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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:09PM (#30238458)

    Despite their high cost relative to other vendors, I was thinking about buying a Mac. I used NeXTSTEP back in the day, and have heard good things about Mac OS X, so I thought it'd be worth it.

    But I can't, in good conscious, know that I'd be financially supporting this sort of behavior if I were to buy Apple products.

    So I'm buying from a local computer shop instead, and I'm going to run Linux.

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

    by ( 1563557 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:13PM (#30238484)

    Cue all the replies from people who think they should have the right to install software from a company onto any piece of hardware they want.

    Apple sells systems. In the old days, nobody would even think about separating the software and hardware of an Atari, Apple, Amiga or Commodore computer.

    The more you guys push to "free" Mac OS X, the more you guys risk of seeing the opposite laws being written, giving HP, Dell, Acer and others the ability to sign exclusive contracts with Microsoft. No more unlocked computers, no more OSS. Be very, very careful what you guys wish for.

    Wah wah wah. The copyright laws are fucking ridiculous. Running a program constitutes an infringement since it transfers the data into memory, thus making an illegal copy.

    Would a case against me memorizing my favorite book hold up in court? You can't legally force me to have a lobotomy, and I have an illegal copy of your work in my brain.

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

    by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:20PM (#30238530) Journal

    Yeah, Apple is Apple and I don't have to like the way they do things. I will however support them if someone is encroaching on the way they want to run their business. Cracking an Apple OS to run on a machine that Apple doesn't want to goes against what Apple wants to do with their OS. Yes, I know, they're still making money on an OS copy sold, so they shouldn't bitch, but if they want to thats their business.

    Apple wants everything to stay within their box, and they want to have complete and utter control over that box. As long as Apple isn't trying to control whats outside the box - I don't care, but as I see it, OS X is part of their box. In the long run, their strictly closed box might be their downfall. No skin off my back.

  • Re:It's ok (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:28PM (#30238606) Journal

    I wouldn't call them fools if their business strategy makes them alot money.

    I don't like the way they do things either, but all in all, they picked a route - stuck to it - and have generally been flawless in its execution.

    As you said, the fools are the ones buying the product, but if its what they want, who am I to argue?

  • by daveime ( 1253762 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:29PM (#30238610)

    The problem I see is not that Apple want complete control over *their* boxes, but that they want complete control over other manufacturer's boxes also.

    Let's just say, hypothetically, that A N Other harware manufacturer could produce a system that ran Mac OSX perfectly well, or perhaps even better than Apple's own hardware, then a huge chunk of Apple's income would go south overnight.

    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.

    Despite this being a perfectly valid argument, I expect to get modded into oblivion by the fanbois rather than expect any valid counterargument.

  • by AnotherShep ( 599837 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:34PM (#30238648)
    Here's what you're missing. Dell did that and does that with their Mini whatever netbooks, and nobody is stopping them. There are plenty of Hackintosh Mini 10s. Psystar, however, bought, modified, and unlawfully *redistributed* the modified software for use on their computers.
  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:36PM (#30238662) Journal

    They aren't controlling other manufacturer's boxes though.

    I don't know how manufacturer's got the idea of "Hey, I could run OS X on this box..." when Apple never gave them consent to. Its Apple's software, they decide who runs it.

    The last thing Apple needs is bad PO saying that OS X got hit by a bad virus because of a vulnerability running on someone elses firmware. Sure, it won't hit any Legit Apple products, but the public will think that Macs are no longer secure.

    Which is -EXACTLY- what is happening with the iPhone right now. The iPhone itself has never caught a virus, simply because they control the Apps on it. Now there are dozens of news stories about how iPhones are catching this and that, simply because people are Jailbreaking their iPhones. It's not good for the iPhone, which makes it not good for Apple.

    When Apple tries to stop the same thing from happening to their Operating system, I can't blame them in the least.

  • by nametaken ( 610866 ) * on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:36PM (#30238664)

    Bullshit. What I do with my property after I've legally purchased it is MY FUCKING BUSINESS. Their opinions about what I should and shouldn't do with my property shouldn't be legal obligations. They manufactured it, I bought it, it's mine. If I want to put the engine from my Ford into a Dodge, that's my business, and Ford shouldn't be able to stop me because they feel it's inconsistent with their marketing strategies or because they'd rather I bought another complete car.

    I'll cede that copying their OS and redistributing it would be a bogus thing to do, but that's it.

  • Psystar f-ed it up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:36PM (#30238670) Journal

    This isn't a case where Psystar was making boxes, buying retail copies of MacOS, installing those on the boxes and selling box and MacOS together. That's how Psystar portrayed it, but it turns out that what they were actually doing was cloning all the machines from a master copy of the OS, then including a (still-unopened) copy of MacOS with the box. If you want to use 17 USC 117 (running programs) and 17 USC 109 (First Sale), you have to actually observe the forms. It's not enough to claim that the result is the same as if you'd observed the forms. Thus the case was a slam-dunk for Apple.

