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Apple Businesses

Psystar Wins a Round Against Apple 660

Posted by CmdrTaco
Daengbo writes "'A federal judge last week ruled that Psystar Corp. can continue its countersuit against Apple Inc., giving the Mac clone maker a rare win in its seven-month-old battle with Apple. He also hinted that if Psystar proves its allegations, others may then be free to sell computers with Mac OS X already installed.' Apple is currently suing Psystar over its sale of Mac clones."
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Psystar Wins a Round Against Apple

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  • Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:22AM (#26783623)
    This is great news for everyone who believes in fair competition in the marketplace. Kudos to that judge, and I hope the countersuit goes well!
    • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ByOhTek (1181381) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:27AM (#26783703) Journal

      Much agreement. Additionally, I think the clone segment will actually help Apple. By making the OS more accessible, more people will use it, and there will be less inhibition for people to not get a Mac.

      Using the old logic - the per-unit profit on the OS is quite a bit, so they get a lot of money from the clones that they wouldn't have gotten otherwise. I seriously doubt the clones will significantly (negatively) impact Apple's sales of hardware - more likely it'll draw on the PC crown mostly, and probably have some positive PC->Apple market change as well.

      • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pmontra (738736) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:36AM (#26783877) Homepage

        Actually I believe that it will damage Apple in the short and mid term. Apple will lose revenues for selling the hardware and the option of raising the price of the OS won't be welcomed by customers. I think that Apple doesn't care to have OSX on 20% of the pcs if that means gaining less money than they do now with a 9-10% share.

        If a market of clones will bring OSX on 80% of pcs then Apple will gain more than now, but that will change what Apple is. Basically they're an hardware company developing software to help selling the hardware, much like HP and Sun. They're very different from software companies like Microsoft which occasionally develop hardware (XBOX, Zune, etc) to sell the software (Windows, which in turn sells Office).

        Anyway, hell yes! As a consumer I'll be happy to see lower priced macs.

        • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ByOhTek (1181381) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:40AM (#26783937) Journal

          The thing is, most Mac users I've seen are rabidly loyal to Apple. I don't think Apple will lose much in the way of hardware sales (and might gain some from the people who won't switch now due to some perceived inconvenience, but will also not switch to a clone due to the potential of an inferior product).

          Which is right? Only time and seeing the alternative will tell.

          • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

            by CrackedButter (646746) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:51AM (#26784151) Homepage Journal
            Some might be rabid but others hold them to a high standard, if you actually sit in a mac forum long enough you'll notice the huge amounts of whining and dissatisfaction with Apple. These are over little details as well because they expect more from Apple and are quite knowledgeable and know what they want. Don't generalise.
          • Re:Hell yes! (Score:4, Informative)

            by cowscows (103644) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:10PM (#26784537) Journal

            Well, we can try to pull some lessons from an experiment done in the past, when for a period Apple licensed their OS to other manufacturers. Conditions weren't exactly the same, of course, but it's still informative.

            Apple did lose sales to the clone manufacturers, that much was fairly obvious. The clone manufacturers not only undercut Apple's prices, but they also would sometimes produce machines with better specs (on paper at least). Their build quality was often not up to Apple's standards, but quality doesn't always win out.

            Today Apple is financially in a far stronger position and more product diversified than they were back in the clone era, so losing a percentage of their hardware sales wouldn't be as damaging to them as it was back then, at least in the short term. But I do think that in the long term it could have a negative effect on public perception of OS X, particularly if lower quality machines caused problems for people migrating from Windows.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by erroneus (253617)

            But in a corporate/business setting, if I could move some of my design/production people over to Mac clones and OS X, that opens some doors I didn't have available before. As this stuff gets through, I would not be at ALL shocked to see Dell computers with a "Mac Clone" option that enables it to run Mac OS X.

            Now if I can just get AutoCAD to run natively in Mac OS X, I wouldn't even wait for all of this other stuff to happen. I'd just go buy a bunch of Apples. I am sick to death of all the performance-dra

        • Re:Hell yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:42AM (#26783983)

          Basically they're an hardware company developing software to help selling the hardware...

