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Lawsuit Between Apple and Psystar Moves Toward Settlement

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the when-life-hands-you-apples dept.

The Courts 242

An anonymous reader writes "Psystar and Apple have agreed to alternative dispute resolution to keep the public eye away from their disagreements, and to reduce legal costs. This will eliminate any rulings that would set a precedent over Psystar's claim that Apple is violating anti-trust laws by tying Mac OS X to only their hardware and thus creating a monopoly. This could result in a profit for Psystar's business, but eliminate their line of open-computing Mac-compatible PCs. On the other hand, what's to stop a similar company from doing the same thing?"

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242 comments

It's nonbinding (5, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431693)

Apple can punt on this at any time and haul it back into court if it's not going their way. 'quietly squash' rather than 'publically squash' is the plan. If that doesn't work out, they'll publically squash, because the entire vitality of Apple as a corporation depends on this issue: control of their hardware platforms.

Re:It's nonbinding (-1, Offtopic)

dateking (1389201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431975)

Apple can punt on this at any time and haul it back into court if it's not going their way. 'quietly squash' rather than 'publically squash' is the plan. If that doesn't work out, they'll publically squash, because the entire vitality of Apple as a corporation depends on this issue: control of their hardware platforms.

Apple can punt on this at any time and haul it back into court if it's not going their way. 'quietly squash' rather than 'publically squash' is the plan. If that doesn't work out, they'll publically squash, because the entire vitality of Apple as a corporation depends on this issue: control of their hardware platforms.

nothing only http://www.cdkeymall.com/ [cdkeymall.com]

What's to stop Apple? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25431695)

The fact that they'll sue, and even if you eventually settle, you're probably going out of business?

Re:What's to stop Apple? (0)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431721)

If your case is strong enough, you will win. There are a lot of arguments against Apple, especially the anti-trust one. The right to produce a competing product is fairly important in a free market.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431825)

QOTD: Iron Law of Distribution: Them that has, gets.

If your case is strong enough, you will win.

See above. Really, it's not nearly so nice in the real world. Apple has what, USD 20 B (big ones) in cash floating around. Pystar is lucky if they haven't maxed out their VISA card.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431889)

Pystar has a war chest to deal with this exact issue. If they weren't expecting Apple to sue they're idiots and wouldn't have lasted this long.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431915)

citation needed.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431973)

The amount of money they have is only partly relevant. If I had $20 billion, I couldn't make it legal for me to murder anyone. There is the extent that what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. (That said, there are a lot of shady and even illegal things one could to with $20bn if one were willing to do so... like various rulings I have seen in the past.)

But their having money isn't the sole factor influencing the result. If that were the case, drug, alcohol, tobacco and firearms companies would have won every time they were sued.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432189)

Nothing is certain in life this side of death and taxes, but really, if you had 20 B in the bank, your chances of getting away with murder, literally and / or figuratively go way, way up.

If that were the case, drug, alcohol, tobacco and firearms companies would have won every time they were sued.

They're doing pretty good, even tobacco has managed to hang in there. Given the moral issues the big AG lawsuits brought up the tobacco companies should be dead and buried by now and nicotine should be a DEA class II drug (along with alcohol, but I won't get started on that one now.

I'd like my pony now, please.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (2, Interesting)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433163)

The US has tried de-legalizing alcohol. If you don't know or remember how well that turned out, go find out. Consider the results of Prohibition before you suggest doing it again. I would lay 5:1 odds that any complete ban of tobacco products would have an identical result.

Here's a hint: It went very poorly for everybody involved, except the people selling alcohol. They got rich.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (3, Interesting)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431831)

Most small businesses can't afford 50hrs of lawyers fees a month for 3years. (About $500,000). Or if you try to go cheap and represent yourself they still can't afford to have their business partial stopped, have their stock dropped to nothing. And you boss of the company losing maybe 150 hours a month putting up a decent defense will surely have an effect on the company. In MOST case right or wrong don't matter. A big company can make anyone eat minimum a half million dollar bill. When I was starting up my company my lawyer cited an average $800,000 for ip suits, regardless of who wins. It only gets interesting when both sides can eat a million dollar loss without being too damaged (30million+ net-worth companies)

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432045)

Doesn't the loser have to pay legal fees though? If you're really sure of yourself that's quite a light at the end of the tunnel.

Does anyone know if they have to pay interest on legal fees too? I know /. has a long history of being frequented by talented lawyers.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (2, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432069)

In the US (some other countries are different), the loser does not automatically pay legal fees. Sometimes, a successful plaintiff will receive legal fees as part of the settlement, though.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432843)

In the US (some other countries are different), the loser does not automatically pay legal fees.

Which is the main reason why there's so many bullshit lawsuits in the first place.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (2, Interesting)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433051)

On the other hand, it can be a win for the little guy as well. If I sue a big company for something that I believe I have a legitimate case for, and the judgment goes against me, I only have my own legal fees to pay. If I had to pay for the large corporation's legal fees as well, I'd be essentially bankrupted.

In other words, an automatic loser-pays system would make whistle-blower lawsuits almost automatically nonviable, since those suits are hardly ever sure wins.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432979)

Maybe... sometimes. If you want to try for that though you'll likely be risking another 50% on top of the original fight. But it doesn't matter, the goal is to destroy the company before the case is closed. Say you have a public company worth about 10million and get sued. You decide to save time and hire a lawyer. Being away from the helm of the company for court and such + lawyer fees costs you around 1.2million. Over time since the company is losing money and the future is on shaky ground because of the lawsuit your stock plummets to 20% of what it was, costing you another 5million. You are forced to restructure and downsize. Have to lay off employees and others bail since employee loyalty in a sinking ship is unsurprisingly low. So the suit ends and you pull out a win 3~4years later. You are awarded fees of 500k + 100k reimbursement. Sadly your company is now only worth 1.5million and you owe 2million in debts. So you close the company pay off the debts and give yourself a shiny 10,000$ bonus for your troubles. Oh and if you lose you will be in the hole by 600,000$ and have no job. You can likely avoid paying that but the point still stands.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (2, Insightful)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431857)

The anti-trust thing is a red herring, Apple do not have sufficient market share for anti-trust laws to apply. The only real argument I've seen is the first-sale issue. If that turns out to be valid, I expect Apple will simply stop selling boxed copies of OS X and move to on-line OS upgrades which can only be performed from a Mac. With no way to buy OS X if you don't already have a Mac you wouldn't be able to legally get a copy even if it would be legal to run it on non-Apple hardware.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432081)

The anti-trust thing is a red herring, Apple do not have sufficient market share for anti-trust laws to apply. The only real argument I've seen is the first-sale issue. If that turns out to be valid, I expect Apple will simply stop selling boxed copies of OS X and move to on-line OS upgrades which can only be performed from a Mac. With no way to buy OS X if you don't already have a Mac you wouldn't be able to legally get a copy even if it would be legal to run it on non-Apple hardware.

