the same logic applies to EULAs. Two other parties have agreed to terms and it's inappropriate for us to inject ourselves into the relationship and facilitate one of those parties violating their agreement. To Gilles' comment, below, to not facilitate violating the EULA is not putting us in a role of "enforcing" the EULA. It's remaining uninvolved.