          This doesn't hold water. If they were really a hardware company, then, like every hardware company in existence, they would put the focus on their hardware. But the reality is that they are pushing their software, not their hardware. Their actions speak louder than their words: they're a software company who is trying to abuse copyright law to force you to do what they want with their product.

          • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:57AM (#26784269)

            Apple is neither a hardware nor a software company. They are a total solutions company. They focus on providing vertically integrated products that meet the customer's needs from the hardware all the way up to the software. That's why Mac laptops have incredible hardware features like magnetic clasps, incredible software features like appfolders, AND incredible features like instant sleep on close/hibernate on low power that require support from both software and hardware.

          • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dwarg (1352059) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:03PM (#26784377)

            The kind of company they are is based on where they make their money. Apple makes some money selling high-end video software, but that's about it. iLife comes free with new macs. iWork doesn't have any copy protection on it. Steve Jobs has openly stated he doesn't care if you pirate OS X (he was assuming it would be used on Apple hardware at the time). iTunes barely breaks even, but it helps them sell iPods.

            And that's the point, Apple uses their software to get you to buy their absurdly overpriced hardware.

            The software IS the "Apple tax" and I think it's worth it when I use an Apple product and I think it isn't when it comes time to buy one. But the only way they offset the development costs is when you buy one of their machines because they just don't sell a lot of software.

          • Re:Hell yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:12PM (#26784577)

            no apple pushes both to create the Apple experience. Thus if they loose the ability to push hardware the apple experience will go down.

            Look at the iPod or iPhone. It is because you have the hardware with the software (iTunes Appstore) that competitors cannot match.

        • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by RMingin (985478) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:58AM (#26784277) Homepage

          It's very very easy to compensate for this. MS figured it out years ago. You want to give your existing customers preferential pricing on a new OS, but still gouge the new users?

          UPGRADE PRICING.

          Suddenly every existing OS release was an 'upgrade license', and there are two packages at retail for 10.6. 149$ gets you Snow Leopard Upgrade, which will install on any branded Mac without issue, just like existing versions have. You now have a new 499.99$ Unsupported Full Install package sitting next to it. Apple gets their money, Hackintosh users get somewhat validated, Apple still doesn't have to take their phone calls, and everyone is either happier or status quo pro ante.

      • by cabjf (710106)
        Except Apple is making their money on the Mac platform by selling the hardware. The software is there to entice people to buy Mac computers. It didn't work last time they had a clone market, and I doubt it will work this time. I think Apple knows they don't have much of a case against individual users. Plus, going the RIAA route would turn a lot of people off from the brand. However, when it comes to other companies selling clones with Mac OS installed on it, Apple's case is pretty solid.
      • by KlaymenDK (713149)

        I agree, but would have worded it a bit broader:

        I think the clone segment will actually help Apple as well as Linux*. By making the OS more accessible, more people will use it, and there will be less inhibition for people to get a non-Windows pc.

        Running Mac OS is far less stigmatized than Linux*, which is still regarded as "the nerd's choice". The most beneficial effect for "us" will not so much be that users will be moving to Mac OS, but that users will grow more accustomed to the idea that moving away from Windows is a real possibility. No doubt Psystar will like this -- but it helps Linux* as well.

        * "Linux" in this context: (any|all) of the free and Free operating systems.

      • by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:36PM (#26785013)

        That BeOS, OS/2, and NEXTSTEP enjoyed. The fate of technically superior, generically compatible, for-profit alternative operating systems is pretty well established.

        There are three ways to build a successful OS:
        - Legacy monopoly position
        - Free (libre)
        - Make your money on hardware

        Selling a "premium" OS for generic hardware is a surefire path to irrellevance.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 0racle (667029)
      If Psystar want's to compete, let them compete. Apple competes by creating products, Psystar is simply riding their coat tails. The government forcing a company to operate in areas they deem unprofitable is not fair competition in the marketplace.
      • Re:Hell yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Chyeld (713439) <chyeldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:39AM (#26783913)

        The government forcing a company to operate in areas they deem unprofitable is not fair competition in the marketplace.

        And while your statement is a tautalogical truth, it has nothing to do with the situation at hand, which is Apple putting the artificial restriction on their OS, indicating it can only be installed on machines they've built.

