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Apple Believes Someone Is Behind Psystar 606

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the put-on-your-foil-hats dept.
rgraham writes "From the article on Growler: 'Apple apparently believes that somebody else is behind Psystar, which might help to explain why a major law firm would take on what seems like a fly-by-night's case; also why Psystar has been so bold in continuing to sell its products. I knew this thing felt funny. As Alice in Wonderland might put it, "It gets interestinger and interestinger."'"
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Apple Believes Someone Is Behind Psystar

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  • Folowing the money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by actionbastard (1206160) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:50AM (#25989445)
    That's all the amended filing is doing is covering all bases by looking for anyone with deep pockets who may be bankrolling Psystar.
    • by StCredZero (169093) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:11PM (#25989783)

      From the Legal Filing:

      Online commentators have reported that Psystar's Open Computer is..."LOUD, Crazy Loud,"

      Never thought I'd see "LOUD, Crazy Loud" in a legal document!

    • by mevets (322601) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @01:52PM (#25991483)

      I bet Wozniak finally snapped and is doing this out of spite.

      • by Dogtanian (588974) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @03:07PM (#25992697) Homepage

        I bet Wozniak finally snapped and is doing this out of spite.

        Sounds eerily reminiscent of the end of *every bloody Scooby Doo episode* where the baddie turns out to be a supposedly amiable minor character who in reality was bitter about some business dealing and trying to subvert his former partner.

        Sad thing is, I almost instantly visualised this in animated form, and I didn't even like Scooby Doo that much!

        Woz would have got away with it if it hadn't been for those pesky.... um, lawyers.

        • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @03:39PM (#25993167)

          To be fair, sometimes they added a twist where there was an obviously disgruntled minor character AND an amicable minor character. The gang would then always incorrectly pursue the disgruntled character (who likes a grumpy gus anyway?) only to be shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU! when the disgruntled character proved instrumental in helping them catch the real culprit, the amicable one. Also, the disgruntled one was usually an under cover cop.

    • Apple is behind it! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @01:57PM (#25991567)

      Apple probably hired pystar to create a weak but precedent setting test case they could smash.

      More seriously,
      one can claim pystar is somehow a good value or something but this takes sheer cognative dissonance since it's impossibly far from the truth.

      THat is to say, if you are buying an apple it's either for aethetics, ease of use for grandma or the volunteers at your non-profit, or compatibility, or the relatively low cost of tech support, set up, and training.

      Now let's think about this. Does pystar meet any of those features? uh.... No. not one. they are loud, highly idiosyncratic, hard to keep updated, and a support nightmare, and many softwares and hardware devices won't work.

      What's the market? cheapness? well certainly not at the low end. And at the high end--well it you want performance and dont care about comptibility then get a PC or a linux machine?

      it's the OJ simpson defense: it does not fit.

      But Apples implication that it's just a loss leader. Shove anything out the door so you can get a foot in the door makes a lot more sense.

      • by bnenning (58349) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @05:07PM (#25994389)

        THat is to say, if you are buying an apple it's either for aethetics, ease of use for grandma or the volunteers at your non-profit, or compatibility, or the relatively low cost of tech support, set up, and training.

        Or because it's a Unix that runs Office and Photoshop, and supports wireless cards and GPUs without having to compile experimental kernel modules. (Yes, Linux is getting better. No, it's not there yet).

  • Is it.... (Score:4, Funny)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:50AM (#25989449) Homepage Journal
    ...the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation behind them?!?!?!

    :)

  • It's true. (Score:5, Funny)

    by teamhasnoi (554944) <.teamhasnoi. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:50AM (#25989451) Homepage Journal
    It's me. shhh.
  • by Blorgo (19032) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:50AM (#25989453) Homepage

    "From the article on Growler" ? Rob, you turned on spell check? That coudln't be!

  • by liraz (77590) * <liraz@turnkeylinux.org> on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:50AM (#25989455) Homepage

    These are pretty serious allegations, but if it's true it wouldn't be the first time this has happend.

    Hmmm... I wonder who would have the most to gain by undermining Apple. Could it possibly be a major corporation with an infamous [linux.com] track record of attacking [boycottnovell.com] its competition by proxy [channelregister.co.uk]?

    • by glop (181086) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:15PM (#25989839)

      Yeah right! Microsoft can't wait till everybody can buy MacOS X for their PC!
      And what joy it would be to them if Psystar could invalidate the EULA so that Dell could then ship their PCs with MacOS X!

