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The Courts Apple

Psystar Crushed In Court 640

Posted by kdawson
from the no-surprises dept.
We've been following the case of Mac cloner Psystar for some time now. Apple was just handed a summary judgement over Psystar, and as usual Groklaw has the scoop. Here is the order (PDF), though PJ supplies it in text form at the link above. "Psystar just got what's coming to them in the California case. ... It's a total massacre. Psystar's first-sale defense went down in flames. Apple's motion for summary judgment on copyright infringement and DMCA violation is granted. Apple prevailed also on its motion to seal. Psystar's motion for summary judgment on trademark infringement and trade dress is denied. So is its illusory motion for copyright misuse. ... So that means damages ahead for Psystar on the copyright issues just decided on summary judgment, at a minimum. The court asked for briefs on that subject. In short, Psystar is toast." Reader UnknowingFool adds, "There are still issues to be decided but they are only Apple's allegations: breach of contract, induced breach of contract, trademark infringement, trademark dilution; trade dress infringement, state unfair competition, and common law unfair competition. Even if Psystar wins all of them, it is unlikely to help them very much."
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Psystar Crushed In Court

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  • by causality (777677) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:33PM (#30100958)

    I know. They'll say, but, but, but ... what if they hadn't used the master and just used each copy, then would it work? Sons, why do you think Psystar used the master copy? Because it's a business, and in a business, efficiency is money. That's why businesses set themselves up, to make money. The whole world is not with you on a holy war to destroy EULAs and the GPL. Even this rinkydink business wanted to make money. Theoreticals belong on message boards, not in business and definitely not in courtrooms, and even on message boards, everyone told you for years that this wouldn't work out if someone tried it. It's been tried. It didn't work out. ... coming from Pamela, who revealed that Microsoft played no small role funding the SCO debacle though bogus license purchase.

    If you follow patent troll cases for example, you would know that shell business are often set up by litigants for the sole purpose of facilitating a lawsuit. Once you've acquired your defunct IP, you set up a web site to demonstrate intent to sell a product. Sure it's not strictly necessary to test the patent but it can help when it come times to assess damages, and it garners judge and jury sympathies (especially if you can get it tried in the Texas east district).

    So, who was behind Psystar? Dell perhaps? There's no chance in hell a startup box builder would go to these lengths to test a legal theory. Their vested interest in the supposed business was a pittance compared to the cost to fight this, so where'd they get the money?

    Obviously, Psystar was staged for the exclusive purpose of being sued .

    It makes you wonder. Incidentally, it's amazing how often "you're a conspiracy nut" comes from people who have no grasp of long-term strategy and really don't know the first thing about it. The person or group who works towards a goal in incremental steps (each of which has an excuse or plausible deniability) over longer periods of time is much more likely to get what they want than the person or group who goes for a short-term, win-or-lose, once-and-for-all type of showdown. That's particularly true when what they want to get is illegal, immoral, or goes against things like tradition, social convention, or public opinion. Recognizing this reality is the first step towards truly understanding business and politics.

  • Re:Too Bad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by munctional (1634709) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:37PM (#30100992)

    it's unlikely they'll ever release the death grip and let the world play with OS X.

    The real question is: do they even need to in order to maintain their ridiculous profit margins?

  • by Toonol (1057698) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:39PM (#30101008)
    Dragging Apple down to their level in the public's eyes wouldn't be a bad strategy.

    It's not, but I think it's unnecessary. MS just needs to stand back and let Apple do it to themselves. Anybody knowledgeable about tech knows that Apple is just as evil as MS, and that knowledge is beginning to filter out into the general public. I really anticipate a collapse of the 'cool' shell that apple has built around itself in the next few years, and they'll have to actually begin competing on merit. They might do well, because they sell a decent operating system, good computers, and a not too bad mix of portable devices. They're very competitive everywhere except the price/performance ratio.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:40PM (#30101016)

    It is truely bizarre to watch the reaction of the Mac/Apple Crazies(Here's to the crazy ones...) to Psystar.

    I can't think of another cult type Defend The Mothership! reaction ever before.

    If Psystar wins, people get to use Macs.
    If Psystar loses, people get to use Macs.

    But there is some sort of disturbing "my identity and self worth is validated by Apple/Mac/Steve Jobs" mindset that is absolutely sickening to see.

  • by Rix (54095) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:44PM (#30101056)

    Psystar isn't a front for anyone. That doesn't mean they haven't been used by real players.