  • Re:It's ok (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stuart Gibson ( 544632 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:39PM (#30238696) Homepage

    Please explain to me why I am a fool for buying the system that best enables me to do my work? I have, at various times, primarily used Windows, Linux and OSX and, currently, OSX is the system that works best for me. Considering the price differences amount to a couple of hours pay yet the productivity gains amount to more than that every month, wouldn't I be a fool *not* to use it?

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

    by Stevecrox ( 962208 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:40PM (#30238704) Journal
    Cue all the replies from people who think they should have the right to install software from a company onto any piece of hardware they want.

    Out of interest where does, Microsoft Windows, Dos, Ubuntu, Photoshop, Autocad, Proteus, MS Office, Skype, All Games and just about any software I can think of come into this picture?

    Has Microsoft tried to sue WINE for allowing and encouraging Linux users to run MS Office under linux? Does Ubisoft care if I get Tomb Raider Underworld working on my copy of Windows ME? You can install Windows XP onto a machine with 32MB's of ram, MS won't try to stop you selling machines in that configuration.

    Apple is the only company I know that attempts to restrict where it's software will run. All other companies will just refuse to support a platform and they state plainly what platform the software has been tested on (and will be supported on) and what they believe are the minimum requirements.

    So why are Apple special? If people aren't expecting Apple to provide any support and there are no technical reasons for the software not running, why can't people do what they want? Every single other company works that way.
  • Re:It's ok (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pigphish ( 1070214 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:43PM (#30238732)
    Since you didn't post to my Apple bashing anonymously, I will explain myself...

    My impression and limited experience of Mac users has been folks who genuinely think Apple is innovative. I believe they are not. They take existing technology and perhaps make it more mature by adding a good interface to it. I give them credit for making things like mp3 players more mainstream but they did it by trying to pushing their own format. In the end they are bad for the industry and I am glad their strategy of keeping everything closed failed the last time around they were a heavy player.

    Very simply, if "Apple" in the article was replaced with the less word hip "Sony" all the Apple fans would not be happy.
  • Re:Once again (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:45PM (#30238752) Journal

    I think the difference being that if I have a legal license to run software then I have a legal right to load that software into memory and utilize it as long as the original agreement allows for it.


    If i pirate software, then run it I don't have a legal right to have the original copy or the additional copy running in ram.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:58PM (#30238834)
    It's still inane. I argue this is similar to time-shifting. If they paid for the copies, who cares where they install them? Face it, people who are in favor of Apple in this case wouldn't be in favor if it was some other company, say CueCat [] or this was DVD CSS Region Control.

    If I was a judge I would understand this as breach of copyright license if the license includes a mention in how you can only use the software in Apple hardware. That is if I was a judge, who was concerned with upholding the law rather than doing The Right Thing (TM).

  • Bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:09PM (#30238920) Homepage

    The problem I see is not that Apple want complete control over *their* boxes, but that they want complete control over other manufacturer's boxes also.

    Apple is doing NOTHING to stop Dell or HP from loading any flavor of Linux or Windows on their boxes.

    Apple sells Macs and iPhones, and OSX by Apple is designated only to run on those machines. If you can get it to run on other boxes, fine (and Apple has yet to threaten or prosecute folks who make or tell you how to make a Hackintosh), but don't tell me that Apple is desiring "complete control" over other manufacturer's boxes because those companies want to sell something they don't have the rights to (OSX).

  • by Capt.DrumkenBum ( 1173011 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:13PM (#30238948)
    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.

    Still not perfect, but a lot closer than the original.
  • Re:Once again (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki AT cox DOT net> on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:14PM (#30238950)

    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...

  • by uglyduckling ( 103926 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:16PM (#30238970) Homepage

    The whole point of this story is that Psystar were modifying OS X without authorisation, storing the unauthorised modified copy on a server, and cloning those modified copies onto third party machines. How many companies do that (or get away with doing that) with Windows*? NONE. Office? NONE. In fact, if you took Ubuntu and modified it, then tried to resell or distribute it as "Ubuntu" and not under some other name, you would be at the wrong end of a lawsuit.

    I realise here that Apple really doesn't want OS X to be a commodity OS, they want it tied to the hardware. But the case against Psystar is based on perfectly legitimate concerns, even if many Slashdotters don't like the end results. Apple are not the bad guys here, they're simply using a legitimate legal issue to achieve the end result they desire.

    * before anyone starts talking about Dell etc. making installation images - they are authorised to do this by Microsoft under a licensing agreement, they aren't going out and buying retail copies of the OS.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:20PM (#30238994)

    What the fuck are you babbling about? There is plenty of information on making a Hackintosh and people do it all the time. Psystar was reselling a hacked version of Mac OS X. No company would allow that to their IP. Apple isn't suing hackers who mod their computers and operating systems, they're suing someone trying to make a buck off their stuff. Big difference.

    As usual the idiots at slashdot modded you up to 5 Insightful, for a wrong observation about what is happening.

  • A few reasons (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:28PM (#30239044)

    One is that Apple has done a good job of setting themselves up as the anti-MS underdog. Well, you get lots of geeks who hate MS. Thus if Apple is anti-MS, they like Apple. They never bother to examine if Apple's tactics are any better than MS's. It is a simple case of "I hate MS, these guys hate MS, so I like these guys."

