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Businesses The Courts Apple

Psystar Not Closing Up Shop 439

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the but-i-don't-want-to-go-on-the-cart dept.
Despite several sources reporting that post-indefinite-injunction Psystar was closing their doors for good, the company's lawyer is claiming Psystar plans on going forward with PC sales — they just won't be pre-loaded with Apple's OS X. Psystar plans on selling systems pre-loaded with "other operating systems," including Windows, as well as selling their "Rebel EFI software" that allows consumers to load OS X on generic PCs.
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Psystar Not Closing Up Shop

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  • Monopoly or not. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Friday December 18, 2009 @09:32PM (#30495618)

    Apple is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying its OS to its hardware. This behavior should be illegal for any OS, Windows, or OSX.

    • by ihuntrocks (870257) <ihuntrocks@gmail.DEBIANcom minus distro> on Friday December 18, 2009 @09:38PM (#30495652)
      I'm not entirely sure why the previous post was tagged as "Flamebait". The author brings up a valid point in my opinion. You can buy a copy of Apple's OS independent of its hardware. It's not like it only ships pre-installed on Apple machines. Software is a set of instruction to control the state of a machine you have already purchased. I won't get into my opinions on whether you should be able to sell me something that my machine can already do. However, if I purchase a machine that can process instructions which are also purchased for said machine, I should be able to use them.

      Flamebait shouldn't be used as a moderation option for legitimate opinions that you don't happen to hold yourself.
      • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:4, Informative)

        by RedK (112790) on Friday December 18, 2009 @09:48PM (#30495712)
        It's flamebait because tying is not anti-competitive in and of itself, nor should it be illegal. Vertical integration of hardware and software is the big-Iron Unix business model and Apple is simply applying it to consumer computers. Apple is not a software business, it's a hardware business (10% of their revenue is software and that includes all their high-end software packages and OS).
        • by ihuntrocks (870257) <ihuntrocks@gmail.DEBIANcom minus distro> on Friday December 18, 2009 @09:59PM (#30495804)
          Having worked previously in IBM's AIX development labs and Linux Technology Center, I can say you are correct that the big-iron UNIX world does work that way. It also happens that their tying occurs on hardware platforms that are quite different from those you can buy off the shelf from any PC parts vendor. It's uncommon to find someone with POWER hardware to run AIX on at home. The same applies with PA-RISC hardware to run HP-UX on (older versions anyway).

          Apple made the decision to dress up generic PC hardware and plunk their OS on it rather than staying with hardware that set them apart from their competitors and made tying more acceptable. The only thing that truly separates a Mac from a generic PC these days is the software it runs. Companies like Psystar showed that by using generic PC hardware to run Apple's product. If Apple wants to be a hardware vendor, that is fine. They just need to choose what their product actually is.

          On the note of big-iron UNIX tying, I did get the chance to play on several PowerPC Macs that were running AIX in the development labs. Even the big-iron stuff runs on hardware that will run it.
          • by Ash Vince (602485)

            Apple made the decision to dress up generic PC hardware and plunk their OS on it rather than staying with hardware that set them apart from their competitors and made tying more acceptable. The only thing that truly separates a Mac from a generic PC these days is the software it runs. Companies like Psystar showed that by using generic PC hardware to run Apple's product. If Apple wants to be a hardware vendor, that is fine. They just need to choose what their product actually is.

            Of course the problem is that then they could not benefit from economies of scale and by mass produced parts to the same extent. It would also impact their ability to run x86 code a native speed.

            I am not saying Apple are legally or morally in the right, I am just saying it is obvious why they have chosen the path they have when the CPU makes up a large part of the expense of new PC regardless of the architecture.

          • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:4, Interesting)

            by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday December 18, 2009 @11:24PM (#30496244)

            Apple made the decision to dress up generic PC hardware and plunk their OS on it rather than staying with hardware that set them apart from their competitors and made tying more acceptable.

            I think the move to Intel was necessary for Apple from a logistical perspective. It's not that PowerPC isn't a bad platform; it's that no one in the business makes a PowerPC chip for consumers. PowerPC chips are more designed for workstations and servers than desktops. Apple had the same problem with IBM as it had with Motorola. The PowerPC they required had to be a custom chip in order to handle things like multi-media. Even if Apple ordered millions of chips a year, Apple would only be a small customer to either company.

            These days no company wants to keep a large inventory. Apple would only order as many chips as it thought it needed; Motorola and IBM would only make so many. If Apple required more, it would have to order more and IBM and Motorola would have to re-arrange their manufacturing schedules to accommodate. The problem was Apple could never order enough. They were always short. IBM and Motorola would never make a large excess of Apple's chips because if Apple didn't buy it, they couldn't sell it to anyone else.