How would one install OS X on a machine one has wiped it from?

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432143)

Apple could build in a little read-only chip that will authenticate to Apple servers and reinstall the OS regardless.

Of course it'd be cracked eventually, but if they used unique keys for each computer it probably wouldn't be too hard for them to blacklist keys as they are published.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432469)

Probably way easier to remove the check from code than to break the key.

Since you already have the OS on a real mac in that case what's stoping you from getting rid of the key check during installation?

And Macs already use encrypted binaries against TPM but the key for that is known so that's why regular PCs can install a decrypted version.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432269)

From the install disk bundled with the computer maybe?

But that doen't even have to be an issue. If push comes to shove, Apple have a surprisingly big number of options how to restrict sales or installs of OS X to only "genuine" hardware owners. An alternative to mollymoo's solution can be something like this: Apple will only sell you a copy of OS X only if you can provide a valid machine serial number. Or they may add product activation. How about a hardware key being required to install or even run the OS (a la "Trusted Computing").

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432375)

How about re-install from the disk shipped with the Apple computer? No chance for Psystar here to grab it legally as each disk is linked to a single install. So that would mean either the Psystar clone, or the original Apple can have it installed (legally speaking), not both at the same time.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (4, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432351)

Even if Apple had a say 80% market share - still I don't think anti-trust laws should (could? I don't know this law in detail) apply. They have a business, a successful one, producing hardware and software. What is stopping them selling the software for their hardware only? This is not anti-competitive as anyone can build a computer and write an O/S by themselves.

Anti-trust laws, as applied against Microsoft, are for leveraging ones existing monopoly to gain entry into other markets. It would be a hard sell for a judge to convince Apple is doing that by setting up a business model (sell hardware with software tied together) and then gaining a great success with it. Only if Apple would have this market share and then starts e.g. blocking competing web browsers from their systems, now that would be an issue for anti-trust laws.

The only thing Psystar may have a case with is the first-sale doctrine: that a seller can not restrict what a buyer is doing with a product. Now there is the clash with copyrights, however afaik that means the buyer can re-sell the copy they bought (on CD or what-ever medium), but is not allowed to make copies of it. Installation on a computer is by nature making a copy of it, complicating the matter. I have no idea how copyright law provides for this kind of copy - one way or another it should be legal, or each software package should include a license allowing such copying for installation.

Complicated matter, but it is certainly not anti-trust matter. It's copyright and first-sale doctrine matter.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432459)

I would just add that it's the first-sale doctrine and probably the EULA test that Apple doesn't want to see happen in court.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (4, Insightful)

DECS (891519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432715)

Antitrust

Yes, Apple's argument is that the "market for Mac OS PCs" does not really exist, just as nobody else has the right to market Pepsi's soft drink, or sell BMWs, or force DuPont to license cellophane to them. The DuPont case went to the supreme Court in 1956:

"In a civil action under  4 of the Sherman Act, the Government charged that appellee had monopolized interstate commerce in cellophane in violation of  2 of the Act. During the relevant period, appellee produced almost 75% of the cellophane sold in the United States; but cellophane constituted less than 20% of all flexible packaging materials sold in the United States. The trial court found that the relevant market for determining the extent of appellee's market control was the market for flexible packaging materials, and that competition from other materials in that market prevented appellee from possessing monopoly powers in its sales of cellophane. Accordingly, it dismissed the complaint."

Apple's brief notes: "Psystarâ(TM)s effort to define a single-brand relevant market contravenes well-known principles of antitrust law. Relevant markets generally cannot be limited to a single manufacturerâ(TM)s products. As the Supreme Court recognized in the United States v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 351 U.S. 377, 76 S.Ct. 994 (1956), the âpower that, let us say, automobile or soft-drink manufacturers have over their trademarked products is not the power that makes an illegal monopoly. Illegal power must be appraised in terms of the competitive market for the product.'"

"Most recently, in Spahr, supra, the court rejected almost identical allegations as those made here. Plaintiff claimed that Leeginâ(TM)s brand of womenâ(TM)s accessories, called the 'Brighton' brand, was a separate market because the products are unique, they are marketed as 'one of a kind,' customers would not consider other accessories as 'suitable substitutes,' and there was an 'inelasticity of demand' for these products. 2008 WL 3914461, at pp. 3, 8. Applying the Supreme Courtâ(TM)s decision in Twombly, the District Court dismissed the complaint without leave to amend because its definition of the relevant market was implausible 'from the face of the complaintâ¦.' Id., at 8."

forced licensing

Another thing to consider: if you think Apple should be forced to license the Mac OS in the way Psystar is claiming, it follows that you also must agree with Pystar's claim that Linux and Windows are so far inferior to the Mac to the point where they can't complete, therefore creating a distinct market. I believe these claims are ridiculous. Anyone who doesn't should go on record admitting that everything else in the industry is a joke compared to the Mac. That is a line of reasoning which I will be happy to use in future arguments where the opposite is claimed. One can't have it both ways.

"The right of a manufacturer to exercise independent discretion with whom he will deal."

"Ultimately," Apple's filing states, "Psystar seeks to force Apple to license its software to competitors, like Psystar, so they can use Mac OS to create Mac 'clones.' Psystar undeniably can sell, and is selling, its Open Computers running Windows or Linux in direct competition with Appleâ(TM)s Mac. Nevertheless, it also wants to sell computers running Appleâ(TM)s Mac OS in direct competition with Appleâ(TM)s Mac. However, one of the bedrock principles of antitrust law is that a manufacturerâ(TM)s unilateral decision concerning how to distribute its product and with whom it will deal cannot violate the Sherman Act:"

The Sherman Act "does not restrict the long recognized right of a trader or manufacturer engaged in an entirely private business, freely to exercise his own independent discretion as to parties with whom he will deal. And, of course, he may announce in advance the circumstances under which he will refuse to sell."

