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Apple Files Suit Against Psystar

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the grind-exceeding-fine dept.

The Courts 805

Reader The other A.N. Other, among others, alerts us to the news that Apple has filed suit against Psystar, the unauthorized clonemaker. (We've been discussing Psystar from the start.) The suit alleges violation of Apple's shrink wrap license and trademarks, and also copyright infringement. News of the lawsuit, filed on July 3, first surfaced on a legal blog. There's speculation that the case has been sealed.

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805 comments

It's mildly shocking... (5, Interesting)

adder (3667) | about 6 years ago | (#24200293)

...that it took Apple this long to get the legal ball rolling on this!

Re:It's mildly shocking... (4, Insightful)

tulmad (25666) | about 6 years ago | (#24200319)

I was thinking the same thing, but Apple might have waited until they were sure they could win the suit.

Re:It's mildly shocking... (4, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | about 6 years ago | (#24200467)

I was thinking the same thing, but Apple might have waited until they were sure they could win the suit.

Or had to.

Had this clone company flopped Apple could have walked away without ever lifting a finger. Now Steve Jobs has to pull the same kind of antics that Microsoft was endlessly bashed for.

After all, Apple likes to play it off like the cool slacker who has everything just work out in the end. It's going to look bad if they need to kick some ass to keep their coveted spot in the home computing world. It's going to make for a great Mac Vs. PC commercial, I'm sure.

Re:It's mildly shocking... (0, Flamebait)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | about 6 years ago | (#24200495)

"Coveted spot in the home computing world?" Care to expand on that?

Re:It's mildly shocking... (3, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | about 6 years ago | (#24200785)

"Coveted spot in the home computing world?" Care to expand on that?

Do I really have to? Seriously?

Let's face some real facts about Apple. Their spot in the home computing world comes largely from the cool facade that they've, literally, built for themselves. Apple has gone well out of it's way to force an image on the public. This image works for them because it appeals to people who think that computing is somehow not "fun" if it's not done on an Apple. Their commercials are some of the biggest misrepresentations of technology this side of Comcast it's not even funny. They've created fake problems for the consumer public to laugh about in an attempt to sway them from the PC/MS market.

Or do you think that those commercials are an accurate display of the Mac vs. PC world? If you do than you've been fooled by one of the great showmen of our times.

Re:It's mildly shocking... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200655)

Now Steve Jobs has to pull the same kind of antics that Microsoft was endlessly bashed for.

Really? When has Microsoft ever engaged in these sorts of tactics? You're welcome to sell any computer you want that has Windows on it, as long as you hand over the Windows license with the computer.

Re:It's mildly shocking... (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 6 years ago | (#24200757)

I for one welcome Microsoft's history of high-minded and ethical business practices. ... ..

Re:It's mildly shocking... (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | about 6 years ago | (#24200995)

Apple is the same company who has repeatedly sent threatening legal letters to teenage bloggers and such. They also clearly violated their deal with Apple records, and then went on the legal offensive like they were victims.

Apple certainly isn't afraid to use their lawyers. My guess is that they wanted Pystar to make some profits to the lawsuit would make financial sense.

Re:It's mildly shocking... (3, Interesting)

cbreaker (561297) | about 6 years ago | (#24201023)

Apple has done worse in their day. They're more ruthless than most corporations when it comes to things like this.

Somehow, it seems to go unnoticed..

I guess people forgot how they squashed the Mac clone market a decade ago by deciding to no longer license the ROM needed to run MacOS and thus putting many OEM companies out of business in one fell swoop.

Re:It's mildly shocking... (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#24200433)

How so? Apple has probably had its legal department looking at this from day one. They also knew that they'd have to wait some period of time so as to not seem overly litigious -- after all, Apple positions its product as 'different' and itself as a 'different kind of company'.

In any respect, they had to have time to examine Psystar and the clones and then to formulate their legal strategy. Sound legal strategies are not often created overnight.

Re:It's mildly shocking... (2, Insightful)

aitikin (909209) | about 6 years ago | (#24200913)

They also knew that they'd have to wait some period of time so as to not seem overly litigious...

Yeah, because Apple never sues [macobserver.com] anyone.

Seriously, just Google "Apple Sues" and you'll find about eight million hits.