            Thus Intel came into the picture. For Apple, ordering more chips from Intel was logistically much easier since they were no longer ordering a custom part; they were order more of a stock part that Intel makes anyway. And for Intel making extra chips in anticipation of Apple's increases wasn't a big deal. If Apple didn't buy the extra, Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc would buy the extra.

            So if you're Apple, do you stay on a platform that is better but you can't get enough parts or do you move to a platform which is not technically better but logistically easier? From Apple's customers' perspective, most of them didn't care which platform.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by ihuntrocks (870257)
              PowerPC chips were/are quite well suited for the desktop realm as well as the server and workstation realm. Altivec is quite a bit better than what has been cobbled together by Intel and the gang to pass off for SIMD instruction sets. When leveraged properly, that specialty chip it required was a superior offering.

              I think you hit the nail on the head when you look at it from a strictly business standpoint. We've gotten into a situation where it's more important to rate a product as being better for the
          • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:4, Informative)

            by DougReed (102865) on Friday December 18, 2009 @11:29PM (#30496266)

            All of this is completely irrelevant. The parent post is correct. Whether one likes Apple or not, they are within their rights to sell whatever they want with whatever restrictions on it they choose. The hardware does not have to be unique, it just has to be sold as a single package. A refrigerator if you will It only becomes anti-competitive when they tell me I can only use it to access the Apple Website. Even that they could do as long as they made it clear that was all it did. Whether the consumer buys what they choose to sell is consumer choice. The difference with Microsoft, and the reason they got into trouble, was because they did not own the PC. The PC was designed to run whatever system you wanted, and they took steps to block that capability. Microsoft could just as well sell a standard PC with a Microsoft logo on it and forbid you to boot anything but Windows on it. The problem is they then have to compete in a commodity market. A problem Apple does not have.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by MBGMorden (803437)

              Whether one likes Apple or not, they are within their rights to sell whatever they want with whatever restrictions on it they choose.

              As a white male less than 175 years ago if I needed extra help around my property it was within my rights to purchase another human being to do those chores.. However, we saw that such a right was not just and legally corrected the situation.

              That's the way things change for the good. We debate whether or not things are legal but even if they are then if they are still perceived to be WRONG then we work to change the law. As such we can still discuss the situation - I'm sure many feel that if it IS Apple'

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by couchslug (175151)

                We can also discuss why we should not want products produced by corporations that oppose the rights some of us claim, and that rather than trying to modify their behavior in order to reward them with money...we should reject them entirely and seek

                ------------- Free and Open ----------- solutions from people who are NOT our enemies.

                "Ohh, puleeze Uncle Sugar, make the nasty man sell soft I don't need but DO WANT on the terms I want him to sell it."

                Howabout viewing BOTH Apple and Microsoft as amoral empires we

        • Ok, then make it be only able to be tied to OS X. By this I mean, make it technically impossible to run it on standard PC hardware. They have tried to, but failed. It should -not- be illegal for someone to use legitimately purchased software on any computer. It should be illegal for Apple to tie things beyond "only one copy of this is allowed to be installed at one time". If Apple doesn't like people using OS X on ordinary PCs then make OS X impossible to run on those PCs either by switching to an obscure a
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by furball (2853)

            What Apple needs to do is set the price of OS X to be $2k. The OS costs $2k. The hardware is free. Have a blast kids.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Draek (916851)

              And then I can just buy a Mac, refuse the OSX EULA, request a refund and install Linux on it. Repeat ad infinitum, or at least until Apple goes broke by giving away expensive hardware.

              • by furball (2853) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:25PM (#30495960) Journal

                Yes, but you bought the software. If you reject the software to get a refund, you'll need to send the entire packaging back. That includes the hardware. Oh you wanted to keep the hardware? I'm sorry. We can't process your refund. Have a nice day :)

              • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:5, Informative)

                by RedK (112790) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:30PM (#30495992)

                Actually, no you can't. Even today that the Mac hardware is paid for and not given away with the OS like the previous poster suggested, the EULA states plainly that if you do not accept the EULA and that the software product shipped pre-installed on the computer, you must return the whole package to Apple (quoted directly from the OS X license agreement) :

                FOR APPLE SOFTWARE INCLUDED WITH YOUR PURCHASE OF HARDWARE, YOU MUST RETURN THE ENTIRE HARDWARE/SOFTWARE PACKAGE IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A REFUND.

                http://www.apple.com/legal/sla [apple.com]

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Draek (916851)

                  Let's see that clause stand up in a judgement, then we'll talk.

