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Judge Orders Permanent Injunction Against Psystar 242

Posted by kdawson
from the not-much-wiggle-room-left dept.
AdmiralXyz writes "It appears to be the end of the road for infamous Mac clone-maker Psystar, as a federal judge has issued a permanent injunction against the company, banning it from selling its OS X-based hardware products, following November's ruling that Psystar was guilty of copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Specifically, Judge William Alsup's ruling prevents Psystar from 'copying, selling, offering to sell, distributing or creating derivative works of Mac OS X without authorization from Apple; circumventing any technological measure that effectively controls access Mac OS X; or doing anything to circumvent the rights held by Apple under the Copyright Act with respect to Mac OS X.' The ruling does not include Psystar's Rebel EFI software, which (in theory) allows users to boot OS X onto some Intel computers, but Alsup said that too would be unlikely to stand up in court if Apple decides to make a formal challenge."
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Judge Orders Permanent Injunction Against Psystar

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  • Just for fun (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JohnFluxx (413620) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:27AM (#30456626)

    Just for fun..

    Say Microsoft added a clause that Microsoft Window could _only_ be run on Intel machines. Would this ruling make it truly illegal to sell AMD machines with Windows on?

  • Yes - but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by itsdapead (734413) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @09:59AM (#30456968)

    Say Microsoft added a clause that Microsoft Window could _only_ be run on Intel machines. Would this ruling make it truly illegal to sell AMD machines with Windows on?

    Standard answer to all these types of comment: Microsoft enjoys a monopoly position and hence is subject to antitrust regulations. Apple hasn't (certainly not in computers - more debatably in music) and isn't. There really is one law for Microsoft and another for Apple.

    As far as copyright is concerned. As long as the law accepts that the software you "buy" is licensed rather than owned, the copyright holder can impose whatever terms they want. The principle is no different from saying that some versions of Vista could not be used on virtual machines, or that the OEM Windows that came with your old PC can't be used on your new PC.

    However, since Microsoft have ~90% of the personal computer operating system market, Intel have ~80% of the personal computer CPU market, any attempt to tie them would likely be challenged under antitrust law.

    Psystar tried the antitrust line against Apple earlier in the case but it was thrown out on the grounds that Apple didn't have a dominant position in the personal computer OS market and the judge din't buy the argument that having a monopoly on the "OS X market" didn't count ("Brand X" will always have a monopoly on "Brand X" products. Duh!)

  • Re:Just for fun (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:00AM (#30456974)

    Say Microsoft added a clause that Microsoft Window could _only_ be run on Intel machines. Would this ruling make it truly illegal to sell AMD machines with Windows on?

    There are different facets of the issue which are being largely missed or glossed over every time some brings up one of these hypotheticals: Copyright law, fair use, and first sale doctrine.

    First sale doctrine allows you to resell something you bought. Fair use allows to modify or extend something you bought beyond what the original copyright holder intended or wants in certain ways. Neither fair use nor first sale allows you to both modify and resell copyrighted material. The key word being 'and'. Copyright law expressly states that permission of the copyright holder is required before modification and redistribution is allowed.

    For those that would bemoan how evil Apple is for protecting their copyrighted proprietary software, realize that Open Source software is based on copyright law. For example both BSD and GPL licenses extend this modification and redistribution clause by allowing it with conditions. In the case of MS (and SCO), they cannot ignore this clause if they wish to respect copyright law.

    The ramifications of an Apple loss would have been disastrous to copyright in general as well as Open Source. It would mean that anyone could take someone else's work, modify it and sell it as their own without regard to copyrights. If I've hated how The DaVinci Code ended, I could republish it with Ewoks and JarJar Blinks. It would mean nothing would stop MS from taking Ubuntu, embracing and extending it with proprietary locks that worked only with Windows, and releasing as MS Ubuntu.

    But to answer your question, nothing prevents MS from making Windows exclusive to Intel. MS is within their legal rights to do so. Many other companies make exclusive software. Can you run AIX on non-IBM machines? What about HP-UX on non HP machines? MS does not because it doesn't make sense to their business model. Since MS does not sell computer hardware, it would mean loss of sales of software if it did.

    That being said, nothing prevents you from buying a copy of AIX and installing it on a non-IBM machine. You could blog about it, rant about it on twitter. IBM has no rights to stop you. The minute you create a business to modify and resell IBM's copyrighted work, IBM would send the Nazgul against you.

  • Backwards.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Viewsonic (584922) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:28AM (#30457258)
    Wasn't the whole Microsoft thing getting fined because Microsoft were telling vendors they couldn't sell their OS if those vendors also sold Linux on the same machines? How is this any different with Apple telling vendors they can't sell OSX on machines? The judge is saying Apple can sell their OS on only their machines, while telling Microsoft they can't?

    What?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:29AM (#30457264)

    It has no mechanisms to allow for encrypted content to come into the public domain after the copyright term has expired.
    Without said mechanisms, it essentially extends copyrights to eternity through making decrypting illegal forever.
    We need to have publicly available keys that when the copyright term is over, unlocks the content for all future use.

  • Re:first sale (Score:2, Interesting)

    by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:37AM (#30457346)

    "Sad."

    Not really.

    If people want software freedom they should use Free and Open software, and every
    attempt by Apple and Microsoft to micromanage their products is good news.

    I'm fine with Apple blocking clone makers. It doesn't inconvenience me in the least since I don't
    use Apple products or crave their operating system, however good they may be.

  • Re:Just for fun (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jittles (1613415) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @10:53AM (#30457532)

    They may claim its a license but do you sign a licensing agreement at the time of the transaction? No. Do you ever sign a licensing agreement? No. If you bought the software, opened it, and refused the license would they allow you to return it? No.

    Call it a license all day long for all I care but that sure looks like a sale to me.

  • Re:Just for fun (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @12:59PM (#30459536)

    Is Windows sold or licensed?

    Microsoft says it is licensed, and when the Indian Inland Revenue heard that Microsoft had found a tax loophole that meant they didn't have to pay tax anywhere for the copies of Windows they sold in India, they reminded Microsoft that Windows is actually licensed, not sold, and therefore tax had to be paid in India.

  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @01:19PM (#30459936) Homepage Journal

    How do you think Unix vendors in the 70s to 90s operated? Do you think it HP, IBM, DEC/Compaq, SGI or Sun would let some unlicensed company buy copies of their operating system and put it on cheap machines and call it a HP-UX/AIX/Digital/Irix/SunOS system? No, it's their software and they can choose how it is redistributed. The end user has a lot more leeway than a reseller.

    (actually for some of those old Unix vendors a lot of it isn't their software, it is merely licensed to them, and they may not have had permission to allow a rogue reseller to operate even if they wanted to)

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