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Psystar answers Apple's expanded DMCA claims

updated 07:30 pm EST, Wed December 17, 2008

Psystar DMCA defense

Psystar has submitted a response to Apple's recently expanded list of claims. After a successful filing to have the court reject the clone-maker's initial counterclaims of monopolistic business practices, Apple added several DMCA-violation allegations to the suit. The basic defense against the DMCA accusations argues that the technological copyright-protection measures employed in Mac OS X are being used to monopolize the manufacture of Mac OS compatible hardware systems.

The lawyers contend that "Apple misuses its copyrights in the Mac OS to force purchases of Apple-Labeled computer hardware systems for use in conjunction with the Mac OS." Psystar further accuses the company of using the EULA to reach beyond the rights granted by the Copyright Act and into the realm of anticompetitive business practices, violating the fair use and first sale doctrines.

The DMCA code prohibits any distribution or manufacture of technology that "is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

The defense filing outlines the use of kernel panic and infinite loop codes in Mac OS X that are designed to disrupt operation on non-Apple hardware. Psystar claims that its solutions to the interoperability issues do not constitute a circumvention technology whose primary purpose is to bypass copyright protection.

The company also argues that the kernel codes used by Apple should not be considered measures that "effectively control" access to a copyrighted work. To find the clone-maker in violation of the DMCA, the court would have to agree with the plaintiff that the protection methods do serve as an effective control.

Apple's lawyers recently sent a cease and desist order to a bluwiki site that contained posts related to the DRM protection used by the iTunesDB file that controls the playable media on an iPod. The site complied with the order, although organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued that silencing the discussions violated the first amendment.

Despite the rejection of initial antitrust counterclaims, Psystar last week submitted a revised filing that focused on copyright violations and the concept of a "misuse doctrine." The courts had pushed to have the case moved to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), although both the defendant and plaintiff opposed the change and requested the authorization of a tentative schedule that would lead to a formal trial in November of next year.

by MacNN Staff



  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969



    they're counting on the judge not understanding the meaning of copyright, markets, and monopolies. Not gonna happen... this guy seems to understand the picture pretty well

    Comment buried. Show
  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple should

    Apple should allow the installation of their OS on standard PCs. 90 percent of the folks that would install it are not going to buy a Mac anyway. I have at least 6 family and friends who all say they would purchase and use the OS, but simply have no desire to buy a Mac.

    I can understand where they are coming from. The Mac hardware is fine (no different than PC hardware) and often, much better looking, but after the first 5 minutes of ownership, most buyers don't look at the computer's case. They are looking at the monitor and what is it displaying.

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To the lawyers of Psystar

    You have some knowledge and that is "filing lawsuits, fighting them and pursuing the issues related to them." All this brings you money and loads of it. I would request you to kindly hand me over all that knowledge, written down in black and white, verified and reviewed by a third-party - paid by you. Also you have to make sure that all future growth and gain in your knowledge base has to be provided to me without any condition. If you do not abide by the above demand then I may want to follow this up as a case and would request you to file as suit against yourself.

    Fools. You should have sent the psystar bros (bag and barrel) to Florida without even trying to fight this case.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    they will win

    in this country, david always wins over goliath. in this case goliath is apple.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Umm..Excuse me?!

    They don't look at the hardware?

    So you don't look at the iMac when you use it? You don't look at a MacBook or MacBook Pro when you use it? There are only 2 Apple products that don't have the screen built in, and those aren't the top sellers.

    The main reason Mac OS X works so well is because Apple it doesn't have to support thousands of different components to function properly. They won't release OS X to general PC installation because it just isn't possible, not without hiring 3 times as many support personnel to deal with phonecalls from people that can't get their ethernet port to work right.....

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not win

    Precedence- Xbox, Play Station, Wii, any device with software and hardware coupling is allowed.

    You cannot define Apple as a monoply in computers since their market share is 10% (or so).

    If you redefine the market as the products market, well of course every company is a monoply for its product.

    Honda has a monopoly on accords. Motorala has a monopoly on Razrs... and so on. As much as I would like to be able to run OS X on different hardware (AN EFFEN MINI TOWER!!!!) I understand that it is not going to happen.

    I always felt that a better approach of loosening the restrictions of OS X is its foundation on freeBSD.

    Maybe as a result of this and economic conditions, Apple will lower prices a bit...

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Business Model

    Apple is not M$, M$ never sold hardware, their only product was the operating system, this was their model from the start (I'm not talking about xbox, zunes, mice, extra, I'm talking about desktops, OS, and business model for PCs). Apple has always made it's hardware and written it's OS for the hardware even during the brief period when Apple licensed its OS to third parties to run on their machines. If Apple loses this case (and I don't think they will), I'm sure we would see Apple gradually exit hardware production and change as a company to mimic M$'s business model. One thing I have not yet seen brought up is that one of the things that make an Apple product is the tight integration between hardware and the OS. It is a complete product, and Apple Computer, vs the windows side where you have a two distinct products, a Dell computer running a Windows OS, HP computer running a Windows OS, etc. While the HP and Dell are built with off the shelf parts, each company, and all the other companies building PCs, have distinct reputations and their own loyal customers. And as one previous poster pointed out, this "single" business model is in play for all kinds of systems, xbox and playstation are well known, but there are hundreds if not thousand other proprietary OSs running on hardware designed to run on that system along, such as in the medical field, home heating and cooling industry, military equipment, communications, etc. Psystar is trying to get something for nothing and I really hope they "get" what they "deserve" in the end.

  1. smashedbanana

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Does anybody else find it weird that this is being fought so venomously by some kid who was selling mac clones from his house?

    Did he sell a ton?

    Or is someone else assisting in the defense / counter allegations??

    Call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever but I think someone with a larger interest in opening up the install of mac os on non-apple hardware has a hand in this...

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple's opened the door

    Apple expects to gain competitive advantage by making PC clones and modifying the Mac OS to run on them.

    The court will find it cuts both ways. Psystar are selling Mac OS to customers who would never buy an Apple PC clone.

    There's no obligation on Apple to support shoddy PCs, but if a manufacturer supports hardware to run Mac OS, Apple can be thankful for the additional sales, without the support headache.

    The conspiracy and DMCA red herrings are proof of Apple's lack of faith in the legality of their EULA. I hope they keep the conspiracy claim going, and look a right bunch of chumps in court.

    This case is looking less and less likely to go Apple's way. And once people have tried Mac OS on a non-Apple PC clone, the halo effect will see a proportion of them drift to the quieter, more reliable Apple hardware.

    Good for all.

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