                  • by furball (2853)

                    Why don't you be the one to challenge it then if you're so sure you'll win?

                  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @12:20AM (#30496472)

                    It's fairly standard that if you reject the product and want a refund, you must reject and return the whole product if you want the full refund. In some cases you may negotiate for partial refund of partial return but that's between you and the seller. If the seller wants the whole product for a refund, you either have to return the whole product or forego the refund. For example, you can't buy a new car, demand a refund, and give them just the engine back.

                • by rdnetto (955205) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @01:57AM (#30496864)

                  It doesn't matter what the EULA says, because you are declining it. The EULA can only bind you if you accept it. Besides, I'm pretty sure EULAs can't affect hardware anyway, since it is sold and not licensed (unlike software).

                  • Heard of a lease? (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by tepples (727027)

                    I'm pretty sure EULAs can't affect hardware anyway, since it is sold and not licensed (unlike software).

                    Hardware can be licensed. It's called "leasing". As long as the terms of sale are available to read before the sale, it doesn't matter whether it's hardware or software.

                    • All that is needed to make software leases legitimate are two things:

                      (1) That they be for a limited time

                      Easy: the lease expires at the end of the 95th year after the program's first publication, at which point the lessee is obligated to return the media to the publisher. The U.S. Supreme Court has already called this a limited time in Eldred v. Ashcroft.

                      (2) That the physical media remain the property of the lessor

                      In other words, the model Blockbuster uses, except for a longer rental period. I wonder why copyright owners haven't already tried doing this. Another possibility is to encrypt the executable and lease the right under 17 USC 1201 to decrypt it.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by TheRaven64 (641858)
                Argument by analogy often works in law, but not in this case. The reason that you can get a refund for Windows if you refuse the EULA is that the Windows EULA specifically permits it. It specifically permits it because antitrust legislation prevents Microsoft from bundling Windows with other products. The Apple EULA does not have such a clause, and does not need one until they have enough of a market share that they can influence the market unduly. The only market where they have this kind of share is t
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by fidget42 (538823)

            Really what needs to happen is the courts need to say that is it legal to A) modify a legitimately purchased OS to run on whatever hardware B) Allow licenses to restrict what hardware you run things on only in number of quantity (for example, Apple could sell you one license for OS X to be installed on one machine, if you install it on 5 you are breaking it, but if you install it on one PC, it would still be legal. and C) allow for companies to sell machines with OS X on them so long as OS X was legitimately purchased by Apple and there is a license for that one machine.

            So, if I acquire a piece of open source software, I should be able to use it however I want? That would mean that any company could ignore the GPL. Apple's OS X license (that you can only run it on Apple hardware) is just as valid as the GPL, even if you would like to ignore it.

            • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:5, Informative)

              by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:17PM (#30495908)

              So, if I acquire a piece of open source software, I should be able to use it however I want?

              Yes, you should. Key word there being -use- and there is a difference between use and redistribute.

              That would mean that any company could ignore the GPL.

              The GPL gives you the complete freedom to use a program how you see fit.

              The act of running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the Program (independent of having been made by running the Program). Whether that is true depends on what the Program does.

              Heck, the GPL lets you modify source within a corporation

              No, in that case the organization is just making the copies for itself. As a consequence, a company or other organization can develop a modified version and install that version through its own facilities, without giving the staff permission to release that modified version to outsiders.

              from the GPL FAQs

              The GPL only restricts what you can do with A) a modified program or B) when you redistribute the program. The Apple license restricts what you can do -with- the program which is a whole lot more than just saying what you can do to redistribute or modify the program.

              • by furball (2853) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:19PM (#30495920) Journal

                Yes, you should. Key word there being -use- and there is a difference between use and redistribute.

                You mean like where you, at home, can modify OS X to install on a standard non-Apple PC, but if a company makes a derivative work and redistributes it much like how Psystar did? Huh. Imagine that.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by jedidiah (1196)

                  Pystar made the make of distributing a derivative work. They crossed the obvious legal line from "merely using".

                  OTOH, as long as they sell an unopened copy of the original they should not not be messed with either.

                  Copyright law should not allow for "artistic megalomania".

                  It doesn't matter if it's me personally or if it is some company that wants to sell Hackintoshes.

                • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:5, Informative)

                  by peragrin (659227) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:54PM (#30496124)

                  Notice how apple is only going after pystar, not the homebrew hackintosh community.

