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Psystar Not Closing Up Shop

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-i-don't-want-to-go-on-the-cart dept.

Businesses 439

Despite several sources reporting that post-indefinite-injunction Psystar was closing their doors for good, the company's lawyer is claiming Psystar plans on going forward with PC sales — they just won't be pre-loaded with Apple's OS X. Psystar plans on selling systems pre-loaded with "other operating systems," including Windows, as well as selling their "Rebel EFI software" that allows consumers to load OS X on generic PCs.

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Monopoly or not. (4, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495618)

Apple is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying its OS to its hardware. This behavior should be illegal for any OS, Windows, or OSX.

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Insightful)

ihuntrocks (870257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495652)

I'm not entirely sure why the previous post was tagged as "Flamebait". The author brings up a valid point in my opinion. You can buy a copy of Apple's OS independent of its hardware. It's not like it only ships pre-installed on Apple machines. Software is a set of instruction to control the state of a machine you have already purchased. I won't get into my opinions on whether you should be able to sell me something that my machine can already do. However, if I purchase a machine that can process instructions which are also purchased for said machine, I should be able to use them.

Flamebait shouldn't be used as a moderation option for legitimate opinions that you don't happen to hold yourself.

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Informative)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495712)

It's flamebait because tying is not anti-competitive in and of itself, nor should it be illegal. Vertical integration of hardware and software is the big-Iron Unix business model and Apple is simply applying it to consumer computers. Apple is not a software business, it's a hardware business (10% of their revenue is software and that includes all their high-end software packages and OS).

Re:Monopoly or not. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30495746)

Eat a fuckin' dick nigger.

Re:Monopoly or not. (0, Offtopic)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495802)

It looks like someone is posting their fantasies again.

Re:Monopoly or not. (5, Insightful)

ihuntrocks (870257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495804)

Having worked previously in IBM's AIX development labs and Linux Technology Center, I can say you are correct that the big-iron UNIX world does work that way. It also happens that their tying occurs on hardware platforms that are quite different from those you can buy off the shelf from any PC parts vendor. It's uncommon to find someone with POWER hardware to run AIX on at home. The same applies with PA-RISC hardware to run HP-UX on (older versions anyway).

Apple made the decision to dress up generic PC hardware and plunk their OS on it rather than staying with hardware that set them apart from their competitors and made tying more acceptable. The only thing that truly separates a Mac from a generic PC these days is the software it runs. Companies like Psystar showed that by using generic PC hardware to run Apple's product. If Apple wants to be a hardware vendor, that is fine. They just need to choose what their product actually is.

On the note of big-iron UNIX tying, I did get the chance to play on several PowerPC Macs that were running AIX in the development labs. Even the big-iron stuff runs on hardware that will run it.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495986)

Apple made the decision to dress up generic PC hardware and plunk their OS on it rather than staying with hardware that set them apart from their competitors and made tying more acceptable. The only thing that truly separates a Mac from a generic PC these days is the software it runs. Companies like Psystar showed that by using generic PC hardware to run Apple's product. If Apple wants to be a hardware vendor, that is fine. They just need to choose what their product actually is.

Of course the problem is that then they could not benefit from economies of scale and by mass produced parts to the same extent. It would also impact their ability to run x86 code a native speed.

I am not saying Apple are legally or morally in the right, I am just saying it is obvious why they have chosen the path they have when the CPU makes up a large part of the expense of new PC regardless of the architecture.

Re:Monopoly or not. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496192)

There's a lot more to a Mac than the hardware specifications. They are a marvel of industrial design, so far beyond the generic grey boxes most PC vendors produce.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495810)

Ok, then make it be only able to be tied to OS X. By this I mean, make it technically impossible to run it on standard PC hardware. They have tried to, but failed. It should -not- be illegal for someone to use legitimately purchased software on any computer. It should be illegal for Apple to tie things beyond "only one copy of this is allowed to be installed at one time". If Apple doesn't like people using OS X on ordinary PCs then make OS X impossible to run on those PCs either by switching to an obscure architecture or (attempting) to add in "protections" against it. Apple should be allowed to do that, and I should be allowed to run OS X on whatever so long as I purchased it.

Really what needs to happen is the courts need to say that is it legal to A) modify a legitimately purchased OS to run on whatever hardware B) Allow licenses to restrict what hardware you run things on only in number of quantity (for example, Apple could sell you one license for OS X to be installed on one machine, if you install it on 5 you are breaking it, but if you install it on one PC, it would still be legal. and C) allow for companies to sell machines with OS X on them so long as OS X was legitimately purchased by Apple and there is a license for that one machine.

Re:Monopoly or not. (3, Interesting)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495838)

What Apple needs to do is set the price of OS X to be $2k. The OS costs $2k. The hardware is free. Have a blast kids.

Re:Monopoly or not. (2, Interesting)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495930)

And then I can just buy a Mac, refuse the OSX EULA, request a refund and install Linux on it. Repeat ad infinitum, or at least until Apple goes broke by giving away expensive hardware.

