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Mac Clone Maker Saga Ends As SCOTUS Denies Appeal

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-are-sad dept.

OS X 430

CWmike writes "The four-year-old saga of Psystar, a Florida Mac clone maker that was crushed by Apple, ended Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal of a lower court ruling. The decision to not consider the case (download PDF) upheld a ruling last September by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That ruling confirmed a permanent injunction against Psystar that prevented the company from copying, using or selling OS X, and blocked it from selling machines with Apple's operating system preinstalled. 'We are sad,' said K.A.D. Camera of the Houston firm Camera & Sibley LLP, in an email reply today to a request for comment. Camera represented Psystar in its bid to get its appeal heard. 'I expect the Supreme Court will eventually take a case on this important issue.' Last year, Camera had said, 'This is far from over,' after the Ninth Circuit's decision. Apparently, it is."

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Certainly won't stop..... (4, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007363)

Hackintosh efforts by hackers though. It was a noble effort Psystar!

Not related (3, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007375)

Hackers/hobbyists have zero to do with a company selling a product which affirmatively violates another company's software license.

Re:Not related (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007513)

Should Apple have the right to demand the software can only run on their hardware?

Remember when Atari tried blocking third-party software from their hardware and a judge ruled that they must allow for third-party use of their hardware?

Re:Not related (4, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007597)

Remember when Apple tried blocking third-party hardware from their software and a judge ruled that they can?

Sometimes you get the bear. Sometimes the bear gets you. And wishing for consistency among different actions at law with only surface similarities is much too much to ask for.

Re:Not related (3, Insightful)

Aeros (668253) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007605)

Of course they have the right. It's their product. No matter how much the majority of the people hate this and have to pay a premium for their hardware products...but they do have the right to do so.

Re:Not related (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007719)

It was Apple's product, but once you purchase it, it becomes your product.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine [wikipedia.org]

In theory, first sale doctrine says that once you purchase the software you should have the right to do with it what you want.

Judges have made conflicting rulings in this area. You can apparently ignore the DMCA and jailbreak your iPhone if you want, because you own the phone and you have the right to try and unlock more features with the hardware if you want. Some judges have said that mod chips on consoles are legal in and of themselves. They are only illegal when you pirate games.

Here, judges are ruling that the DMCA trumps consumer rights.

Re:Not related (2)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007741)

Of course? If they sell the software separately, what makes it so obvious that they have the right to say how it will be used? We don't seem to have this sort of system for physical objects. If I buy a car, I can do whatever I want with it (within the law) without checking the rules laid down by the manufacturer. Sure, it may void the warranty, but it's not illegal. Beyond that, lots of software specifies the OS its supposed to run on. If I run a Windows app under WINE, have I somehow broken the law?

It's a much harder line to draw than you make it seem. In my opinion, Apple might be in the right on this specific point, but this is almost the definition of monopolistic behavior. Only Apple can sell OSX, and they're using the software monopoly to artificially prop up their hardware division.

Re:Not related (4, Informative)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007615)

Should Apple have the right to demand the software can only run on their hardware?

Remember when Atari tried blocking third-party software from their hardware and a judge ruled that they must allow for third-party use of their hardware?

I'm pretty sure that's not the same thing. Apple is saying that only they have the right to build machines that can run their software, not that you can't write/sell software to run on their machines.

Re:Not related (2)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007661)

While conceptually the same, legally they are pretty different cases (which is why Atari v. Activision did not count as precedent in this case) since one involved stopping people from running things on their hardware while this one had to do with Apple controlling who could and could not sell its software.

I want to say this case was baffling, but I am actually not surprised. Courts have been pretty favorable to companies trying to control how their products are sold/marketed lately and they do not really conflict with earlier rulings.

Though the irony is, of course, that with the DMCA today, Atari v. Activision would have ruled rather differently.

Re:Not related (3, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007805)

That's my point. By placing the DMCA above all other relevant laws, Atari v. Activision would be ruled differently. I don't like this new precedent and what it bodes for the future.

Re:Not related (3)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007685)

Remember when Atari tried blocking third-party software from their hardware and a judge ruled that they must allow for third-party use of their hardware?

This is all about copyright. Copyright allows the owner of the copyright to allow or disallow copying of their software, as they see fit. Note: Copying of _their_ software. That is what Apple does. They allow you to use _their_ software, MacOS X, on Apple branded computers, and not on other computers. I don't know about that Atari case, but what you say means Atari tried to prevent you from using someone else's software. Not _their_ software.

If Apple told you that you cannot run Windows, or Linux, on a Macintosh, that would be a completely different matter. But anyway, you ask this question, _after_ a court decided that Apple has that right, and another court decided, and SCOTUS denied an appeal about it?