        No one forced Apple to sell their OS divorced of their machines. They decided to do that to cash in on the lucrative market of OS upgrades.

        If they don't want people installing their OS on 'unapproved' machines, they have a simple and clear course to follow, don't sell the OS without a machine.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by goombah99 (560566)

          No one forced Apple to sell their OS divorced of their machines. They decided to do that to cash in on the lucrative market of OS upgrades.

          If they don't want people installing their OS on 'unapproved' machines, they have a simple and clear course to follow, don't sell the OS without a machine.

          well that's what they are trying to do with the lic. So how exactly would they enforce what you reccomend any other way? Put hardware DRM in the machines or something? Why make it more complicated if the net outcome is supposed to be the same: Apple software is to be run on apple machines only.

          • by Nursie (632944)

            "Put hardware DRM in the machines or something?"

            Isn't that what got lexmark bitchslapped in the end? They DRM'd their crtridges so the printers would only use genuine ones, sued a competitor under the DMCA and lost.

            "Why make it more complicated if the net outcome is supposed to be the same: Apple software is to be run on apple machines only."

            And that's what PsyStar are contesting in the courts. Welcome to TFA.

          • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by MasterOfMagic (151058) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:10PM (#26784519) Journal

            The parent's point is that if Apple wants to sell their OS without the hardware, they should not be allowed to put in the license for that software that you can only use it on Apple hardware. Their remedy, if they don't want their OS being used on non-Apple hardware, is to not sell OS X separately from the hardware.

            When you buy a DVD or Blu-Ray from Sony, do you have to agree to a license that says you can only play it back on a Sony player on a Sony television? Why should it be any different with Apple?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Especially since they went Intel x86, they were just asking for it.

          Unless the conspiracy theories are true re: PsyStar being a front for Apple just testing the legal system, possibly to set precedent.
      • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:41AM (#26783967) Journal
        How is Psystar buying copies of OSX that Apple is (voluntarily) selling "forcing a company to operate in areas they deem unprofitable"?

        The only thing at issue in this case is how much control a manufacturer should be able to exert over buyers through shrinkwrap "contracts".
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gnasher719 (869701)

          How is Psystar buying copies of OSX that Apple is (voluntarily) selling "forcing a company to operate in areas they deem unprofitable"?

          Psystar buys boxes of MacOS X that come with a license that allows installation on a Macintosh computers, and nowhere else. That is absolutely fine, they can buy as many boxes as they like, and Apple doesn't mind and can't prevent it anyway (anybody buying a MacOS X box has the right to resell it, unopened, unmodified). As soon as Psystar installs the software on a non-Macintosh computer, they have made an illegal copy of the software (because the license didn't allow it), and the license becomes invalid (b

      • apple club (Score:4, Interesting)

        by goombah99 (560566) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:58AM (#26784293)

        If Psystar want's to compete, let them compete. Apple competes by creating products, Psystar is simply riding their coat tails. The government forcing a company to operate in areas they deem unprofitable is not fair competition in the marketplace.

        exactly. meddling in the market makes it unfair not more fair. Apple is only a 10% player in the computer market so their bussiness model is not in restraint of trade for computers.

        Apple should form a "discount buyers club". To belong to the club you have to buy an apple computer. Then you get 90% discounts on the operating system updates priced at $1000 retail.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Belial6 (794905)
          You are confused. Apple is trying to get the government to meddle in the market by getting the government to stop Psystar from reselling their OS. If the government were to keep it's fingers out of the 'free market'. Psystar would get to continue as it is doing now.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Androclese (627848)
            Psystar is not reselling the OS. If they were simply reselling the packaged Mac OS, then there would not be (much?) of an issue. Where Apple has them is because they are modifying the OS and kernel to run on non-Apple hardware, and *then* selling it.
      • by gad_zuki! (70830)

        >Psystar is simply riding their coat tails.

        Selling hardware that works on certain software is "riding their coat tails?" Wow, talk about having an anti-consumer attitude. Hell, we're not even talking about freedom to tinker. This is freedom to install! Wow, this guy gots +5 on slashdot? Wow.

        I guess your sig says it all.