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Insightful)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495960)

Yes, but you bought the software. If you reject the software to get a refund, you'll need to send the entire packaging back. That includes the hardware. Oh you wanted to keep the hardware? I'm sorry. We can't process your refund. Have a nice day :)

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Informative)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495992)

Actually, no you can't. Even today that the Mac hardware is paid for and not given away with the OS like the previous poster suggested, the EULA states plainly that if you do not accept the EULA and that the software product shipped pre-installed on the computer, you must return the whole package to Apple (quoted directly from the OS X license agreement) :

FOR APPLE SOFTWARE INCLUDED WITH YOUR PURCHASE OF HARDWARE, YOU MUST RETURN THE ENTIRE HARDWARE/SOFTWARE PACKAGE IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A REFUND.

http://www.apple.com/legal/sla [apple.com]

Re:Monopoly or not. (2, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496024)

Let's see that clause stand up in a judgement, then we'll talk.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496032)

Why don't you be the one to challenge it then if you're so sure you'll win?

Re:Monopoly or not. (3, Interesting)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495844)

Really what needs to happen is the courts need to say that is it legal to A) modify a legitimately purchased OS to run on whatever hardware B) Allow licenses to restrict what hardware you run things on only in number of quantity (for example, Apple could sell you one license for OS X to be installed on one machine, if you install it on 5 you are breaking it, but if you install it on one PC, it would still be legal. and C) allow for companies to sell machines with OS X on them so long as OS X was legitimately purchased by Apple and there is a license for that one machine.

So, if I acquire a piece of open source software, I should be able to use it however I want? That would mean that any company could ignore the GPL. Apple's OS X license (that you can only run it on Apple hardware) is just as valid as the GPL, even if you would like to ignore it.

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495908)

So, if I acquire a piece of open source software, I should be able to use it however I want?

Yes, you should. Key word there being -use- and there is a difference between use and redistribute.

That would mean that any company could ignore the GPL.

The GPL gives you the complete freedom to use a program how you see fit.

The act of running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the Program (independent of having been made by running the Program). Whether that is true depends on what the Program does.

Heck, the GPL lets you modify source within a corporation

No, in that case the organization is just making the copies for itself. As a consequence, a company or other organization can develop a modified version and install that version through its own facilities, without giving the staff permission to release that modified version to outsiders.

from the GPL FAQs

The GPL only restricts what you can do with A) a modified program or B) when you redistribute the program. The Apple license restricts what you can do -with- the program which is a whole lot more than just saying what you can do to redistribute or modify the program.

Re:Monopoly or not. (5, Insightful)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495920)

Yes, you should. Key word there being -use- and there is a difference between use and redistribute.

You mean like where you, at home, can modify OS X to install on a standard non-Apple PC, but if a company makes a derivative work and redistributes it much like how Psystar did? Huh. Imagine that.

Re:Monopoly or not. (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496028)

Pystar made the make of distributing a derivative work. They crossed the obvious legal line from "merely using".

OTOH, as long as they sell an unopened copy of the original they should not not be messed with either.

Copyright law should not allow for "artistic megalomania".

It doesn't matter if it's me personally or if it is some company that wants to sell Hackintoshes.

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Insightful)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496046)

People keep throwing out "should" all over this discussion. But no one ever explains the reason why things should/should not be a particular way. Very odd.

Re:Monopoly or not. (5, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496124)

Notice how apple is only going after pystar, not the homebrew hackintosh community.

Apple doesn't give a shit if you install OSX on a Dell. Apple only cares if you install it on a hundred dells and sell them as "OS X" computers.

notice the difference. if you want a hackintosh go ahead and do it. just don't do it for a profit.

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Interesting)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495928)

The thing to note here also is that Psystar were modifying Apple's base image and redistributing it without a license to make a derivative work and to then distribute the results. The EULA was only 1 part of the case, they were very on the way to be found guilty of copyright infrigement when they decided to settle with Apple. Not to mention the DMCA claims because they circumvented Apple's protection measures (that kext I listed earlier).

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496170)

So, if I acquire a piece of open source software, I should be able to use it however I want?

yes you can use isn't an issue and it shouldn't be.

The thing is you can't expect support when something is used outside of the suppliers term of supply.

If psystar can survive they don't need to do anything with osx any more. We know if we buy the hardware and rebel efi we can install osx on it. We might even be able to supply our own hardware and just buy rebel efi and osx.

it might not be able to survive an update but thats the risk of using osx on third party hardware.

Apple owes us nothing if we choose to use OSX outside of a mac. thats not difficult to understand if thats not acceptable to you then buy the apple approved hardware.

Re:Monopoly or not. (2, Interesting)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495886)

They do tie it to their hardware. You have to modify their base image to remove this :

$ file /System/Library/Extensions/Dont\ Steal\ Mac\ OS\ X.kext/Contents/MacOS/Dont\ Steal\ Mac\ OS\ X
/System/Library/Extensions/Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext/Contents/MacOS/Dont Steal Mac OS X: Mach-O universal binary with 2 architectures
/System/Library/Extensions/Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext/Contents/MacOS/Dont Steal Mac OS X (for architecture x86_64): Mach-O 64-bit kext bundle x86_64
/System/Library/Extensions/Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext/Contents/MacOS/Dont Steal Mac OS X (for architecture i386): Mach-O object i386

Re:Monopoly or not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30495822)

So its not anti-competitive to tie an OS to specific hardware but it IS anti-competitive to preload IE on your operating system?