Re:It's mildly shocking... (2, Informative)

Pontiac (135778) | about 6 years ago | (#24200841)

Well getting damages in a copyright case does equire trying to mitigate damages..
They may have spent the time trying to the company to comply or get a licensing agreement worked out.
Apple's case will go much smoother if they can show they tried to settle the issue before moving to legal options.

Competition Killer (4, Insightful)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | about 6 years ago | (#24200305)

But it's Apple, so it's OK.

Re:Competition Killer (2, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24200463)

But it's Apple, so it's OK.

Reality distortion field detected! Raise your shields! Retreat!

Re:Competition Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200551)

When was the last time you saw anything resembling reality in an internet news forum posting?

Re:Competition Killer (5, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 6 years ago | (#24200963)

Er. Apple is a) a very small player in a market locked up by Microsoft (for OSs), and b) just one of many players in the home computer hardware market. By tying their hardware so firmly to the OS, they aren't so much killing competition as denying themselves extra sales of the OS.

I'm all for holding Apple to account for their licensing policies, but hyperbole doesn't help.

No surprise (0, Redundant)

Penguin Follower (576525) | about 6 years ago | (#24200307)

More surprising would be how long it took Apple to sue.

Re:No surprise (5, Interesting)

drspliff (652992) | about 6 years ago | (#24200615)

It takes a lot of preparation for them to reach this point and file proceedings, consider:

  * exec hears about it, if it were Microsoft chairs would be thrown
  * passed to the legal team to see if Apple have a case
  * legal sign off
  * paralegals do the groundwork, scrutinizing the EULA etc.
  * ...
  * ...
  * case is filed in court?

In the past I've tried bringing legal action for trademark infringement, and the whole process just to get things started can take months and months especially if you're in a large organization with N-layers of forms & approvals required for anything like this.

Don't want to dilute the elixir (5, Insightful)

Hyppy (74366) | about 6 years ago | (#24200313)

Apple is and always has been a hardware company. They fear competition on the hardware front, because that's their primary business product: overpriced "luxury" computers. (cue the fanboy bashings)

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

The Ancients (626689) | about 6 years ago | (#24200409)

Luxury maybe, but their machines aren't any more expensive than equally equipped machines from other manufacturers (cue the 50 Dell/Apple comparisons, and the 500 replies why they're not fair comparisons - from both sides)

After reading several Pystar reviews I think it's safe to say that the Pystar machines undercut Apple on price and quality.

Come on, now (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200561)

That's like saying Rolls Royce is no more expensive than the equivalently specced $OTHER_BRAND.

When you include the maple wood trim, leather seats, huge engine, ... it all works out about the same.

Kind of silly, isn't it.

Now, what the point IS is that nowadays you can buy a crappy little CPU, some memory and an old graphics card and have PLENTY of horsepower for what you need to do.

And Apple don't make one of them.

So Apple are expensive. Because they don't do the cheaper end.

No reason why they can't, they just don't.

Re:Come on, now (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#24200711)

...except there is none of that maple wood trim in an Apple.

The Apple is quite literally all of the innards of a Ford put into a prettier body style...

Re:Come on, now (1)

bluesk1d (982728) | about 6 years ago | (#24200787)

Hah nice analogy. When he said equivalently specced what he sould have said was IDENTICALLY specced. Using your analogy, the Rolls Royce would simply be a shell with all the same (not similar) parts as a Honda Civic inside only charging 50x as much for it.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#24200657)

...except the kicker is that I don't have to buy Apple's idea of a
quad core system in order to get an effective quad core system.

Instead of the only bundle that Apple is willing to sell me, I can
get the mini equivalent of a Quad Core system.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

The Ancients (626689) | about 6 years ago | (#24200815)

...except the kicker is that I don't have to buy Apple's idea of a quad core system in order to get an effective quad core system.

Instead of the only bundle that Apple is willing to sell me, I can get the mini equivalent of a Quad Core system.

So your issue isn't with value per se, but with the lack of options then?

Going back to what I said - If Apple do have what you're after, then the price will be similar to the same hardware from other manufacturers. If they don't have what you want, then the argument has moved to a different arena.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#24200889)

Well, this whole case is about "lack of options".