Re:Not related (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007689)

>>>Should Apple have the right to demand the software can only run on their hardware?

Yes. Just the same as JVC and Sony had the right to control who could (or could not) run VHS and Betamax-compliant software on videorecorders during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The inventor of the technology holds the control of the technology.

>>>Remember when Atari tried blocking third-party software from their hardware and a judge ruled that they must allow for third-party use of their hardware?

No.

Re:Not related (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007847)

>>>Remember when Atari tried blocking third-party software from their hardware and a judge ruled that they must allow for third-party use of their hardware?

No.

Atari was before my time, so I cannot comment on that, but what about Galoob v. Nintendo [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Not related (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007723)

That ruling was back in the good old days of the 80s when things weren't nearly as overtly corrupt in this country as they are now.

Re:Not related (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007743)

Atari tried blocking third-party software from their hardware...

You can buy a copy of Windows and run it on your Mac hardware all you want. Thousands do; maybe that's why Windows sales haven't dropped when non-Mac PC sales have.

Re:Not related (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40008021)

OSX is better than Windows. That's the bottomline. Apple has the right to deny you wanna-bes from trying to be part of a culture that you don't pay your dues to exist in.

Re:Not related (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007525)

You doubt that Apple would sue the pants off you if you did the same thing in your basement and posted instructions on a website regarding how you did it? Go ahead, try... see what happens.

Re:Not related (4, Informative)

brian_tanner (1022773) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007607)

You doubt that Apple would sue the pants off you if you did the same thing in your basement and posted instructions on a website regarding how you did it? Go ahead, try... see what happens.

Yeah. Like this? http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page [osx86project.org]

Re:Not related (3, Insightful)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007613)

You doubt that Apple would sue the pants off you if you did the same thing in your basement and posted instructions on a website regarding how you did it? Go ahead, try... see what happens.

What happens? Nothing. [lmgtfy.com]

Apple's problems wasn't that they were doing it; it's that they were selling it.

Re:Not related (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007753)

Apple's problems wasn't that they were doing it; it's that they were selling it.

Not so much that they were selling it, but the fact that they insisted very, very loudly that they had the right to do so, and that Apple could do nothing about it. Apple really had no choice but to sue them. In the Hackintosh community, they all know that what they are doing isn't quite legal, but they also know that Apple will ignore this (since little damage is done, and there is probably a knowledgable bunch of people who will be assisting Apple's customers with problems when the need arises. I bet many Hackintosh users take their Grandma straight to the Apple Store when she needs a computer). The only thing they need to do is behave in such a way that Apple _can_ ignore them.

Re:Not related (2)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007623)

You doubt that Apple would sue the pants off you if you did the same thing in your basement and posted instructions on a website regarding how you did it? Go ahead, try... see what happens.

Okay. [hackintosh.com]

I'm sure you can point me to numerous examples of Apple suing individual hackers/hobbyists running hackintosh configurations.

Re:Not related (2)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007697)

Well, technically they couldn't, or at minimal they could not use this ruling as a basis for a lawsuit. This one covered Psystar reselling copies of OSX, in theory in violation of the license agreement that they obtained the software under. So as long as your instructions did not come with a 'buy OSX now and we install it' button, such a site would be fine. Provided of course it didn't have any DMCA violations.

Meh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007373)

Even if they had a case they still stole copyrighted code from OSx86 and Rebel EFI was stolen from Boot 132 EFI.

Boo hoo, they're dead.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007755)

I thought they just used legal os x installer disks... how is that stealing code?

Re:Meh (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#40008015)

Normal OSX installers won't load on random hardware. They were packaging OSX installer discs but that isn't what they were installing.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40008019)

You thought wrong. You can't load OSX without a modified bootloader. They made their own by stealing code from the opensource projects OSx86 and Boot 132 EFI and called it Rebel EFI. Without it their hardware wouldn't boot or install OSX at all.

Why would you TRY to run a Mac clone? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007395)

I could understand if your computer was infected by AIDS and you didn't have a choice, but why would somebody ruin a perfectly good computer by smearing Oh Es Hex all over its hard drive?

Keep your dick in the vag, and keep your computer on linucks or windoze.

Too bad, really (2, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007411)

I never saw what Psystar did that was actually wrong. They bought copies of software, installed them on machines, then sold those machines. That doesn't seem so bad to me. Yes, they violated the EULA that you're only allowed to install OS X on Apple hardware, or something stupid and unconscionable like that. But I have an extremely hard time seeing EULA non-compliance as a bad thing, and I think we're collectively in a worse place for it having been successfully enforced.

