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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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  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:39PM (#40007363) Homepage Journal
    Hackintosh efforts by hackers though. It was a noble effort Psystar!
    • Not related (Score:4, Insightful)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:40PM (#40007375)

      Hackers/hobbyists have zero to do with a company selling a product which affirmatively violates another company's software license.

      • 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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Aeros (668253)
          Of course they have the right. It's their product. No matter how much the majority of the people hate this and have to pay a premium for their hardware products...but they do have the right to do so.
          • 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:4, Insightful)

              by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @01:34PM (#40008179)

              This had nothing to do with the DMCA. Psystar was violating the license to the software. This is no different to a hypothetical OEM being sued by Microsoft for violating the license to their copies of Windows. First sale doctrine doesn't allow you to violate the EULA.

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

                by compro01 (777531) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @01:41PM (#40008277)

                First sale doctrine doesn't allow you to violate the EULA.

                That's pretty much the entire bloody intent of the doctrine.

                See Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus.

                "The price of this book at retail is $1 net. No dealer is licensed to sell it at a lower price, and a sale at a lower price will be treated as an infringement of the copyright" was tossed out as an invalid use of copyright. An EULA is no different.

                • Re:Not related (Score:4, Informative)

                  by bws111 (1216812) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:47PM (#40009035)

                  A book (the physical object) is not covered by copyright, therefore attempting to restrict sales of books can not be done by using copyright. The copyright holder would however be perfectly within their rights to say to a publisher 'you may not give reproduction rights to anyone for less than $1 a copy.

                  This however has nothing to do with this case, as Pystar was not simply reselling the CD the software came on, they were installing it.

              • by robot256 (1635039)
                It does if the EULA is deemed invalid/illegal in court. I assume Psystar was hoping this would happen, but it was not, so that's that.
          • Of course? If they sell the software separately, what makes it so obvious that they have the right to say how it will be used? We don't seem to have this sort of system for physical objects. If I buy a car, I can do whatever I want with it (within the law) without checking the rules laid down by the manufacturer. Sure, it may void the warranty, but it's not illegal. Beyond that, lots of software specifies the OS its supposed to run on. If I run a Windows app under WINE, have I somehow broken the law?

            It's a

            • 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.

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

                by bws111 (1216812) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:04PM (#40008553)

                You do get something when you click "Accept", you get the ability to use the software.

                A license is not a contract. A license is pretty much a one-way document from one party granting certain permissions to a second party that otherwise they would not have. The license people are most familiar with of course is your driver license. Did you get to negotiate the rules of the road with the state when you got your driver license? Of course not - the license is a one-way document given to you by the state. Without such a license you have no permission to drive on public roads. With the license (which comes with a whole bunch of restrictions and ways the license can be revoked) you can drive on public roads.

                With software, you do not own the software (even with FOSS). Since it is not 'yours' you have no permission to do anything with it by default. If you want to use the software, you can get a license to do so. That is not a contract.

                • by MightyYar (622222)

                  you get the ability to use the software.

                  Huh? Then what did I get when I bought it at the register?

                  A license is not a contract.

                  I think you are wrong about that.

                  Did you get to negotiate the rules of the road with the state when you got your driver license?

                  Negotiation has nothing to do with it. I got something (the right to drive) and I gave them something (money). But I was referring to private contracts, not government laws... the government can pass all sorts of laws without my consent.

                  With software, you do not own the software

                  True, but copyright comes with some fair use rights - including the right to copy the software that I've purchased in as much as is technologically necessary to make it usable. Thus I

              • but this is almost the definition of monopolistic behavior.

                They only have like 5% of the market?

                Closer to 10% now, though your point still stands. That said, it depends on where you draw the distinction between products. Sure, virtually any application could be written to run on virtually any OS. But if you want to run OSX exclusive apps without reinventing them from scratch (which hits all sorts of other IP laws), OSX is your only choice. If Apple machines were some sort of special purpose device, then the argument for linking them together is stronger, but they're clearly not special purpose; the so

                • Re:Not related (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:41PM (#40008987)

                  But there is something very odd about a business model that becomes illegal simply by growing in market share.