Just read the plaintiffs own advertising copy.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 6 years ago | (#24200967)

Taking your cue, the thing is you can often get laptops from dell for under $600 that fits the needs of 90% of consumers. Grandma and mom don't care if it is heavier and lower specced than a macbook, what they care about is that it is cheap and fast enough (which it is, even under vista, for surfing, email, etc). So it doesn't matter if you can spec a laptop to match a dell, what matters is the race for the bottom.

*note I'm not one of the 90%, I spent over 2 grand for a 3 lb tablet pc (fujitsu t4220), but my wife is perfectly happy with her crappy dell.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 6 years ago | (#24200417)

Well I am not a fanboy and don't own a Mac but.
Their notebooks except the Air seem to be competitively priced.
The Imac seems a little pricey.
The Pro towers seem again to be competitive for what you get.
And the Servers seem like a pretty good deal.
What they lack are the super cheap entry level disposable junk that you see at BestCompuMaxCity.
They do lack a moderate price expandable tower.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (5, Funny)

Dan Ost (415913) | about 6 years ago | (#24200773)

Did anyone else try to read that post as a poem?

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200947)

No, I read it as an advertisement.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (2, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | about 6 years ago | (#24200435)

Their current lineup is fairly competitively priced.

Go ahead and spec out a similar machine from Dell, HP, or Lenovo. When comparing apples to apples (heh), they might not necessarily be the best deal around, but are certainly competitive, and definitely not a ripoff.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (5, Insightful)

Budenny (888916) | about 6 years ago | (#24200607)

Common fallacious argument.

It does not matter whether you can duplicate a Mac for less. What matters is, after you have settled on a spec you want, or found a Dell or HP you want, can you duplicate that for the same price from the Apple product line?

95% of the time you can't. This is what makes Apple a rip-off.

It would only matter that you could not duplicate a Mac cheaper, if the Mac spec were the starting point for shopping. It very rarely is.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (0)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 6 years ago | (#24200795)

It doesn't matter if you can duplicate the hardware specs, what matters is if you can duplicate performance.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about 6 years ago | (#24200845)

What kills me is that you're stuck with the crappy 1280x800 screen on every Macbook until you get to the outrageously expensive Macbook Pros. Even my >2 year old $600 Inspiron 6000 has a 1680x1050 display on it. I can't go back, but I don't want to pay $2,800 for a laptop either.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (5, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 6 years ago | (#24201013)

People feeling ripped off is what makes Apple a rip-off. If you're happy with your Mac, and feel you got good value for it, you haven't been ripped off. If you're unhappy with your Windows/PC, and want a Mac to replace it, but can't find one with comparable specs, don't buy one and you won't be ripped off.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 6 years ago | (#24200663)

Try and add some RAM to the default configurations. IT's about twice as pricey as the stuff is on the normal market. :)

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 6 years ago | (#24200829)

So you go to newegg, buy a $100 hard drive and spend $100 on ram, and you're good.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (0)

Hyppy (74366) | about 6 years ago | (#24200893)

And completely void your warranty! Awesome!

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 6 years ago | (#24200915)

I voided the warranty on my Macbook by doing something that they provide instructions on how to do?

Mod parent Interesting!

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (3, Insightful)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#24200709)

Go ahead and spec out a similar machine from Dell, HP, or Lenovo.

Last time I did that I was able to put together a machine comparable to a Mac Mini for about 50% of the price, and a Macbook for about 70% of the price. On average, the "Mac Tax" seems to be about 40% of the list price of a Mac.

I still bought the Mac mini and the Macbook Pro (thought that was tough, I could have gotten everything I actually wanted (hardware-wise) from a Macbook Pro for about the same price as the Macbook). When the choice is Windows vs UNIX-with-actual-applications, the Mac Tax is worth it. But it's still real.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | about 6 years ago | (#24200911)

You put together a MacMini for 50% of the price? There's only two companies out there I'm aware of that offer similar sized machines. Asus sell the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeBox, but it's a lot lower specced, and AOpen's mini PC, which I admit is a better deal, but it's no where near 50% of the price. My guess is that you forgot that being 6" by 6" by 2" and silent is a very very valuable feature.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#24200759)

The old "play the specs" game...