    The truly powerful don't need to do anything so unsubtle as conspiracy nuts like to believe. They can take existing bit players, and give them the right nudge for the same effect.

  • Re:Too Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mabinogi (74033) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:45PM (#30101062) Homepage

    You're right.
    The single vendor lock-in is just killing them. They were doing so well when they allowed others to build Mac clones, they should just go back to doing that. Jobs was obviously an idiot for cancelling the scheme - if he hadn't the company may have been a household name by now, instead on teetering on the brink of disaster.

  • Re:Too Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pizzach (1011925) <pizzach@gCOLAmail.com minus caffeine> on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:47PM (#30101072) Homepage

    Meh. Apple is pretty happy where they are. If their hardware suits you and fits your needs, buy it as necessary. Otherwise, avoid it. Many many people have a hard time doing that. If Apple finds themselves needing to change because of this down the road, they will. It's that simple.

    If you're building a hackintosh, good for you. Tinkering with things like that can be fun. But please don't start acting like Apple is supposed to support you. Don't install it on production machines. The hacking part of the hackintosh is supposed to be half the fun anyway. But that is it.

  • by JackDW (904211) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:50PM (#30101106) Homepage

    Apple's not at the Microsoft level. Remember that hundreds of PC manufacturers are legally selling computers with Windows with and without Microsoft's blessing. There is an open and competitive market for PCs and PC components, keeping prices low and pushing innovation forward. Even though Windows is non-free and closed-source software, it has still created a vast hardware ecosystem with low barriers to entry.

    Nobody can say this about Apple, who are still working to the 1960s proprietary hardware business model, and still behaving as if the PC revolution never happened.

  • by peragrin (659227) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:54PM (#30101136)

    keep holding your breath. That shell might and only might die when steve jobs leave the company. however apple is setting themselves up for a company without steve jobs.

    The cool shell though is the fact they innovate the combined hardware/software, not just one piece of the pie, but making whole new pies. It has been shown time and time again MSFT only makes products good enough to beat the competition through brute force. Since just about everyone else gets their software from MSFT they start at a disadvantage. The ipod caught every other player off guard because it was simple to use. the iphone caught every other phone off guard because it was simple to use.

    You can literally hand any one an iphone and they can figure out how to make calls with it and surf the web without being told how. Maybe one day other companies will figure out that the interface matters more than the hardware specs. that people with big fingers can't push tiny little keyboard buttons to enter phone numbers with. That as you age you lose the dexterity of a 15 year old. I have watched business people use the blackberries, and all they do is struggle with it. I hand them my iphone and they find they can do the things they just were easily, not trying to use a scroll ball half the size of the tip of their pinky.

  • Re:Too Bad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ducomputergeek (595742) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:56PM (#30101148)
    Um... Darwin [apple.com]

    Oh yeah, don't forget CUPS, WEBKIT, and a few other useful tools.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 14, 2009 @05:56PM (#30101150)

    That's right, no one ever bought an iPod when they were Mac only.

    Your point is sound, but lacks historical knowledge. I would have expected better from such a low userID.

  • by causality (777677) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:01PM (#30101190)

    Psystar isn't a front for anyone. That doesn't mean they haven't been used by real players.

    The truly powerful don't need to do anything so unsubtle as conspiracy nuts like to believe. They can take existing bit players, and give them the right nudge for the same effect.

    That scenario would make Paystar a "useful idiot" as some call it, which provides added deniability for the people who pull the strings. That still falls under long-term strategy and plausible deniability. My observation was deliberately worded in a simple way because understanding of this topic is sorely missing in the general public. When the audience you intend to reach is unfamiliar with a topic, you don't usually start with the most advanced material.

    Things like strategy, plausible deniability, propaganda techniques, and argumentation fallacies are either not taught in the public schools or are given only the most superficial treatment. Therefore, most people either don't know about them or have no real mastery of the concepts. When they see a politician talking about an issue, they don't immediately see patterns of influence and don't ask questions like "qui bono?" That the public schools don't cover these topics is no excuse for the widespread ignorance. People generally spend far more time educating themselves about things that have much less of an impact on their lives.

    This means that the general population is easy prey for what is effectively a ruling class that does have this knowledge and is in the profession of using it. This population understands the actual realities of politics about as well as the average Roman citizen understood the intent of "bread and circus".