    • by bdsesq (515351)

      No what it means is that the price of OS upgrades for OS X will increase. If Apple is truly using hardware sales to subsidize the OS then they charge more for the OS.

      Free competition is not a judge telling you that you have to sell your property when you don't want to. Free competition is people bidding for something resulting in a sale that satisfies most or all of the participants.

      • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:38AM (#26783901)
        They already want to sell their OS: if they didn't, it wouldn't be in stores. The fact that they think they can dictate what gets done with it is pure, unmitigated bullshit, and hopefully it gets knocked down in court soon.
        • Re:Hell yes! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by javacowboy (222023) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:59AM (#26784295)

          So, all the $$$$$ Apple put into R&D counts for nothing? It took over 5 years for Apple to develop OS X (not counting NextStep), and more time for them to enhance it.

          And after all that effort, they should be forced to essentially give it away for $130 and sacrifice their hardware business?

          What's "pure, unmitigated bullshit", is the mentality that some people should be force to essentially give away the fruits of their labours.

          • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Nursie (632944) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:10PM (#26784535)

            "And after all that effort, they should be forced to essentially give it away for $130 and sacrifice their hardware business?"

            Who's forcing a price on them?

            They can charge what they like, surely?

            It's the restraint of what is done with it after a sale that is at issue here. If that means that the current $130 is subsidised by hardware sales, then maybe they'll have to look at charging less for hardware and more for new OS versions? Business models have to adjust from time to time, you know. Especially when they are based on artifices like restraint of post-purchase usage which may not be legally enforceable.

          • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Hatta (162192) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:13PM (#26784593) Journal

            No one is forcing Apple to do anything. If they don't want to sell it for $130, they don't have to. They just can't control what I do with it once they sell it to me.

            Apple has no right to a return on their investment. If their business model depends on selling me an item, and then controlling what I can do with it after they sold it to me, they should have picked a better business model.

        • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:25PM (#26784809)

          They already want to sell their OS: if they didn't, it wouldn't be in stores. The fact that they think they can dictate what gets done with it is pure, unmitigated bullshit, and hopefully it gets knocked down in court soon.

          Here's the difference. You can buy OS X and install it on any machine you want. Apple won't stop you; however, don't expect Apple to support it as it runs on non-Apple hardware. Now the moment you create a business to start selling it, you become a re-seller. As a re-seller, Apple can dictate what you can and cannot do.

          The crux of Apple's argument: Psystar is a re-seller. As a re-seller, their contract would forbid them to do what they are doing. If they've never agreed to a re-seller license (which I doubt they did), then they're not allowed to re-sell OS X as they are doing. Also Apple alleges to install OS X on generic hardware, Psystar would have had to modify OS X. Apple did not give permission to Psystar to modify their code and re-sell it. If Psytar were just to sell OS X unopened in the box with instructions on how to install on generic hardware, they technically would be fine, but Psystar is actually installing OS X which is not okay. The second part of Apple's argument is that these machines do not receive updates from Apple as they fail some sort of verification. Psystar has been distributing updates by taking the Apple updates and modifying them. Again, Psystar does not have permission to modify and re-distribute Apple's code.

      • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dwarg (1352059) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:09PM (#26784483)

        The other possibility is that Apple might stop selling shrink-wrapped copies of OS X. Instead you get a copy when you buy a machine and that makes you eligible for upgrades. So every copy of the OS would be tied to a machine, in terms of sales, if not via hardware key.

        Then PsyStar would have to pirate the OS and that would definitively put them in the wrong.

        And that way everybody loses.

    • by dprovine (140134)
      Does Apple have a legitimate beef that if something goes wrong they'll be expected to support it, even though it's running on who-knows-what hardware that they had no hand in designing or configuring?
    • Re:Hell yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arkham (10779) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:12PM (#26784563)

      Apple is a hardware company. If they cease to make money on hardware, the will exit the market. Legalizing clones would cause the Mac to disappear, and Mac OS X with it. The OS is not profitable by itself and never will be. The market is just too small.

      They tried it once before, for those who do not know. Clones nearly killed Apple.