That's fine if you are talking about Atari's and Amigas.

Except we aren't here.

I can get as little of a machine or as much of a machine as I
want to. I don't even have to build any of this myself. I can
just pick many options from many vendors.

I don't need to spend $2700 to get a PCI-X slot. I don't need
to spend $2700 to get something better than a core duo. I don't
need to be limited to what Apple bundles together.

My upcoming quadcore RAID server will be about the same price as my last mini.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

Hyppy (74366) | about 6 years ago | (#24200801)

The problem arises when you don't WANT the proverbial all-leather interior with solid wood trim.

I would have bought a Mac years ago to at least familiarize myself with, if I could buy one for about the same price as an entry-level PC.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about 6 years ago | (#24200969)

Uh-huh. I just looked up the specs from Apple's site for a Mac Pro. It costs $2800. I priced out the parts to build a comparable machine on Newegg. It costs $1630. Now consider that often enough, a comparable machine from a major manufacturer will cost less than it will to build it yourself, because they get bulk deals on parts, get paid to load crapware, etc.

So, only $1200 more for equivalent hardware. You have a strange conception of "competitive", and "not a ripoff", sir.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

kenthorvath (225950) | about 6 years ago | (#24200441)

I'll never understand that false dichotomy. Saying Apple is primarily a hardware company or Apple is really a software company is like saying that light is primarily a particle or light is really just a wave.

It's both: Apple has a dual nature, and there is no need to oversimplify the situation.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

Marillion (33728) | about 6 years ago | (#24200941)

I agree completely. Apple have always ... (at least under Job's tenure) ... been about the end-to-end experience.

Having complete control over the end-to-end experience makes supporting Apple easier. Think about the problems that one of the recent Vista service packs had because the OEM didn't include critical AMD specific files which caused the service pack to brick those systems. Microsoft (and Linux for that matter) have a HUGE regression problem caused by the thousands of different hardware configurations that exist in the PC world. Apple only need to test about 25 or so.

In this respect, Apple behave like the IBM of yesteryear and Sun and Sequent and Unisys and HP where they have full control over both the Operating System and the Hardware.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 years ago | (#24200953)

OMG

A quantum mechanics analogy.

Astounding.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#24200975)

How much of their hardware to they *actually* manufacture these days?

The answer is: almost none. It's all outsourced.

And they don't need any hardware engineers for the Macs anymore -- after all, they're all just off-the-shelf parts now, right?

Apple is a software company. The hardware is just an excuse to say they're not directly and overtly competing with Microsoft (even though they are).

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | about 6 years ago | (#24200741)

Apple is and always has been a hardware company.

Well, that's what Apple and their fans claim. It's never been true, especially now. Proof? How many people buy Apple hardware to NOT run OS/X? (Very few) How many people buy Apple hardware solely to RUN OS/X? (Almost all of them) How successful would Apple be if they chose to simply become just another Windows PC company, and REALLY depended on their hardware? (Somewhat successful, but their prices would have to drop significantly)

And finally, how successful would OS/X be if Apple sold it as software for any platform, Microsoft-style? It would be earth-shakingly successful, probably garnering 50% marketshare within one year. And probably making 10x more money than they do now.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about 6 years ago | (#24200917)

And finally, how successful would OS/X be if Apple sold it as software for any platform, Microsoft-style? It would be earth-shakingly successful, probably garnering 50% marketshare within one year. And probably making 10x more money than they do now.

So why don't they then?

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (5, Interesting)

revscat (35618) | about 6 years ago | (#24201005)

And finally, how successful would OS/X be if Apple sold it as software for any platform, Microsoft-style? It would be earth-shakingly successful, probably garnering 50% marketshare within one year. And probably making 10x more money than they do now.

They tried that before. It didn't work out too well. Also, you're wrong.

One of the strengths of OS X is that it runs on a limited, well-understood suite of hardware. Bugs are easier to fix, components are easier to tweak, and new features are more easily added. I do not, and never have, believed that Apple would be well served by opening up OS X. It's a tightly run ship (for the most part), and opening it up to all hardware would serve neither Apple nor end users.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200761)

So it's like buying a Rolls-Royce engine and putting it into a Camry body, and having Rolls sue you for it?