Myth 10: RIMâ(TM)s BlackBerry Will Contain iPhone Expansion [roughlydrafted.com]

But, But... (0, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432959)

How will Apple make their money off of selling incremental updates to their OS if they make it download-only?

"In order to update your OS to the latest version with the latest security enhancements, you must pay us or buy a new computer."

That's damn-near extortion, right there.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (5, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431985)

If your case is strong enough, you will win. There are a lot of arguments against Apple, especially the anti-trust one. The right to produce a competing product is fairly important in a free market.

Who says Psystar doesn't have the right to produce a competing product? Apple doesn't deny Psystar's right to a competing product. They just deny Psystar's right to take MacOS X and install it on their computers in clear breach of the EULA, and they have precedent (Xerox' plain paper photocopiers) that even a clear monopoly is under no obligation at all to help its competitors.

Psystar can compete by installing Windows XP, or Windows Vista, or Linux, or they can buy up the remains of BeOS or AmigaOS. Or write their own operating system from scratch. If they wanted MacOS X, they should have offered more than Apple's $400 million when NeXT was for sale. They can even download Darwin and build a GUI on top of that. It's their business, they should come up with their own ideas to compete.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (2, Insightful)

Tarheel Squid (1144959) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432735)

Gnasher719, completely agree. Who cares if Apple ties their software to their hardware? Why does that give anyone the right to use it illegally? Is anyone being forced to use Apple's product? Apple owns the OS. Pystar is using someone else's product illegally. Simple. They have every right to stop them. I happen to like Apple very much. They have written a good OS and tied it in to their hardware. Everything works well because of this, and it is one reason why they have a good clean end product. For some reason this is not acceptable to a lot of people. Why is a company automatically "evil" if they are large and do well? Come on! If you do not like what a company offers (Apple, Microsoft, etc.), do not buy or use it! People are getting so spoiled that they think they have a right to everything. If Psystar wants an OS for their hardware, they need to pay for which ever OS they choose, use open source, or develop their own.

Support the Opentosh Project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432985)

Pystar's entire argument is that there is no suitable substitute for OS X and therefore uses the OSX86 project to "get" the OS they "need".

If, OTOH, there was an OS X work-alike, this would all be moot.

http://opentosh.lefora.com/

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

Bunderfeld (1113805) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433061)

The problem with your argument is you fail to take in the courts decision against MS tying their OS with Explorer, Search, et al.

It's not a far jump from this courts decision to making Apple live up to the same precedent. With Apple keeping things out of the court systems, it says to me, that Apple realizes they are one step away from providing an OS and making their own Hardware. Once that has been breached, Apple will have a hard time "bundling" all their cutsy items with their OS the way MS use to do.

If Apple wasn't offering Psystar something pretty significant, most likely the ability to make low-priced MAC's exclusively, I doubt Psystar would even be entertaining this "quitely squashed" solution.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (4, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432197)

But there are lots of competing products. The OS market is currently dominated by Microsoft (who has been adjudged to have a monopoly), and in which there are several alternatives, some of them free. The market for hardware is rich and diverse, with multiple providers for just about any hardware component you can think of. How does tying the hardware to the software give Apple any more market share in either market? It' doesn't.

Anti-trust law specifically forbids using a monopoly in one area to increase your market in another. But in which area does Apple have a monopoly? Neither. No monopoly means no anti-trust violations.

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432523)

Monopoly in the mac sales area omg!

Re:What's to stop Apple? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432371)

Feel free to but write your own OS.
The OS is Apples so...

Re:What's to stop Apple? (0, Redundant)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432745)

I've bought a copy. I have the right to do what I want with it as long as copyright permits me. This includes all my fair use rights.

Is installing a piece of software on a piece of hardware not a right I should implicitly have?

That's a shame (3, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431697)

It would have been interesting to see the outcome in court, but like the rhetorical question at the end states, I doubt they'll be the last to try.

Re:That's a shame (4, Insightful)

MathFox (686808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431805)

I think that both parties will benefit by a quiet deal that allows Psystar to sell their boxes; paying Apple a nice "per copy" price for OS-X. Apple does not want to litigate the "monopoly" argument; Psystar does not want to litigate "Breech of OS-X EULA". The nice think of a settlement is that it does not bind Apple to make the same deal with another white box maker.

I do think that the legal question "How much anti-competition is allowed in an EULA" is an interesting one, but that it is better fought between two well funded parties. It might end up in a Supreme Court appeal.

Re:That's a shame (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431919)

I think that both parties will benefit by a quiet deal that allows Psystar to sell their boxes; paying Apple a nice "per copy" price for OS-X. Apple does not want to litigate the "monopoly" argument; Psystar does not want to litigate "Breech of OS-X EULA". The nice think of a settlement is that it does not bind Apple to make the same deal with another white box maker.

There is no way that Psystar will get a license to ship with MacOS X. They have been pissing on Apple's shoes; so there will be no business between them. Apple has already replied to Psystar's idiotic "monopoly" arguments, citing about a dozen cases that say absolutely clearly a single product of a company cannot possibly constitute a meaningful "market", and therefore Apple cannot have a meaningful monopoly in the non-existing market of "MacOS X compatible computers".

This arbitration is something that the court can force on the companies; it cannot force them to agree on anything in arbitration.

Re:That's a shame (3, Interesting)

TeacherOfHeroes (892498) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432803)

Apple has already replied to Psystar's idiotic "monopoly" arguments, citing about a dozen cases that say absolutely clearly a single product of a company cannot possibly constitute a meaningful "market", and therefore Apple cannot have a meaningful monopoly in the non-existing market of "MacOS X compatible computers".

What about computers that are able to run Mac OS X applications? Clearly, there is more than just the one of them, and Apple hardware is the only EULA compliant way to use any applications which are not open source or cross-platform.

Can Apple have a meaningful monopoly in the market of "Mac OS X Application compatible computers"?

Re:That's a shame (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432889)

The same arguments could be used against the consoles manufacturers.

Wait for the verdict about Apple and Psystar then a couple of days later you'll see morons suing Sony and Microsoft because they want Halo for their PS3.

Re:That's a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433145)

Apple has already replied to Psystar's idiotic "monopoly" arguments, citing about a dozen cases that say absolutely clearly a single product of a company cannot possibly constitute a meaningful "market", and therefore Apple cannot have a meaningful monopoly in the non-existing market of "MacOS X compatible computers".