  • by bencoder (1197139) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:02PM (#30101200)

    Apple could be a very serious threat to Microsoft if they changed their attitude towards businesses.

    exactly. which is why it makes no sense for microsoft to be behind psystar, who are pushing for apple to take that new attitude

  • Re:Too Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:02PM (#30101202)

    OS X is a decent operating system, but few people can be satisfied by a single hardware vendor. Might as well write off Apple as a player now, as it's unlikely they'll ever release the death grip and let the world play with OS X.

    This statement seems silly on the face of it, and would benefit from some, you know, supporting evidence.

    Mac's marketshare has been steadily increasing for quite some time now. Not to mention that I know lots o' Windows folks who swear by HP/Dell/Sony (pick one) for their personal computers, and Unix/Linux admins who will only buy Sun or SGI or whatever.

    Even outside of the computer realm, people become enamored of particular brands all the time - be it automobiles, televisions, appliances... whatever. And once they lock themselves into that mindset, it is not easy for them to change their opinions.

  • by Prometheas (852384) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:04PM (#30101212)
    The claim that OS X is "absolutely irrelevant to any reasonable person" [emphasis mine] isn't a terribly reasonable statement.
  • by pseudonomous (1389971) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:05PM (#30101226)
    By that logic, Windows is irrelavent (to any reasonable person) because you are tied to a single software vendor.
  • by Prometheas (852384) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:10PM (#30101264)

    Even assuming I agreed with you regarding whether or not Apple gave licensing a "real" chance (which I haven't yet decided, but leaning towards not), I don't see any compelling reason for them to roll the dice (again) on such an experiment, considering both their present commercial performance AND reported customer satisfaction.

    But, for the sake of entertaining a thought: what specific choices on Apple's part regarding the handling of licensing Mac OS would have constituted giving it a "real" chance?

  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:10PM (#30101268)

    And yet Apple is reaping profit hand over foot, during a economic depression. Why fix what isn't broken. They obviously have something that Microsoft does not. "Cool" and "Hip" will only go so far. If there is nothing of substance to back it up, then after a few months, the hotness has worn off, and people drop them in droves. This obviously is not happening. Apple continues to increase it's market share, even in these bad economic times.

    I can guarantee you that if MS finds any manufacturer that isn't properly licensing Windows, they would be wiped from the map. The difference here being that MS licenses it's OS for resale. Apple does not. The only barrier to entry is to buy an Apple Mac, which are about the same price as any other comparable piece of hardware from a PC manufacturer (not a whole seller mind you, but a manufacturer).

    If I recall, it's the Microsoft market share and profit that is shrinking. Apple is doing just fine on it's "1960's proprietary hardware business model', whatever that means. It's just a closed system, nuts to bolts. Nothing wrong with that. Thousands upon thousands of manufacturer's produce a closed product.

  • by teg (97890) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:12PM (#30101280) Homepage

    So long as OS X is tied to a single vendor, it's absolutely irrelevant to any reasonable person

    Windows is also tied to a single vendor - Microsoft. If they screw up - like they did with e.g. Windows ME and Vista - it doesn't matter how many OEMs can deliver the hardware to run it on. Linux is multivendor - and not tied to a specific hardware company - but compared to Windows and Mac it has strengths and weaknesses. It's not the only relevant one.

  • by NoYob (1630681) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:13PM (#30101292)
    I've been through the links and it just looks like a company wanted to sell a cheap Mac clone. I don't get what one or a firm would get in setting up a clone company just to get sued by Apple.
  • by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:22PM (#30101356)

    please explain when psystar did create an altered derivative work?

    Also you have the right to do whatever you want to software installed on your computer, the only thing that could possibly be illegal is distribution.

  • by db32 (862117) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:30PM (#30101422) Journal
    Here...let me explain... First...get all teary...then start whining...then demand that everyone should give you what you want the way you want it because you want it to be that way. Then start stomping...screaming...crying...maybe rolling around on the floor. Basically...all you really need to do is throw a temper tantrum that would make a 2yr old proud and you will understand the entitlement mentality behind all of this. "I should get what I want, for the price I want, with the rules I want, because I want it that way." This is all driven by people who think that if they don't like the terms of an agreement that they can unilaterally alter them to meet their needs. These are the same people that dream up stupid shit ideas like "We reserve the right to alter this agreement at any time without notice" and then scream bloody murder when other like minded idiots lock them into a contract that says the same thing.