                  Apple doesn't give a shit if you install OSX on a Dell. Apple only cares if you install it on a hundred dells and sell them as "OS X" computers.

                  notice the difference. if you want a hackintosh go ahead and do it. just don't do it for a profit.

              • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:5, Interesting)

                by RedK (112790) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:21PM (#30495928)
                The thing to note here also is that Psystar were modifying Apple's base image and redistributing it without a license to make a derivative work and to then distribute the results. The EULA was only 1 part of the case, they were very on the way to be found guilty of copyright infrigement when they decided to settle with Apple. Not to mention the DMCA claims because they circumvented Apple's protection measures (that kext I listed earlier).
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by RedK (112790)

            They do tie it to their hardware. You have to modify their base image to remove this :

            $ file /System/Library/Extensions/Dont\ Steal\ Mac\ OS\ X.kext/Contents/MacOS/Dont\ Steal\ Mac\ OS\ X
            /System/Library/Extensions/Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext/Contents/MacOS/Dont Steal Mac OS X: Mach-O universal binary with 2 architectures
            /System/Library/Extensions/Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext/Contents/MacOS/Dont Steal Mac OS X (for architecture x86_64): Mach-O 64-bit kext bundle x86_64
            /System/Library/Extensions/Dont Steal Ma

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by erroneus (253617)

          It's one thing to tie things together. It's another to tell people what they can and can't do with the things they bought. If people can buy the software without the hardware, then it stands to reason that you can put the software anywhere you want.

          And seriously, even Apple supporters should be taking another look at Apple's completely perverted misinterpretation of copyright law to win their case and defend their position. Reading into RAM is an illegal copy?! And I suppose playing a DVD on unsanctione

          • by RedK (112790)
            Apple didn't use any novel concepts. Software licensing is something that isn't exclusive to them. The copy into RAM defense is actually from an older court decision that didn't involve Apple at all (and was discussed at length a few years back on Slashdot). What you're doing is claiming that all software licensing is invalid. If like you say "you bought it, you can do what you want with it", then Oracle has no leg to stand one when they ask 50,000$ per processor for a license to use their software. He
        • ... my big quaking ass. So-called "tying" is very much anti-competitive, because the MOTIVE behind it is anti-competitive. Just because all the other kids are doing it and getting away with it doesn't mean it's not anti-competitive. All it means is that the DoJ only has limited resources to go after every trivial anti-competitive abuse.

          Frankly, the real problem is capitalism itself, because the motives that drive capitalism are in fact the desire to thwart competition and create monopolies. If Capitalis

        • Logic used to be the standard for audio production in Europe and for a lot of enthusiasts in America. It was cross platform and worked with almost any kind of interface.

          Apple bought the company, ceased Windows development and support, and left a bunch of people out in the cold. This is the sort of thing that becomes anti-competitive once there's enough market share. It's when a company is so huge that they force people to use their products through acquisitions. It removes competitors from the market place,

        • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday December 18, 2009 @11:11PM (#30496200) Homepage

          Apple is not a software business, it's a hardware business (10% of their revenue is software and that includes all their high-end software packages and OS).

          Well they're not exactly a hardware vendor or software vendor. They sell the integrate platform. Hardware and software.

          As techies we're not used to thinking of desktops and laptops like that, but it's not that uncommon for other devices. As far as I know, Garmin doesn't license its GPS software to other vendors. Cisco doesn't license its software for use on other routers. Sony doesn't license the PS3 operating system for use on generic hardware, nor does Microsoft license the XBox 360 operating system. Nintendo doesn't license the Wii OS either. I don't know, but I don't believe TiVO licenses their software for use on generic hardware.

      • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:5, Informative)

        by furball (2853) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:04PM (#30495818) Journal

        You can buy a copy of Apple's OS independent of its hardware. It's not like it only ships pre-installed on Apple machines.

        Is the copy that a consumer can purchase independent of Apple hardware a full license or is it only an upgrade license? Apple doesn't put too many restrictions at installation time to make it seem like it's an upgrade but they can certainly make an argument that all boxed copies of its software are upgrades. If that's vague, then all they have to do is change the packaging to make it clearer. Such a change would have no impact on the customer experience. Then the argument that you can buy a full license of Apple's OS independent of its hardware goes out the window.

        In fact, here's the page from Apple [apple.com] on their online store. If you kindly click on the link that says "Find out which version you're using" you'll discover that there are two options for upgrade: from Leopard or from Tiger. I've looked all over their online store and couldn't find a full license of Snow Leopard sold anywhere that didn't require the consumer to own a previous version of OS X.

        Perhaps you can show me where you are able to find a full license of OS X that is not an upgrade.

      • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:06PM (#30495834)

        The licence for OS X says "only to be used on Apple hardware" and if you want to stay true to that licence, you cannot make a business model out of selling machines with OS X preinstalled that clearly break the licence.

        If you think "well, the licence should be ignored" then sure, as long as the GPL can also be ignored at will, or any other software licence for that matter.

        Vertical integration is not illegal, and it does not harm any competitor if Apple choses to go after a company breaking its licence to OS X (other than the company in breach of the licence of course).

        Apple hasn't gone after individual hackintosh creators, but it is well within its rights to go after a company who's main source of income would be a clear breach of the OS X licence.

        Whether you agree with it or not, the software you buy (or download from OSS sites) has a licence - if you break the licence you might get away with it, or the enforcer of that licence may come after you.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Draek (916851)

          Vertical integration is not illegal

          Inform yourself [wikipedia.org].

          It is true Psystar's main problem was modifying OSX to run on their hardware, which constitutes an unauthorized derivative work and as such copyright infringement, but that doesn't mean Apple's practices are in any way legal.

          Also, remember that any clause in a license is valid only if it doesn't contradict pre-existing laws. You can't ask for your firstborn in a software license, you can't enslave the user, and you can't have the user agree to his murder for instance. It may not be the case

          • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:4, Informative)

            by RedK (112790) on Friday December 18, 2009 @11:25PM (#30496248)
            From your own link (emphasis mine) :

            Tying is the practice of making the sale of one good (the tying good) to the de facto or de jure customer conditional on the purchase of a second distinctive good (the tied good). It is often illegal when the products are not naturally related

            I think it would be hard to argue that a computer and an operating system are not naturally related. Maybe you need to rethink your source material.

        • by jpmorgan (517966) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:47PM (#30496084) Homepage

          No. You're confusing several concepts, and the GPL.

          Yes, if you are a reasonable person and think that Apple's EULA should be ignored, then you should think the GPL version 3 should be ignored also. However, that does not mean you think the GPL version 2 should be ignored. And yes, a lot of people don't support the GPLv3 for this very reason.

          The distinction is that the GPL, version 3, and Apple's license are USE licenses. The GPL version 2 is a DISTRIBUTION license. Distribution licenses have their legal force from the fact that software distribution requires copying, an action prohibited under copyright law without permission. The Linux kernel, for example, is licensed under the GPL version 2. You can use it without accepting the terms and conditions of the GPL version 2 all you want. You only have to accept the license if you wish to distribute it.

          Use licenses, like Apple's EULA and the GPL version 3, are a lot more controversial... although it seems that since Apple's lawsuit against Psystar, /. has become much friendly toward them than it used to be. The legal logic behind a use license is that to use the software, it has to be copied into your computer's ram. Strictly speaking, use licenses SHOULD have no legal bearing in the USA, since US copyright law has an explicit exemption to allow necessary copying of software for the purpose of using it. However, the USA operates on a common law legal system, where judges defer to precedent over the law itself where possible. Use licenses, like Apple's EULA and the GPLv3, are only enforceable in the US because of bad precedent which, strictly speaking, goes against the law as it is written.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Monkey_Genius (669908)
        What the OP and others seem to fail to realize is that when you buy an Apple Macintosh computer -along with the copy of OS X installed- you own the hardware and only have a license to use the software -and that is restricted by the terms of the license to only Apple hardware. Nothing prevents you from running another OS on the hardware that you own. When you purchase a retail version of OS X, you are bound by the license terms to run OS X only on Apple hardware. To run it on any other hardware is in violati
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      You can't be anti-competitive in your own market. OS X is licensed to run on Macs - if you want to use it for another purpose, you can buy a copy and do so. If you want to base your business on that, Apple will have issues with that.

      It's not possible to be anti-competitive to deny your product to people you don't want to sell it to. This is NOT LIKE denying your product to a vendor unless they agree not to sell your competitor's product - THAT is anti-competitve.

      Vertical integration of hardware and software

      • by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:03PM (#30495814)
        Following your own logic, its not anti-competitive for Microsoft to intentionally break software.

        After all, "You can't be anti-competitive in your own market."
        • by jo_ham (604554)

          It depends what they are doing - intentional breaking like the mangling of Java so that the dominant form would be IE at the expense of the real standard *is* anti-competitve, since it was designed to ensure that IE would maintain the browser market.

          Deliberately breaking their own software for no other reason than greed (eg, DRM in WMP, deliberate crippling of the "Home" edition of XP for no technical reason is not anticompetitive, it's just silly.