Type from my Apple-branded Mac. :-/

Re:Too bad, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007473)

Yes, the world is goIng to end because you can't run OSuX on overpriced cloner hardware. Oh, and they violated the licenses from the open source code they used to install OS X in the first place.

Re:Too bad, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007481)

Yeah, taking from big bad super profitable Apple isn't bad, but they were also ripping the boot code off from the hackintosh community as well. Guess when you rip off the rich and the poor you're an equal opportunity infringer.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007541)

Yeah, taking from big bad super profitable Apple isn't bad

What did they "take" from Apple? They paid full retail for the copies of OS X that they installed on the machines they sold. They took from Apple in roughly the same way that Ford "takes" from GM when someone buys a Focus instead of an Impala.

but they were also ripping the boot code off from the hackintosh community as well. Guess when you rip off the rich and the poor you're an equal opportunity infringer.

...which is highly uncool (and one thing they clearly did wrong), but that's not what caused Apple to grind them into dust.

OS X R&D paid for in TWO ways... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007653)

What did they "take" from Apple? They paid full retail for the copies of OS X that they installed on the machines they sold.

Apple pays for R&D costs on OSX form hardware sales primarily, which is why Apple licenses OS X only for sale on systems they build (and to prevent support costs from increasing).

By going against the license they were "taking" the expected hardware revenue that would go with a first OS X sale.

And as noted it would cost Apple more over time with increased support costs and a probable erosion of customer goodwill (when Apple could or would not help those users).

Re:OS X R&D paid for in TWO ways... (2)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007869)

Apple pays for R&D costs on OSX form hardware sales primarily

...which sounds a lot like Apple's problem and not anyone else's. I know what you're getting at, but I don't believe that's a justifiable defense of Apple. For many months after launch, Sony and Microsoft subsidized the price of their gaming consoles with the expectation that buyers would purchase other high-margin games and peripherals to make up the difference. Well, some people used their consoles for media centers or integrated them into computing clusters. In those cases, Sony/MS lost on those sales. Did the buyers do anything wrong? No: they just took advantage of a favorable price point.

That Apple (or Sony or Microsoft or a razor blade manufacturer) expects me to buy and use their products in a certain way is their issue to deal with.

Re:OS X R&D paid for in TWO ways... (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007957)

By going against the license they were "taking" the expected hardware revenue that would go with a first OS X sale.

So you're saying that Apple lost money because these people bought their OS, as opposed to not buying it? It was never an option for Psystar to just resell the same machines that Apple is selling, so they aren't going to buy Macs and then resell them. Those hardware sales never existed in the first place. They were buying the software and reselling that, and you're saying that Apple lost money on those software sales that they otherwise wouldn't have had? It doesn't cost Apple a lot to manufacture more OSX CDs or DVDs once they have the master, so why does it make sense that Apple is losing money by selling software?

Re:Too bad, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007777)

They paid full retail for an upgrade license. Apple does not sell full retail licenses at all. You only receive an OEM license (the only way Apple licenses their OS) with the purchase of the hardware. You may not like this fact but it is a fact and it is legal.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

PoolOfThought (1492445) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007807)

What did they "take" from Apple? They paid full retail for the copies of OS X that they installed on the machines they sold.

I don't know how Apple priced their retail OS, but if they priced the OS "knowing" that each sale of the OS would have a corresponding number of hardware items purchased, then it's possible they actually were being "taken". They were basically selling the OS at a lower point that they would have if they had known it would be sold without hardware.

They took from Apple in roughly the same way that Ford "takes" from GM when someone buys a Focus instead of an Impala.

More like they took from Apple in roughly the same that Ford "takes" from GM when someone buys a Focus (only with a much more powerful Impala engine) instead of an Impala from GM. Maybe GM shouldn't sell engines separately for Impala if they're so special, but if they chose to do so and they chose to say "the only way you're getting this engine at our special price is if you agree to not install it in another car type" then that would be okay. The expectation is that they're going to get another Impala (back) on the road and that's valuable for marketing if nothing else. If they offered that deal it would be the jerk who broke the agreement's fault, not GM's, if GM later had to sue them for putting it in a Focus.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007819)

What did they "take" from Apple? They paid full retail for the copies of OS X that they installed on the machines they sold. They took from Apple in roughly the same way that Ford "takes" from GM when someone buys a Focus instead of an Impala.

Apple has this special offer "buy a Macintosh, get an operating system upgrade at a hugely reduced price". Like many companies making offers "get this item worth $200 for $10 if you buy this other item for $1000". If you pick up ten of those "$10" items in a shop and leave $100 on the counter, they will charge you with theft.