    I don't like what the RIAA is doing. I haven't bought any RIAA music in almost 10 years now. I also haven't downloaded any music. I don't try to rationalize some weird shit reason that says it is ok for me to simply take what I want because they won't offer it to me on the terms I want. The same goes for software. I VERY rarely buy software, and I pretty much restrict most of my software to F/OSS stuff. There are a few software package that I have bought, but rather than downloading, I wait for a deal where I can pay the price I want, or I find another product. It is that simple. This insane entitlement mentality is getting disgusting, and is ultimately what drives much of behavior the whiners usually throw tantrums about. Tell me that the RIAA behavior is anything other than greedy entitlement bullshit...just the same as the idiots downloading music.

    These battles are escalating battles between large groups of spoiled brats that think that they deserve whatever they demand on the terms they demand and they will go to great lengths to force their demands.
  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:32PM (#30101436)

    Why does MS have to be considered "cloning" Apple when Apple is never the first to implement anything? Doesn't Zune owe more to Rio than it does to Apple.? Doesn't Microsoft Store owe more to umm nearly everyone than it does to Apple? Wasn't Windows Mobile around long before the earliest iPhone rumors?

    Apple has implemented existing ideas in an elegant way, but they're still "me too" products, not original ideas.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:34PM (#30101468)

    Why then is Microsoft trying to clone everything apple is doing?

    Because that is their business model.

    Excel to Lotus, Explorer to Netscape, C# to Java, Xbox to Playstation...the list goes on and on. It's what MS does.

    It's nothing personal against Apple. That's just what they do.

  • Re:Too Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:35PM (#30101476)

    OS X is a decent operating system, but few people can be satisfied by a single hardware vendor. Might as well write off Apple as a player now, as it's unlikely they'll ever release the death grip and let the world play with OS X.

    Who are these few people that you speak of? If you mean slashdotters, that might be true. The average person buying a computer doesn't care. They mostly care if the computer they are buying will work for them. They should care more about these things but they don't.

    Yes, we've heard the death knell of Apple before. That may have been closer to being true ten years ago when Apple was in deep trouble. Today they are sitting on $34 billion in cash. That doesn't account for total assets, that's just cash.

  • I imagine if you tried to sell the modified GM vehicle, GM would come after you with their lawyers.

    Carroll Shelby, Mopar, and Magnuson Moss think you're full of crap.

    Remember the Slashdot rules: even if any other physical or software manufacturer would be publicly flayed for committing an act, it's Right and Good and Justified if Apple does it.

    I'm typing this on a Mac, probably the last Apple product I'll ever buy because of the crap they pull.

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:37PM (#30101492) Homepage Journal

    I imagine if you tried to sell the modified GM vehicle, GM would come after you with their lawyers.

    If they did, GM would lose. There's no question that you have the right to buy a car, modify it, and resell it, just like you can with any other piece of physical property.

    That's why this ruling against Psystar is so baffling: with a car, the legal issues are straightforward. With software, although you are allowed to make modifications like the ones Psystar made, and even to have a third party make them for you, if you're going to run a business like Psystar's, you have to be very careful about exactly how your process works -- even though the end result is exactly the same.

    It shouldn't matter whether you copy a pre-patched copy of OS X onto the new machine, or whether you copy an identical copy first and then patch it. It shouldn't matter whether you sell the original copy of OS X to the customer and then patch it for him, or whether you sell him a copy that's already been patched and also give him the original. But apparently it does matter, and that's stupid.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:39PM (#30101506) Homepage Journal

    Even if it was the same version, fair use does not allow for anyone to make multiple, unauthorized copies as Psystar had done.

    The only problem besides not using the same version should be failing to include discs.

    Lastly since Psystar modified OS X to run on X86 computers, it is guilty of creating a derivative work without Apple's permission.

    That's a bunch of crap, and if that's what the decision says then First Sale law is over, at least until it gets escalated, and it will. First Sale is critical to whole long lists of industries. Using copyright law to restrict transfer of an object [blogspot.com] is an abuse.

    Of course, I'm not arguing Psystar should have been able to fail to include the OSX DVD in the box; where copyright law allows you to make copies, it requires you to transfer all copies upon sale. I'm also not arguing that they should not be required to use the same version as the DVD that goes in the box. At the same time, not allowing them to use imaging software is ridiculous by any reasonable standard. Who cares how the software gets on the box? The only issue should be whether Psystar was making allowable copies or not. Buying it and installing it onto the system is allowable, so why not installing an image which would be identical to doing that over and over again? The only reason can be to protect a monopoly. Again, I do understand that this is not what Psystar did. Unfortunately.