    • by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:19PM (#25989893) Homepage Journal
      I can't believe it would be them. Undermining EULAs hardly serves MS's interests. On this case, I would expect Apple and Microsoft to be allied and want the same outcome: that people agree (lawyer speak) to contracts that they never actually agreed (laymen speak) to.
      • Except in this case Apple would also claim contract claims under reseller violations. If Psystar is selling OS X to users, then technically they are a reseller. I'm pretty sure reseller agreements with Apple explicitly forbid Psystar from doing what they are doing. Unless they never signed such agreements. Then they are really hosed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tuxgeek (872962)

      I seriously doubt Microsoft would be behind this scam.
      After reading the Groklaw article it sounds like the PCs are cheaply built with the options of Vista or Mac OSX.
      No finger pointing here, but China has become pretty adept at distributing reverse engineered and/or unlocked proprietary software.

      My magic 8 ball says that Apple will successfully shut Psystar down eventually, only to re-emerge under a different name somewhere else in the future.

    • by lymond01 (314120) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:38PM (#25990249)

      I wonder who would have the most to gain by undermining Apple

      Isn't it obvious? The Pear has been looking for vindication ever since the William Tell incident. And don't even get them started on the whole "discovery of gravity" thing...

  • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:54AM (#25989521)
    Y'know what? I'll do them one better and say that I am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that someone is behind Psystar. You'd have to be an idiot to think that it was an entity that ran itself with no human intervention....
  • by saterdaies (842986) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:56AM (#25989553)

    There are lots of PC companies that probably see Windows as a bit of a stumbling block to future sales. Dell has definitely said that it would like to sell machines with OS X. Should a court rule that Apple does not have the right to restrict OS X to its own hardware, that would open the floodgates to major manufacturers including Dell and HP to selling machines with OS X. It's not that hard to imagine one of those companies throwing money at a legally separate LLC/Inc that could bring the issue before a court. Should they [Psystar] loose, small loss. Should they win, those companies get a new product to sell in a market clamoring for Apple stuff.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:14PM (#25989819)

      ell has definitely said that it would like to sell machines with OS X. Should a court rule that Apple does not have the right to restrict OS X to its own hardware, that would open the floodgates to major manufacturers including Dell and HP to selling machines with OS X.

      Sure, except you forget that Microsoft still has both hands on their balls right now. "Go ahead, sell OS X, but we won't give you OEM pricing then, you'll pay retail." Small companies like this one are the only ones that can pull this off because they don't have legions of angry shareholders and lawsuits to worry about, who would be rightfully pissed about a $100 increase in unit shipping price over an OS with a ~7% market share. Most won't even put Linux on their systems right now because of this, and Linux is free.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:22PM (#25989955)

      Or maybe by someone who wants to save us from Apple's ridiculous and limiting EULA shrinkwrap nonsense.

      >Should they win, those companies get a new product to sell in a market clamoring for Apple stuff.

      That's true, but we also get a whole hell of a lot more consumer rights. Imagine being able to return software for a refund! Or running the software you paid for on anything you like. Or selling it. You know, the basic consumer rights we take for granted for everything except software.

      Freedom to tinker and freedom to use is bigger than Apple. Much bigger.

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:39PM (#25990251)
      Apple is alleging 2 things which, if either is proven, means that Psystar would lose.
      1. Psystar modified OS X to run on these machines.
        Psystar does not have permissions to modify OS X and resell it.
      2. Psystar is distributing patches.
        Psystar was never given permission to redistribute OS X.

      Whether Apple should be forced to sell to their competitors is another matter. As it stands now, legally Apple has a case.

    • by fermion (181285) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @01:11PM (#25990807) Homepage Journal
      MS Windows might be a stumbling block to future sales, but the OEMs are hardly doing anything about it. Decent laptops are not that cheap. A decent laptop, wth decent screen size, and decent memory, are $900. If one upgrades to the full Vista, then it is $1000. Sure one can get a cheap laptop, but I would hardly consider those vista ready. Sony of course has really nice, really expensive machines, better than Apple, if you don't care about battery life.

      I have said this before. If MS windows OS was an issue, HP/Compaq have the experience to fix it. Dell, Sony, etc and the others only flog whatever they are told to flog, so they are pretty much stuck. the only reason any of them would want to sell Mac OS machines is to have an excuse to raise the price of the machines, like they have done with *nix machines.