Re:Too bad, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40008037)

They bought an "upgrade" licence at retail, and used it in a capacity outside the terms of the licence (installing on a machine that did not come with a full licence for a previous version).

The keen observer will note that Apple only sells OSX under two licences:
1. a limited licence to install on the machine that came with this disc.
2. a limited license to upgrade a machine that came with a #1 licence of an older version.

Re:Too bad, really (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007681)

Why does everyone demonize Apple? They are a successful company with quality products, that meet the needs of millions and millions of people every day. This whole "evil rich" thing that our savior Obama (who is actually quite rich himself, ironically) is pushing is really getting old. There are politics in corporate, but at the end of the day, they are generating a lot of good products, paying a lot of people (many very well), and are generating a lot of great tax revenue for our idiot president to redistribute to those who don't do squat for it. I fail to see why Apple is so evil.

Re:Too bad, really (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007831)

Because Apple does not cater to geeks, and geeks get atomic level butthurt over every slight, real or perceived. Combine that with the fact that geeks think computing is the only true knowledge in the universe (so anyone wanting an easy to use computing device is a form of life below slimemolds) and you get a toxic stew of moderate to high functioning autism, immaturity, social ineptitude and intellectual filth.

And that is the plain, unvarnished truth of the matter.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007911)

0/10, try harder.

How much were you paid to post that lame shill?

Re:Too bad, really (5, Informative)

zonker (1158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007497)

Their bootloader code was stolen from two open source projects which they repackaged and relabeled without attribution or source. That's pretty shitty IMHO.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007577)

OK, let me clarify: they did some shifty (and probably outright illegal) things, but those aren't directly related to the Apple lawsuit that the article is discussing. I don't see what Psystar did that was so bad with respect to Apple.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007829)

The problem here is the same problem that you have with counterfeit Rolex watches: What do you do when the stupid consumer shows up at the Genius Bar and demand that their hackintosh be fixed because it's an Apple computer? Rolex won a counterfeit case when they showed that people with fake Rolexes were taking them to Rolex dealers to be repaired.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007971)

What do you do when the stupid consumer shows up at the Genius Bar and demand that their hackintosh be fixed because it's an Apple computer?

Apple would have my complete support in turning those requests away: "I'm sorry, but we didn't make that and can't support it at all. Can I interest you in a Genuine Apple Product that would be fully supported and warrantied?" If we're going on the bizarre theory that EULAs are actual contracts, then they could formalize that in the agreement: we don't support any system not manufactured and distributed by Apple, Inc.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007659)

But that isn't what they were shut down for, is it? The plain result may be good, but the precedent is horrifying.

Re:Too bad, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40008091)

ooooh the horror. gimme a break.

Re:Too bad, really (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007567)

It's impossible to buy a copy of OSX without buying a Mac. Those boxes you used to be able to buy were not licensed as new installations, but upgrades.

More recently Apple have made that a practical as well as licensing issue. They no longer ship shrinkwrapped upgrades of OSX. You now have to buy it on the App Store and download it. And you can't do that without already having OSX.

Re:Too bad, really (2)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007683)

It's impossible to buy a copy of OSX without buying a Mac.

That wasn't true as of the time when Psystar was buying them.

Those boxes you used to be able to buy were not licensed as new installations, but upgrades.

And here's the crux of the matter, and why I find the ruling so despicable: those are terms that were added after the sale through the EULA clickthrough. At the time Psystar paid Apple for their copies of OS X, there were no signed contracts showing that Psystar agreed to abide by those extra-legal terms and conditions. They were bound by normal copyright law, sure, but I'm not aware that they were ever accused of violating copyright.

This ruling affirms the insane doctrine that a company may dictate usage terms to you after you've brought their products and taken them home. Suppose Nintendo's T&C says that you're not allowed to install Homebrew on your Wii, and that they sued you for it. Are you OK with that policy? After all, by booting your Wii you agreed to abide by all the T&C that were not consensual at the time of sale, so Nintendo should full say over how you actually use it.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007793)

And here's the crux of the matter, and why I find the ruling so despicable: those are terms that were added after the sale through the EULA clickthrough. At the time Psystar paid Apple for their copies of OS X, there were no signed contracts showing that Psystar agreed to abide by those extra-legal terms and conditions. They were bound by normal copyright law, sure, but I'm not aware that they were ever accused of violating copyright.

This ruling affirms the insane doctrine that a company may dictate usage terms to you after you've brought their products and taken them home. Suppose Nintendo's T&C says that you're not allowed to install Homebrew on your Wii, and that they sued you for it. Are you OK with that policy? After all, by booting your Wii you agreed to abide by all the T&C that were not consensual at the time of sale, so Nintendo should full say over how you actually use it.