    The simple truth is that Psystar DID have to use an image method to perform the installs, and so this should be considered a minimum necessary step towards exercising First Sale rights to do as you like with something you've purchased; but I do agree that they should have been required to use an image based on the same version of OSX that would appear in the box. First Sale law permits you to modify things you've purchased. If I am not permitted to modify Apple software, then arguably I can't even use it. And if I'm not permitted to use images to deploy OSX, then I'm certainly not even going to consider using it in the enterprise. If Psystar isn't allowed to use a custom image, then I must assume I'm not allowed to either.

  • by adona1 (1078711) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:40PM (#30101522)
    This. Apple is very, very good at evolution. Rarely revolution.
  • by celeb8 (682138) <celeb8@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Saturday November 14, 2009 @06:41PM (#30101528)
    If you'd like. Maybe you're trolling me, but I just don't consider them thieves. They're a couple of guys who like using the Mac OS (like I used to) on non-Mac hardware (like I used to do with my Motorola Starmax). They're do-it-yourself-ers, like a lot of people are. They take the best part of one thing (that they, in this case, paid money for), and stick it to the best part of another thing (that they, in this case, paid money for) and sold the results. This is not a bad thing. This is in the interest of the consumer (e.g. me, although I never bought one of these myself) if the consumer likes choices. They're chipping away at a monopoly, something I'm surprised is even considered the slightest bit controversial on this site.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@NOsPAM.mac.com> on Saturday November 14, 2009 @07:04PM (#30101706) Journal

    entire company rests on the health of one man

    What's your next guess?

    Apple got along quite well during SJ's leave of absence. One thing he's not given enough credit for is recruiting. Apple's got world-class senior executives, and at least a dozen people who could run the show if Steve got hit by the proverbial bus. They wouldn't have Steve's panache, but they're just as dedicated to the quality of the products.

    -jcr

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 14, 2009 @07:10PM (#30101752)

    That is retarded.

    Apple didn't invent the MP3 player, web store or smart phone. The just made popular ones that have locked their users into expensive second rate hardware with expensive looking finishes.

    Apple is just a great marketing company.

  • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunity@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday November 14, 2009 @07:12PM (#30101774) Homepage

    I hereby declare Psystar to be a reverse trojan horse. Apple created Psystar so they could sue themselves and once and for all crush any thoughts companies might have of trying to produce generic Apple-compatible platforms for OSX.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @07:23PM (#30101844) Homepage

    Then, license OS-X to whoever wants it (for an increased cost of course). Make it just another OS that people can buy if they want.

    Why in the world would Apple want to do that? They would (like Microsoft) have to support every POS computer ever cobbled together. For a couple of bucks. Apple can barely do upgrades on the two dozen or so models they actively support - every time Apple brings out a point release or even a security fix, it manages to hose various systems.

    If they had to support everything, it would look like.... Linux. Command line patches everywhere. Pleasant hours troubleshooting Bog-knows-what. Nope. They're smart doing exactly what they've set up.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @07:23PM (#30101848)

    So why was the iPod the one that took off? Because it was cool.

    Undoubtably the iPod was and still is the coolest MP3 player. But you miss the point of WHY it became the coolest. Because it was the best. Because it had a great design, Because it had a great UI, because with iTunes it was the easiest to use. Normal people (i.e. not geeks) didn't want to piss about dragging MP3 files around to external disk drives, manually managing directory structures. They just want to rip their CDs in the easiest way possible and have the music appear on their iPods automatically. Let the computer take care of the administration grunt work.

    It seems like Apple's insistence on doing computers they way they do is not based on a good business practice but just stubborn insistence.

    Clearly you are entirely unaware of Apple's financial results, which even in the recession continue to outgrow pretty much everyone else. They don't need any business advice from you. They know far better than you do what is good for business.

  • by secolactico (519805) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @07:38PM (#30101984) Journal

    How much is a Franklin ACE Apple II clone computer worth today?

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @08:05PM (#30102212)

    No, you may try and convince yourself that it was some amazing new technology that sold the iPod but it wasn't, it was style.

    I don't need to "convince myself". I know better than you do because I bought one, and I know why I bought one. You didn't make that choice, and you're imagining reasons for whay other people (that you despise) did so. Which is rather ignorant of you.

    The Mac fanboy base like yourself isn't what has given them massive profits, there just aren't that many zealots out there.

    The irony here is that you are the one who is arguing like an emotional sorority girl.