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496080)

Yes, because by making IE part of Windows, Microsoft was abusing their monopoly in the operating system market to get another monopoly in the browser market. And to make matters even worse, Microsoft created their own "standards" on how HTML, CSS and Javascript functions in their browser, so websites created for IE would not work properly in other browsers.

Abusing your monopoly is anti-competitive. Including one product with another is not.

Re:Monopoly or not. (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495828)

It's one thing to tie things together. It's another to tell people what they can and can't do with the things they bought. If people can buy the software without the hardware, then it stands to reason that you can put the software anywhere you want.

And seriously, even Apple supporters should be taking another look at Apple's completely perverted misinterpretation of copyright law to win their case and defend their position. Reading into RAM is an illegal copy?! And I suppose playing a DVD on unsanctioned DVD players is ALSO making an illegal copy... and playing a CD is making an illegal copy as well? Seriously, where does it end?

I bought a copy of snow leopard for $29 and I intend to build my own hackintosh. Running the code I purchased the right to use on hardware of my choosing is not their right. I don't care what the license says. They can put anything they want into a license, if it infringes on my rights, that part of the license is invalid just as many state laws do not allow many assertions that companies make routinely. Ever heard the disclaimer "void where prohibited"?

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495910)

Apple didn't use any novel concepts. Software licensing is something that isn't exclusive to them. The copy into RAM defense is actually from an older court decision that didn't involve Apple at all (and was discussed at length a few years back on Slashdot). What you're doing is claiming that all software licensing is invalid. If like you say "you bought it, you can do what you want with it", then Oracle has no leg to stand one when they ask 50,000$ per processor for a license to use their software. Heck, you bought it, you can install it on any machine and do what you want (you're starting to sound like Cartman there...).

Re:Monopoly or not. (0)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495912)

Ever heard the disclaimer "void where prohibited"?

That means your license to use the software is void. As such using their software in places where the restrictions are prohibited means that you are violating copyright law. It does not mean what you appear to think it means.

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496036)

If the license is void then that just leaves the usual "first sale" sort of stuff you get with a Book.

The notion that any creative work requires a license merely to "use" is assinine and only serves to increase the ability of corporations that are larger than many nations to fuck with individuals. It doesn't even benefit the rank and file artist.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

halfey (1516717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495874)

Apple is not a software business, it's a hardware business (10% of their revenue is software and that includes all their high-end software packages and OS).

Then they should choose between software business or hardware business. Choosing both means monopoly (or should I say anti-competitive in this case?). We could say the same thing to M$ too if they build specific hardware for their Windows.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495994)

Like the XBox 360?

Re:Monopoly or not. (-1, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495944)

It's flamebait because tying is not anti-competitive in and of itself

Yes it is.

nor should it be illegal

It is. Apple would be attacked for it if their market share weren't abysmal.

Vertical integration of hardware and software

This doesn't mean anything. These are vacuous buzzwords.

Apple is simply applying [the big-Iron Unix business model] to consumer computers.

Uh, no. You don't know what "big iron" means and you don't know about business models.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496050)

Seeing how my job is basically doing admin for HP Integrity platforms, I think I have an idea what big Iron Unix is (our smallest BL870 has about 96 GB of RAM) and what the business model is behind it. ;)

Re: tying is not anti-competive... (1, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496108)

... my big quaking ass. So-called "tying" is very much anti-competitive, because the MOTIVE behind it is anti-competitive. Just because all the other kids are doing it and getting away with it doesn't mean it's not anti-competitive. All it means is that the DoJ only has limited resources to go after every trivial anti-competitive abuse.

Frankly, the real problem is capitalism itself, because the motives that drive capitalism are in fact the desire to thwart competition and create monopolies. If Capitalism were an NPC in a D&D campaign, it would be "chaotic neutral", because there are no inherent ethics in Capitalism at all; they have to be artificially tacked-on, with threats of force attached to make them work at all.

You don't remember Logic (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496144)

Logic used to be the standard for audio production in Europe and for a lot of enthusiasts in America. It was cross platform and worked with almost any kind of interface.

Apple bought the company, ceased Windows development and support, and left a bunch of people out in the cold. This is the sort of thing that becomes anti-competitive once there's enough market share. It's when a company is so huge that they force people to use their products through acquisitions. It removes competitors from the market place, so the market literally ceases to become a market.

Re:Monopoly or not. (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496200)

Apple is not a software business, it's a hardware business (10% of their revenue is software and that includes all their high-end software packages and OS).

Well they're not exactly a hardware vendor or software vendor. They sell the integrate platform. Hardware and software.