                  That's the norm, though. Microsoft was perfectly in the right when they would pay partner companies to be exclusive MS vendors... until they became a monopoly.

                  I'd argue that Apple's model is the normal model and Microsoft's was the anomaly. The Amiga, Atari, Commodore - heck even the IBM PC prior to Compaq... all of these followed the proprietary model. Even MS follows this model in the console game market. But no one accuses the XBox360 of having a monopoly over anything.

                  Finally, all of this seems to be moot now - as of Lion, it seems that Apple no longer sells standalone copies of their OS. Pystar could not exist one way or another since they wouldn't have any (legal) way to buy just the software.

                • by chrb (1083577)

                  Closer to 10% now

                  No, still only 5%... [appleinsider.com]

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            > Of course they have the right. It's their product.

            Their rights to control the product end when they sell it.

            This is a clear attack on individual liberties that not everyone agrees with. Some of us prefer not to degrade individual liberties for the sake of a brand fetish or corporate power.

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

          by Cinder6 (894572) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:59PM (#40007615)

          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?

          I'm pretty sure that's not the same thing. Apple is saying that only they have the right to build machines that can run their software, not that you can't write/sell software to run on their machines.

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            So if you purchase the hardware and that gives you the right to put any software you want on it; why can you also claim that because you purchased the software that you have the right to run it anywhere you want?

            • Re:Not related (Score:4, Informative)

              by bws111 (1216812) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:25PM (#40008793)

              Because software is never sold, only a license to use it is sold.

              • by Endo13 (1000782)

                Doesn't matter. Software licenses should only have the right to restrict what would impact potential sales for that software. This includes things like whether it can be used only for personal use or also for commercial use, how many concurrent copies of it can be run, etc. A software license should never impact what hardware you can run it on, as long as the use and profitability of the software itself is not affected. If anything, Psystar's use of the software increases the potential profitability of it,

                • by rev0lt (1950662)

                  A software license should never impact what hardware you can run it on, as long as the use and profitability of the software itself is not affected.

                  There is a lot of software with memory limits, cpu socket limits and core limits, and even if the hardware is real or virtualized. As an example, Vista Home Basic 64 has a limit of 8GB of memory and 1 socket, and Vista Business 64 has a limit of 128GB and 2 sockets. And they are essentialy the same product.

          • 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?

            I'm pretty sure that's not the same thing. Apple is saying that only they have the right to build machines that can run their software, not that you can't write/sell software to run on their machines.

            That's not what I got from this: what I got is that Apple is saying only they have the right to pre-install their software on hardware and sell the package.

            To me, this is a grey zone, as I'm within my rights to resell my Mac with OS X installed; I'm not within my rights to void the agreement on OS X and sell it on a netbook.

        • by jythie (914043)
          While conceptually the same, legally they are pretty different cases (which is why Atari v. Activision did not count as precedent in this case) since one involved stopping people from running things on their hardware while this one had to do with Apple controlling who could and could not sell its software.

          I want to say this case was baffling, but I am actually not surprised. Courts have been pretty favorable to companies trying to control how their products are sold/marketed lately and they do not really
          • Re:Not related (Score:4, Informative)

            by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @01:13PM (#40007805) Homepage Journal

            That's my point. By placing the DMCA above all other relevant laws, Atari v. Activision would be ruled differently. I don't like this new precedent and what it bodes for the future.

          • 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?

        • by gnasher719 (869701) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @01:05PM (#40007685)

          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?

          This is all about copyright. Copyright allows the owner of the copyright to allow or disallow copying of their software, as they see fit. Note: Copying of _their_ software. That is what Apple does. They allow you to use _their_ software, MacOS X, on Apple branded computers, and not on other computers. I don't know about that Atari case, but what you say means Atari tried to prevent you from using someone else's software. Not _their_ software.

          If Apple told you that you cannot run Windows, or Linux, on a Macintosh, that would be a completely different matter. But anyway, you ask this question, _after_ a court decided that Apple has that right, and another court decided, and SCOTUS denied an appeal about it?

