A manager at Best Buy told me the company’s Point of Sale systems (we used to call them cash registers) are being monitored for any sales of Apple’s Leopard operating system in advance of the official 6 p.m. local time release.

“We’ll be fined $130,000 for each copy we sell before six,” he told me.

That seems like a pretty steep fine. I think he might be mistaken about the per-sale part, though. I don’t know why Best Buy would agree to something with such a high potential cost in comparison to the potential return. Even if they make $40 on each copy, they’d have to sell over 3,000 copies to make up the profit lost from each one that went out early.