As techies we're not used to thinking of desktops and laptops like that, but it's not that uncommon for other devices. As far as I know, Garmin doesn't license its GPS software to other vendors. Cisco doesn't license its software for use on other routers. Sony doesn't license the PS3 operating system for use on generic hardware, nor does Microsoft license the XBox 360 operating system. Nintendo doesn't license the Wii OS either. I don't know, but I don't believe TiVO licenses their software for use on generic hardware.

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Informative)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495818)

You can buy a copy of Apple's OS independent of its hardware. It's not like it only ships pre-installed on Apple machines.

Is the copy that a consumer can purchase independent of Apple hardware a full license or is it only an upgrade license? Apple doesn't put too many restrictions at installation time to make it seem like it's an upgrade but they can certainly make an argument that all boxed copies of its software are upgrades. If that's vague, then all they have to do is change the packaging to make it clearer. Such a change would have no impact on the customer experience. Then the argument that you can buy a full license of Apple's OS independent of its hardware goes out the window.

In fact, here's the page from Apple [apple.com] on their online store. If you kindly click on the link that says "Find out which version you're using" you'll discover that there are two options for upgrade: from Leopard or from Tiger. I've looked all over their online store and couldn't find a full license of Snow Leopard sold anywhere that didn't require the consumer to own a previous version of OS X.

Perhaps you can show me where you are able to find a full license of OS X that is not an upgrade.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

ihuntrocks (870257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495898)

To tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure about this. Perhaps it is worded that way because they include migration tools that are different for each of those versions to upgrade to Snow Leopard.

I do know that you can use the disk to install to a hard drive that doesn't have any Apple OS installed, such as a blank drive, or a Mac that is running Linux (I have done this with my Mac that was running Linux). For some reason that seems like a full install disk rather than a pure upgrade, which in my estimation would require a compatible OS to upgrade from. In terms of licensing, I am not sure though. This is a good question.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495982)

It's not because of migration tools. The DVD is the same for Tiger and Leopard. The difference is the licensing.

Re:Monopoly or not. (5, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495834)

The licence for OS X says "only to be used on Apple hardware" and if you want to stay true to that licence, you cannot make a business model out of selling machines with OS X preinstalled that clearly break the licence.

If you think "well, the licence should be ignored" then sure, as long as the GPL can also be ignored at will, or any other software licence for that matter.

Vertical integration is not illegal, and it does not harm any competitor if Apple choses to go after a company breaking its licence to OS X (other than the company in breach of the licence of course).

Apple hasn't gone after individual hackintosh creators, but it is well within its rights to go after a company who's main source of income would be a clear breach of the OS X licence.

Whether you agree with it or not, the software you buy (or download from OSS sites) has a licence - if you break the licence you might get away with it, or the enforcer of that licence may come after you.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

ihuntrocks (870257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495936)

I do agree with you, believe it or not. I feel that my previous post might have been misinterpreted a bit. I do not argue that the terms of the license should be followed, regardless of the license being used. That is the letter of the law. Other companies should obey this.

What I was arguing was from a purely ideological standpoint, stating my platform for disagreement for those particular license clauses such as the one we are discussing.

Perhaps I should include clauses differentiating between ideological statements and advocacy statements. Perhaps this will clear things up in the future.

Re:Monopoly or not. (2, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496002)

Vertical integration is not illegal

Inform yourself [wikipedia.org] .

It is true Psystar's main problem was modifying OSX to run on their hardware, which constitutes an unauthorized derivative work and as such copyright infringement, but that doesn't mean Apple's practices are in any way legal.

Also, remember that any clause in a license is valid only if it doesn't contradict pre-existing laws. You can't ask for your firstborn in a software license, you can't enslave the user, and you can't have the user agree to his murder for instance. It may not be the case in the US, apparently, but in a country that supports modifications in the name of interoperability as exempt from copyright infringement Psystar could've had a pretty strong case in there, regardless of what Apple's EULA may say. Pity the DMCA's interoperability exception seems to have been merely for DRM and not copyright itself though.

Re:Monopoly or not. (3, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496084)

No. You're confusing several concepts, and the GPL.

Yes, if you are a reasonable person and think that Apple's EULA should be ignored, then you should think the GPL version 3 should be ignored also. However, that does not mean you think the GPL version 2 should be ignored. And yes, a lot of people don't support the GPLv3 for this very reason.

The distinction is that the GPL, version 3, and Apple's license are USE licenses. The GPL version 2 is a DISTRIBUTION license. Distribution licenses have their legal force from the fact that software distribution requires copying, an action prohibited under copyright law without permission. The Linux kernel, for example, is licensed under the GPL version 2. You can use it without accepting the terms and conditions of the GPL version 2 all you want. You only have to accept the license if you wish to distribute it.