God I lurve car analogies.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (4, Interesting)

timster (32400) | about 6 years ago | (#24200895)

Nah, they are a software company. The truth is that they can't be profitable selling Mac OSX at $150 a copy to compete with Windows, because they need a large developer team to keep pace with Microsoft and they have fewer unit sales.

So if Microsoft spends $1 billion on development, Apple probably needs to spend at least $500 million to keep up. Microsoft can distribute that cost among 20 million users at $50 each, charge $100 and make half profit. If Apple has 2 million users that comes out to $250 per user spent on development. (These aren't intended to be real numbers, just an approximation of the magnitude of the respective numbers).

Very few people would spend $500 on a boxed OSX so it's necessary to bundle with hardware that's intentionally kept unique, and lower-end models are limited in certain ways as a form of price discrimination. The uniqueness is part of the package, but it's also a way to obfuscate direct price comparisons.

Apple sells OSX UPGRADES at a reasonable price, but there's no way you'd catch them selling an "OEM" version anywhere close to $200 -- there'd be no ROI.

This is the only strategy a commercial OS vendor could resonably hope to use in a Microsoft-dominated market.

Re:Don't want to dilute the elixir (1)

Hyppy (74366) | about 6 years ago | (#24200979)

Yes, but isn't that a case of the tail wagging the dog? They make the vast majority of their profits from hardware sales, with a growing share attributed to iTunes royalties.

Who? (0, Redundant)

Romancer (19668) | about 6 years ago | (#24200369)

Had to go look them up:

What they say about the "Open Computer" / clone:
Open Computer: The Smart Alternative to an Apple
Why spend $1999 to get the least expensive Apple computer with a decent video card when you can pay less than a fourth of that for an equivalent sleek and small form-factor desktop with the same hardware. Sometimes reinventing the wheel is a good thing. The Open Computer can work for new Mac users and Mac geniuses, alike.

New to Mac: I Want a Mac
You don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get the full OS X Leopard experience. Apple's Mac Mini is completely stripped and still expensive. Why would you want a stripped-down computer, anyway? You asked for a good and inexpensive computer that can run OS X and we answered with the Open Computer which is less expensive than even the cheapest Apple computer out now faster than most Apple computers out now running arguably the best operating system available ready to run out of the box when you purchase it with Leopard included. If you buy Leopard with your Open Computer we'll install it for free.

(notice the "If you buy leopard..." line)

Experts and Geniuses: I Want a Hackintosh
This is a great opportunity for the experienced user. With the Open Computer you can
run a Vanilla kernel for the genuine Leopard experience
get under the hood and really see what makes OS X tick
develop device drivers and applications specific to OSx86

gasp! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200387)

apple can't compete? where are all those who howl about how apple is a better company now?

Wake up people (4, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about 6 years ago | (#24200389)

Apple is exactly what Microsoft would be if Bill Gate's father wasn't already a wealthy man. Do you think that Jobs or Gates are very much different?

One interesting note, however, Apple uses the courts as an offensive mechanism more often than Microsoft. Microsoft tends to bombard problems with cash projectiles until resistance is bought off. Apple sues you for even talking about them.

All multi-national corporations suck.

Re:Wake up people (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200485)

Innovation though Litigation.

Re:Wake up people (3, Insightful)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#24200529)

Wake up to what?

Few people have any illusions that Apple is "not evil" in some sense that makes them different from any other company.

But this case has nothing to do with being evil or being good.

Apple and Microsoft have a completely different set of business models. It's not just that they're smaller, the whole revenue model is radically different: Apple makes their money from hardware sales. This is probably the biggest reason that Apple's still in business: they're not fighting Microsoft on Microsoft's playing field.

Anyway, they have to sell hardware to do that. So they license the software in a way that drives hardware sales. So they kind of don't have an alternative: go up against Microsoft when death is on the line, or sue someone who's blatantly violating your license.

Re:Wake up people (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 years ago | (#24200827)

Yes Jobs is different.

He wants to make cool stuff.

Gates just wants to make money and take over the world.

Re:Wake up people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200977)

Jobs needs to try harder.

Re:Wake up people (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about 6 years ago | (#24200981)

Yes Jobs is different.