  • by alecto (42429) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @08:26PM (#30102350) Homepage

    Not that much I imagine, but Franklin sold a whole lot more Aces than Psystar sold commodity machines running Mac OS X.

  • by leereyno (32197) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @08:29PM (#30102370) Homepage Journal

    (I'm not familiar with the details of the Psystar case and so I don't know if this company did anything wrong or not. Neither do I really care. This post is not a defense of Psystar.)

    I cut my teeth on an Apple II+ way back when 64k was a lot of memory.

    So why don't I like Apple today?

    Because they seek to monopolize the markets created by their products.

    Many years ago I bought a Quadra 700 on the cheap because its hard drive was dead. I had a good SCSI drive that I planned to use with it. Then I found out that unless my drive came from Apple, the MacOS partitioning and filesystem tools would pretend it didn't exist. Looking for help, I received many lies from Mac fanboys about how SCSI was just an electrical standard and that the Mac SCSI devices used a different command set. That was a flat out lie that is easily falsified. That they would insult me with such an obvious canard was astonishing. If someone likes a particular product then that is fine. But when they LIE in order to promote it or to obscure its flaws, then that is just plain disgusting.

    Apple specifically created their filesystem tools to kill the 3rd party market for hard drives and other peripherals such as CDROM drives.

    This wasn't a singular example either, but part and parcel of that company's nature. I won't purchase products from a company that tries to prevent me from purchasing complimentary products from anyone else.

    Apple is continuing with this tradition today by tying their operating system to Apple branded PCs. There are people at work who use Macs and it would be nice to be able to support the platform. But doing so requires that I go out and purchase a new computer, at a significant price hike, just so I can run their operating system. If the hardware was different, such as it was back in the PowerPC or 68k days, then that would be understandable. But the hardware is not different. These are standard PCs with special hardware included that their OS searches for before it will allow itself to be installed. Same story as the hard drives with tags in the firmware.

    So I just don't buy anything from Apple. I don't buy their computers. I don't buy their MP3 players. I don't buy their phones. I avoid them. I tell anyone who asks me to do the same, and I explain why.

    If they ever change their tune and stop playing keep away, then maybe I'll reconsider. Till then they can blow me.

  • by indiechild (541156) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @08:39PM (#30102430)

    Agreed. Apple is very good at refining the little details that ultimately make the end user experience much better. Almost every competitor seems to miss this. Incredible attention to fine details is not something you can just copy and then hope to make a lot of money from. It's a motivation that has to come from within.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @08:40PM (#30102444)

    The only problem besides not using the same version should be failing to include discs.

    Making multiple copies of something is not illegal; only they way that Psystar had done it was. I can make multiple copies of my CDs for backup purposes. I can also transfer my music from a CD to my MP3 player for the sake of portability. These are fair uses. The law would not consider me making hundreds of copies and putting them on my friends machines likely to be legal.

    That's a bunch of crap, and if that's what the decision says then First Sale law is over, at least until it gets escalated, and it will. First Sale is critical to whole long lists of industries. Using copyright law to restrict transfer of an object [blogspot.com] is an abuse.

    The term you missed or glossed over is "modification and redistribution." In that case, the court found that promo CDs can be resold (redistributed) without the permission of the original copyright owner. The actual physical object (CD) was never modified by defendants.

    In this case, Psystar admitted to modifying OS X by replacing Apple's kernel extensions with their own and replacing the OS X boot loader.

    Basic copyright law would consider it a derivative work [wikipedia.org]. As a derivative work, the defendant would have to get permission from the original copyright owner.

    At the same time, not allowing them to use imaging software is ridiculous by any reasonable standard.

    Again, the use of imaging is not illegal and the court (nor I) said it was. Psystar's use of imaging was found to violate Apple's copyright by the manner in which they did it. I suggest you read the full order so that you can see all the cases the court cited when it came to it's decision.

    First Sale law permits you to modify things you've purchased.

    I could find nowhere in the First Sale doctrine [wikipedia.org] does it allows for modification as you say it does.

    If your logic is correct, then anyone in the software business can take someone else's software, change it, and redistribute. I could start selling Redneck Windows with my own take on how I see Windows. MS could create MS Linux and never worry about the GPL. Speaking of MS, OEMs have to get permission from MS before modifying and reselling Windows when they do things like replace system software (like Dell replacing Windows sound interface with their own) or change the startup screen.

    If I am not permitted to modify Apple software, then arguably I can't even use it.