You mean like Sony does with the PS3 (looking at OtherOS and the whole debacle attached to it)?

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40008131)

You mean like Sony does with the PS3 (looking at OtherOS and the whole debacle attached to it)?

No. Sony didn't sued anyone that ever used the OtherOS feature before dropping it.

(What Sony did is evil, but it's not the same evilness Apple did).

Re:Too bad, really (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007827)

"Suppose Nintendo's T&C says that you're not allowed to install Homebrew on your Wii, and that they sued you for it."

I am sure that they would.. Ala Sony.
After all you just bought it, we built it. It's more ours than yours.

Dam geeks with their wires...... Don't know their dam place in this life...

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007913)

The EULA says that, if you don't agree with it, you can take OS X back to the store for a full refund (not sure how that works with the download, but I'm sure there's an equivalent procedure). Now, what's your problem again?

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40008139)

The EULA says that, if you don't agree with it, you can take OS X

But it doesn't matter what the EULA says in advance of someone agreeing to it. How about this: YOU, specifically, agree to give me one million dollars. What's that? You never agreed to that? Fine, just look at paragraph II subsection 5: You can avoid this by giving me ten thousand dollars instead. What's your problem again?

If PStar bought boxed copies of OSX, but did not activate the OS or even look at the EULA, that whatever it says is irrelevant. It takes TWO parties to agree to a contract, not one.

Car analogy: Toyota sells me a car. I pay my money and drive the car home. At this point, Toyota can come along and say, "Wait! You can't use the car unless you agree to all these extra terms", but I can say in return, "Umm, sorry, but yes I can. I got the right to use your car when I payed you my $16,000. If you want me to agree to extra terms, we can talk about the consideration you're willing to offer in exchange, but until that point, I do not agree to your additional terms."

Same here. Buying a software product gets you the right to use that product. Any additional after-the-sale terms can be discussed, but agreement to them is not necessary to use the product.

And yes, it IS a sale, even with software. I have a "Sales Receipt", which claims that I have purchased, not licensed, the software. Whatever the mfg says about this is not relevant. I did not obtain a copyright for the software, so I do not have the legal OR moral right to manufacture and sell copies of it, but I sure as hell bought the right to use my individual copy of it without agreeing to anything ELSE.

Re:Too bad, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007571)

I never saw what Psystar did that was actually wrong. They bought copies of software, installed them on machines, then sold those machines. That doesn't seem so bad to me. Yes, they violated the EULA that you're only allowed to install OS X on Apple hardware, or something stupid and unconscionable like that. But I have an extremely hard time seeing EULA non-compliance as a bad thing, and I think we're collectively in a worse place for it having been successfully enforced.

Type from my Apple-branded Mac. :-/

The boxed copies are sold as upgrades to the version of OS X you had previously installed. While the install did might not check for a previously installed version, it is assumed that you are installing it on a mac that had a previous version installed on it. Now OS X is only available on the mac app store from Lion onward and Snow Leopard was the last boxed version of OS X.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007587)

I never saw what Psystar did that was actually wrong.

They broke the law. Despite being a crappy EULA or not, that's the agreement the user enters into with Apple in order to legally license the product. The courts don't rule via crap-o-meter, they rule by what the law says.... well, they're supposed to. I feel suspiciously certain many will rule depending what the 'Buck' says too but that's beside the point.

Re:Too bad, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007977)

They broke the law. Despite being a crappy EULA or not, that's the agreement the user enters into with Apple in order to legally license the product. The courts don't rule via crap-o-meter, they rule by what the law says.... well, they're supposed to. I feel suspiciously certain many will rule depending what the 'Buck' says too but that's beside the point.

You're pretty ignorant of the law then. The law limits what can and can't be enforced in contracts. The comment you replied to said those terms might be unconscionable [wikipedia.org] . Go ahead, click on the link and open your mind to the complexity that is our legal system. It's not as trivial as you think.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | more than 2 years ago | (#40008007)

He said "wrong", not "illegal". Don't confused the two.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40008011)

courts don't rule via crap-o-meter, they rule by what the law says

"The law" and "the EULA" aren't really the same thing. I can write some pretty outlandish shit in a EULA and that doesn't make it a law.

Re:Too bad, really (4, Informative)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007609)

I never saw what Psystar did that was actually wrong. They bought copies of software, installed them on machines, then sold those machines.

Apple doesn't sell fully licensed copies of OS X. They only sell upgrade copies. And the only way to get your initial copy of OS X is to buy a Mac. You can buy it in a box at the Apple store, it's still only an upgrade copy.