      The notion that a judge would rule that Apple doesn't have the right to restrict what computers can run the software that they create is ridiculous. If this succeeds, the next step will be Apple having to add ROMs back into their machines to prevent this sort of crap.

  • If they win... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_humeister (922869) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:25AM (#26783665)

    I wonder if that means we can install things like HP-UX on non-HP hardware?

    • Re:If they win... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:34AM (#26783843) Journal
      If Pystar can win on OSX, the same argument could, in principle, be made for other operating systems. I suspect, though, that the impact would be pretty minimal. HP-UX only runs on PA-RISC or Itanium, so the wild world of x86 whiteboxes isn't going to happen unless HP wants it to. Further, HP-UX is the sort of thing that(with the limited exceptions of a few hobbyists, and people looking for HP-UX experience on the cheap) would only be run by outfits that care about Big Serious Enterprise Features(tm) and support contracts and stuff. All HP has to do is say that HP-UX, and anything you run on it, is only supported on HP hardware and most of the value dries up. OSX, by contrast, is frequently run in the desktop area, where support is a fairly minimal consideration.
      • I doubt HP really has any interest in expanding their H-pux market.

        I think they are counting the days until their longest-term support contract is satisfied.

        Apple is looking at what they've been through to get through the hurdles of Intel > PPC > Intel, and the changes in hardware along the way.

        Looking at Dell's experiment with Ubuntu, and what they had to do to provide support, I have to wonder how much easier something like Apple's Driver Kit (is that what it's called these days?) would make the L

    • Re:If they win... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MasterOfMagic (151058) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:05PM (#26784409) Journal

      The only problem I have with OSX is that it is currently against the license agreement to use it on any machine other than an Apple branded machine. If they said "we only support Apple branded hardware", then I wouldn't have a problem with it - the user can use the disc and software however he wants, but only when it is installed on Apple hardware is he entitled to support.

      In this vein, HP could sell HP-UX to whomever wants it, but only offer support if it is installed on HP branded hardware.

  • I wonder if the requirement by Apple that OSX be installed only on Apple produced hardware is guilty of violating the Sherman act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Antitrust_Act [wikipedia.org].
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's only if they had an illegal monopoly on the PC market as a whole. If Apple were the only maker of personal computers than you could have a case here.

      • by canajin56 (660655) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:59AM (#26784303)

        That's only if they had an illegal monopoly on the PC market as a whole. If Apple were the only maker of personal computers than you could have a case here.

        Wrong. Section two is all about monopolies. Section one is all about contracts agreements, and conspiracies, with intent to restrict free trade. And a BIG rule is that you cannot have lease agreements or sales contracts which specify that the product in question may only be used with a certain other product. For example, Ford cannot form an agreement with Shell, whereby all Ford lease agreements stipulate that until you are paid off and actual own your car, you can only fill it with Shell Premium. You may note that other people sell gas other than Shell, and other people sell cars other than Ford. Similarly, Lexmark or HP cannot have the nice people at BestBuy make you sign a contract when you buy a printer, swearing you will only refill it with their brand of ink/toner. Yes, even though more than one company makes printers.

        • by slashdotlurker (1113853) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:13PM (#26784583)
          Totally agree. This is the reasoning that Codeweavers uses when you buy Crossover Linux from them. I am glad that the judge agreed to look at this again. Its an important legal point. For all of our rants against Microsoft, we forget that in terms of behavior, it is a relatively chastened version of what it used to be. Apple has not yet undergone that learning experience and which is why they feel free to overprice commodity hardware by such large margins.
    • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by MoellerPlesset2 (1419023) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:53AM (#26784185)

      That's what they sued for- antitrust violations. And that's what got thrown out.

      What's happened now is that the judge decided they could come back and
      file a new complaint based on copyright law instead.

      That doesn't mean their new counterclaims (Apple sued them) necessarily have any merit.
      In fact, I don't really see how this is a 'win' at all - if you file a complaint and it gets tossed out,
      you wouldn't normally be barred from trying again, if your amended complaint is substantially different.

