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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 LRonaldHubbs on 11/16/2009 10:07:09 AM , Rating: 5
You're missing the point. You could trim down the market as you just have to prove any point you want. But you haven't proven anything because all you've done is focus in on one aspect of the total market. You could do basically the same thing for the graphics market in order to claim that Matrox is a major player.

The fact is, in the total personal computer market, Apple does not have significant share.


RE: And yet...
By mellomonk on 11/16/2009 10:22:37 AM , Rating: 1
Matrox is not in the news everyday and on TV every night. They don't have hundreds of stores in the best retail spaces in the country. They are not a significant portion of Daily Tech's news. They are not number one in customer satisfaction. They do not have the best performing stock in tech right now. Marketshare is not as important as mindshare.


RE: And yet...
By sebmel on 11/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: And yet...
By LRonaldHubbs on 11/16/2009 8:22:45 PM , Rating: 2
The latter segment of your post was irrelevant to the matter and hand, so I won't even bother addressing that.

quote:
You're missing the point. You could trim down the market to that bit with most of the disposable income ...
Yes, you can do that... and if you made products they wanted you'd have a chance of being profitable, like Apple.

I'm not disputing that Apple makes a profit by catering to people with a tendency to overspend. What I am saying is that this category of users represents a niche market. Apple can pump out as many cute little commercials as they want, but at the end of the day, most of the demand is not in their niche. Of course Dell and others have high-end 'prestige' offerings, they'd be crazy not to. But that's not where most of the sales are. Intel, AMD, nvidia, ATi, all do the same thing (obviously, otherwise Dell and others couldn't), offer stupidly fast chips even though most of their sales are in the lower and midrange markets.

They can milk the higher-profit market for all it's worth, fine, but they'd better have a solid mainstream offering if they hope to grow their market share to a respectable number. And that is exactly why Apple is not a major player in the PC market, they don't cater to the masses.

I didn't say they were irrelevant, I said they were not a significant player in terms of market share. They are very relevant in terms of image, and I think propaganda is their greatest contribution because they motivate Microsoft to produce a better product. But without a large chunk of the market, they just don't have clout to force major market changes.


RE: And yet...
By Alexstarfire on 11/17/2009 4:41:09 AM , Rating: 1
The fact that Apple picked the best codecs out of the ones you mentioned really doesn't matter in terms of almost anything. AAC might be gaining some ground, but it's way behind MP3s and there isn't much difference between them. And H.264 just happens to be one of the best video codecs around. They had the Quicktime format before that. Look at how the industry didn't give a rats ass about the crappy format. it's the same reason the industry didn't really care about WMV or WMA really. They just sucked.

And I think the point he was trying to make by saying Apple isn't relevant is that Apple isn't a company they have to worry about pushing people out of business. A small market share leaves the rest open to other people, even if they aren't making shit for money right now. Though, without the marketing machine that Apple has I don't think they'd be doing very well. Also, with the cell phone companies subsidizing cell phones they wouldn't be doing as well. They take advantage of the situation, but that's about it.


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