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

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

          Yes. Just the same as JVC and Sony had the right to control who could (or could not) run VHS and Betamax-compliant software on videorecorders during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The inventor of the technology holds the control of the technology.

          >>>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?

          No.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          That ruling was back in the good old days of the 80s when things weren't nearly as overtly corrupt in this country as they are now.

        • by Relayman (1068986)

          Atari tried blocking third-party software from their hardware...

          You can buy a copy of Windows and run it on your Mac hardware all you want. Thousands do; maybe that's why Windows sales haven't dropped when non-Mac PC sales have.

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

          by v1 (525388) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @04:03PM (#40010009) Homepage Journal

          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?

          Hardware must allow 3rd party software to run on it. That was the Atari thing.

          Now turn that 180 degrees around with: Software must allow installation on 3rd party hardware. That was the Pystar thing.

          So they couldn't be more opposite issues if they tried. The Atari issue has no relevance whatsoever here.

          Though I don't like software licenses. But unfortunately they are currently allowed. I don't like being told what I can do with software I buy any more than being told by Ford what roads I'm allowed to drive my truck on. But right now physical goods are not so easily licensed but software is. Pretty much all software is licensed because it can be, and grants additional rights to the producers. They can either take the free cookies or not, and naturally most businesses will.

          Pystar was encouraging... no, they were instructing their customers to violate the OS X license agreement, and thus break the law. That's what got them smacked down.

          I'd like the licensability of software to be outlawed personally. IMHO it's just the producers trying to "have their cake and eat it too", they want you to pay them for something, but then not GIVE it to you (retain rights over it) because that will help them make more money off you or someone else later.

          Here, I license this cake to you for $15. But on condition that only you can eat it. If your friend is hungry, you're not allowed to give him a slice, it's not really your cake, I'm just licensing it to you. If at any time you decide you don't like those terms you can either destroy the cake or return it to me.

          Or I'll license you this wrench. You can use it forever, and I'll even let you give it away, but you can't loan it to your friend to work on his car, he'll need to license another wrench from me. Think that's funny? Talk to your mechanic about his car computer testing unit. It's already reality. And those little buggers are expensive too.

          I'm surprised that BOOKS aren't licenseable right now. There's not a lot of difference between them and software. They're both just information on media. I could totally see a society where you weren't allowed to sell a book. But already we can't copy too much of it, so we're already on the path.

          God I hate licensing.

      • You doubt that Apple would sue the pants off you if you did the same thing in your basement and posted instructions on a website regarding how you did it? Go ahead, try... see what happens.
        • Re:Not related (Score:5, Informative)

          by brian_tanner (1022773) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:59PM (#40007607)

          You doubt that Apple would sue the pants off you if you did the same thing in your basement and posted instructions on a website regarding how you did it? Go ahead, try... see what happens.

          Yeah. Like this? http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page [osx86project.org]

        • Re:Not related (Score:4, Insightful)

          by uniquename72 (1169497) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:59PM (#40007613)

          You doubt that Apple would sue the pants off you if you did the same thing in your basement and posted instructions on a website regarding how you did it? Go ahead, try... see what happens.

          What happens? Nothing. [lmgtfy.com]

          Apple's problems wasn't that they were doing it; it's that they were selling it.

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

            by gnasher719 (869701) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @01:10PM (#40007753)

            Apple's problems wasn't that they were doing it; it's that they were selling it.

            Not so much that they were selling it, but the fact that they insisted very, very loudly that they had the right to do so, and that Apple could do nothing about it. Apple really had no choice but to sue them. In the Hackintosh community, they all know that what they are doing isn't quite legal, but they also know that Apple will ignore this (since little damage is done, and there is probably a knowledgable bunch of people who will be assisting Apple's customers with problems when the need arises. I bet many Hackintosh users take their Grandma straight to the Apple Store when she needs a computer). The only thing they need to do is behave in such a way that Apple _can_ ignore them.