      What we saw in the previous Mac OS licensing experiment was that it was difficult to support all those clones. I know many people whose machines worked at first, but over time become incompatible with the OS. One part of the Apple strategy is that it will only support it tech that it wants to. We no longer have SCSI. We no longer have firewire on the low end machines. We have not seen a floppy on a Mac since 1999. The strategy of the PC OEM, which is to use whatever is cheapest component at the moment, and expect MS to support it, will not work with Apple. It only works because of most offices, computers are set up as a redundant array of cheap PCs, in which any machine is expected to fail, and redundancies are built in.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by raddan (519638)
      As soon as Apple can't restrict sales of Mac OS X to people who own Apple hardware, you know what you'll see? Apple will stop selling Mac OS X as a standalone product. The Apple faithful will just suck it up and buy new hardware.
  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:57AM (#25989559)

    It can only be Amiga.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If Psystar is turning a profit, then you can be sure that Amiga/Bill McEwen aren't behind it.

      Hang on a mo, Psystar are actually shipping products, and on schedule too. That definitely rules out Amiga.

  • New Logo? (Score:4, Funny)

    by xactuary (746078) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:57AM (#25989565)
    No doubt their soon-to-be-announced Flying Chair logo will shed some light.
  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:57AM (#25989575)

    I think Jobs has been hitting the egg nog a bit early this year. Wizard of Oz stuff and backroom deals is really more the providence of large corporations like the one he's a member of, not small businesses that are trying to find a niche to grow in. But at least the fanboys who go along with this line of thinking will look even more ridiculous than usual, which is a nice stocking stuffer for those of us that have gotten about as sick of these "Hi, I'm a PC" commercials as the whistling guy on about "natural male enhancement". Heh. "Mystery men out to ruin Jobs!" Really, sometimes the right hand (marketing) doesn't know what the left (legal) is doing with that company...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by JackassJedi (1263412)
      They are just bored and are suing themselves. As a small benefit, if the court decides that Apple has the rights to restrict OS X usage, they'll get that out of it.

      Happy Coca-Cola Christmas!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I think you're being a little naive (and the mods too) because this looks precisely like what happened with SCO, which was also a fairly small company that was trying to find (rediscover in their case) "a niche to grow in". To actually push their claims, they required large influxes of cash from a Microsoft shell corporation [linux-watch.com]. The way to answer this is to find who is financing Psystar and what conditions that financing is contingent on, e.g. in the case of Baystar, they actually threatened to sue SCO if SC
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I think you're being a little naive (and the mods too) because this looks precisely like what happened with SCO

        I'm not being naive, I'm trying to avoid slashdot turning into a forum where people have had their sense of humor surgically removed. Sacred cows make the best hamburgers, and Apple's fanbase is just too tempting of a target. nom nom nom.

        But if we must be serious... Why sue Apple in a "dramatic way". Well, has anyone sued Apple in a boring and non-dramatic way recently? No. Apple's lawyers are legendary. Suitors routinely stage reenactments of Custer's last stand in the courtroom. Why would you try to stay

  • I had to see da wiki (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday December 04, 2008 @11:59AM (#25989593) Homepage Journal

    I haven't heard of this particular bruhaha or indeed, Psystar itself. TFA had few clues, it was apparently not its first blog about Psystar. So if anyone else is curious, I'll quote and link [wikipedia.org]

    Psystar Corporation is an electronics company based in Miami, Florida which sells surveillance and communication equipment, and, most popularly, "Open Computers". These computers, first announced in April 2008, have the option to be pre-installed with Mac OS X Leopard, making them the first commercially-distributed hackintoshes.[1]

    The end-user license agreement for Mac OS X forbids third-party installations of Leopard, and Psystar's Mac clone is in violation of that agreement.[2] However, Psystar believes Apple's prohibition against third-party installations might not hold up in court: "What if Honda said that, after you buy their car, you could only drive it on the roads they said you could?"[2] Psystar says it will continue to sell the Open system, adding "We're not breaking any laws."[2]

    On July 3rd, 2008, Apple filed a lawsuit against Psystar in the District Court of Northern California.[3] A case management conference was scheduled for October 22nd to plan out future proceedings of the trial.

    On August 28th, 2008, Psystar Corporation responded to Apple's claims of copyright infringement, and also countersued Apple for anti-competitive practices, monopolistic behavior, and copyright misuse.[4][5] This countersuit was dismissed on November 18, 2008.[6]

    • by eltonito (910528) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:59PM (#25990615)

      Every time I see that "Honda/road" analogy I just want to grab the guy from Psystar who said it by the collar and shake him senseless for making such a craptacular analogy.

      A more apt analogy might be "Imagine that Honda created some ECU programming that yields 15% better fuel efficiency. Instead of developing their own programming, Hyundai backwards-engineers the Honda ECU into their cars and buys the Honda ECU's on the aftermarket. Hyundai then advertises that they are running the Honda ECU efficiency program and Honda takes them to court."