It would be like if a Windows OEM was buying upgrade only copies of Windows, hacking them onto blank machines, and then selling them.

People may not like it, but that's the way OS X is licensed.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007955)

Back in the day, Psystar was able to buy full copies in the store. That's changed in the last couple of years. Still, it's not hard to get a copy for your hackintosh.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007673)

"I never saw what Psystar did that was actually wrong..."

Except they explicitly violated Apple's terms of use for OS X.

EULA is a legally binding contract, period. Breaking that contract is illegal, period. Apple isn't going to go after some Schmoe that violates their OS X EULA because they figured out how to mash OS X on a PC, but another company looking to profit by violating a legally binding contract is NEVER going to stand in court. I may not be a lover of Apple's business practices, but I cannot tolerate leach companies trying to jump on a bandwagon using illegal business ethics

I know people on Slashdot find it hard to accept there are laws out there because either they believe those laws are stupid or just annoying, but them laws do exist and the decision for the court to rule this case out was just.

I would suggest it would be collectively far worse for laws only to be enforced when readers of Slashdot can agree when and where they should be enforced.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007735)

EULA is a legally binding contract, period. Breaking that contract is illegal, period.

Yeah, and how we've affirmed that for one of the first times ever. If that doesn't horrify you, then you demonstrate an incredible lack of insight into why a company being allowed to dictate how you use their product after accepting your money and sending you home with it is a Bad Thing.

To save us both the time, do not reply by mentioning copyright. I only bring this up because it seems like the standard response here is "you're not allowed to use it however you want! You can't sell copies of it!", and no one is saying that or suggesting otherwise.

Re:Too bad, really (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007909)

It has nothing to do with not accepting that there are laws. It has everything to do with seeing clearly how centuries of legal tradition and wisdom are thrown out the door simply to please the big companies that have sufficient money to corrupt the system. There is no way a EULA has any validity under the traditional construction of contract laws. Terms imposed unilaterally, AFTER purchase, bears not the slightest resemblance to a legitimite contract, and this is such a well-established and ancient principle that it is really impossible to give courts that say otherwise any benefit of the doubt. There is no doubt. They are corrupt to the core.

Re:Too bad, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40008023)

EULA is a legally binding contract, period.

BULLSHIT. EULA's are pretty much non-enforceable in every other country in the world. If Apple had tried this suit in Germany they would have been laughed outta court!

Re:Too bad, really (1)

_8553454222834292266 (2576047) | more than 2 years ago | (#40008083)

EULAs aren't automatically valid and legally binding. It depends on the court and the particular EULA.

the decision for the court to rule this case out was just.

Not so clear either. What if the "contract" is invalid or unfair? You can't just put whatever arbitrary bullshit you want into a contract and have it hold up. A sane court could have easily ruled that the terms of the EULA are unfair. You seem to have a weird definition of "just".

Re:Too bad, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007691)

Type from my Apple-branded Mac. :-/

Spell chequed two!

First sale doctrine? (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007489)

This gets me that first sale doctrine doesn't matter. The DMCA (which is overkill and bad legislation) takes precedence. The Psystar case reminds me of the Atari ruling, when Atari didn't want to allow third-party developers to make games for their console. Imagine if there were no third-party developers today. If Psystar legally purchased OSX software licenses, why shouldn't they be able to legally resell them with hardware? We have judges protecting a monopoly and frankly I don't understand it.

Re:First sale doctrine? (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007617)

I believe it was best stated by Lord Acton:

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.

Re:First sale doctrine? (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007721)

It is far easier to thread a camel through a needle, than for a rich man to enter the gates of Heaven.

Re:First sale doctrine? (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007619)

What monopoly? Since when did Apple hold a monopoly on PCs? Also, what does the first sale doctrine have to do with anything in this case? Psystar wasn't being sued for reselling copies of OS X.

Re:First sale doctrine? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007745)

They have a monopoly of hardware that is allowed to run Apple software.

Re:First sale doctrine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007949)

Kinda like how Garmin has a monopoly on hardware allowed to run Garmin navigation software? That's just one example.

Re:First sale doctrine? (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007931)

You're just skirting around the issue. Apple is attacking first sale doctrine by "selling" everything as a license only. SCOTUS denied an appeal to see a sale of software as an actual copy subject to the first sale doctrine. You may see that as fine but it's an astonishingly huge ruling that companies can just sell "licenses" of copyrighted material to impinge the rights of customers granted by copyright law. The ruling against Psystar was to apply the EULA that went along with it, but that's merely consequential of the larger issue.