If there is no market for "MacOS X compatible computers" how did I manage to purchase a Dell E1720 which happens to run OS X perfectly?

Re:That's a shame (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432001)

Apple would be happy to litigate the monopoly argument because they do not have a monopoly in the operating system market. Apple having a monopoly in the market for their own branded products is a dumb argument, every company has that monopoly. Nike have a monopoly on Nike shoes, but not shoes in general. BMW have a monopoly on BMWs, but not cars in general. Apple have a monopoly on Mac OS X, but not on operating systems in general, so anti-trust laws do not apply.

Re:That's a shame (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432349)

That's apples to oranges. Antitrust != monopoly, antitrust involves a number of anticompetitive or market manipulating strategies, and really only a couple of them are monopolies.

Pystar could definitely make the argument that owners have the right to install the software on any machine that they like without regards to who built and sold the machine. And that as such they can be authorized to do the work for them. The argument that copyright law or any other existing law allows for that is somewhat absurd, otherwise Apple would be litigating.

The actual installation of software has never been governed by copyright laws ever. It gets a bit fuzzy when one is installing the same copy on multiple computers, but as long as all those computers are owned by the same person it isn't a distribution problem. And any EULA out there always includes language to the effect that the EULA does not override any laws and that in those cases the laws would be in effect rather than the EULA provision.

Re:That's a shame (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432421)

Pystar could definitely make the argument that owners have the right to install the software on any machine that they like without regards to who built and sold the machine. And that as such they can be authorized to do the work for them. The argument that copyright law or any other existing law allows for that is somewhat absurd, otherwise Apple would be litigating.

Psystar could make that argument, but it would quite clearly be wrong. And Psystar might get authorisation to install MacOS X, but they better get that authorisation in written form. And somehow I doubt that a customer would be happy to be told "we can install MacOS X for you, but it is against Apple's EULA, so we have to get written authorisation from you, so if Apple tries to sue, it's you who is on the hook and not us".

Re:That's a shame (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433011)

"Pystar could definitely make the argument that owners have the right to install the software on any machine that they like without regards to who built and sold the machine."

Good luck suing to force Apple to write OSX for the Cell architecture or for the now gone DEC Alphas.

Off-topic. Anyone else getting major slowdowns under FF3 when doing other surfing in tabs while waiting for the chance to post your slashdot comment? This is happening under both XP and Vista. Timer will skip a couple numbers, make your whole system hang for a couple of seconds, then everything works again.

Re:That's a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432329)

The articles suppose the same thing, Apple doesn't want to risk loosing or the market would be wide open. If there is an anti-trust issue, by allowing Pystar to sell their Open Computing Mac-compatible PCs there wouldn't be. However, companies colluding to keep prices high could be the start of another legal issue. What to do?

Re:That's a shame (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432743)

I think that both parties will benefit by a quiet deal that allows Psystar to sell their boxes; paying Apple a nice "per copy" price for OS-X.

You and I have very different understandings of Apple's business model. I'm certainly not an expert, but I don't see how this would benefit Apple.

Apple has a strong reputation for their products "just working". They would have to either trust Psystar to do all of the necessary testing to ensure that they don't damage this reputation, or they'd have to trust the public to "know the difference".

Or they'd have to do the testing themselves. This would be a significant expense, and would probably not be offset by any licensing revenue. (Bear in mind that OS X retails for $130.)

Furthermore, there is a strong probability that this would cut into Apple's hardware sales (and accompanying AppleCare and accessories). This almost certainly wouldn't be offset by this proposed licensing revenue.

Such a deal would certainly benefit Psystar, and would arguably benefit consumers of OS X, but I completely fail to see how this would benefit Apple. Even if we assume that increased OS X sales would several times the lost hardware sales, which I'm not sure we can.

-Peter

It would be a monopoly... (4, Informative)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431719)

...if Apple was the only company to make OSes and computers. As many around here are fond of pointing out, Apple doesn't even come close to having a majority in the market.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (4, Insightful)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431819)

Apple is also fond of pointing out that Macs are not PCs. It is illegal for Ford to insist that it's engines can only be installed in a Ford manufactured automobile.... I'm just sayin.

If Apple felt that there was no merit to Pystars claims then why obscure things? Does having a gentle legal dept. sound like Apple? It's far more likely that Apple is going to solve this problem with a check-book than with a lawsuit.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431963)

This is more like Honda selling an S2000 with a Corvette engine and advertising it as a Corvette.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431995)

They don't advertise it as an apple. They advertise it as being able of running OSX.

This would be like honda putting the vette motor in then saying "Buy our new S2000, now with a corvette motor."

While the monopoly stuff probably does not have legs the illegal tying claims may.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432035)

"Corvette COMPATIBLE" not Corvette. But I think you already knew that and appreciate the difference.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432007)

Lawsuits do cost a lot of money to deal with in court. It's in both company's interests to negotiate before it hits the court's docket.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432199)

Apple can afford the trial, but Psystar probably can't. So if Apple went with the settlement then Apple wanted to avoid trial - likely because Psystar promised to expose inconvenient facts and be generally a pain to deal with in front of the judge. A settlement will keep all that quiet, and if it fails the trial is still an option. If I were to guess, Apple may buy Psystar - for cheap from Apple's POV, but for a fortune from the POV of the Psystar owner. The trial would cost a $1M to Apple, easily, so why not to buy something useful with this money, instead of words of lawyers?

Re:It would be a monopoly... (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432863)

So if Apple went with the settlement then Apple wanted to avoid trial - likely because Psystar promised to expose inconvenient facts and be generally a pain to deal with in front of the judge.

I suspect it's more because Apple doesn't want to take the very real risk of having its EULA invalidated for Florida and possibly the whole Eleventh Circuit.

Curious (2, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433059)

Could a third party sue to force the case to be brought into a court of law, claiming public interest in the matter?

Who marked this "Insightful" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432047)

A) Ford doesn't sell naked engines to car builders, pro or hobbyist. Apple doesn't sell their naked OS to computer builders, pro or hobbyist.

B) Neither Apple nor Ford are legally compelled to sell their "parts" separate from the whole.

C) Both Apple and Ford sell "upgrade parts" for existing owners of their products

D) While they done ENCOURAGE IT - they also don't stop people from using those parts for "off script" use, except...

They will stop ANYONE from using their company name or product names to sell a product made from their parts.

