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Apple wins judgment against Psystar

updated 06:00 pm EST, Sat November 14, 2009

Judge says Psystar clearly violated laws

Apple this week won a decisive victory in its lawsuit against clone maker Psystar. Judge William Alsup has ruled in a summary judgment that the Florida-based defendant had violated copyright laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) through creating and selling PCs with unauthorized copies of Mac OS X. By modifying the Mac OS X bootloader and kernel extensions to allow non-Apple hardware to run, Psystar has violated Apple's "exclusive right" to determine how and where Mac OS X runs, the judgment reads.

At the same time, the ruling dismisses Psystar's own request for a summary judgment, which claimed that Apple was abusing copyright to create a monopoly over Mac OS X. Judge Alsup supported the ruling by noting that Apple's end-user license only affects its own software and doesn't constitute unfair control of other companies' behavior.

The decision doesn't preclude the jury trial due in January but effectively renders Psystar's defense very difficult as it eliminates most of Psystar's core arguments. It also supports most of Apple's remaining complaints, including claims that Psystar has breached contract by violating the license and infringed on trademarks through unapproved associations with Apple's brands.

Neither Apple nor Psystar has commented on the judgment, which at trial may create a legal precedent that would shut down the handful of other Mac clone makers that have set up shop in Psystar's wake.

by MacNN Staff



  1. chas_m



    BUH BYE!

    Nah nah nah nah ... nah nah nah nah ... hey hey hey, GOOD-BYE!

  1. Monde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They musta been...

    former Microsoft employees.

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As Gump says ...

    Stupid is as stupid does .....

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Sometimes it takes a long time for judgment to arrive.
    Saying you are "right" Rudy doesn't make it so.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. idanno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    good or bad ??

    My belief still remains, If I buy the mac OS on DVD, and then choose, with any means possible, to install it onto a non-apple product.
    That is my right.
    Laws are not bound to being the absolute truth or being absolutely correct, sometimes a law for one thing will get morphed and used for something else.
    DRM for example.
    The intent of Digital Rights Management is not to permit total control, but to stop the illegal copying and selling of the product.

    In this instance, there has been no illegal attained copy, nor has the company sold a copy of the original product. The DRM law's should not apply, and if the law does apply, it should be changed to avoid this misuse of the DRM law.

    Why is there no law in place to prevent me to change out any hardware component of my Mac.?
    I can change any part of my mac that I choose to, whether it works well with the OS or not.
    I can install Windows onto my mac, whether it works well with the hardware or not.
    I could even invent my own tech, to alter my hardware and nobody would say at thing.
    ( Well, if it worked, they might utter the word "COOL" )

    The hardware as the software are both products, both need the same effort to produce.
    but yet manipulating hardware, after I purchase it, is not illegal.
    Why should manipulating the software that I purchase be illegal ?
    Even if I manipulated hardware with the intent for re-sale is not illegal, Say pimping up my Harley Davidson, or my Ford, or a chair, desk....or even a computer.
    Just don't tamper with the Mac OS,
    So Why not ?

    Because Apple perceives that to be a threat.
    And what is a threat, well it all comes down to money as usual.
    The threat is the potential loss of hardware revenue, Remember that Apple is a hardware company first. At least that is what Steve has said on several occasions.

    Lets face it, the OS is the heart of the computer experience, and if I could get the OS on cheaper hardware that serves my purpose, then naturally being a consumer I will utilize my right of free choice and choose the cheaper of the two.
    What would then happen If I had this choice ?,
    Well, in accordance with the natural laws of the economy, Apple would have to reduce there prices, and that would naturally affect there bottom line.
    Less Profit.

    That is what apple is really afraid of,


  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good for you, bad for Psystar

    You are right idanno, do whatever you want with the Mac OS X DVD you've bought. That's why hackintosh community exists - Apple doesn't care. But making a business scheme out of it is a big no-no. That's why Psystar ended up in court.

    Comparing software and hardware, you are missing the point. You never purchased ANY software in your life. You purchased licensees to use the software. The owner of the software is the company that sold the DVD to you. Now, if you've truly bought Mac OS X - whole source code tree along with registered trademarks - of course you would have the right to modify it any way you like, etc. Until that happy time please give the choice back to the original owner on how to licence their software.

    Oh, btw, and you are having the choice. There are thousands of computer brands out there, find one that fits your needs best. Just don't force your business model on them.

  1. nomadman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agree with Viktor

    Generally, you don't buy software. Unless you hire someone and pay them to develop it for you and the contract states you own every bit. This is what Apple does actually. Hires people and gives them resources to develop software like Mac OS X. These developers understand they are salaried and Apple owns the product of their work. If you were going to buy Mac OS X you would need a pretty big budget. Assuming Apple wanted to sell, they would ask for a price that compensates for investment. Done. Developing software takes considerable time and effort. Engineers, designers, and developers are not cheap personnel. A common way to amortize expenses and make money in that business is by selling usage rights or licenses. As the producer of the software and sole owner of ALL rights over the software, Apple can decide which rights it wishes to sell and how. They write all of that down on a legal agreement, put a price tag on it and make sure you have to opportunity of understanding what you are getting into before you install the software.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    why sure, you can do with that os x anything you want but you do not own it no matter what you believe. go ahead and take the copy you purchased and put it on any hardware you want.

    but you certainly cannot then try to redistribute it while trying to make money.
    this isn't rocket science.

  1. jfelbab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not quite

    The DVD you "bought" was not, in fact bought. It is "Licensed" to you under the license agreement. You don't "own" it. You purchased a license to use it under the terms of the license agreement.

    Try reading the thing before you make foolish comments.

    Here it is in part...

    " ...are licensed, not sold, to you by Apple Computer, Inc. ("Apple") for use only under the terms of this License, and Apple reserves all rights not expressly granted to you..."


    Read the whole thing and decide if you think your position would hold up in a court of law.

    It's not a bad idea to read any agreement you enter into instead of making it up as you go along.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Viktor is slightly wrong on this. When you purchase any software, you are bound to the EULA of said software. In Snow Leopards case it specifically says...

    "you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-branded computer, or to enable others to do so."

    So that means you can NOT do anything you want with it. Its merely a question of if Apple legal will go after you. And it's a safe bet that if you wish to install Leopard on non-Apple Hardware, they wont be coming after you.

    But blatantly breaking that by selling a computer with a hacked version of the OS while trying to make a profit on other companys IP.. then youre screwed like Pystar

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