          And yes, that holds true - you can't be anti-competitive wit

    • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dingen (958134) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:07PM (#30495840)
      How is creating your own platform anti-competitive? Why shouldn't Apple be allowed to create a product how they see fit and let the market decide if it's worth purchasing? Do you also think all those home computers from the '70ies and '80ies were engaging in anti-competitive behaviour by tying their OS'es to their hardware?
      • by Draek (916851)

        How is creating your own platform anti-competitive?

        Because they're tying it to another one of their products which isn't needed to run it.

        Why shouldn't Apple be allowed to create a product how they see fit and let the market decide if it's worth purchasing?

        Because we have deemed so.

        Do you also think all those home computers from the '70ies and '80ies were engaging in anti-competitive behaviour by tying their OS'es to their hardware?

        When they tried to stop 'clones' by legal means, as opposed to purely the technical challenge of porting the software, yes. Most of them merely relied on using weird-ass CPU architectures, however, so they were fine.

        • by RedK (112790) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:24PM (#30495956)
          Too bad for you that tying in and of itself is not illegal nor anti-competitive, nor that you are in a position to deem it so like you say.
        • by furball (2853)

          Because they're tying it to another one of their products which isn't needed to run it.

          Define "run it". Take for example, the built in Eye Sight. Their product includes drivers to operate the Eye Sight. Does someone else's software provide drivers for the Eye Sight? If not, you need Apple's software to make their hardware (Eye Sight) work. In other words, Apple's software is needed to make Apple's hardware work.

          • by Draek (916851)

            The tying in question isn't forcing the user to buy OSX to use their hardware but, rather, buying their hardware to run OSX.

            Besides, Windows includes drivers for far more devices than OEM computers include, and some Linux netbooks don't bundle enough drivers to make use of all the hardware out-of-the-box, so regardless there's enough precedent to throw *that* argument out at least.

        • All OEM's do this (Score:4, Insightful)

          by DJRumpy (1345787) on Friday December 18, 2009 @11:30PM (#30496270)

          Buy a PC from Dell, or HP with Windows on it, and you can't legally transfer that OS to another PC. All OEM's do this. Most hardware manufacturers bundle their own OS with their hardware, from cars, microwaves, cable boxes, routers, mp3 players, DVR's, etc. Just because you may be able to get whatever software they bundle with their hardware working on some other piece of equipment, doesn't mean they must then sell you a license to do so. You can't force them to produce, manufacture, or license something against their will.

          As to your point of tying Mac's to OSX, wouldn't the same apply to every other PC Manufacturer out there? Take laptops for instance. They bundle mobile graphic drivers specific to the hardware. It isn't necessary to run them, as any stock driver would work, but they purposely prevent you from using generic nVidia drivers for instance. You can't force HP to release their HP Customer Support software to Dell because it runs on an Intel Architecture. It might piss someone off, but you have no right to dictate what someone puts on their hardware, or who they decide to license their software to, as long as it isn't anti-competitive. Don't like it? Don't buy it. It's just that simple. There are too many alternatives out there for this to be any sort of anti-competitive stance. Microsoft, who already has a vast majority of OS desktop and laptop market, basically tried to force vendors to do their bidding by leveraging their market dominance. They were caught, and had their wrist slapped as a result.

          Apple in contrast, is a little guy by comparison. Don't like something they are doing? Don't buy their products. There are a multitude of hardware manufacturer's out there, and a multitude of OS and OS variants, some free and some at a cost.

          It's Apple's software, they can license it to whoever they choose. Would they come after Joe Windows User who decides to buy OS X, hack it, and install it on his Dell? Unlikely. If Joe then decides to do this and start selling his PC's for a profit as "OpenMacs"?

          You betcha...

    • by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:09PM (#30495846)
      There are way too many people in this debate who think that "anti-competitive behavior" == "Waaaaah, they won't do what I want!".

      As has been explained by more level-headed people countless times, Apple is the copyright holder of OS X. The copyright holder (of any kind of work, not just software) is given exclusive rights to license that work for others to use, under the terms of their choice. Apple's "terms of choice" are, you'll run OS X on our hardware and no one else's. If you don't do that, you're committing copyright infringement by using their work without their permission.

      There is definitely an argument to be made that that's a silly state of affairs, and that copyright laws with respect to software are lousy, but as the laws stand now, Apple has every right to do what they do. When you say "this behavior should be illegal for any OS", that's one thing, and you might be right, but at the moment it's not illegal, and so Apple is in the clear.