    • by db32 (862117) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:13PM (#26784599) Journal
      Please don't ever go into law or business because it is clear that your understanding of either is unbelievably flawed. Monopolies aren't illegal. A monopoly is perfectly legal so long as it came to be through legal competition. The only real question here is whether or not a company can enforce a EULA. There is no monopoly nonsense here. The Psystar assholes are trying to profit off of someone elses work, that is all there is to it. I hope they get their asses handed ot them for it. I have yet to hear any stories about Apple giving a rats ass about people installing on x86 themselves, only about them getting pissed that these assholes are taking what is an upgrade and installing it as a full OS. The pricing of the OS X isntalls are based on the fact that you are required to install it on a Mac that you purchased...a Mac that has part of the OS costs rolled into it.

      At the end of the day if the judge rules that Psystar can do this because Apple sells OS X in stores and voids their ability to say that it can only be installed on Apple hardware I suspect Apple will pull OS X off the shelves pretty fast and modify the way their users can get access to the upgraded software. Or worse, they will put in some godforsaken activation shit like Windows. I frequently get to experience the joy of trying to recover an OEM system using non OEM hardware and Windows demands reactivation and then fails, and then MS says "fuck off, that is an OEM product key." Selling OEM licenses on PCs you built if you don't have an OEM deal has been repeatedly held up as illegal.

      End of day, this is a bunch of greedy little assholes trying to take someone else's work and profit from it and a bunch of people expressing a disgusting sense of entitlement in defending their nonsense. Look, if you don't like Apple's terms, DON'T FUCKING BUY IT! That is how this is supposed to work, this is how the market is supposed to regulate itself. Instead, a bunch of moron consumers buy shit they KNOW has bad terms and then pays lawyers piles of cash to try and get their way. But hey, for all the bitching that goes on around here about how evil lawyers are, the prevailing mentality is to support the lawyers rather than not buying products with shitty terms and letting the market sort itself out.
      • by Hatta (162192) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:19PM (#26784697) Journal

        The Psystar assholes are trying to profit off of someone elses work, that is all there is to it.

        And what exactly is wrong with that? That's what we call capitalism. If you sell Item A, and I sell Item B that works with Item A, then I'm trying to profit off of your work. Or rather, I'm exploiting a market opportunity created by your work. Psystar selling hardware that interacts with data sold by Apple is no different than Apple selling hardware that interacts with data sold by RIAA members.

      • by slashdotlurker (1113853) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:31PM (#26784927)

        The Psystar assholes are trying to profit off of someone elses work, that is all there is to it.

        The value of your gratuitous advice for me not to go into business or law has to be measured against this gem. I believe the system you are ranting against is called capitalism. Products create markets, which can lead to other products that you did not intend. If your sensibilities are so offended, one wonders if the following equally offend your taste (staying close to this subject) :

        1. Apple's profiting off BSD kernel (what is your favorite pejorative for Steve Jobs, given your love of Psystar above ?).
        2. The entire aftermarket slew of non-Apple products that exist for iPod ?

        Or is it that your sensibilities are affected only if rules of capitalism work against Apple instead of for it ?

        • by furball (2853) on Monday February 09, 2009 @01:27PM (#26785919) Journal

          1. Apple's profiting off BSD kernel (what is your favorite pejorative for Steve Jobs, given your love of Psystar above ?).

          The BSD license which applies to said BSD kernel permits profiting explicitly.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by db32 (862117)
          The BSD license explicitly allows Apple to do that. Psystar is violating Apples license, see the difference? As far as iPod accessories, there is nothing that says you can't make those accessories and sell them, license, law, or otherwise. However, there is license AND law that says Psystar can't install OS X on non Mac hardware. Pretty significant difference.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by xouumalperxe (815707)
      The Sherman Act is meant "to limit cartels and monopolies". Now, Apple sells PC-compatible computers, a position in which they do not hold a monopoly, and sell an operating system as a tie-in product. Unless you define the applicable market as Apple's own computers, there's no case whatsoever that they hold a monopoly in the operating system market either.
  • Wozniak is on Dancing With The Stars and I guess Steve's left Dancing With Psystar.

  • If this works... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Zombie Ryushu (803103)

    If this works... I wonder if it will be possible for other hardware makers to be sued for making Windows only products. One of the big barriers to Linux adoption is chipsets that have no Linux driver and it seems that some companies go out of their way to make hardware that won't work with Linux intentionally.

