Print 83 comment(s) - last by sebmel.. on Nov 17 at 9:35 AM

RIP Psystar?? A judge ruled in a summary judgment that Psystar infringed on Apple's copyrights and violated the DCMA, in building Mac clones. One of these clones is pictured here, a $599 clone here that comes packed with a 3.33 GHz Intel processor, a GeForce 9600GSO, iWork, and iLife (all at approximately half the price of a comparable setup from Apple).  (Source: Psystar)
A summary judgment goes very badly for Psystar

Apple has been trying to crush Psystar for over a year now.  After all, the persistent company has been selling OS X clones at cheaper prices than Apple's own designs.  In doing so, it is undermining Apple's closed box model of using software to justify hardware price markups.  More recently, the company threw more dirt in Apple's face, releasing a tool to help customers freely install OS X on any machine, something Apple has long fought against.

However, Apple has at last gained the upper hand over Psystar, delivering it a potentially fatal blow in court.  In a summary judgment delivered on November 13 in a San Francisco court, Judge William Alsup ruled that Psystar infringed on Apple's copyrights to put OS X on the unauthorized computers it built and sold.  He also ruled that Psystar violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by circumventing Apple's software protections that block its software from being installed on third-party hardware.

Reads the ruling, "Psystar infringed Apple's exclusive right to create derivative works of Mac OS X.  Specifically, it made three modifications: (1) replacing the Mac OS X bootloader with a different bootloader to enable an unauthorized copy of Mac OS X to run on Psystar's computers; (2) disabling and removing Apple kernel extension files; and (3) adding non-Apple kernel extensions."

Psystar, which is claiming Apple is misusing its copyrights, was also denied its own request for summary judgment.  The company was told that it was perfectly legal for Apple to use its EULA to control what platforms its own software is allowed on.

A second hearing is scheduled for December 14 and an official trial will start January 2010.  The summary judgement does deal a major blow to Psystar as it sets the mood for the trial, and may lead to Apple gaining a restraining order against Psystar's sales.  As Psystar already went bankrupt once, this could spell doom for the young company.

The ruling also is a pleasing victory for Apple as it validates its argument that it installing OS X on forbidden hardware is a violation of the DMCA.  And as California, unlike most states, requires evidence to be presented before summary judgment is determined, the ruling could be viewed as more considered or binding.  This could open the door to Apple being able to crack down harder on individual Hackintosh makers. 

Apple recently looked to stomp out the Hackintosh community by killing support for the Intel Atom processor, effectively making its Snow Leopard and Leopard unable to be installed on netbooks.  However, despite Apple's determined efforts it can't seem to stop fans of its operating system from freely installing OS X on a variety of systems.

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RE: And yet...
By mellomonk on 11/16/2009 9:28:39 AM , Rating: -1
Two completely different situations. MS was forced to un-bundle IE in some markets due to it distorting the browser market and impinging on competitors due to their dominate market share. Such is the burden of such position. Them simply defaulting a given piece of software can nearly destroy or severely distort an existing business model.

OSX on the other hand is created solely as a feature of Apple's hardware platform. The EULA clearly states this. There are many examples of unique software running on specific hardware in the tech world. Microsoft's own Sync software is unique to Ford's in dash products at this point for example. Maybe in the future Apple will have more of a software business model and find a reason to open up to other platforms. iTunes for example became cross platform to better sell iPods. But at this point, it is a feature and selling point of the Mac hardware.

RE: And yet...
By FITCamaro on 11/16/2009 9:42:34 AM , Rating: 5
And Safari on OS X doesn't do this? The point is that Microsoft has a clear and valid reason to bundle IE with Windows. People want to be able to turn on the computer and get on the internet from the moment they purchase it. And no company in the world promotes a competitor's products over their own.

While there might have been a case to be made when IE was tied into Windows Update, that is no longer the case. IE is solely used as a web browser now and is not a critical function of the OS. Yet they are still sued. If others want to become the market leader, they just need to make a better browser. And they are. Every piece of software out there has certain defaults. Windows is no different. And its defaults are easy to change.

Basically your argument is the rest of the industry is a whiny little b*tch and should be able to direct how Microsoft develops its product.

RE: And yet...
By mellomonk on 11/16/2009 9:56:03 AM , Rating: 3
I would agree. I think MS should have the right to include IE for there are competitors, many superior. The problem was (for the market has changed significantly from the time of the bundling complaint) that because of their marketshare and the general newness of the internet, for a large number of folks, IE was the internet. That of course has changed.

But MS market share still is has some power. Would you want to be Norton or Macafee the day that MS free anti-virus/anti-spyware products are bundle and closly tied with Windows from the start? Could this be why you have to download them (and Live Essentials) rather then just have them installed from the start?

RE: And yet...
By Alexstarfire on 11/17/2009 4:58:45 AM , Rating: 2
I'd rather be neither since both of them suck. Can't say much about MS Essentials though as I haven't used it. Been with some other free products for quite a while and they are working just fine.

RE: And yet...
By The0ne on 11/16/2009 11:41:05 AM , Rating: 2
It's simply a matter of how people view the two companies. Most still think MS is a giant monopoly and will limit what they include/have in their OS. Apple on the other hand appears to have loyal fans that will go along with just about anything Apple does, even if the contract states Apple owns their soul. Yes it sucks, but as of right now consumers are doing crap about it, not enough anyhow, and legal systems are turning a blind eye.

I agree with the OP, even with the contract. MS could be an ass and make such contract and doom everyone else in competition but they aren't, to some extent. Apple does it and people applaud. Doesn't make sense, or even fair, really.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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