      It doesn't even have to be efficiency. Maybe the ECU makes the motor spew fire or something, but it makes a lot more sense than the ill-formed "Honda/Road" analogy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        nope, pretty bad analogy man. Analogies are suppose to make things easier to understand, not confuse everyone. LoL you doorknob.
  • by Starturtle (1148659) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:02PM (#25989643) Homepage
    It's not unusual to add unknown defendants to an action where all the tortfeasors are not known yet. This is simply a precautionary measure to ensure that Apple can bring a claim for damages against a party unknown to them should, through out the course of the proceedings, it is found that an unnamed defendant arises. By not adding an unknown party, would leave them in a situation where they would have to reinitiate the process from the start. As someone stated earlier it's simply a case of covering all bases.
  • by NtroP (649992) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:02PM (#25989649)

    Do you suppose it might be someone like Dell interested in testing the waters anonymously?

    Not saying it's Dell or HP but I know they are in a bit of a pinch lately and I'd bet they believe they could out-compete Apple on margins and use their name-recognition to get the unwashed masses to switch. Imagine a Dell that could run Linux, Windows and OS X out of the box for $500.00. People would be switching left and right. Many Windows users could give a crap about aesthetics or build-quality so they'd not hesitate to go with Dell. Also, Pystar is selling servers, which is another area Dell is big in that could benefit from a broader selection. Apple would lose for sure unless they started selling OS X client for $500.00 a pop and server for $1000.00. But Dell would never risk "testing the waters" themselves, so when they see this little upstart come along, it's in their best interests to support them and help them succeed.

    1. Support PyStar quietly in the background
    2. if they gain traction "buy" Pystar
    3. diversify their offerings so as not to miss the mac surge and have leverage with MS
    4. ...?
    5. Profit
    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:20PM (#25989933)

      6. Get sued to hell and gone by shareholders and the SEC who just found out they diverted money off the books.

      Apple watches their SEC filings -- and they have to disclose where all their money goes as a publicly-traded company. If its discovered that Dell directly financed this company and didn't disclose it in their SEC filings, their next investment will be in Crisco.

  • Biased much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:10PM (#25989765) Homepage Journal

    which might help to explain why a major law firm would take on what seems like a fly-by-night's case

    I have no interest in Psystar's products but that doesn't mean they're illegitimate. The biggest allegation I've heard on Slashdot is of them pirating OS X, but I've seen no proof that they've sold more copies than they've bought. I don't get the double standard of why Compaq's cloning of the PC was good while Psystar's cloning of the Mac is bad, other than Steve's reality distortion field.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gfxguy (98788)

      I don't get the double standard of why Compaq's cloning of the PC was good while Psystar's cloning of the Mac is bad...

      Because IBM was big and evil and Apple isn't, so we get to apply different standards based on our whims.

      FWIW, I support Psystar, too. I'd love a Mac at less than Mac prices.

    • Re:Biased much? (Score:5, Informative)

      by B1 (86803) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:24PM (#25989985)

      The deal is that Compaq reversed engineered IBM's BIOS -- the only part of the design that was a trade secret. Everything else with the PC was very well documented and easily reproduced. The BIOS calls were already well documented. All Compaq needed to do was come up with a fully compatible BIOS without using IBM's code. Compaq came up with workalike BIOS using clean room techniques (or was it Phoenix technologies or some other shop -- I don't remember). I'm sure IBM fought tooth and nail, but they obviously weren't successful.

      As for Apple vs. Psystar, it's quite different, the issue is that Psystar is violating Apple's software license agreement (that the OSX software will only be used on Apple-branded hardware). There are software checks in OSX to verify the hardware is Apple's, which means that Psystar would have to patch OSX to bypass those checks, and then distribute the modified code as their own OS.

      Had Psystar somehow reverse engineered OSX with clean-room techniques to produce their own fully compatible workalike, this might be a very different case.

      Also, copyright laws have changed quite a bit since 1981. I don't know if Compaq would have been able to legally clone the PC with today's laws.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by phillymjs (234426)

      I don't get the double standard of why Compaq's cloning of the PC was good while Psystar's cloning of the Mac is bad

      Not good cloning versus bad cloning-- legal cloning versus illegal cloning.

      IBM wanted to get a machine on store shelves quickly back in 1981, so they built an open system that was easily copied. The only proprietary thing about the IBM PC was the BIOS, which had to be clean-roomed. The Compaq BIOS was designed from scratch to mimic the genuine, copyrighted IBM BIOS in function, but other than

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        the companies that were making clones banded together and standardized on a new open architecture (the ISA bus, IIRC)

        No, the ISA bus was already out there (it was the 16-bit AT bus). The So-called "Gang of Nine" created the EISA bus, which was also backwards compatible with ISA cards.