He wants to make cool stuff.

Then why is Apple suing?

Re:Wake up people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200877)

Apple sues you for even talking about them.

They're the Scientologists of the technology world.

Re:Wake up people (1)

Sitnalta (1051230) | about 6 years ago | (#24201033)

Jobs is actually a tremendous dick in real life too, while Gates is a pretty cool guy. I guess it's hard to have high standards and not be an asshole.

Guess we get to see just how far EULAs will go... (5, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | about 6 years ago | (#24200395)

Without the clause in the EULA that you will only run the OS on a genuine MAC, there is nothing here. So I guess we get to see just how far a shrink wrap EULA will go in the court. I'm not entirely certain that this is a good case for it, but it's not one of the worst.

Unfortunately, the 9th Circuit just ruled for Blizzard in their interpretation of a EULA violation negating the validity of license of legally purchased software & CA is in the 9th Circuit.

Thankfully... (0)

PortHaven (242123) | about 6 years ago | (#24200605)

The 9th Circuit Court is the most over-turned court. So if the 9th decided it, it will probably get overturned. ;)

Re:Thankfully... (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 6 years ago | (#24200863)

it's not called the 9th Circus for nothing

Re:Guess we get to see just how far EULAs will go. (5, Interesting)

frission (676318) | about 6 years ago | (#24200991)

There's a little more to it now. It sounds more like they're suing because they took the Leopard update, opened it up, modified files in it, and re-released it for themselves. I think they're considering that a copyright infringement.

Re:Guess we get to see just how far EULAs will go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24201047)

Apple: I'm not going to sell you this software unless you agree to only run it on Genuine Apple hardware.

Customer: okay, I agree.

Nvidia: I'm not going to let you download this this driver unless you agree you're not going to reverse engineer it.

Customer: okay, I agree.

Apple: Hey, you ran our software on Psystar hardware, you lied.

Customer: fsck you.

Nvidia: Hey, you reverse engineered our driver, you lied.

Customer: fsck you.

Hmmm. What's wrong with this picture?

a boy can dream (5, Insightful)

jtroutman (121577) | about 6 years ago | (#24200397)

Wouldn't it be nice if they fought this? If they said, hey, we bought your software, we can install it on whatever we want. And then, in my imaginary world, a judge sees their point of view and rules that once you purchase a piece of software, it's yours to do with as you please.

Re:a boy can dream (2, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24200511)

And then, in my imaginary world, a judge sees their point of view and rules that once you purchase a piece of software, it's yours to do with as you please.

The OpenMoko article is just below this one. Enjoy ^_^

Re:a boy can dream (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 6 years ago | (#24200891)

EULA is a contract... the law doesn't have much to say about contracts you enter into and then decide you don't want to honor.

Not a bad business model... (5, Interesting)

BUL2294 (1081735) | about 6 years ago | (#24200413)

1. Create a line of Mac clones.
2. Sell them to an unwitting public.
3. Have Apple file suit.
4. Pay bonuses to all the execs.
5. Declare bankruptcy.
6. Shut down all operations.

Guess what... Everyone who bought a Psystar is left totally unsupported (which includes the all-important security hole fixes) and the execs made a bundle... Now, could Apple go after the execs personally for copyright infringement or (the soon-to-be-defunct) Psystar? Ironically, there was no consumer fraud here--businesses go under all the time and anyone who bought a Psystar would have had to know that Apple wouldn't support them...

Re:Not a bad business model... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 6 years ago | (#24200481)

Anyone who bought a Psystar should have known that Psystar wouldn't necessarily support (or be able to support) them either. Them's the risks when you buy a hacked product.

Re:Not a bad business model... (1)

Budenny (888916) | about 6 years ago | (#24200517)

Yes, if Apple wins. What however if Apple does not win? Don't be so sure. They thought long and hard before suing and may regret it deeply before this is all over.

Re:Not a bad business model... (1)

nsayer (86181) | about 6 years ago | (#24200729)

Yes, if Apple wins. What however if Apple does not win? Don't be so sure.

I'm pretty sure [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not a bad business model... (1)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | about 6 years ago | (#24200987)

This is different from Franklin. Franklin copied Apple ROMs; Psystar is just supporting the EFI standard.