Developers (and Slashdotters) love to frame it as if Apple is stopping EVERYONE from using their OS however they want, conveniently ignoring the fact that that Apple only goes after builders who try to sell their computs as "Macs", "Mac clones", or as "running OS X".

Trademark Clue: If you don't protect it every single time, you can lose your right to the mark. Examples include: aspirin, linoleum, leotard, and Lasik.

Examples of hard-fought trademarks: Kleenex, Xerox, and Rollerblades.

A Mac is a specific model of computer from a single maker with an operating system written specifically for it (as opposed to a generic machine with an outsourced OS).

Re:Who marked this "Insightful" (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432067)

A. you can buy ford crate engines, you can buy boxed copies of OSX
B. No, but preventing you from using the parts in something else is illegal.
C. They both sell parts that can be used for any purpose. First sale prevents them from limiting the uses of the item.
D. They can't stop you.

Re:Who marked this "Insightful" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432335)

All true, but Apple could simply make it more difficult to purchase OS X. They could always charge $300 for those who can't prove they own a Mac that meets the system requirements. Hell, I don't know why they don't do this already. They would make a lot more money.

Just let Psystar build the hackintoshes and charge $300-400 for each license. Apple gets some easy money and doesn't have to support the hackintoshes either.

Re:Who marked this "Insightful" (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432719)

C. They both sell parts that can be used for any purpose. First sale prevents them from limiting the uses of the item.

Nope. First sale prevents them from asserting a copyright claim for subsequent transfer of the unmodified items. That's all first sale prevents.

Re:Who marked this "Insightful" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433159)

a. What you can buy isn't the point. What Ford SELLS is the point. Ford sells whole cars, Apple sells whole computers and boxed upgrade licenses with an included installation disk.

Software dealers sell licenses. Licenses to the information coded on plastic discs, and licenses to download - but just licenses.

They often include the plastic disc. The disc is yours. The bits on the disc are just licensed to you. Contrary to common Slashdot belief, if the license is proved to be not-applicable then you have NO right to the code (not "every right" to the code as the uninformed masses think).

b. Apple isn't preventing the USE of anything, just the sale.

Developers (and Slashdotters) love to frame it as if Apple is stopping hobbyists from using their OS however they want, conveniently ignoring the fact that that Apple only goes after builders who try to SELL those computers by advertising them as "Macs", "Mac clones", or as "running OS X". The OSX86 project thrives unabated.

A Mac is a specific model of computer from a single maker with an operating system written specifically for it (as opposed to a generic machine with an outsourced OS).

If Pystar was smart, they would advertise as being "Windows and Linux Free" and just not mention what OS they are running.

c1. You just restated the second half MY point (and chose to ignore the first)
c2. You misunderstand "First Sale"

d. They CAN stop you. (From SELLING clones... which was the point of the five paragraphs that fell under the heading "D")

Apparently, the people at Pystar aren't the only ones with reading comprehension issues.

Re:Who marked this "Insightful" (1)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432491)

I think you are misunderstanding how trademarks work. I can use your trademark all I want, I just can't pretend to be you. Going back to the Ford analogy what PsyStar is doing is no different than companies who sell modified vehicles.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (3, Insightful)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432117)

I think you are reading too much in this. I may be mistaken for I am not a lawyer, but I think there is a federal law mandating district courts to require the parties in civil lawsuits to try alternative dispute resolution before going to court. So this whole thing probably is nothing more than Psystar (and maybe Apple) buying themselves some time. Also, given Apple's motion for dismissal [zdnet.com] of Psystar's counterclaims, it seems Apple's attorneys are pretty confident Psystar doesn't have a leg to stand on.

I don't think Apple are really interested in paying out Psystar. Unless the resolution send a clear message that Apple does not tolerate Mac clones and will pursue their manufacturers/sellers to the bitter and expensive end, nothing will prevent a "StarPsy" form popping up again in a few months, hoping to either make a mint selling "open computers", or at worst to get a cool few millions form the mothership.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432177)

Whether or not parties have to go to mediation is based on the respective court's local rules. I believe there is a law mandating that for every case there must be at least an attempt to get the parties into ADR.

Motions to dismiss are very common, and parties frequently file them even if they don't have a strong argument or even think they're likely to win, so I don't know if it really means anything.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (-1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432163)

Funny thing is that Apple computers are PCs, featuring the same [Intel] hardware as your typical "Windows PC".
The only difference, as far as I know, is that Apple computers contain a DRM chip on the motherboard and the issue at hand is that Psystar reproduces a compatible-DRM chip enabling Mac OSX to be installed.
With that in mind I'm surprised that this isn't look at as a DMCA issue.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (3, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432483)

Apple is also fond of pointing out that Macs are not PCs. It is illegal for Ford to insist that it's engines can only be installed in a Ford manufactured automobile.... I'm just sayin.

On what basis would that be illegal for Ford to do? They don't insist on these terms because they don't care much what you do with their engine, but if they did care, what would make it illegal? As a concrete example, Ferrari sells Formula I racing engine to the Scuderia Toro Rosso team. Now McLaren might be willing to pay a generous amount of money to lay their hands on a Ferrari engine, and Ferrari would be quite unhappy about it. If the contract between Ferrari and Toro Rosso says that the engines cannot be sold on, do you seriously suggest that would be illegal?

Re:It would be a monopoly... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432499)

Apple is also fond of pointing out that Macs are not PCs. It is illegal for Ford to insist that it's engines can only be installed in a Ford manufactured automobile....

It is not illegal for Ford to simply not sell their engines other than in the form of a complete Ford branded automobile or as replacement part for owners of Ford branded automobiles. Just like Apple can choose to not sell their OS to other computer makers, and sell it only as a package with Apple branded computers.

It is theirs, and it is theirs to sell it to who they want.

What happens after sales though is another matter: it is not illegal for someone to take apart his Ford, and sell all the parts to who-ever wants to buy them.

Just like it is legal for me to wipe the hard disk of my iBook and install e.g. YellowDog Linux, and then sell it and the original copy of OS/X that Apple supplied with it (iirc I have an installation CD somewhere) separately.

Re:It would be a monopoly... (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432683)

Can you point me to a car brand powered by Ford engines without an agreement between Ford and that brand ?

You can't ? Maybe there's a reason. Just sayin'.