    • How are the two things in any way related, exactly?

    • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:43AM (#26784001)
      Citation?

      Some hardware manufacturers don't employ devs who code for Linux. It's a shame, but hey, that's an extra cost. Linux doesn't yet have the market share to warrant employing dedicated devs to write drivers for Linux (please bare in mind the many, many distros, dependencies, package types, kernel revisions which drivers would need to be developed for. Source code is great, but I don't want the hassle of compiling it thanks).

      It's an infinite regression paradox. Devs need to code for existing hardware to increase uptake, which then need support from vendors with newer versions. More uptake is needed to increase the viability of dev time... The trouble is nobody wants to go first.
    • You situation does not apply here The suite will NOT force Apple to preinstall and sell MacOS on thirdparty hardware. It just means if you buy the software you can install it on thirdparty hardware. At best, if you find some hardware vendor breaking compatibility with Linux intentionally, you might be able to write a driver yourself for it. The vendor would not be able stop your alternative driver from being installed and used. That is all.
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      > If this works... I wonder if it will be possible
      > for other hardware makers to be sued for making
      > Windows only products.

      Probably not, the judgment isn't telling Apple to help Pystar sell/make clones, simply to allow them to.

      >[...] chipsets that have no Linux driver and it
      > seems that some companies go out of their way to
      > make hardware that won't work with Linux
      > intentionally.

      Seems isn't enough, you'd need proof. Anyway, again, it's not a matter of making it easy or hard, but of tel

  • Blizzard and Glider (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:35AM (#26783863)

    Blizzard's win against Glider allowed Blizzard to dictate what you can and can't do on your own machine if you use their software.

    The same should apply to Apple. You license OS X, and you agree to only run it on Macs.

    (Not that I agree with the decision, but that's how I see it)

    • by grimJester (890090) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:09PM (#26784491)
      There go my mod points, but you raise an interesting point. The Glider case decided that

      a) launching the software in an unapproved manner makes the copying from HD to memory an unauthorized copy in violation of the EULA and

      b) selling a product that requires the end user to break the EULA of another product to work is tortious interference [wikipedia.org] Apple may actually have a case here, simply because of some WoW bot writer's inept legal defense...
  • This is not a WIN (Score:4, Informative)

    by sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:41AM (#26783955)
    for Pystar. They simple get another chance. Read past the writers slanted interpretation. Words like "seemed", "might", "could", "if" are signs hes laying out what could by slim chance happen. He is not laying out all the other more likely outcomes. Good luck on pressing for the overstretching of the copywrite....THATS all they have. Oh and Apple still is due to name those involved with Pystar...this should prove interesting yet. /my money is still on Apple
  • I think you mean... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Microlith (54737) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:43AM (#26784015)

    others may then be free to sell computers with Mac OS X already installed

    I think you mean, "others may be free to buy a mac to get the OS X license to put on a cheaper computer, which they won't do as Apple kills off retail sales of OS X"

    So if they do win, sure you can migrate your OS across platforms. But you won't see other vendors shipping it.

  • My biggest concern here is that the courts could have the ability to decide that a business model, in ANY business, is wrong.

    This is really what is on trial here. Apple says one thing, Psystar says the opposite, hey that's what courts are for. But the fundamental point here is that this has the potential to lay waste to the basic Mac business model.

    Whether you like or hate Mac, this has to be somewhat concerning for any company.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209)

      'Monopoly' is a business model. Like it or not, governments already decide whether business models are 'wrong' or not.

      The government's job is to protect the people. Everyone disagrees on exactly how this is done, but quite a few think that businesses should not be able to dictate what people do with products that they buy.

      Others, think that IP rights are more important and that businesses should be able to tell their consumers what they can do with things they have purchased.

      This is actually one of the bi

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Monday February 09, 2009 @11:56AM (#26784243)

    Disclaimer: My primary home computer is a Mac (which you probably guessed from my sig).

    If Pystar wins their lawsuit, it will be terrible for not just Apple, but OS X users too.