Re:Not a bad business model... (1)

BPPG (1181851) | about 6 years ago | (#24200713)

It might be a good business move for Apple if they would 'graciously' give Psystar customers a chance to 'upgrade', and then get Apple support.

Although, if they don't make much money off of the lawsuit, then they might not bother.

Besides, there might still be some copyright issues if they took over Psystar's products without buying out Psystar altogether.

Re:Not a bad business model... (2, Insightful)

nsayer (86181) | about 6 years ago | (#24200921)

When the North won the U.S. Civil War, they pointedly said that the federal government would not redeem confederate currency, nor pay any confederate debts. Apple's pretty much taking the same line, and the reason is pretty obvious: If Apple were to make nice, it would encourage purchases from the next huckster that tries to sell Apple clones.

Interesting Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200429)

Digidyne v. Data General Corp, 734 F.2d 1336 (9th Cir. 1984)

not surprised.. (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | about 6 years ago | (#24200453)

wonder when steve jobs will launch a jihad against the iphone clones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ5cTo4jXHI [youtube.com]

They're not exactly the same thing but their a decent copy with a few features that the real iphone lacks and the price is very attractive.

Re:not surprised.. (1)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#24200577)

Those are no more "iPhone clones" than the all-in-one Windows boxes that came out for a while after the iMac came out were "iMac clones". There's a difference between a clone and a lookalike.

Demand for OS X (2, Informative)

javacowboy (222023) | about 6 years ago | (#24200479)

Much of Apple's success is due to the fact that they have what is IMNHO by far the best consumer OS on the planet. They have the exclusive right to distribute that OS. As they should: they put up a sizable investment of human and technological resources to build it. Normally, I'm against harsh "intellectual property" laws, but this is Apple's investment in a huge competitive advantage, and they've earned it.

Naturally with their "monopoly" on OS X distribution, they're able to skim off the top and limit distribution and the types of computers (ex cheap minitowers) that can run it. This has all kinds of people frustrated, as I'm sure some in the Slashdot crowd are. Apple tolerates a few hackers jumping through hoops to get it running on commodity PCs, as long as that means they lose maybe 0.1% of their potential customers.

Now some small fry entrepreneur is willing to take the risk of tapping into the rest of the 99.9% of the OS X market by selling PCs with OS X loaded on them. Despite the overwhelming legal precedent against them (I don't know of any official retailer that has gotten away with installing pirated versions of Windows on commodity PCs), they figure it's worth the risk. If they argue that they paid for every shrink-wrapped copy of OS X, then they stand a moderately better chance of succeeding.

Still, I imagine there's massive unsatisfied demand for OS X, which seems to be what MacOSX86 and Pystar are all about.

Re:Demand for OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200727)

It's not the same, in Psystar case the OS is not pirated, is legal.

Re:Demand for OS X (5, Insightful)

WK2 (1072560) | about 6 years ago | (#24200903)

[Apple has] the exclusive right to distribute [their] OS. As they should ... Now some small fry entrepreneur is ... selling PCs with OS X loaded on them. Despite the overwhelming legal precedent against them (I don't know of any official retailer that has gotten away with installing pirated versions of Windows on commodity PCs...

You seem to be confusing Psystar's behavior with piracy. They pay for their copies of OS X. Apple doesn't have a discount distribution center for their OS (for obvious reasons), so Psystar pays full retail price for each copy of OS X that they sell, and they use their right-of-first-sale rights to then resell that copy to their customers.

Yesterday Slashdot had a story about how it was judged that loading software in RAM is equivalent to distributing software. Psystar is loading it onto the HDD, so this ruling might be different. Of course, you could argue that Psystar is then distributing the HDD, but as mentioned before, right-of-first-sale gives them this right without the need for a license.

It's been a while, but I really hope for a sane copyright-related ruling this time. I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Demand for OS X (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | about 6 years ago | (#24200965)

I don't believe that any pirated copies of OS X are involved. All Apple can do is hope either EULA holds up in court or arrange some sort of settlement.

But then, IANAL.

Re:Demand for OS X (2, Insightful)

nsayer (86181) | about 6 years ago | (#24201001)

Much of Apple's success is due to the fact that they have what is IMNHO by far the best consumer OS on the planet. They have the exclusive right to distribute that OS.