      If you don't like that, you need to complain to your government officials to change how software is copyrighted, not try frantically to stick labels like "anti-competitive behavior" where they don't apply.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        Yes. The fact that it seems "anti-competitive" is really quite irrelevant.

        Apple is merely exerting rights over the customer that it should not have to begin with.

        It's engaging in "artistic megalomania" and that is bullshit whether it's legal or not.

        It's like that stupid crap the EU wants to impose on Canada wrt resale of art.

      • by hedwards (940851) on Saturday December 19, 2009 @12:57AM (#30496620)
        Actually, Apple doesn't have the right to determine what it is you do with the product after you buy it, so long as you don't produce more copies of it than you've bought. In fact once you've bought it you own the copy, and they don't get to say much about what you do with it, including reselling the copy to somebody else.

        Apple has the copy right, as in the right to create new copies. The ability to insert language into the EULA is not the same thing as having the right to enforce.

        Additionally, in cases like this where it's clear that the consumer is being harmed by the practice, it's not necessarily so cut and dry that Apple is within it's rights to behave in this fashion. The refusal to allow people to get a refund on the OS if they just want the hardware is definitely an abuse of licensing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by teg (97890)

          Actually, Apple doesn't have the right to determine what it is you do with the product after you buy it, so long as you don't produce more copies of it than you've bought.

          But you can't buy a standalone versions of it. They're all upgrades. They might not enforce it, but that doesn't change it. The pricing varies too (e.g. look at Snow Leopard pricing), but even that doesn't change the fact that they're all upgrades and part of a total package.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Psychotria (953670)

        No, they don't. If they sell me the software then I can do whatever the heck I want to with it. Copyright does NOT extend to cover what I can do with a legally purchased item. I do not CARE what the EULA says, because it's not legally binding. To say that Apple has the right to tell me what I can do with my legal purchase is akin to a book publisher trying to impose on me that I cannot read their book in the toilet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cbhacking (979169)

        Emphasis mine:

        The copyright holder (of any kind of work, not just software) is given exclusive rights to license that work for others to use, under the terms of their choice.

        I'm afraid that's incorrect. Copyright law has nothing to do with licenses for use. Copyright, as the name helpfully implies, involves the right to make copies. The copyright holder is the entity with, as you put it, exclusive rights to license that work for others to copy, ender their terms of choice. For example, the copyright license

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Apple is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying its OS to its hardware."

      Reading the fine print, Apple didn't tie the OS to the hardware. It DID object to the distribution of a MODIFIED image.

      As for the desperate desire to run OS X against Apple opposition, I'd like to see Apple win so (some) people who profess to want freedom
      will consider a move to Free and Open software.

      Craving closed source systems is really just bootlicking corporations who only want your money.
      Running Free and Open software hel

    • Re:Monopoly or not. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:26PM (#30495968)

      Monopoly or not, palm os is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying it's OS to it's hardware.

      Monopoly or not, mercedes Benz is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying it's software to it's hardware.

      Monopoly or not, cisco is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying it's firmware to it's hardware.

      See how silly your argument becomes when you take out the most important aspect of anti-trust law? If it's a monopoly or not.

      Businesses by their nature act anticompetitive. Put simpler, competitors act anti-competitive. Big shock.

      Apple is not Microsoft. Software is not it's business, software/hardware integrated in one package is. Some people like Porsche engines but don't like their cars. Let's say porsche sells replacement engines cheap (low margin) because Porsche owners race their cars and burn them through fast. Taking advantage of this fact, a company opens up that offers to sell you Porsche engines in a cheap car like a Hyundai. Porsche should be happy but it's not because they no longer have significant competetive advantage (their engines) to lure customers but actually lose some who are lured by Porsche power in a cheaper car. Plus the engines in nonporsches also generate more service calls, support that costs $ on small margin product.

      Now, to combat this, porsche, in the next gen models, installs a very proprietary and nonstandard coupling to the transmission they don't license out to anyone else.

      Now, most would say, including I, that you can do with the engines you buy as you please, but can you really force them to use a standard coupling as a non-monopoly?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Quarters (18322)
        People need to stop using engine/car analogies for OS/computer discussions. Most any car manufacturer will sell crate engines to other businesses. You can call up GM Performance Parts right now and order a Corvette LS7 engine sans car. The same is true for Ford, BMW, Porsche, etc... Entire industries rely on being able to buy an engine from a manufacturer to put it in their car. The manufacturers are happy to do this because it is an extra revenue stream for them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        >>Apple is not Microsoft.