Use licenses, like Apple's EULA and the GPL version 3, are a lot more controversial... although it seems that since Apple's lawsuit against Psystar, /. has become much friendly toward them than it used to be. The legal logic behind a use license is that to use the software, it has to be copied into your computer's ram. Strictly speaking, use licenses SHOULD have no legal bearing in the USA, since US copyright law has an explicit exemption to allow necessary copying of software for the purpose of using it. However, the USA operates on a common law legal system, where judges defer to precedent over the law itself where possible. Use licenses, like Apple's EULA and the GPLv3, are only enforceable in the US because of bad precedent which, strictly speaking, goes against the law as it is written.

Re:Monopoly or not. (2, Insightful)

Monkey_Genius (669908) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495924)

What the OP and others seem to fail to realize is that when you buy an Apple Macintosh computer -along with the copy of OS X installed- you own the hardware and only have a license to use the software -and that is restricted by the terms of the license to only Apple hardware. Nothing prevents you from running another OS on the hardware that you own. When you purchase a retail version of OS X, you are bound by the license terms to run OS X only on Apple hardware. To run it on any other hardware is in violation of the terms of that license. How is that in any way anti-competitive?

Re:Monopoly or not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30495752)

Are you really that stupid?

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495800)

You can't be anti-competitive in your own market. OS X is licensed to run on Macs - if you want to use it for another purpose, you can buy a copy and do so. If you want to base your business on that, Apple will have issues with that.

It's not possible to be anti-competitive to deny your product to people you don't want to sell it to. This is NOT LIKE denying your product to a vendor unless they agree not to sell your competitor's product - THAT is anti-competitve.

Vertical integration of hardware and software has been going on in the computer industry since its inception. Only when it's Apple does anyone seem to have any problem with it. Apple are only hurting their own profits by stopping Psystar and while they chose to do this for brand reasons, whether you agree the trade off is positive or negative for them makes no bearing.

Only if they turn around now and say to Psystar "we'll sell you copies of OS X to use, as long as you stop selling Windows pre-installed" - not THAT should be illegal (and is).

Re:Monopoly or not. (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495814)

Following your own logic, its not anti-competitive for Microsoft to intentionally break software.

After all, "You can't be anti-competitive in your own market."

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495934)

It depends what they are doing - intentional breaking like the mangling of Java so that the dominant form would be IE at the expense of the real standard *is* anti-competitve, since it was designed to ensure that IE would maintain the browser market.

Deliberately breaking their own software for no other reason than greed (eg, DRM in WMP, deliberate crippling of the "Home" edition of XP for no technical reason is not anticompetitive, it's just silly.

And yes, that holds true - you can't be anti-competitive with yourself, but you can use your monopoly share in one market to force someone else out of business by breaking their standard on purpose.

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495840)

How is creating your own platform anti-competitive? Why shouldn't Apple be allowed to create a product how they see fit and let the market decide if it's worth purchasing? Do you also think all those home computers from the '70ies and '80ies were engaging in anti-competitive behaviour by tying their OS'es to their hardware?

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495914)

How is creating your own platform anti-competitive?

Because they're tying it to another one of their products which isn't needed to run it.

Why shouldn't Apple be allowed to create a product how they see fit and let the market decide if it's worth purchasing?

Because we have deemed so.

Do you also think all those home computers from the '70ies and '80ies were engaging in anti-competitive behaviour by tying their OS'es to their hardware?

When they tried to stop 'clones' by legal means, as opposed to purely the technical challenge of porting the software, yes. Most of them merely relied on using weird-ass CPU architectures, however, so they were fine.

Re:Monopoly or not. (3, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495956)

Too bad for you that tying in and of itself is not illegal nor anti-competitive, nor that you are in a position to deem it so like you say.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496000)

Because they're tying it to another one of their products which isn't needed to run it.

Define "run it". Take for example, the built in Eye Sight. Their product includes drivers to operate the Eye Sight. Does someone else's software provide drivers for the Eye Sight? If not, you need Apple's software to make their hardware (Eye Sight) work. In other words, Apple's software is needed to make Apple's hardware work.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496116)

The tying in question isn't forcing the user to buy OSX to use their hardware but, rather, buying their hardware to run OSX.

Besides, Windows includes drivers for far more devices than OEM computers include, and some Linux netbooks don't bundle enough drivers to make use of all the hardware out-of-the-box, so regardless there's enough precedent to throw *that* argument out at least.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496176)

But does Windows include drivers for Eye Sight? For example, I distinctively remember that Windows didn't have the correct drivers for Apple laptop's trackpads. It treated the trackpad as a one button mouse when the trackpad could operate as a two button mouse.

Why is tying software to hardware different than tying hardware to software? For example, power savings control software and power savings control circuitry on their laptops.

Re:Monopoly or not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496044)

How is creating your own platform anti-competitive?

Because they're tying it to another one of their products which isn't needed to run it.

Paying for Windows isn't needed to run it either, but it is still not legal to run it without paying for a license.

Giving out the source is not required for a user to run a binary, but it is still not legal to do if it is GPLed.

Re:Monopoly or not. (5, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495846)

There are way too many people in this debate who think that "anti-competitive behavior" == "Waaaaah, they won't do what I want!".