  • Fight Club (Score:3, Funny)

    by conner_bw (120497) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:13PM (#25989813) Homepage Journal

    Anyone else remember the 1999 blockbuster movie [imdb.com]?

    So, am I the only who thinks that the "someone else behind Psystar" is in fact Apple, fighting itself, schizophrenically?

    Think about it. From one of the most locked down proprietary systems to come out of the 1980's, to a BSD based core espousing open source values a couple of decades later, basically this is Steve Jobs losing his mind and trying to break down his own core beliefs of hardware and gadget lock-in. And the only way this is possible is by going completely insane and fighting himself, while true believers and disbelievers alive gawk on.

  • by ajlitt (19055) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:16PM (#25989863)

    That's right, Power Computing. They thought they could force their way back into the 3rd party Apple market. And they would have done it, too, if it weren't for those meddling Cupertino lawyers.

    • Re:Power Computing (Score:4, Interesting)

      by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768@@@comcast...net> on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:32PM (#25990099) Journal
      Only problem with that is anyone who was important with Power Computing was bought by Apple. Power Computing was the only clone manufacturer who was completely bought by Apple as opposed to having their contract canceled like the other and for good reason, their computers unlike the other clones where excellent. Apple even hosted Power Computings tool and software utilities for years after they bought them out.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gEvil (beta) (945888)
        Power Computing was the only clone manufacturer who was completely bought by Apple as opposed to having their contract canceled like the other and for good reason, their computers unlike the other clones where excellent.

        I don't know if I'd say they were "excellent". They were more powerful than comparably-priced Apples, though. I had to deal with about 150 Power Computing clones many years ago. While they were a good value, they were nowhere near as reliable as the Apples from the same timeframe. Not to
  • Conspiracy (Score:5, Funny)

    by kenp2002 (545495) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:17PM (#25989875) Homepage Journal

    The Rothschild family, in order to destablize the US economy consipired with the Free Masons and the Illuminati to draw out Apple into a court case with Pystar to get anti-trust measures against Apple. The Skull and Bones and Pathagarians partnered to get the 'proper' judge and law firms involved because Steve Jobs refused to cowtow to the Grand Viceroy of the Pathagarians at a secret meeting in Prague.

    Once the Osirians and Golden Dawn are placatied by Jobs with the seasonal sacrific they may interviene on behalf of Jobs but that depends if the New Dawn are not stopped by the rebel Crowley and the Keepers of the Flame. Since the New Dawn and Golden Dawn have been fighting since the 1950s after Crowley defected from the Golden Dawn!

    If only the Sons of Liberty would put an end to this maddness with the help of the Neo-Templars! In the mean time we'll have to rely on government alien-hybrid psychics to try and mentally manipulate the court...

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew&gmail,com> on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:22PM (#25989949) Homepage Journal

    Apple realizes that companies are run by people.

  • No Bias Here (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:44PM (#25990337) Homepage

    So, Apple apparently believes that somebody else is behind Psystar,

    Apple also initially believed Psystar did not exist. Apple has a bit of a blind spot to the capabilities of a garage startup. That may seem surprising, since they were a garage startup. But then, it's been three decades of anti-competitive lawmaking and sanctification of the megacorp since then.

    which might help to explain why a major law firm would take on what seems like a fly-by-night's case;

    Yes. 'cuz god forbid a decent law firm would represent a pissant. If we can't rely on the legal system to prejudicially inhibit the growth of disruptive startups, we'll be throwing the doors open to unrestrained justice, treating small firms as though they have the same rights as our most honored entrenched divas.

    also why Psystar has been so bold in continuing to sell its products.

    Indeed - how dare they continue running a business which they believe to be both legal and profitable, despite the fact that they have so clearly upset The Steve?!?

    I knew this thing felt funny.

    Which thing? Your wild editorializing and doe-eyed acceptance of Apple's press-release-by-court-filing?

    I'm not saying that what Psystar is doing is necessarily in compliance with the law, but come on - this is a conspiracy theory. If Psystar was backed by some shadowy CABAL, their first address wouldn't have been a house (which lead to Apple's hypothesis that the whole company was a hoax).

    Here's my question: What is going to happen when Psystar can't produce these back-room ne'er-do-wells? Will Apple press discovery and demand that Psystar prove a negative, that the conspiracy is not?

  • by Andy_R (114137) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @01:11PM (#25990827) Homepage Journal

    I think Microsoft would be willing to pay quite a lot of money for a legal precedent in favor of shrinkwrap EULAs on operating systems, especially if they can make Apple look like the bad guys each time they call on the precedent.

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