updated 11:15 am EDT, Tue September 1, 2009
Psystar tackles S. Leopard
Mac cloner Psystar has filed a second lawsuit against Apple, this time contesting policies surrounding Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Psystar should have the right to buy Snow Leopard and install it on third-party computers for sale, the filing says. The suit moreover accuses Apple of illegally linking Snow Leopard to Apple hardware, creating monopolies in the trade of "premium" computers, and/or systems running Mac OS X as a platform. "Apple's share of revenue in the market for premium computers -- computers priced at over $1,000 -- is currently 91 per cent," Psystar attorneys note.
While the monopoly charges are similar to those in an initial, failed approach to an ongoing countersuit regarding Mac OS X Leopard, Psystar insists that the circumstances are "wholly separate" with Snow Leopard. The technology used to chain the Mac OS to Macs has changed, says the company, along with the means needed to install it on a Psystar PC. Lawyers argue that Apple's end-user agreement should be changed to allow third-party installations, and that the court should rule that Mac cloning does not violate Apple copyright or the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
"Psystar's position with respect to Mac OS X Snow Leopard is analogous to that of a person developing a software application to run on top of Mac OS X Leopard," the attorneys say. "Just as Microsoft writes Word to run with Mac OS X and Google writes its web browser Chrome to run with Mac OS X, Psystar writes its software to run with Mac OS X Snow Leopard." In detail, the company observes that its special bootloader "makes use of features of Mac OS X Snow Leopard designed to allow software developers to extend Mac OS X Snow Leopard to work with different hardware." Psystar does admit that such features were originally meant for peripherals and external memory.
Aside from favorable EULA and copyright rulings, the company is also asking for damage compensation, and the removal of code in Mac OS X used to block installation on PCs.