            • As it happens, the Hackintosh community as a whole was very pissed off at Psystar because Psystar had stolen some of the open source emulator/decrypter driver code that our members created and sold it closed-source (violated the copyright) and without attribution.

              My family has used Macs for ages. I built a couple Hackintoshes for myself and I love them. I can run regular software updates on them and they're totally stable. However when my mother wants a new Mac I will not build her one.
        • You doubt that Apple would sue the pants off you if you did the same thing in your basement and posted instructions on a website regarding how you did it? Go ahead, try... see what happens.

          Okay. [hackintosh.com]

          I'm sure you can point me to numerous examples of Apple suing individual hackers/hobbyists running hackintosh configurations.

        • by jythie (914043)
          Well, technically they couldn't, or at minimal they could not use this ruling as a basis for a lawsuit. This one covered Psystar reselling copies of OSX, in theory in violation of the license agreement that they obtained the software under. So as long as your instructions did not come with a 'buy OSX now and we install it' button, such a site would be fine. Provided of course it didn't have any DMCA violations.
  • Meh (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:40PM (#40007373)

    Even if they had a case they still stole copyrighted code from OSx86 and Rebel EFI was stolen from Boot 132 EFI.

    Boo hoo, they're dead.

  • 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. :-/

    • Re:Too bad, really (Score:5, Informative)

      by zonker (1158) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:50PM (#40007497) Homepage Journal

      Their bootloader code was stolen from two open source projects which they repackaged and relabeled without attribution or source. That's pretty shitty IMHO.

      • OK, let me clarify: they did some shifty (and probably outright illegal) things, but those aren't directly related to the Apple lawsuit that the article is discussing. I don't see what Psystar did that was so bad with respect to Apple.

        • by Relayman (1068986)
          The problem here is the same problem that you have with counterfeit Rolex watches: What do you do when the stupid consumer shows up at the Genius Bar and demand that their hackintosh be fixed because it's an Apple computer? Rolex won a counterfeit case when they showed that people with fake Rolexes were taking them to Rolex dealers to be repaired.
          • What do you do when the stupid consumer shows up at the Genius Bar and demand that their hackintosh be fixed because it's an Apple computer?

            Apple would have my complete support in turning those requests away: "I'm sorry, but we didn't make that and can't support it at all. Can I interest you in a Genuine Apple Product that would be fully supported and warrantied?" If we're going on the bizarre theory that EULAs are actual contracts, then they could formalize that in the agreement: we don't support any system not manufactured and distributed by Apple, Inc.

      • by Beardydog (716221)
        But that isn't what they were shut down for, is it? The plain result may be good, but the precedent is horrifying.
    • It's impossible to buy a copy of OSX without buying a Mac. Those boxes you used to be able to buy were not licensed as new installations, but upgrades.

      More recently Apple have made that a practical as well as licensing issue. They no longer ship shrinkwrapped upgrades of OSX. You now have to buy it on the App Store and download it. And you can't do that without already having OSX.

      • It's impossible to buy a copy of OSX without buying a Mac.

        That wasn't true as of the time when Psystar was buying them.

        Those boxes you used to be able to buy were not licensed as new installations, but upgrades.

        And here's the crux of the matter, and why I find the ruling so despicable: those are terms that were added after the sale through the EULA clickthrough. At the time Psystar paid Apple for their copies of OS X, there were no signed contracts showing that Psystar agreed to abide by those extra-legal terms and conditions. They were bound by normal copyright law, sure, but I'm not aware that they were ever accused of violating copyright.

        This ruling a

        • by armanox (826486)

          And here's the crux of the matter, and why I find the ruling so despicable: those are terms that were added after the sale through the EULA clickthrough. At the time Psystar paid Apple for their copies of OS X, there were no signed contracts showing that Psystar agreed to abide by those extra-legal terms and conditions. They were bound by normal copyright law, sure, but I'm not aware that they were ever accused of violating copyright.

          This ruling affirms the insane doctrine that a company may dictate usage terms to you after you've brought their products and taken them home. Suppose Nintendo's T&C says that you're not allowed to install Homebrew on your Wii, and that they sued you for it. Are you OK with that policy? After all, by booting your Wii you agreed to abide by all the T&C that were not consensual at the time of sale, so Nintendo should full say over how you actually use it.