Copyright law certainly grants them the exclusive right to the first sale.

The sole issue for debate is whether or not someone is allowed to buy a boxed copy of Leopard from Amazon and then do with it what they like, including run it on "unauthorized" hardware.

Apple's EULA says "no," but it is far from legally certain that that EULA is worth the pixels it's printed on.

Isn't there already case presidence against Apple? (1)

HannethCom (585323) | about 6 years ago | (#24200513)

I might be wrong with your draconian DMCA laws, but isn't there already case presidence with the case involving the X86 architecture?

not sealed (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200531)

Here is a slightly more informative (less speculative) posting: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=9328 [zdnet.com]

Ford Engine in a Chevy (1)

c0d3r (156687) | about 6 years ago | (#24200565)

I heard that in some state that its illegal to put a ford engine in a chevy, or i think that was a redneck joke.

So excited for a legal judgment (4, Interesting)

saterdaies (842986) | about 6 years ago | (#24200599)

I really hope this goes to trial and a judge rules on it. Partly because I think the judge would rule that Apple can't do what they're trying to do with their EULA, but even if the judge sides with them, it's still a clarification of the law.

I don't like existing in the murky world of armchair people positing what is and isn't legal. Plus, if it goes Psystar's way, I doubt it would be too long before larger manufacturers got on board. Once something becomes legal, corporations want all over it (well, I guess that applies to profitable things).

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200665)

'Reader The other A.N. Other, among others,'....

Most confusing nickname to put into a sentence.

eula (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200735)

It seems to me that it is the consumers breaking the OSX license agreement, not the hardware cloner.

Monopoly? (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 6 years ago | (#24200763)

I don't see how Apple doesn't get charges brought against them just like Microsoft has. Honestly, Apple seems like more of a Monopoly than Microsoft ever could. As long as they don't try to sell it off as genuine Apple hardware, I don't see how this should be illegal in any way. If so, MS should sue Apple for releasing the Windows boot loader thingie (I don't know what it's called) to run Windows on Intel Macs.

Re:Monopoly? (1)

dedazo (737510) | about 6 years ago | (#24200873)

They're not a monopoly because they don't have majority share in the desktop market. The MP3 player one might be another thing, but there's enough competition there that it doesn't look like a monopoly either.

I think Apple will always avoid having a monopoly of any kind just based on their prices. It's hard to monopolize a market when you're selling basically the same hardware as your competitors, but in a prettier case and at a 30% markup.

Maybe the iPhone will give them a monopoly in the smartphone market, but even that would be just a tiny sliver of the overall cell phone market.

order now before the injunction (2, Insightful)

fpgaprogrammer (1086859) | about 6 years ago | (#24200835)

you better order one now before an Apple-filed injunction is approved... not only will you get a cheap & better mac clone, you'll also give them the cash they need for their legal fun. better act fast!

Sueing for what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24200839)

Is the apple architecture protected in some legal manner?

What's special about EFI, TPM, and an intel CPU?

I mean, go after the users of psystar for buying os x without the mac, but what has psystar done exactly?

Re:Sueing for what? (1)

Pontiac (135778) | about 6 years ago | (#24201029)

Well from what I read the users buy the OS but Psystar is doing the install..
So Phystar employees are the ones clicking through the EULA, Not the user.

Mac license ~= PS3/360/Zune/etc. (1, Insightful)

revscat (35618) | about 6 years ago | (#24200937)

I fail to see the controversy.

Apple, for business reasons all their own, has chosen not to structure their licenses such that 3rd parties can sell systems that come with OS X pre-installed without Apple's approval. There are plenty of operating systems around with licenses that do permit this. If Apple had a monopoloy on operating systems this would be a different beast. They do not; competition is ripe, and heating up.

Further, this situation seems analogous to one in which some third-party decided to make their own PS3 clones, unapproved of by Sony. The PS3 is Sony's property, to do with as they see fit. Suing this PS3 clone maker into oblivion would be wholly justified. Apple is no different.

So what's the big deal?

Think Different? (2, Funny)

NeuroManson (214835) | about 6 years ago | (#24200985)

More like "Sue Predictably".

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