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OS X The Courts Apple

Mac Clone Maker Saga Ends As SCOTUS Denies Appeal 430

Posted by timothy
from the we-are-sad dept.
CWmike writes "The four-year-old saga of Psystar, a Florida Mac clone maker that was crushed by Apple, ended Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal of a lower court ruling. The decision to not consider the case (download PDF) upheld a ruling last September by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That ruling confirmed a permanent injunction against Psystar that prevented the company from copying, using or selling OS X, and blocked it from selling machines with Apple's operating system preinstalled. 'We are sad,' said K.A.D. Camera of the Houston firm Camera & Sibley LLP, in an email reply today to a request for comment. Camera represented Psystar in its bid to get its appeal heard. 'I expect the Supreme Court will eventually take a case on this important issue.' Last year, Camera had said, 'This is far from over,' after the Ninth Circuit's decision. Apparently, it is."
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Mac Clone Maker Saga Ends As SCOTUS Denies Appeal

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  • Too bad, really (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:44PM (#40007411) Homepage Journal

    I never saw what Psystar did that was actually wrong. They bought copies of software, installed them on machines, then sold those machines. That doesn't seem so bad to me. Yes, they violated the EULA that you're only allowed to install OS X on Apple hardware, or something stupid and unconscionable like that. But I have an extremely hard time seeing EULA non-compliance as a bad thing, and I think we're collectively in a worse place for it having been successfully enforced.

    Type from my Apple-branded Mac. :-/

  • First sale doctrine? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:49PM (#40007489) Homepage Journal

    This gets me that first sale doctrine doesn't matter. The DMCA (which is overkill and bad legislation) takes precedence. The Psystar case reminds me of the Atari ruling, when Atari didn't want to allow third-party developers to make games for their console. Imagine if there were no third-party developers today. If Psystar legally purchased OSX software licenses, why shouldn't they be able to legally resell them with hardware? We have judges protecting a monopoly and frankly I don't understand it.

  • Re:Not related (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:51PM (#40007513) Homepage Journal

    Should Apple have the right to demand the software can only run on their hardware?

    Remember when Atari tried blocking third-party software from their hardware and a judge ruled that they must allow for third-party use of their hardware?

  • Re:Not related (Score:5, Interesting)

    by idontgno (624372) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:58PM (#40007597) Journal

    Remember when Apple tried blocking third-party hardware from their software and a judge ruled that they can?

    Sometimes you get the bear. Sometimes the bear gets you. And wishing for consistency among different actions at law with only surface similarities is much too much to ask for.

  • by future assassin (639396) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @01:03PM (#40007667) Homepage

    then buying an engine from ford and sticking it into a kit car and re-selling it as your own brand name car. Oh yah forgot this involves that magical thing called software which when you deal with you have to throw out all common sense.

  • Re:Not related (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @01:08PM (#40007719) Homepage Journal

    It was Apple's product, but once you purchase it, it becomes your product.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine [wikipedia.org]

    In theory, first sale doctrine says that once you purchase the software you should have the right to do with it what you want.

    Judges have made conflicting rulings in this area. You can apparently ignore the DMCA and jailbreak your iPhone if you want, because you own the phone and you have the right to try and unlock more features with the hardware if you want. Some judges have said that mod chips on consoles are legal in and of themselves. They are only illegal when you pirate games.

    Here, judges are ruling that the DMCA trumps consumer rights.

  • Re:Not related (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wierd_w (1375923) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @01:33PM (#40008159)

    What about the atari cartridge compatibility with colecovision's "module #1" expansion?

    That's practically a dead ringer.

    Colecovision created a hardware emulation module for their technologically superior console that enabled it to use atari 2600 rom carts, thus increasing the available software library immensely.

    Atari tried to sue coleco, but lost, since the entire 2600 could be produced using off the shelf parts. (Sound familiar?)

    Stanford mentions that this case was more a battle of clones, rather than emulation, and mentions that it should not be employed as precedent in cases surrounding emulation. However psystar is not emulating a modern mac at all. It is running on bare metal, on a clone.

    For all intents and purposes, the cases are remarkably similar, with the exception of the DMCA.

    However, it was my understanding that psystar was creating clones before the DMCA was enacted, so surely some form of estoppel qualifies in this particular case?

  • Re:Not related (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @01:37PM (#40008221)

    but this is almost the definition of monopolistic behavior.

    They only have like 5% of the market?

    Only Apple can sell OSX, and they're using the software monopoly to artificially prop up their hardware division.

    Or, they only make OSX because they want to sell hardware. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    My problem with the decision is that it defies my concept of contract law... I always thought that to have a valid contract there had to be consideration on both sides - I get something in exchange for something else. In this case, I get nothing. I hit "I Accept" on the license agreement and Apple gets all of these extra rights and I get... nothing. At that point, I've already purchased the machine. I presumed these contracts were worthless, but this decision changes that.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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