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The Courts Apple

Apple Asks Judge To Shutter Psystar's Clone Unit 346

CWmike writes "Apple wants a federal judge to shut down Psystar's Mac clone operation and order the company to pay more than $2.1 million in damages, according to court documents. The move was the first by Apple since US District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that Psystar violated Apple's copyright and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when it installed Mac OS X on clones it sold. Alsup's Nov. 13 order, which granted Apple's motion for summary judgment and quashed Psystar's similar request, was a crushing blow to the Florida company's legal campaign. In a motion filed Monday, Apple asked Alsup to grant a permanent injunction that would force Psystar to stop selling any computer bundled with Mac OS X; using, selling or even owning software that lets it crack Apple's OS encryption key to trick Mac OS X to run on non-Apple hardware; and 'inducing, aiding or inducing others in infringing Apple's copyright.'" Groklaw has summarized Apple's request as well, and noted that Apple has also filed a motion to dismiss Psystar's litigation in Florida (or transfer it to California, where the above injunction was filed).
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Apple Asks Judge To Shutter Psystar's Clone Unit

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  • You mean (Score:3, Informative)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:29PM (#30238620) Homepage

    I can't do whatever I want with a piece of software I legally own?

  • Re:Once again (Score:4, Informative)

    by minsk ( 805035 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:43PM (#30238734)

    Yes, special exceptions are made for software. One of the notable ones is that a legally owned copy may be duplicated into memory for the purpose of running the program. Notice the three words near the beginning which Psystar failed to satisfy.

    (not a lawyer, and all that)

  • Re:Once again (Score:5, Informative)

    by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:54PM (#30238806)

    In the old days, nobody would even think about separating the software and hardware

    Sure they would. In 1980 I had a TRS-80 model I, with two single-density, single-sided floppy drives. When I booted it, I could boot Radio Shack's operating system (TRS-DOS) or one of several alaternates including NEWDOS, LDOS etc.

  • Re:Once again (Score:3, Informative)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:09PM (#30238916) Homepage

    The software loaded onto the Psystar machines were legally paid for. Apple's problem with it is that it isn't being installed onto Apple hardware. This licensing agreement is trying to assert a right of a copyright holder to tell you what you can and cannot do with the works that do not include copying. Copying into RAM does not qualify as a copy as it clearly falls into the realm of making use of the works. It would be like telling someone they can buy a book but cannot read it. A damned stupid argument I'm sure anyone would agree.

    Copyright licenses attempt to assert some pretty unfriendly terms of use and the terms keep getting worse and worse. It's about time these creeping terms are hedged off.

  • Re:The way I see it (Score:3, Informative)

    by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:10PM (#30238926)

    But it's being sold as for use with Apple computers that have other versions of Apple's operating system installed on them.


  • Re:Once again (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:12PM (#30238930)
    You should re-read it. Manually installing a copy of OS X on every computer is time consuming (particularly when it's a hackintosh and needs extra work), so Psystar did it once and then cloned the hard drive. That fucked them over big time.
  • Re:Once again (Score:3, Informative)

    by maccodemonkey ( 1438585 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:14PM (#30238954)
    While true, Apple is in the same situation. They allow you to run any OS on their hardware you want, but restrict their own OS to their own hardware, much as TRS-DOS would be restricted to Radio Shack hardware.
  • Re:Once again (Score:2, Informative)

    by Acapulco ( 1289274 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:34PM (#30239086)
    >>Corporations exist for us not the other way 'round.

    I think corporations exists for the shareholders not us...no?
  • Re:The way I see it (Score:1, Informative)

    by Acapulco ( 1289274 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:39PM (#30239122)
    To use a car analogy for once...

    So you would be okay if the manufacturer of your car *forced* you to buy certain high-priced tires because the cheap-o ones will easily get torn at high-speeds, so you would crash AND as a result give Ford bad publicity?

    By your reasoning this would be okay...no?
  • Re:The way I see it (Score:3, Informative)

    by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:55PM (#30239222)

    So at what point does Apple's behaviour become anti-competitive ? They *are* shutting out other manufacturers from making hardware that *could* run their software.

    Apple doesn't stop any manufacturer up to one point: Macs contain a chip with a (not very secret) key that is needed to decrypt the MacOS X software. Dell could make a 100 percent Mac compatible computer up to the point that this key mustn't be there, because adding that key constitutes a DMCA violation.

    You could have read the text of Judge Alsup's judgement. He had to look at exactly the question that you raised. And what he saw is that Apple tells you and anyone else what you can do with MacOS X. And that is exactly what copyright law is intended for. Apple does _not_ tell you what to do with anybody else's software. Apple doesn't tell you what to do with your computer as long as it doesn't involve Apple's software.

  • Re:The way I see it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <rodrigogirao@@@hotmail...com> on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:57PM (#30239230) Homepage
    That's technically different; Compaq used the clean room [wikipedia.org] to create a new BIOS that was compatible with IBM's. It's just like Microsoft can't do a thing about ReactOS, a free system designed to run all Windows apps.
  • Re:The way I see it (Score:3, Informative)

    by _merlin ( 160982 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:06PM (#30239288) Homepage Journal

    None of them made better hardware than Apple. They often made faster hardware, but it was generally less reliable, ran hotter, was more difficult to work on, etc. The clones gave Macintoshes a bad name.