And Apple certainly does hold a monopoly on hardware that is permitted to run OSX in a non-EULA violating manner. There's no reason the two should be coupled and IANAL but I'd expect there to be a valid case here for Apple's tying of their hardware to OSX as a violation of various antitrust acts. The tying of iPhones to AT&T was upheld as unlawful in 2010, and I'm surprised it wasn't argued that the tying of OSX to Apple hardware (which is, in some cases, up to three times as expensive as identical competitor hardware) is comparable to the tying of Internet Explorer to Windows (which has caused a lot of controversy). Though if OSX is only ever licensed, it doesn't appear that it it would be subject to litigation in this arena. So this license-only thing seems like a huge umbrella of protection for companies and there's certainly no way one can see this as fair to consumers. That is why it's so obnoxious to see the SCOTUS uphold the behavior as legal. It's terrible.

Re:First sale doctrine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007645)

What Psystar purchased was a software license. That license explicitly says not for re-sale, and only for us on Apple hardware. When you buy a movie, you buy a license to use that movie in your home - not in a movie theater and make money off of it. Companies have a right to license and distribute products as they see fit.

And yes - it is a monopoly. A monopoly on their own products. The day a company creates something, and can't do what they wish with it because that would be a monopoly of that product, and not the entire market, then property rights have been thrown out the window.

Re:First sale doctrine? (1)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007701)

We have judges protecting a monopoly and frankly I don't understand it.

That's actually the point of intellectual property law. Judges are not supposed to undermine the law.

Re:First sale doctrine? (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007717)

I agreed with every sentence until the last one which seemed to come out of right field. What does Apple have a monopoly over? And don't think of claiming that their operating system is its own market without competition.

Does First Sale make real sense in digital terms? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007747)

This gets me that first sale doctrine doesn't matter.

I agree with you in some ways, it feels wrong that first sale is going out the window.

But in another way, it seems logically reasonable that a wholly digital product should be able to live by different rules. This is what enables things like cheap games on Steam, and other cheap digital artifacts - because there can be an expectation of volume instead of a small number of purchases made initially then floating around the system dampening sales.

As we transition to wholly digital products there will be some confusion around this, like digital books priced the same as "real" ones...

Think of it this way, although OS X does not fall under First Sale, you can resell any Apple computer without issue - and Apple could not prevent that if they wanted to. You can still sell OS X, it just has to be with Apple hardware.

Re:First sale doctrine? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007791)

This gets me that first sale doctrine doesn't matter.

Not in this instance. We aren't talking about Psystar reselling a retail product that they purchased from Apple. We are talking about Pystar tried to sell a package that allowed their customer to violate the EULA of the retail product that they purchased from Apple.

The Psystar case reminds me of the Atari ruling, when Atari didn't want to allow third-party developers to make games for their console. Imagine if there were no third-party developers today.

Not applicable. The Psystar case involved people running OS X on non-Apple hardware. In order for the Atari case to apply, Psystar would have to be sued for allowing unauthorized people from developing software on Apple computer hardware from which OS X operates. Since Apple allows third-party developers to develop software on OS X running on Apple hardware, the Atari case has no relevance.

If Psystar legally purchased OSX software licenses, why shouldn't they be able to legally resell them with hardware?

Again it was not just about Psystar reselling the licenses, it was about Psystar reselling the licenses with hardware and software designed to circumvent the EULA. This resulted in Psystar being found to have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

We have judges protecting a monopoly and frankly I don't understand it.

If you want to legally run OS X then you must run it on Apple branded hardware. What's hard to understand about that? If you don't have Apple branded hardware, may I suggest Linux or even a flavor of BSD.

Re:First sale doctrine? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007905)

This gets me that first sale doctrine doesn't matter. The DMCA (which is overkill and bad legislation) takes precedence. The Psystar case reminds me of the Atari ruling, when Atari didn't want to allow third-party developers to make games for their console. Imagine if there were no third-party developers today. If Psystar legally purchased OSX software licenses, why shouldn't they be able to legally resell them with hardware? We have judges protecting a monopoly and frankly I don't understand it.

They are perfectly allowed to sell hardware together with a box with MacOS X. First sale doctrine allows that. However, the buyer is not allowed to install the software on the computer. And Psystar isn't allowed to install the software on the computer. The buyer _is_ of course allowed to install the software on an Apple branded computer.

Actually, if you buy MacOS X and install it on a Macintosh, the first sale doctrine doesn't allow you to sell the Macintosh with that copy of MacOS X installed. (However, Apple's SLA for MacOS X gives you that right).

Re:First sale doctrine? (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007973)

This gets me that first sale doctrine doesn't matter.

There is no sale. OS X is licensed, not sold.