As has been explained by more level-headed people countless times, Apple is the copyright holder of OS X. The copyright holder (of any kind of work, not just software) is given exclusive rights to license that work for others to use, under the terms of their choice. Apple's "terms of choice" are, you'll run OS X on our hardware and no one else's. If you don't do that, you're committing copyright infringement by using their work without their permission.

There is definitely an argument to be made that that's a silly state of affairs, and that copyright laws with respect to software are lousy, but as the laws stand now, Apple has every right to do what they do. When you say "this behavior should be illegal for any OS", that's one thing, and you might be right, but at the moment it's not illegal, and so Apple is in the clear.

If you don't like that, you need to complain to your government officials to change how software is copyrighted, not try frantically to stick labels like "anti-competitive behavior" where they don't apply.

Re:Monopoly or not. (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496076)

Yes. The fact that it seems "anti-competitive" is really quite irrelevant.

Apple is merely exerting rights over the customer that it should not have to begin with.

It's engaging in "artistic megalomania" and that is bullshit whether it's legal or not.

It's like that stupid crap the EU wants to impose on Canada wrt resale of art.

Re:Monopoly or not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30495852)

Anti-competitive behavior is punished if and only if you command a market-share which can hurt the other market participants.
Your objective as a business is to maximize profit. Apple is a company which is in the business of computers and they seek to
maximize their profits.

Maximization of profits is bad, if you will prevent other market participants from a) entering into a market b) make the market skewed
towards some or few select players of your choosing, provided you are in the relevant market segment. Now the crux of the requirement
being relevant market segment. What is the relevant market segment ? OSX and its clones ? Linux, bsd ? maybe even windows.

With such a broad market segment. If apple states, I want to restrict the use of my computers. Are they in a position to prevent BEOS from
entering into the market ? Are they in a position to skew the market in support of select players in the *nix world ? Not really.

They are not a anti-competitive entity in the eye of the law and rightly so. You want companies to use all and any means excluding ones that will
hurt customers (sell products which blow up, sell products which will cause bodily harm, sell products which will fail in serving the very purpose of their existence).
Think of them as an entity who wants exactly what you want ... maximum freedom. When this freedom conflicts with your freedom you complain. So the resolution
of your freedom should be such that it preserves the maximum freedom to everyone else ....

So PYSTAR is probably in a bad spot. Anticompetitive law is not likely to help them out here.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

Mike Rice (626857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495892)

Uh, why?

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495950)

"Apple is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying its OS to its hardware."

Reading the fine print, Apple didn't tie the OS to the hardware. It DID object to the distribution of a MODIFIED image.

As for the desperate desire to run OS X against Apple opposition, I'd like to see Apple win so (some) people who profess to want freedom
will consider a move to Free and Open software.

Craving closed source systems is really just bootlicking corporations who only want your money.
Running Free and Open software helps spread the GIFT of software freedom their creators offer the public.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1, Troll)

alienzed (732782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495966)

What don't you understand about optimization and compatibility when it comes to developing software? If OS X were available on non apple hardware, it would be twice the size, unreliable, more expensive and the whole point of differentiation in marketing would cease to exist. Take a frickin' business course!

Re:Monopoly or not. (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495968)

Monopoly or not, palm os is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying it's OS to it's hardware.

Monopoly or not, mercedes Benz is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying it's software to it's hardware.

Monopoly or not, cisco is engaging in anti-competitive behavior by tying it's firmware to it's hardware.

See how silly your argument becomes when you take out the most important aspect of anti-trust law? If it's a monopoly or not.

Businesses by their nature act anticompetitive. Put simpler, competitors act anti-competitive. Big shock.

Apple is not Microsoft. Software is not it's business, software/hardware integrated in one package is. Some people like Porsche engines but don't like their cars. Let's say porsche sells replacement engines cheap (low margin) because Porsche owners race their cars and burn them through fast. Taking advantage of this fact, a company opens up that offers to sell you Porsche engines in a cheap car like a Hyundai. Porsche should be happy but it's not because they no longer have significant competetive advantage (their engines) to lure customers but actually lose some who are lured by Porsche power in a cheaper car. Plus the engines in nonporsches also generate more service calls, support that costs $ on small margin product.

Now, to combat this, porsche, in the next gen models, installs a very proprietary and nonstandard coupling to the transmission they don't license out to anyone else.

Now, most would say, including I, that you can do with the engines you buy as you please, but can you really force them to use a standard coupling as a non-monopoly?

Re:Monopoly or not. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496066)

Er...shut up. Go and express your lifestyle with another Apple purchase, you useless little excuse for a human being. Is it any wonder the planet is up shit-creak with vermin like you around...?

Re:Monopoly or not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30495978)

What could be more competitive than developing your own operating system from scratch?

"Oh, now I can't compete with him because he won't give me that product he created. Now he has a competitive advantage over me."

Boo, fucking, hoo.

Re:Monopoly or not. (3, Insightful)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496004)

It's only anti-competitive if they have a monopoly in the OS market, which they do not, or alternatively, if it's considered an illegal tying arrangement. As for an OS monopoly, they hold 5% or less of the market which is clearly not a monopoly under US antitrust caselaw. As for tying, that argument only works if you can show that there is no benefit to be had through selling the hardware and software as one product.