    Again the point is "modification and redistribution." Apple cannot prevent you from modifying their software. They can however prevent you from re-distributing it (i.e. as a business). Apple has not sued hobbyists; and they, to my knowledge, has not sued anyone who might have sold a hackintosh on ebay or craigslist. Psystar is not a hobbyist. They are a business whose sole purpose is to "modfiy and redistribute" Apple's software. Apple did not give them permission to do so.

    And if I'm not permitted to use images to deploy OSX, then I'm certainly not even going to consider using it in the enterprise. If Psystar isn't allowed to use a custom image, then I must assume I'm not allowed to either.

    Again, the court did not rule that imaging is illegal, only the way Psystar did it and I cited two examples of perfectly acceptable ways of using an image. If you have an enterprise license (which Psystar did not) and if you use specific licenses after the install (which Psystar did not).

  • by IntlHarvester (11985) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @08:55PM (#30102560) Journal

    The court's logic seems to be that first sale doctrine does not cover copying to an "imaging server", therefore everything Psystar did afterwards was also illegal.

    Which might imply Mac cloning could be legal if it was done 'by hand'. However, the court also found that bypassing Apple's lock-out mechanism violated the DMCA, which seems rather dubious to me.

    (Also I have to complain. 90% of the discussion here is computards arguing Apple sucks/Apple rules/I like my iPod, and ignoring the issues at hand. Slashdot is really full of knuckledraggers nowdays.)

  • by frankmu (68782) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @09:04PM (#30102630) Homepage

    I hereby declare Psystar to be a reverse trojan horse. Apple created Psystar so they could sue themselves and once and for all crush any thoughts companies might have of trying to produce generic Apple-compatible platforms for OSX.

    this should be modded "insightful"

  • by garote (682822) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @09:10PM (#30102662) Homepage

    To innovate is not to generate something entirely unique from a vacuum.
    Innovation is defined as "making changes in something established by introducing new methods, ideas, or products."

    Microsoft is accused of "cloning" because the methods, ideas, and products that they introduce do not generally constitute an improvement.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 14, 2009 @09:16PM (#30102686)

    Well, let's see.

    1:
          The first Zune was a purchased Toshiba model that looked like the original iPod, with a similar interface.
          Zune HD is modelled ater the iPod Touch. How can you say it's not?

    So, no; don't owe more to Rio. Blatantly copying Apple, yes.

    2: Did you mean Microsoft Store as delivered through a handheld device ala iTunes, or do you mean the actual retail locations modeled on Apple's stores, with the same layout, decor and furnishings; and with some of the same employees? Either way, those are both obvious rip-offs.

    3: Windows Mobile around longer? Yes. Successful? No. That's why they are hurriedly attaching a touch interface modeled on that of the iPhone; to be delivered "real soon now".

  • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @09:32PM (#30102786) Homepage
    Yep, just like everyone else did.

    Seriously though, a $600 computer without monitor, keyboard, and mouse is really not much of a bargain. I put together my system with a Core Duo E8400 (3 GHz), 4GB Ram, DVD DL burner, 750GB hard drive, and a Nvidia 9800 GT for less than $600 - and that includes keyboard and mouse. Which is still more CPU, Memory, storage space and a better graphics card than Apple's $800 "bargain" Mini. Configuring a Mini to as close as I could get to my machine - Core Duo @ 2.66 Ghz, 4GB ram, and a 500 GB hard drive would cost me $1049 - and I still need to get a keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @10:30PM (#30103046)

    Lotus to VisiCalc, Netscape to Mosaic, Java to C++, Playstation to SNES, Apple Mac to Xerox Alto...the list goes on and on. It's what the entire industry does.

  • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @10:45PM (#30103108)
    Microsoft is very happy with the status quo

    But their shareholders are not. MSFT stock is shit over the past 5 years. Compare that with Apple. MSFT shareholders are very unhappy people.
  • Re:Use != Sale (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @11:13PM (#30103248) Journal

    I guess that means reselling all those college textbooks back to the bookstore at the end of a term is not protected by First Sale Doctrine either, if you make even the smallest mark on any page.

    No, but selling copies of those textbooks is. That's the issue here.

  • Re:Provocation? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tgibbs (83782) on Saturday November 14, 2009 @11:50PM (#30103440)

    I would speculate that Apple is not really threatened by Frankenmacs in general. The kind of hobbyist who is technically inclined and is willing to put something like this together is probably outside of their target audience. I have known people who bought Macs not because they were fans of Apple, but because they were dissatisfied with PCs loaded with Windows.