A very good reason... (1)

insllvn (994053) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433049)

There is a reason. Ask your mechanic about the quality of Ford engines, or rather ask yourself if MS Windows was only available on MS made computer, who would hack it to run on third party hardware? Here [wikipedia.org] is a company [saleen.com] that takes Ford cars and installs Porsche engines (as well as a few other enhancements).

Re:It would be a monopoly... (0)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431843)

By that logic Linux should be able to rob banks until they get 20% market share. Sorry, it doesn't fly.

Apple can do no evil (2, Insightful)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431779)

It amazes me. Every time Google breaths funny, there are instantly tons of comments on how evil Google is. The tags on the articles say things like "DoNoEvil", "Evil Inc" ect. When Microsoft makes a stupid move we all groan and say that it is "Just like them." Yet, when Apple articles come in, you don't see the derogatory tags. The comments don't reflect the "evil" practices that Apple engages in on a daily basis. Why is Apple immune from the righteous wrath that they deserve for their business practices?

Re:Apple can do no evil (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431923)

Because they've convinced many their customers - through marketing and cost - that somehow they're "better" or "superior" as people by buying an Apple product. Because, you know, we all should build our self-image around the consumption of mass-market products. Anyway, if you're self-image is tied up in identifying with an image, and a particular line of products are part of that, you tend to defend it, or at least not criticize it. It's actually kind of pathetic - "hey, I'm a better person because I bought something", but it's hardly unique to Apple consumers. Remember, the party in any relationship who has the least emotional commitment tends to have the most power. Many of their customers have a substantial emotional investment in Apple, and Apple has little in return. It's an ideal situation for them. They can reverse direction, shaft customers, raise prices, and everyone continues to believe.

Re:Apple can do no evil (1)

digitalcowboy (142658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432033)

Don't hate me because I'm beau^H^H^H^H^H^H^H can afford a Mac.

If you work hard, someday - soon - you'll be able to afford one, too.

Re:Apple can do no evil (2, Insightful)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432505)

Trust me, affording it isn't a problem. I just find Apple products uninteresting and many of the fanboyish customers irritating. Actually having a Macbook somewhere in public and running the risk of some Apple-loving jackass try to talk to me about it isn't worth it. As if that establishes some common ground or the basis for a conversation. The fact that two people buy the same crap does not actually make them part of a "community" that has any value. Perhaps if people didn't actually build their sense of self-worth by buying crap, the economy wouldn't actually be in the toilet at this point.

Re:Apple can do no evil (0, Flamebait)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432065)

To prove my point, I get modded down as flamebait. This is halarious.

Re:Apple can do no evil (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432291)

Get over yourself. People always think they hold some kind of oppressed viewpoint around here, when it is often just selective memory.

Everyone bitches about almost *everything* on Slashdot because angry people are far more likely to hit that Submit button. (This very post is a great example of this fact.)

Re:Apple can do no evil (1)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432303)

The comments don't reflect the "evil" practices that Apple engages in on a daily basis. Why is Apple immune from the righteous wrath that they deserve for their business practices?

What's so "evil" about Apple's business model, which is what is being disputed in the lawsuit between Apple and Psystar?

Re:Apple can do no evil (4, Interesting)

Alrescha (50745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432559)

"Why is Apple immune from the righteous wrath that they deserve for their business practices?"

I'd like you to point out an instance of their business practices that deserves "righteous wrath", as I can't think of one.

They don't get the same amount of crap that Microsoft does because on the evil scale Apple is '-1, A cursed ring that you cannot remove', whereas Microsoft is '-1000, Obliterates all life on the planet which it occupies'.

A.

Couple of reasons: (3, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433019)

1. Because Google set themselves up for criticism by having a much-publicised motto of Don't be evil [google.com] .

2. Because the idea that even Mac-fans regard Apple as saints is a total straw man. Mac fans love the products (provided they have Firewire and matte screens) - but only the most deluded would deny Apple's well-established record of playing hardball and looking after number one (go ask Apple corp, Microsoft, the firms which licensed Mac OS 9, would-be producers of Apple II clones etc.) Heck, nobody can progress beyond Junior Acolyte in the Church of Jobs unless their blog has been anointed by a DMCA takedown from the Holy One. Go look on a Mac fan site like macrumors.com sometime (they even have a convenient front-page tally of how many negative comments have been made about each posting, so you won't have to read endless speculation about what colour the jack plug on the next iPod is going to be).

3. Because Apple doesn't have a monopoly - if Steve Jobs screws your pooch, you are free to walk out of the Apple store and buy a Windows or Linux machine. If he screws too many pooches, Apple will go bust. OTOH, lots of people find themselves forced to use or upgrade Microsoft products because of their market dominance, and Microsoft can sell products like Vista and Office 07 that nobody actually wants.

4. Finally, just some of the recent articles from /. that seem to have escaped your notice:
Users Rage Over Missing FireWire On New MacBooks
iPhone Antitrust and Computer Fraud Claims Upheld
iPhone Tethering App Released, Killed In 2 Hours
Inside Apple's iPhone SDK Gag Order
iPhone SDK and Free Software Don't Match
Woz Dumps on MacBook Air, iPhone, AppleTV
Apple Bans iPhone App For Competing With Mail.app
Apple Laptop Upgrades Costing 200% More Than Dells

Now, is it just me, but could some of those be regarded as just a teeny bit crictical of Apple?

Psytar's Strategy (2, Funny)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25431933)

Look. You make Apple look bad by selling a PC for fraction of a Mac's price that run's OSX. You aren't making diddly on each PC you ship. Then Apple sues you for $50,000,000.00. Fine you say, make it $50,000,000,000.00, because we don't have it and you keep selling them. Finally Apple says they'll give you $100,000,000.00 if you quietly stop making them. VOILA! You're rich!

Re:Psytar's Strategy (1)

paimin (656338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432187)

Where's the "???"

Re:Psytar's Strategy (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433001)

It's the phrase, "Finally Apple says they'll give you $100,000,000.00 if you quietly stop making them". Parent was polite enough to expound on it this time. :-)

Re:Psytar's Strategy (1)

paimin (656338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433035)

Isn't that the "Profit!"?

Re:Psytar's Strategy (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433085)

The $100,000,000.00 is, but the "if you quietly stop making them" that's the key part there. :-D

IBM vs. Phoenix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432181)

Maybe I am misunderstanding. But, couldn't PsyStar cite that as an example in favor of their arguments? If IBM could not defeat them over a reverse engineered BIOS, how is Apple's case any different? Seems like PsyStar at the very worst, reverse engineered Apple hardware, and used off the shelf components to create a compatible platform.

