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 Spuke on 11/16/2009 10:21:02 AM , Rating: 2
They actually currently have about 10% of the US market and far higher than that when you strip out the commercial beige boxes. Microsoft estimate that 50% of the copies of their OS are pirated. When you strip out those too (since Microsoft make no money from them) the percentage of Macs rises again.
Pirated copies of software are not used in sales figures. LOL!

Apple OS marketshare in the US: 5.27%
Microsoft OS marketshare in the US: 92.52%

RE: And yet...
By Spuke on 11/16/2009 10:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
Sh!t, these are worldwide numbers. Anyways, NPD reported 9.4% of the US market for Apple. Having a hard time finding overall numbers for Microsoft with all of the Win7 buzz. Apparently, Win7 is at 3% marketshare by itself. Not to bad in a recession.

RE: And yet...
By sebmel on 11/16/2009 10:37:31 AM , Rating: 2
Pirated copies of software are not used in sales figures. LOL!

Of course they are! These figures come from online surveys!

RE: And yet...
By mburton325 on 11/16/2009 12:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
Actually their not. The piracy numbers are factored out to come up with close true market share as possible. Although the 95% for Windows is a little high as it was only 73% last report I saw with Mac 0S X at 12% and Linux just over 1%, the rest were "other". This was as of June. Windows 7 3% comes mostly from new PC buyers and upgrades from older versions. There is also a reason a variance is given in these reports. One is to make for any pirated copy of the OS that may have been missed. Another is due to tracking software that may determine the wrong OS or OS version.

RE: And yet...
By sebmel on 11/16/2009 3:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
The piracy numbers are factored out to come up with close true market share as possible.

Here are the numbers being referred... done by Net Applications:

Now you show us all how the piracy figures are factored out and where that's calculated for each country.

RE: And yet...
By Alexstarfire on 11/17/2009 4:53:17 AM , Rating: 2
Can't say that they are factored out, but why would you want them factored out. Does the fact they are using an OS simply not matter because they didn't pay for it? No. They are part of the market share even if you don't like it.

RE: And yet...
By sebmel on 11/17/2009 9:35:24 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you for that considered reply. You are quite right that from certain points of view it is irrelevant. Some businesses will develop for the Windows platform on the basis that whether or not the OS was paid for it irrelevant to them.

Others will wonder at the value of developing for customers who will not pay for software.

Factoring out the piracy is important with regard to understanding the level of success of Microsoft and customer fidelity to them. For example, were Microsoft to come down hard on piracy in a number of countries, even with cheaper OS prices than in the US, they would find that the country would probably jump ship to Linux. Brazil springs to mind, where the government has stipulated that Linux and open file formats be used for government.

This thread was about Apple/Microsoft relative growth over the last 10 years and, thus, factoring out is relevant.

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