The problem with your argument is that under current US law, it almost certainly wouldn't be considered an illegal tying arrangement. There is no evidence that the primary purpose of their tying software + hardware is to artificially prop up the price of either. They can make a plausible argument that having control of the hardware allows them to provide a more unified and consistent experience for buyers. With a small set of Apple-authorized hardware, weird incompatibilities that exist on Linux and Windows due to the large hardware-base they have to support, can be minimized or prevented entirely. There is some value-added by selling hardware + software together, and Apple can certainly argue that selling the OS alone will harm their brand name and reputation due to complaints from users using non-authorized hardware.

In addition, this has to do with distribution and not the end-user. You can go out and buy OS X and install it on any hardware you want. The case doesn't affect YOUR rights. Pystar illegally redistributed OS X by installing it once, and using cloned copies. This really has little to do with the freedom of the home user.

In any case, this is not illegal tying in the sense used by the U.S. antitrust law. BTW, "tying" is a per se violation of the Sherman Antitrust act. You don't see many tying cases, however, because there are generally good arguments why you would sell two seemingly separate products as one.

Re:Monopoly or not. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496106)

Nokia is engaging in anti-competitive behavior for tying hardware and software.

or when was the last time you were able to load an OS onto a cellphone?

pull your head out of your ass and look around you. it is too dark for you to see anything where it is currently located.

Analogy: (-1, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495632)

Psystar's computers and other hackintoshes are the electronic equivalent of closet homosexuals.

Re:Analogy: (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495710)

Feeling rejected are we?

Re:Analogy: (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495998)

I think they are more like the electronic equivalent of effeminate eunuchs.

Re:Analogy: (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496090)

Nah... hackintoshes are more like overly macho cowboy types (think New Zealand) that want to partake of showtunes.

They don't want the entire "sissy" package.

"Other operating systems"? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495662)

"it would continue to sell PCs with other operating systems, including Windows"

Does this mean what those words in that order are supposed to mean: that the company will sell computers with operating systems other than Windows and OS X?

Re:"Other operating systems"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30495686)

I see we have a reading comprehension problem.

Re:"Other operating systems"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496128)

Theoretically, yes. Presumably some form of Linux? (That would be the most common choice, at least.)

In practice, who knows? I don't think Psystar has started doing it yet, and until they do, there's no way to confirm one way or another.

Might as well keep going - why stop now (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495696)

Pystar might as well milk the publicity for more attention and sales. If they shut down now they won't be able to ride the wave.

good idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30495704)

That $2.7 million settlement won't pay itself.

Tech version of a 'Smoke shop' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30495742)

is this gonna be like one of those places that sells "tobacco" pipes?

Hi, i'd like a 'good' windows pc, please?

Ah, yes right this way, step into the back room... lol.

Where is psystar 2 that will install osx not image (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495758)

Where is psystar 2 that will install osx not useing a image to install it?

also out side of the usa the laws are way more open on this.

Also what is stop them form useing a EFI apps that lets you install from the apple mac os dvd with out modding it?

Aesthetics and Psystar machines (2, Interesting)

Erinnys Tisiphone (1627695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495764)

You know, if you haven't been to the Psystar website (its down right now), they really did take the time to make good looking machines. Although one of the selling points of Apple's hardware has always been its aesthetics, Psystar wasn't simply putting their hackintoshes in beige midtowers. They had a nice line of an very different looking, (and I would argue), sleek and more professional looking machines running OSX than Apple - I actually would prefer their glossy black towers for business environments over Apple's chromes, whites, and bright colors. I think its good that the company has a plan B, and I don't think its any great loss to the consumer to have to buy a copy of OSX to load on the machines, if their hardware and loader is already totally compliant. Anybody creating a hackintosh of any sort has to pick up a copy...

Re:Aesthetics and Psystar machines (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496040)

Of course given enough time people will be able to find a set of cracks for any version of OS X to install on non Apple hardware, but Apple can make the process hard rather easily. They can send DMCA notices to websites or companies that explain or sell the cracks. They can keep adding checks into OS X to make it fail at various stages on non Apple hardware. The crackers need to find and remove them. If Apple can add them at a fast enough rate there will be long periods when the latest OS X is not cracked.

They are playing a dangerous game (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495768)

They are legally stupid if they are going to try to keep selling that software.

Their best bet is to become a PC company and use only hardware known for being Hackintosh-compatible.

Any other company can probably sell software like Rebel but this company has legally poisoned its waters, any attempt to keep selling Rebel will be viewed as an act of bad faith and judges will be looking for every excuse and technicality to punish them. At best, they won't get any benefits of the doubt in future Apple trials.

If they really want to do the world a favor, open-source the code.

Re:They are playing a dangerous game (0, Flamebait)

Sorny (521429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495792)

Open the code they stole? Not likely...