    No, I don't think Apple much cares, or at least they realize that suing users is a losing proposition. Apple's protection strategy is little more than the equivalent of a chain on the door. It doesn't so much keep people out as place them in the position of having to break something to get in, thereby serving notice that people who run Mac OS X on foreign hardware are in violation of their user agreements. Of course, the chain is cut almost immediately, as Apple surely knows it will be. They just put it back with each new release, reminding everybody, "this upgrade is for our computers only, and if you want to violate our rights, you'll have to take the trouble to patch it.
    '

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 15, 2009 @12:03AM (#30103560)

    Wow, I didn't know they had Sarbanes-Oxley in the Cayman Islands, and naturally there's no way that some of the worlds richest billionaires could avoid scrutiny.

  • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @12:40AM (#30103804) Journal
    It would be insightful if it wasn't redundant. The very first post said this first...
  • Re:Use != Sale (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @01:41AM (#30104098)

    But, by that very logic, modifying a textbook by adding or removing words or even simply underlining/highlighting words for emphasis would count as well. Ie, no copies have to be made for a derivative work to be created. So Psystar would be just as guilty even if they thought of a clever way to restamp each OS X disc to include their modifications.

    Underlining/highlighting a book does not change the contents of the book. However if you did change the words, then that is modifying. So if you decided that you didn't like how Cujo by Steven King ended, you could rewrite your own ending and sell it as the "improved" Cujo. I think Steven King would sue the pants off you.

  • Re:Use != Sale (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @01:43AM (#30104112)
    No you're missing the whole point. The owner may make adaptations. However to resell the adaptations, the end user must acquire permissions from the original copyright holder, not the owner.
  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <flyingguy AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday November 15, 2009 @01:52AM (#30104174)

    Apple x86 machines use Intel processors and Intel chip sets but they are custom MB's manufactured BY apple and therefor can have many things in them that are in fact proprietary, they might in fact have a modified custom microcode on the chips that they pay Intel to install. Just as the early Macintosh had about half or so of the OS burned into ROMS on the MB that that their OS would not even boot without.

    Just as an the program for an ECU for a Ford wont work in the ECU for a Chevy OSX is not designed for just ANY x86 hardware. And like ODBII allows you to talk to the software in the ECU for a FORD just the same as an ECU for a Chevy, TCP/IP allows you to talk to OSX just like it lets you talk to WIndows.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @02:01AM (#30104218) Journal

    Now cram your system into 85 cubic inches, under 3 lbs., and make it use less than 100 watts.

    Why would anyone looking for a cheap computer care about any of those things?

  • by westyvw (653833) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @02:31AM (#30104348)
    They invented a specific mp3 player and managed to get together the software that sealed the deal to allow a music web store. Many had tried, and failed. Apple was the first to get labels to pay attention, and sit down and seriously negotiate.
  • by arminw (717974) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @12:25PM (#30106180)

    ...Seriously though, a $600 computer without monitor, keyboard, and mouse is really not much of a bargain....

    Yes, but you still have only a computer with Windows and not OS X. The whole point of this Pystar thing was to permanently and legally tear OS X out of Apple's exclusive grasp, so that people like Dell and HP could legally install it on their hardware.

    I also wonder out of whose deep pockets the huge amounts of money came to pay all those lawyers.

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @02:10PM (#30107006)

    If you were to compare Excel to Lotus 123, you might consider that being able to actually draw the cells of the spreadsheet is an improvement.

    I don't suggest that MS is the king of innovation or invention, but yes, they have done both on occasion.

  • by TheoMurpse (729043) on Sunday November 15, 2009 @02:36PM (#30107278) Homepage

    Wikipedia says Psystar is a corporation in Florida. Florida says Psystar is this. [sunbiz.org] The sole listed director in Psystar's corporate filings before Florida pursuant to state law is one Rodolfo Pedraza. [macdailynews.com]

    According to The Guardian [guardian.co.uk], Psystar was originally located in a row of suburban houses until sometime in April 2008 according to Psystar's own website at the time (screenshot in the linked article). To confirm this, see my Sunbiz link above, which reveals in Psystar's Articles of Incorporation that its principal place of business is this house or one by it [google.com].

    It looks like Psystar was just some guy wanting to make some money selling Hackintoshes.

    And note that if any of the AoI were forged, it's likely a felony (I don't know Florida law).

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