          You mean like Sony does with the PS3 (looking at OtherOS and the whole debacle attached to it)?

          • by Lisias (447563)

            You mean like Sony does with the PS3 (looking at OtherOS and the whole debacle attached to it)?

            No. Sony didn't sued anyone that ever used the OtherOS feature before dropping it.

            (What Sony did is evil, but it's not the same evilness Apple did).

        • "Suppose Nintendo's T&C says that you're not allowed to install Homebrew on your Wii, and that they sued you for it."

          I am sure that they would.. Ala Sony.
          After all you just bought it, we built it. It's more ours than yours.

          Dam geeks with their wires...... Don't know their dam place in this life...
        • by Relayman (1068986)
          The EULA says that, if you don't agree with it, you can take OS X back to the store for a full refund (not sure how that works with the download, but I'm sure there's an equivalent procedure). Now, what's your problem again?
    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      I never saw what Psystar did that was actually wrong.

      They broke the law. Despite being a crappy EULA or not, that's the agreement the user enters into with Apple in order to legally license the product. The courts don't rule via crap-o-meter, they rule by what the law says.... well, they're supposed to. I feel suspiciously certain many will rule depending what the 'Buck' says too but that's beside the point.

      • courts don't rule via crap-o-meter, they rule by what the law says

        "The law" and "the EULA" aren't really the same thing. I can write some pretty outlandish shit in a EULA and that doesn't make it a law.

    • Re:Too bad, really (Score:5, Informative)

      by maccodemonkey (1438585) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:59PM (#40007609)

      I never saw what Psystar did that was actually wrong. They bought copies of software, installed them on machines, then sold those machines.

      Apple doesn't sell fully licensed copies of OS X. They only sell upgrade copies. And the only way to get your initial copy of OS X is to buy a Mac. You can buy it in a box at the Apple store, it's still only an upgrade copy.

      It would be like if a Windows OEM was buying upgrade only copies of Windows, hacking them onto blank machines, and then selling them.

      People may not like it, but that's the way OS X is licensed.

      • by Relayman (1068986)
        Back in the day, Psystar was able to buy full copies in the store. That's changed in the last couple of years. Still, it's not hard to get a copy for your hackintosh.
    • "I never saw what Psystar did that was actually wrong..."

      Except they explicitly violated Apple's terms of use for OS X.

      EULA is a legally binding contract, period. Breaking that contract is illegal, period. Apple isn't going to go after some Schmoe that violates their OS X EULA because they figured out how to mash OS X on a PC, but another company looking to profit by violating a legally binding contract is NEVER going to stand in court. I may not be a lover of Apple's business practices, but I cannot tol

      • EULA is a legally binding contract, period. Breaking that contract is illegal, period.

        Yeah, and how we've affirmed that for one of the first times ever. If that doesn't horrify you, then you demonstrate an incredible lack of insight into why a company being allowed to dictate how you use their product after accepting your money and sending you home with it is a Bad Thing.

        To save us both the time, do not reply by mentioning copyright. I only bring this up because it seems like the standard response here is "you're not allowed to use it however you want! You can't sell copies of it!", and no o

      • by Arker (91948)

        It has nothing to do with not accepting that there are laws. It has everything to do with seeing clearly how centuries of legal tradition and wisdom are thrown out the door simply to please the big companies that have sufficient money to corrupt the system. There is no way a EULA has any validity under the traditional construction of contract laws. Terms imposed unilaterally, AFTER purchase, bears not the slightest resemblance to a legitimite contract, and this is such a well-established and ancient princip

      • Its sad that you defend the right to tell people what to do with information they purchased. At least Psystar pushed the envelope, what have you done to try and push back against unconscionable EULA terms?
    • They created copies of OSX patched with their drivers and bootloaders, as a master image on a server, and installed it on the machines they sold. That was an illegal derivative work which they had no right to distribute.
    • In order for OS X to run on a regular PC, they had to replace system software thus creating a derivative work. As a derivative work, they needed Apple's permission before redistribution and thus violated copyright.
  • 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.