Re:They are playing a dangerous game (2, Informative)

RedK (112790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496016)

Rebel EFI is already open source. It's not because Psystar doesn't respect the APSL that it isn't. They stole the code for it from the OSX86 community :

http://netkas.org/?p=299 [netkas.org]

Will apple try the same carp on iphone unlocks soo (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495784)

Will apple try the same carp on iphone unlocks soon? jailbreaks?

the LAW says that you can unlock a phone will apple try the same loading in to ram carp to stop that?

Re:Will apple try the same carp on iphone unlocks (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495860)

Will apple try the same carp on iphone unlocks soon? jailbreaks?

Probably not a carp. They're not a very sexy fish. Apple would likely slap jailbreakers with a tuna or salmon.

Re:Will apple try the same carp on iphone unlocks (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495932)

Nah, its nothing but bricks down at the bottom of Jailbreak Sea.

Re:Will apple try the same carp on iphone unlocks (0, Offtopic)

Mike Rice (626857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495974)

Apple is certainly not a carp company.
More likely, Apple will try...
        Grouper, in your choice of blackened or grilled. If that doesn't work...
        Crab, boiled or baked. And as a last resort...
        Barracuda.

       

Re:Will apple try the same carp on iphone unlocks (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496014)

Or maybe they'll try pan-fried carp [celtnet.org.uk] - the sauce includes apples, after all....

Re:Will apple try the same carp on iphone unlocks (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496168)

Isn't that a Japanese dish [wikipedia.org] ?

"Their" rebel EFI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30495884)

I seem to recall reading that they are actually ripping off an EFI-emulation boot loader that was open source, removing attribution, violating the license, and claiming it as their own. If this is true, they should not be given the dignity, in press articles or otherwise, of having it called "theirs".

I realize this is an Apple story so people writing about it are going to be a little slow - still this is no excuse. :-) If it's not Pystar's original code, let's not call it that. Or if I'm wrong on that point, sorry, I must have misheard, move along.

Re:"Their" rebel EFI (4, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496012)

"I seem to recall reading that they are actually ripping off an EFI-emulation boot loader that was open source, removing attribution, violating the license, and claiming it as their own. If this is true, they should not be given the dignity, in press articles or otherwise, of having it called "theirs"."

http://www.geektechnica.com/2009/10/psystar-steals-open-source-bootloader-and-sells-it-for-50/ [geektechnica.com]

The angle. (1)

Loualbano2 (98133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30495888)

A lot of people questioned Psystar's motivation considering that dogs could tell you that Apple would sue the shit out them.

Could this whole debacle be just a publicity stunt to launch a company that ends up selling vanilla Windows systems?

-Lou

Re:The angle. (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496030)

Could this whole debacle be just a publicity stunt to launch a company that ends up selling vanilla Windows systems?

Now there's a market without a lot of competition! It should be easy for them to break into that market.

Re:The angle. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496038)

Sure! What better way to start a company than go bankrupt and shaft their suppliers, agree to a $2.7 million settlement, stop doing the one thing they were notable for, and rack up 6 figures in lawyer fees. All to enter a market with no barriers to entry and razor thin margins.

Re:The angle. (1)

nonsequitor (893813) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496068)

One would hope that if you went with the rebel efi option, you could choose no os, and just install your own copy of OS X once it arrived. If these people have any brains they skip the windows tax and ship linux as a default OS, assuming it is just a publicity stunt. Maybe with a blank alternate OS partition and a commented out grub entry for dual booting OS X.

Re:The angle. (1)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496118)

Or ship no OS. I mean why bother installing software when your users is going to go out, buy a copy of OS X, and install it on the machine anyway?

Well...this is awkward (2, Informative)

milas (988484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496008)

According to this [nasdaq.com] , they are in fact shutting down.

What it really means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30496054)

Essentially their entire business model is based on piggybacking off Apple. They can't build and sell competitive PCs without the carrot of being able to install OSX. It doesn't sound like they are striking a blow for freedom so much as mooching off some one else's success.

Re:What it really means (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496092)

Every PC maker in the world is the same. Most piggyback off Microsoft.

Good luck with that (2, Informative)

davmoo (63521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30496126)

From the ruling:

"Rebel EFI will not be expressly excluded from the terms of the injunction. It should be clear, however, that this ruling is without prejudice to Psystar bringing a new motion before the undersigned that includes real details about Rebel EFI, and opening itself up to formal discovery thereon. This would serve the purpose--akin to a post-injunction motion vetting a 'design-around' in a patent action--of potentially vetting (or not vetting) a product like Rebel EFI under this order's decree.

"Moreover, Psystar may raise in such a motion any defenses it believes should apply to the factual circumstances of its new product, such as the 17 U.S.C. 117 defense raised in its opposition and at oral argument. Whether such a defense would be successful on the merits, or face preclusion or other hurdles, this order cannot predict. What is certain, however, is that until such a motion is brought, Psystar will be selling Rebel EFI at its peril, and risks finding itself held in contempt if its new venture falls within the scope of the injunction."

So the judge already has Psystar in the crosshairs if it continues to sell Rebel_EFI as it currently stands.

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