        Not at all. In fact, they are worse than MS.
    • by jasonwc (939262) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:32PM (#30496004)

      It's only anti-competitive if they have a monopoly in the OS market, which they do not, or alternatively, if it's considered an illegal tying arrangement. As for an OS monopoly, they hold 5% or less of the market which is clearly not a monopoly under US antitrust caselaw. As for tying, that argument only works if you can show that there is no benefit to be had through selling the hardware and software as one product.

      The problem with your argument is that under current US law, it almost certainly wouldn't be considered an illegal tying arrangement. There is no evidence that the primary purpose of their tying software + hardware is to artificially prop up the price of either. They can make a plausible argument that having control of the hardware allows them to provide a more unified and consistent experience for buyers. With a small set of Apple-authorized hardware, weird incompatibilities that exist on Linux and Windows due to the large hardware-base they have to support, can be minimized or prevented entirely. There is some value-added by selling hardware + software together, and Apple can certainly argue that selling the OS alone will harm their brand name and reputation due to complaints from users using non-authorized hardware.

      In addition, this has to do with distribution and not the end-user. You can go out and buy OS X and install it on any hardware you want. The case doesn't affect YOUR rights. Pystar illegally redistributed OS X by installing it once, and using cloned copies. This really has little to do with the freedom of the home user.

      In any case, this is not illegal tying in the sense used by the U.S. antitrust law. BTW, "tying" is a per se violation of the Sherman Antitrust act. You don't see many tying cases, however, because there are generally good arguments why you would sell two seemingly separate products as one.

    • by peragrin (659227)

      Nokia is engaging in anti-competitive behavior for tying hardware and software.

      or when was the last time you were able to load an OS onto a cellphone?

      pull your head out of your ass and look around you. it is too dark for you to see anything where it is currently located.

  • Pystar might as well milk the publicity for more attention and sales. If they shut down now they won't be able to ride the wave.
  • Where is psystar 2 that will install osx not useing a image to install it?

    also out side of the usa the laws are way more open on this.

    Also what is stop them form useing a EFI apps that lets you install from the apple mac os dvd with out modding it?

  • You know, if you haven't been to the Psystar website (its down right now), they really did take the time to make good looking machines. Although one of the selling points of Apple's hardware has always been its aesthetics, Psystar wasn't simply putting their hackintoshes in beige midtowers. They had a nice line of an very different looking, (and I would argue), sleek and more professional looking machines running OSX than Apple - I actually would prefer their glossy black towers for business environments ov
  • Will apple try the same carp on iphone unlocks soon? jailbreaks?

    the LAW says that you can unlock a phone will apple try the same loading in to ram carp to stop that?

  • A lot of people questioned Psystar's motivation considering that dogs could tell you that Apple would sue the shit out them.

    Could this whole debacle be just a publicity stunt to launch a company that ends up selling vanilla Windows systems?

    -Lou

    • by Guy Harris (3803)

      Could this whole debacle be just a publicity stunt to launch a company that ends up selling vanilla Windows systems?

      Now there's a market without a lot of competition! It should be easy for them to break into that market.

    • One would hope that if you went with the rebel efi option, you could choose no os, and just install your own copy of OS X once it arrived. If these people have any brains they skip the windows tax and ship linux as a default OS, assuming it is just a publicity stunt. Maybe with a blank alternate OS partition and a commented out grub entry for dual booting OS X.

      • by furball (2853)

        Or ship no OS. I mean why bother installing software when your users is going to go out, buy a copy of OS X, and install it on the machine anyway?

  • by milas (988484)
    According to this [nasdaq.com], they are in fact shutting down.
  • Good luck with that (Score:3, Informative)

    by davmoo (63521) on Friday December 18, 2009 @10:54PM (#30496126)

    From the ruling:

    "Rebel EFI will not be expressly excluded from the terms of the injunction. It should be clear, however, that this ruling is without prejudice to Psystar bringing a new motion before the undersigned that includes real details about Rebel EFI, and opening itself up to formal discovery thereon. This would serve the purpose--akin to a post-injunction motion vetting a 'design-around' in a patent action--of potentially vetting (or not vetting) a product like Rebel EFI under this order's decree.

    "Moreover, Psystar may raise in such a motion any defenses it believes should apply to the factual circumstances of its new product, such as the 17 U.S.C. 117 defense raised in its opposition and at oral argument. Whether such a defense would be successful on the merits, or face preclusion or other hurdles, this order cannot predict. What is certain, however, is that until such a motion is brought, Psystar will be selling Rebel EFI at its peril, and risks finding itself held in contempt if its new venture falls within the scope of the injunction."

    So the judge already has Psystar in the crosshairs if it continues to sell Rebel_EFI as it currently stands.

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