    • by jmerlin (1010641)
      I believe it was best stated by Lord Acton:

      Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.

    • What monopoly? Since when did Apple hold a monopoly on PCs? Also, what does the first sale doctrine have to do with anything in this case? Psystar wasn't being sued for reselling copies of OS X.

      • They have a monopoly of hardware that is allowed to run Apple software.

      • by jmerlin (1010641)
        You're just skirting around the issue. Apple is attacking first sale doctrine by "selling" everything as a license only. SCOTUS denied an appeal to see a sale of software as an actual copy subject to the first sale doctrine. You may see that as fine but it's an astonishingly huge ruling that companies can just sell "licenses" of copyrighted material to impinge the rights of customers granted by copyright law. The ruling against Psystar was to apply the EULA that went along with it, but that's merely con
    • by DM9290 (797337)

      We have judges protecting a monopoly and frankly I don't understand it.

      That's actually the point of intellectual property law. Judges are not supposed to undermine the law.

    • by Bigby (659157)

      I agreed with every sentence until the last one which seemed to come out of right field. What does Apple have a monopoly over? And don't think of claiming that their operating system is its own market without competition.

    • This gets me that first sale doctrine doesn't matter.

      I agree with you in some ways, it feels wrong that first sale is going out the window.

      But in another way, it seems logically reasonable that a wholly digital product should be able to live by different rules. This is what enables things like cheap games on Steam, and other cheap digital artifacts - because there can be an expectation of volume instead of a small number of purchases made initially then floating around the system dampening sales.

      As we tra

    • This gets me that first sale doctrine doesn't matter.

      Not in this instance. We aren't talking about Psystar reselling a retail product that they purchased from Apple. We are talking about Pystar tried to sell a package that allowed their customer to violate the EULA of the retail product that they purchased from Apple.

      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.

      N

    • 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.

      They are perfectly allowed to sell hardware together with a box with MacOS X. First sale doctrine allows that. However, the buyer is not allowed to install the software on the computer. And Psystar isn't allowed to install the software on the computer. The buyer _is_ of course allowed to install the software on an Apple branded computer.

      Actually, if you buy MacOS X and install it on a Macintosh, the first sale doctrine doesn't allow you to sell the Macintosh with that copy of MacOS X installed. (However,

    • by Relayman (1068986)

      This gets me that first sale doctrine doesn't matter.

      There is no sale. OS X is licensed, not sold.

  • Remember that there are 200 other sovereign powers in the world besides the United States. At least one of them will understand that hardware and software are separate and distinct. That country then will be at a competitive advantage in the market. The United States is falling behind on every economic indicator regarding technology. The biggest IPO in the tech sector is a guy selling this country's citizens personal data to other corporations and countries worldwide. That is the extent of innovation in the
  • 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.

    • by Relayman (1068986)
      You can't even make and sell a replica fender for a 1934 Ford without a license.
    • by wzinc (612701)
      Judging from Apple's personality, their motivation is probably that they don't want to support their OS on third-party hardware. They don't want to have to answer support questions for a grandmother who's grandson set-up a hackintosh for her. Hardware sales should be a reason as well, but they probably don't want people to get a bad taste for OS X and swear to never buy a Mac. Hence Apple Stores, etc.
  • ...sold the hardware with INSTRUCTIONS in a story form.

    Why a story? Because fiction is usually protected speech. See "The Turner Diaries" for a right-wing agitprop example.

    If you want a Hackintosh you had better be competent to load software anyway.

  • You can complain about Windows and Microsoft all you want, but at least they let you install their software on any hardware you want. Apple wants to control you from the motherboard up, marking up their products to ridiculous prices for overrated hardware. They do it with computers, iPod, iPhone, everything. The first down-mod from a Mac lover will just be further evidence of the truth.
  • Couldn't psystar just sell computers that are hardware compatible with OSX, without putting OS X on it? Then users can install whatever OS they want.

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