Other jurisdictions (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007545)

Remember that there are 200 other sovereign powers in the world besides the United States. At least one of them will understand that hardware and software are separate and distinct. That country then will be at a competitive advantage in the market. The United States is falling behind on every economic indicator regarding technology. The biggest IPO in the tech sector is a guy selling this country's citizens personal data to other corporations and countries worldwide. That is the extent of innovation in the US.

It's just a matter of time before education becomes too expensive, there are no places left to do pure research, and there is no way for a company, individual, or organization, to market new, innovative products. Our mobile technology and infrastructure is third-world, our broadband internet lags behind every other first world country, and the only component left in your computer manufacturered in the US is the processor.

America is dying, and it's rulings like this that are causing it. Someday, market forces will catch up with us, and this country's economy will stagnate and fail in front of the other 5 billion people on this planet who don't live with such laws.

frak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007585)

I see the same damn thing. I hope we don't get our ass handed to us but maybe it'd force us to re-evaluate some backward policies.

The Real Lesson Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007647)

The real lesson here is that Apple is working hard to erode your rights. Apple is not a good company. And yet some people still believe that Apple is worthy of their money. Sigh.

How is this any different (3, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007667)

then buying an engine from ford and sticking it into a kit car and re-selling it as your own brand name car. Oh yah forgot this involves that magical thing called software which when you deal with you have to throw out all common sense.

Re:How is this any different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007917)

'cos Ford sells crate engines for hobbyists and rebuilders?

They even make a "engine kit" (the Ford Modular Engine) that other car companies use to build supercars, such as the Koenigsegg CCX.

Re:How is this any different (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#40008095)

So remove Ford and use a manufacturer who doesn't sell their engines and you have to get them from auto wreckers. Is KIA going to go after you for selling your own car with their engine. Probably not seeing how many kit car manufacturers there out there.

Re:How is this any different (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40008009)

You can't even make and sell a replica fender for a 1934 Ford without a license.

They asked for it or they'd have simply... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007679)

...sold the hardware with INSTRUCTIONS in a story form.

Why a story? Because fiction is usually protected speech. See "The Turner Diaries" for a right-wing agitprop example.

If you want a Hackintosh you had better be competent to load software anyway.

At least (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007731)

You can complain about Windows and Microsoft all you want, but at least they let you install their software on any hardware you want. Apple wants to control you from the motherboard up, marking up their products to ridiculous prices for overrated hardware. They do it with computers, iPod, iPhone, everything. The first down-mod from a Mac lover will just be further evidence of the truth.

Re:At least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40008127)

You can complain about Windows and Microsoft all you want, but at least they let you install their software on any hardware you want. Apple wants to control you from the motherboard up, marking up their products to ridiculous prices for overrated hardware. They do it with computers, iPod, iPhone, everything.

Who has ever been stopped from building a hackintosh? No one, that's who. ***Selling*** hackintoshes is the matter at hand, not sure why you aren't aware of that.

The first down-mod from a Mac lover will just be further evidence of the truth.

It's cool that you've got your persecution complex primed, just in case

BAD DECISION (1, Insightful)

barv (1382797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007835)

Probably the crucial reason why we have small personal computers so widespread today is that Microsoft (after writing then selling IBM the IBM-DOS) then turned around and sold MS-DOS to the IBM clone makers. MS-DOS was of course written behind a firewall so as not to infringe the IBM-DOS contract. And IBM did not contest the issue, because the US trustbusters had just finished disassembling Bell into the babybells.

So maybe not a direct steal of IOS (or OSX or whatever), but Apple should be forced to offer OSX at a "reasonable" price, and the test of similarity of appearance should be weak.

Not that I am a fan of MS, but he was a major originator of the concept of "duplicating" OS and other software, and that turned out to benefit consumers.

moD 3own (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007881)

You can. No, Result of a quarrel not anymore. It's diseases. The Kreskin 4urposes *BSD is OS. Now BSDI is I've never seen

OS/X Violates GNU GPL Anyway (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40007885)

Since OS/X is based on Linux, they're required to furnish the source code, and they don't, yet we don't hear a peep out of anyone about it, do we?

Re:OS/X Violates GNU GPL Anyway (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007919)

BSD, not GNULinux

Just sell a computer made for OSX? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40007967)

Couldn't psystar just sell computers that are hardware compatible with OSX, without putting OS X on it? Then users can install whatever OS they want.

Dung (0)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 2 years ago | (#40008099)

Who wants to clone a piece of dung anyhow.
I like real computers, not expensive pieces of electronic furniture.

Oh Goodie (1)

AkaKaryuu (1062882) | more than 2 years ago | (#40008135)

I'm glad to see that this made both the news feed and the ad bars.

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