I do realize the IBM v. Pheonix case was about hardware, but couldn't that same argument be used to win this case?

Re:IBM vs. Phoenix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432341)

Same AC as above here, one more point I forgot to include:

If the case is about software (Mac OS X), and more specifically the software patent/copyright holders right to restrict the physical hardware their software runs on, could Apple's case be thrown out on the merit that several large software corporations have made emulators to run their software on other hardware? Including Apple themselves?

I personally do not think that the software copyright holders have the right to limit the hardware it runs on. Especially when the hardware is most likely patented, and licensed to the software designers.

Apples arguments if I understand them, are akin to a person writing a book, and then trying to copyright it in a way that it could not be translated into specific foreign languages. And then when it is, suing the person that translated it and saying they have the right to dictate the language (platform) the book (software) can be ported to.

I call shenanigans!

Re:IBM vs. Phoenix (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433115)

"I personally do not think that the software copyright holders have the right to limit the hardware it runs on."

So, what, you're going to SUE APPLE and force them to write OSX for your PS3 or your Dreamcast, or that system you built entirely from GPGPUs??

Give me a break. What gives you the right to dictate what hardware architecture they should write their software for? Unless you own the company that owns the software, you have NO LEGAL RIGHT.

I thought Apple sucks (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432223)

If Psystar had a case, they would go to court. They may be a way to win, if there was a way to get around the Apple license that says that the software can be run only on apple branded machines. At this point, MS would no longer be able to limit OEM copies to the machines they shipped on, DVD could no longer use their copy protection to limit legitimate copies, and the shrink wrap license would in general be history.

The ridiculous thing is that building a mac clone would be about half as hard as building the IBM clone. No one needs to work under clean room condition to make sure that the multiple phalanxes of IBM lawyers do not win the first born child of the cloners. No one needs to write a OS from scratch. All that is needed is an appropriate *nix subsystem, with a virtual machine that can run either windows and a Mac OS UI clone simultaneously. The technology is out there, all we need is some innovative company to do it.

Instead what we get is some kids hacking and selling POS hardware hoping they can get a little more than the razor thin margins currently awarded to the PC OEM. The reason we have not seen an innovative PC in 10 years is that there is no money in it. MS virtually destroyed the system builder, and now they are the only ones making money. The only hope for an innovative PC, besides Apple, is the market of competing virtual machine on top of commodity hardware. Whatever OS can run on top of it. This will break the cycle of single vendor malaise that lead to the crap Vista.

I am all for Apple to lose it's 'monopoly' of Mac OS X on Apple hardware. I am all for MS to be forced to stop 'illegally' tying an OS to a certain machine. But this is not going happen by putting out crappy machines running the same old crappy software. It will happen by a system builder designing a new kind of GPC. of course, the problem is will the market want it. Such a machine would require a significant amount of engineering, which would have to be recouped by a higher margin, which means a PC that costs more than $500, without a high level OS.

Re:I thought Apple sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432413)

If Psystar had a case, they would go to court.

Wrong. IANAL, but I think the ADR is non-binding and they can go back to court at anytime, unless a settlement is agreed upon that precludes this.

Profit How? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432275)

This could result in a profit for Psystar's business

How exactly? Reading the article links doesn't make that apparent.

This, btw, is exactly the reason Apple won't displace Microsoft and remain the niche player they are now. A lot more people might run OS-X if they could run it on the hardware of their choice. It hardly requires Apple hardware to run OS-X any more than it requires a given brand of PC to run Linux. If Apple is happy with their second tier status and falling behind as developers put more advanced products out for Windows (e.g. Adobe Photoshop CS4 64-bit) more power to them. It's their choice on how they want to run their company.

BUT...

Apple doesn't have all the answers. They never did. Nothing could improve their product line more in the eyes of consumers who are tired of being told from Apple we have wonderful stuff but you take it or leave it when it comes to your choice of configurations (e.g. no Firewire on the new MacBook) than some thinking outside the Apple box. Outside ideas always improve a product as Psystar has proven. (If Psystar didn't have a compelling product in some regard the wouldn't have any sales for it.) As long as NIH reins supreme at Apple they won't be all that they could be. Competition strengthens the strong and weeds out the weak.

ALSO...

If buyers could get OS-X on other platforms (e.g. Pystar, Dell, HP, Acer...) it might be the nail in the coffin of the Windows Tax. The Windows Tax right now survives in most part due to no other alternative that enough buyers demand. Thanks for that too, Apple.

Re:Profit How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432511)

This could result in a profit for Psystar's business

How exactly? Reading the article links doesn't make that apparent.

An opinion or foresight doesn't always have to be based on what other people think, say, or write.

Apple could buy Psystar, Apple could come to an agreement that would persuade Psystar from not selling their line of Open Computing mac-compatible PCs, or on the other hand allow them to continue to selling them.

Re:Profit How? (1)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432707)

If Apple is happy with their second tier status and falling behind as developers put more advanced products out for Windows (e.g. Adobe Photoshop CS4 64-bit) more power to them.

We can argue whether Apple are "second tier" and "falling behind", but I'd rather point out that your example with the 64-bit Photoshop CS4 is really not a good one. This is not Adobe laying their wrath upon Apple or ditching the Mac for the more prospective Windows platform. It's a combination of Adobe's lack of foresight and Apple pulling a fast one with the 64-bit Carbon. If anything Adobe are bringing their audio/video software back to the Mac after abandoning it for Windows half a decade ago. I guess that says something about how much is the Mac falling behind, doesn't it?

Re:Profit How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433231)

Do you realize how few people are affected by no firewire on the new macbooks ?? *VERY* few people. Crap, most things are USB 2.0 today. You have to go out of your way to purchase a device that uses firewire.

Firewire is cool and all, but USB 2.0 does the same job on way more devices.

I think everyone doesnt get it. (1)

Dr.D.IS.GREAT (1249946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432315)

First off - I do not endorse Psystar for selling hackintoshen, I do not support apple for their franken boxen nor am I a free software zealot.

Lets get a few things straight about OSX:

1. Its built from the Mach Kernel - its scalable and portable just like any other Unix-like box. Not to mention NeXT was portable to run on non NeXT hardware after sometime.