    Another is the cult/fanboy mentality Apple works to foster. They have always marketed their stuff as being superior, and implied that you are a superior person because you buy it. They work to create this cult-like status where you are "special" for being one of the chosen few who are an Apple user. That sort of thing leads to a "They can do no wrong," kind of mentality. Fanboys very much believe that their chosen brand/company is always right, whatever they say or do is correct. As such it doesn't matter how bad the action is, they defend it.

    Along those lines is the worry that if another company replicates what Apple is doing, then they'll no longer be special. Despite their talk about OS-X being superior, the fanboys don't want everyone to have it because then they aren't special anymore, they are just normal.

    That is really what it comes down to. Apple has a large fan base who is convinced they are the noble underdog, fighting the good fight. They don't examine their behavior objectively.

  • by AnotherShep ( 599837 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:05PM (#30239276)
    No, because they cloned it, not copied it...
  • Duh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Steeltoe ( 98226 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:06PM (#30239286) Homepage

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

    What you're suggesting is insane. The only difference is having to install everything manually on every computer, or just cloning the same bits and bytes. What's the difference as long as Apple got the same amount of money?

    The law should not be stupid, but be interpreted according to common sense. If this is how it is, either this broken legal system needs further fixes, or we just need to stay away from proprietary software altogether - too much risk and arbitrary decisions in the hands of the wrong people..

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

    by gyrogeerloose ( 849181 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @04:59PM (#30239614) Journal

    Don't large PC manufacturers do something like this for whatever system they're installing?

    Sure they do. And they have a license from Microsoft that allows them to do that legally. Apple, on other other hand, did not grant Psystar any sort of license at all to install OS X on their computers, let alone one that allowed them to create cloned copies.

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

    by __aasqbs9791 ( 1402899 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @05:18PM (#30239736)

    He's saying it doesn't count because it is literally a requirement to use any software. There is no other way to run software other than copying it into RAM, and therefore you don't require an exception to copyright law, as such an exception is assumed when you buy it.

  • Apple is .. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @05:22PM (#30239766)

    .. evil. This is nothing new. They've had the same predatory behavior for well over 2 decades now.

    It's hard for a lot of us to accept, because nearly everyone here owns an apple product they genuinely enjoy (I own several myself), but the truth is Apple is evil.

  • by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @05:27PM (#30239790) Homepage

    As long as you stayed clear of trademark problems, you wouldn't see any lawyers. At worst, Ferrari might stop selling engines to you.

    There is a large industry full of companies that do basically what you're suggesting (although perhaps not creating quite such a ridiculous product).

  • by Acapulco ( 1289274 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @05:56PM (#30239962)
    My argument wasn't about the license agreement, but about your point on how Apple would "look bad" when viruses strike the iPhone.

    I wanted to point out that your car manufacturer should not care about the usage of the product after purchase, even if it is not used as intended originally. Like using a car to build a sculpture that the manufacturer wouldn't aprove of or something along those lines.

    Much like Apple should not care if I use my brand-new MacBook Pro as toilet paper, even if it gives them bad publicity because people are using their product to wipe their asses.
  • Re:It's ok (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @06:15PM (#30240104)
    You must have one HELL of a job if the price difference between a PC and a comparable Mac is only a couple of hours pay.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @06:39PM (#30240254)

    I honestly don't care what the law says. I don't believe the law is right. I can believe that Psystar is violating the law, I just don't care.

    They bought copies of OS X. I don't give a damn about a EULA that should not be enforceable (even if it *IS* enforceable), because I think it's wrong of Apple to be able to control what people do that way. They paid for the software, they shouldn't be able to play licensing trickery that, even though you paid for it, you can only use it in certain Apple-approved ways.

    Frankly, in some ways I'm glad that Microsoft crushed Apple. Although Apple makes superior products, they're even worse control freaks than Microsoft about what you may and may not do with their software and I hate that about them, even if their products are great.

  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @07:27PM (#30240638) Journal

    Ah, but what if you starting using Bob the pop Singer's latest CD in your upcoming Summer hit movie without Bob the poop singer's permission? It depends on how Bob the pop singer feels about how you are using his music in that film.

    Just because you purchase something doesn't mean that you can do whatever you want with it. There are laws that are generated by the Federal Government (like Copyright laws) and then there are Licensing Laws the the company creates itself and is enforced by the government. If you think that the government shouldn't be used to enforce the EULA, go do something about it.

    Apple Tries locking down the software. When people break that, they go the legal route.

    Is that all you're really upset about? Apple using the courts to defend its software? Or is it that Apple is trying to defend its software? Because I've already laid out why they should.

  • by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <falconsoaring_2000 AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday November 26, 2009 @11:29PM (#30242190)

    I'm not talking about copying and distributing, I'm talking about doing what you want with something for your personal use.

    No, you're missing the point, Apple has never gone after anyone for making a hackintoch for their own use. Apple has only gone after those who want to distribute hackintoches. And that is what corresponds to you copying "Bob the pop singers' latest CD".


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