    Apple is still a small company with limited programming resources. One of the reasons OS X evolved so quickly is that Apple could channel its limited programming and QA resources into improving the features and stability of the operating system, while supporting only a very small limited subset of the available hardware in the PC market.

    One of the reasons Microsoft has so many problems is that Windows needs to support every hardware configuration imaginable. If Windows fails to do so, as it did with Vista, Microsoft bears the brunt of the criticism (not the hardware or driver maker), and essentially has to take the lead in solving the problem.

    If OS X has to support every hardware imaginable, OS X releases will be delayed further and the end products will no longer be as stable. Look at what support for both Intel and PowerPC did to Leopard, and its associated QA and development process. The end product was not as stable or reliable as quickly as previous OS X releases.

    What's more, Apple nearly went bankrupt after licensing Mac OS to third party clone makers. Clone sales undercut Mac sales far more than Apple received licensing fees for Mac OS.

    For OS X to continue as a high quality operating system, Pystar must lose.

         

    • by Hodar (105577)

      Back in the days of the Apple clone start-up "Power Computing", Apple discovered that not only did they have the task of supporting their software on non-Apple hardware, that the Apple clone-makers made BETTER Mac's than Apple did. By this, I mean that Power Computing produced memory bus speeds of 66 MHz, when the best that Apple could muster was 33 MHz. So, how did Apple compete against superior engineering?

      Yup, Apple allowed Power Computing to only make memory buses half the width of Apple's offerings.

    • Not at all. If Pystar win, then all it means is that Apple can't force them to stop selling machines with OS X. It doesn't mean that Apple has to provide any support for OS X on third party hardware. I don't know where you get this idea, "If OS X has to support every hardware imaginable" from. It doesn't.

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:01PM (#26784341)

    If Pystar wins, OS X will no longer be sold retail. New versions will only be available via a paid online update.

    Apple will then assert that it's impossible to install it on commodity hardware without stealing the source code outright.

  • It should be legal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:10PM (#26784523)

    When you copyright something and make it available to the public, in exchange for the protection of copyright, you loose some control over your work.

    If I read a newspaper, when I am done, I can pass it to someone else if I wish. That is legal and there's nothing a newspaper can do about it. Even if the newspaper says "non-transferable," they may wish that to be true, but it is not. We have rights and we need to fight back and challenge entities that make claims that are not true.

    The argument that it "belongs to them" doesn't work because they are making it public under copyright law. Copyright law protects their content AND allows fair use of it.

    Software is copyrighted. A license agreement does not limit your rights under "copyright law," it enhances your rights beyond copyright law. Software vendors will argue otherwise, but more and more court cases are upholding copyright over EULAs.

    If I purchase software, the ISV can not control what I do with it. I have a valid right to use the material, obtained legally and under the financial terms agreed upon by the copyright owner. When I am finished with it, I have a court confirmed right of first sale. I'm sure the court will confirm what we all know, that I can do with it as I please. As long as I do not make and distribute copies of it, I'm legit.

    For instance, I can buy a painting from a painter. He may say, "under no circumstances are you to destroy this paining or sell it to anyone else," but once he sells it to me, I can do with it as I please. I can spray paint it, burn it, or sell it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tonywong (96839)

      For instance, I can buy a painting from a painter. He may say, "under no circumstances are you to destroy this paining or sell it to anyone else," but once he sells it to me, I can do with it as I please. I can spray paint it, burn it, or sell it.

      This is the crux of the matter. In face-to-face transactions, the painter would simply deny the sale to you of his painting if you refused his covenants. However in the new world of shrink wrap and electronic transfers, the requirement is to provide a End User License Agreement (EULA) for those covenants. The standard is that if you click 'I Agree', or bust open the shrink wrap, that you agree to the terms and conditions placed upon you for that product.

      Obviously, the problem lies in when you do not agree o

  • possible result (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hedrick (701605) on Monday February 09, 2009 @12:21PM (#26784747)
    It seems like Apple is subsidizing OS X development from hardware. The obvious thing would be to lower hardware price to competitive, increase the cost of OS X to compensate, separate OS X into upgrade and new machine, bundle the new machine version with their hardware, and hack the software to make sure you can't install an upgrade on an unlicensed machine. The results would be a lot less friendly for users.

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