2. The core utils are Free Software and not as in beer god damn it.

3. OSX is quite hackable, its a really great portable and pretty unix box.

Lets get some facts straight about what Psystar:

1. They are selling a pretty Unix-like box that has the OS hacked a bit.

2. It is not illegal to sell a hackintosh - its just a god damn pretty Unix-like.

3. They have over sized testicles and delulusional dreams of wealth and grandeur.

Lets get some things straight about Apple:

1. They make an OS that they sell in a box - not a cardboard one.

2. Hardware from these folks is really marked up, almost not worth buying from fear of ramen noodles and poverty.

3. Their OS is actually decent and with the right marketing and white box builds could bring *nix to the masses and crush the real evil - Microsoft...

With all of this in mind we can safely deduct this:

Apple cannot take legal action against any entity based on the principle design of Mac OS X. OS X has way too much FSF cancer floating around it in and is just way to easy to hack to make it exclusive to Apple's hardware. Not to mention OS X is is fundementally NeXT Step. Apple should have figured this out during the transition. Infact if Apple made a special version of their OS for regular white boxen, their user base could grow ten fold. But Steve has a problem, its his ego; he forgets that hes not the only one making a good computer, Woz isnt by his side anymore to manufacture and declare the Mac a completely unique system. If Apple really wants to reclaim their OS the only option is to jump to an unknown architechture and be non-compatible to x86 and drop all the nix stuff from it.

Like wise,

The OSX86 Comunity sees the potential for OS X, and reclaims ones desktop, mini-itx, toaster oven and hackinboxen at time from the furious tierney of Windows. /.-ers forget that Microsoft is the enememy and we need to support any comunity bringing Unix-likes to the masses. OSX86 does not endorse Psystar because our goals are to make the technical know how available to those whom crave the perversion of hack craft. Also OSX86 aims to make OSX not just exclusive to hackers, because everyone and anyone deserves a chance to run a great stable Unix-like. ANYONE!

Dr. D

This is entirely standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432407)

The case is in the Northern District of California, which requires parties to choose an ADR option. It does not mean the case is settling, or that the ADR process is going to happen anytime soon. Perhaps someone with inside knowledge could say something more specific, but from the bare fact that the parties have chosen an ADR option, you can infer nothing -- exactly this same story could have been posted about any of the thousands if civil lawsuits filed in the northern district this year. Thus, a non-story.

Pystar is not the only one. (2, Interesting)

ocularb0b (1042776) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432549)

There is at least one other company selling NonMac hardware [gvs9000.com] with OSX. This machine is nothing like what Pystar sells and prolly has a price tag much higher than a MacPro. Personally I wants one.

Both side benefit from an out-of-court settlement (4, Insightful)

qazwart (261667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432573)

Apple has strong controls over their OS because they remember what happened the last time they allowed clones. The clones were poorly made and executed the old Mac OS rather poorly. This hurt Apple's overall reputation.

Psystar doesn't have a right to modify Mac OS X and put it on their machines. Apple has full rights to stop them. Psystar could make a machine that could take a modified version of Mac OS X. They just wouldn't be allowed to put this modified version on their machine.

My feeling is that Apple will allow Psystar to live as long as they stop selling machines with Mac OS X on them. Apple really doesn't care too much about the small market share they might lose to Psystar. Most likely, the people buying these clones wouldn't have bought a Mac anyway. If these people then want to spend $125 and get Mac OS X to work on Psystar, that's their prerogative and Apple won't stop them.

What Apple wants to avoid is the average user saying "Why should I spend $1200 on a iMac when I can by a Psystar for only $500?". Even worse, Apple doesn't want these same users saying, "Man, I bought this Psystar system, and Mac OX sucks! It keep crashing, and it is slow. I don't know why people think Apple is so hot. Their stuff stinks!".

Always remember: Apple is a hardware company that builds high quality hardware. They only make software in order to sell that hardware in the best light. Apple chose the premium market because they rather make $200 on each sale rather than sell five times as many machines, but only make $40 on each one.

Apple doesn't want some clone coming along and ruining their reputation. As far as Apple is concerned, Psystar can live as long as they don't mess with Apple's reputation.

Re:Both side benefit from an out-of-court settleme (2, Insightful)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432971)

The clones were poorly made and executed the old Mac OS rather poorly. This hurt Apple's overall reputation.

I don't think Apple's biggest problem with the Mac clones of the mid '90s was the tarnished reputation of Mac OS. A much, much bigger problem was something that you also point out in your comment - most people chose cheaper, not better. The prices of the clones did severely undercut the prices of "genuine" Macs and as result Apple's sales practically disappeared. And you are correct - the same would happen today, too.

Re:Both side benefit from an out-of-court settleme (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433037)

Always remember: Apple is a hardware company that builds high quality hardware

High-quality? It's been my experience that Apple's hardware is of no higher quality than any other builder's. I can give you a laundry list of busted Macs that I have personal experience with, while my Frankenbox built from off-the-shelf parts that has evolved over the past several years has had exactly zero hardware problems.

With the mac book backlash & lack of mini upda (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432595)

With the mac book backlash. The lack of mini updates and other stuff is there stuff going on at apple that we don't know about. Pystar laptop plans blow apple away? Mac OS 10.6 for all? A real desktop system? with a super high end mac pro in the works mac pro now at $2500 and up? and apple wants to get pystar out of the way so they can have a real desktop?

Also if apple buy Pystar and lets them make clones apple will forced to Support them? or at least that there os update will not mess the systems up.

Does Pystar have a case and apple wants to not have it go to court I hope they don't just take the money and run. Leveing us with a $700+ mini that has weak video gefore 8400m with out it's own ram + no firewire and a 2.5 hd will not work there. And a mac pro that starts at $2500+ with ddr3 ecc 1600.

a GeForce 9300 based desktop Looks like a nice desktop chip that apple can use a in the mini tower
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-nforce-730i,2044.html [tomshardware.com]

With on board video and 1 x16 with 2 x1 pci-e slots useing the other 2 pci-e lanes for wifi and firewire.

So you can have a desktop staring at $600+ with on board video with add in video cards on top of that.

lexmak tried to use the dmca / EULA to lock out... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433179)

lexmak tried to use the dmca / EULA to lock out 3rd party ink and they lost in court apple is trying to do the same type of thing. Garage door makes try to use the DMCA to lock out 3rd party so apples dmca / eula clams may not hold up court and they are staying out of it.

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