  • Re:Once again (Score:3, Informative)

    by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:11PM (#30239318)

    I was raised to believe that possession is 9/10 the law. If I own the medium the software is contained on, and disagree with the license, which law is on the books that says it's illegal for me to run the software any which way I choose?

    Part of the purchase agreement is that Apple only sells a box with MacOS X if you agree to the license. Up to the point where you agree to the license, you have a box in your hands that is legally Apple's, and Apple has money in its hands that is legally yours. You have the right to disagree with the license and return the box for a refund.

    So before you agree to the license, you have no rights at all. You have the same rights as the postman who delivered the software to your home - he held software in his hands that wasn't his own, he had no right to install it anywhere. After you agree to the license, you agreed. Even Psystar did never, ever argue that Apple's license didn't in principle apply. They only disagreed (strongly) with certain terms in the license, not with the license itself.

    Owning the medium of the software clearly means nothing. You could always buy a recordable DVD and make a copy of the software and you would clearly own the medium, but that wouldn't give you any rights either. And you don't own the software: You have a license allowing certain uses, and since you asked, it is _copyright law_ that doesn't allow you to make any copies without permission (license) of the copyright holder.

  • Re:Once again (Score:3, Informative)

    by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @05:21PM (#30239758) Homepage

    Not quite, no. Psystar had legally owned copies, purchased from Apple. Claims that their copies are illegal because they run afowl of the Apple-branded computer clause in the EULA are only relevant if the EULA applies, which is what the GP was calling into question. As such, your statement is purely circular: Psystar's use was illegal because it wasn't covered by the exception because it was illegal.

    The actual reason is that the law has simply been ignored since its conception. A bad precedent was set, and judges have followed it ever since.

  • Re:Once again (Score:4, Informative)

    by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @05:31PM (#30239818)

    You try to sell Solaris machines under a name that doesn't involve Sun Microsystems and let's see how long you do in the market. Or IBM OS/360. Or Palm WebOS. Or...

    Fujitsu. They even design their own SPARC CPUs [wikipedia.org] which are better performing than Sun's. In fact, Sun has done such a craptastic job designing UltraSPARC V and Rock, that they have to sell high-end servers using Fujitsu's processors to be able to compete. Amdahl Corporation [wikipedia.org] manufactures IBM S/360 hardware.

  • Re:The way I see it (Score:3, Informative)

    by derrickh ( 157646 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @06:47PM (#30240314) Homepage

    "Your car analogy is incomplete, and incorrect.
    Instead imagine I buy a Ferrari engine, and put it into a Dodge Neon. Now this is entirely legal, and none of their business. The lawyers will only get involved when I start building these in bulk, and start a company to sell my new "Ferrari compatible" cars."

    That happens all the time. In fact, many 'supercars' will use BMW or Mercedes engines. The Corvette's engine is in a number of 'third party' cars. Chip Foose's production car uses a Hemi engine from Chrysler.

    And as far as I know, no one has been sued.


  • Re:The way I see it (Score:2, Informative)

    by Burpmaster ( 598437 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @10:13PM (#30241818)

    If however, I was looking at purchasing a car, and the license agreement said that I had to buy high priced tires, you can bet I wouldn't want to buy that car. If I did for whatever reason buy that car, I would be obligated to hold up my end of the license agreement.

    Then you wouldn't buy any car. If that kind of arrangement were legal every car manufacturer would demand it.

  • Re:The way I see it (Score:3, Informative)

    by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <<falconsoaring_2000> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Friday November 27, 2009 @12:11AM (#30242474)

    Actually, selling cars in the US is apparently a regulatory nightmare, given the extensive emissions and safety testing each vehicle must go through

    There isn't a problem selling your own cars in the US, I've sold a number of them legally and haven't had a single problem doing so. What problem I had, which wasn't a problem at all, was finding a buyer.


  • Re:Duh (Score:3, Informative)

    by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <<falconsoaring_2000> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Friday November 27, 2009 @12:32AM (#30242578)

    What is the difference though? Lots of manufacturers like Dell use master copies to clone their PCs.

    The difference? Microsoft licenses Dell to do that, Apple does not license Pystar though.

    What's the difference as long as Apple got the same amount of money?

    Pystar [osnews.com] "failed to produce "customer purchase receipts or order documents" from April 2008 (when Psystar began selling their computers with Mac OS X preinstalled) until October 2008."


  • Re:Once again (Score:4, Informative)

    by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <<falconsoaring_2000> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Friday November 27, 2009 @03:07AM (#30243256)

    The way the law is written you are not free to go and buy 100 copies of a book and resell them without permission. Distribution rights are exclusive rights of the copyright holder.

    On the First sale doctrine [wikipedia.org]:
    "With reference to trade in tangible merchandise, such as the retailing of goods bearing a trademark, the "first sale" rule serves to immunize a reseller from infringement liability. Such protection to the reseller extends to the point where said goods have not been altered so as to be materially different from those originating from the trademark owner."


  • Re:Once again (Score:3, Informative)

    by butlerm ( 3112 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @02:13PM (#30247236)

    I guess it's because those companies don't have those provisions in their license agreements

    1. It is not settled law (to put it mildly) that the acceptance of a EULA is necessary to use a copy of software that you own. See here [cyberlawcases.com].

    2. There is explicit federal law with regard to the right of a owner of a copy of a software program to modify that work as necessary to make it work on "a machine", provided that they do redistribute that modification. See 17 USC 1179(a) [bitlaw.com].

BLISS is ignorance.