updated 12:55 am EST, Tue December 2, 2008
Apple, DMCA and Psystar
Apple has stepped-up its lawsuit against Psystar, adding claims of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violations, according to Computerworld. The clone-maker is accused of reverse engineering the piracy protection methods employed in Mac OS X. "Defendant has illegally circumvented Apple's technological copyright-protection measures," the amended complaint states. The change comes five months after the initial filings, as the company has "discovered new information."
The DMCA code prohibits people from manufacturing, providing, offering to the public or trafficking any technology or product that is designed "for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner..."
Apple also accuses Psystar of marketing the code that allows the clones to run Mac OS X without inhibition by the protective measures. Additional parties are claimed to be involved with the DMCA violations, although "John Does" were used in lieu of any real names. The complaint also brings attention to the restore disks released by Psystar that allow the operating system updates to run on the computers.
The legal battles began with a suit by Apple that charged the clone-maker with copyright and trademark infringement, as well as breach of contract, for distributing the OS in violation of its EULA. Psystar added fuel to the fire with a counter-suit that accused the Cupertino-based company of monopolistic business practices, although the court recently dismissed the charges.
Apple also referenced the DMCA laws recently in an attempt to hush Bluwiki discussions that related to syncing music to iPhones and iPod touch devices without using iTunes, which would require working around the DRM protection. Lawyers sent a cease-and-desist e-mail to the site, detailing specific areas of the code. The site complied with the demands, but the incident drew criticism from organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).