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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 Shadowself on 11/16/2009 2:25:11 PM , Rating: 3
I wish people would get this right. It was not about bundling IE with Windows. Microsoft does that today!

The anti-trust suit by the U.S. Government and 20 States was never about bundling. It was about integrating IE into the Windows OS. Microsoft was bundling IE with Windows for some time before they started integrating IE into Windows. This garnered no government interest at all. It also did not garner Microsoft any real market share in the browser market.

Then Microsoft integrated IE as as what it called an "integral" part of Windows. IE would always come up as the default browser (unless the user went in and hacked his/her version of Windows). This virtually overnight gave Microsoft's IE browser a significant market share and within a year or so IE had a commanding lead in market share in browsers.

The suit was over using Microsoft's acknowledged monopoly position in desktop operating systems (acknowledged by Microsoft as greater than 93% at the time) to extend Microsoft's reach and control into an application market where it had a miniscule market share (browsers) by integrating IE into Windows.

Once it went to trial Microsoft even had the audacity to lie to the court and say it was impossible to remove IE from Windows without completely crippling Windows. One of the prosecutors found a single individual who removed the IE functionality from Windows and left virtually all other functionality intact. If a single person could do it (without access to the source code) certainly Microsoft's team could have done it. Lying to a judge has a tendency to tick him off.

What was the bottom line for Microsoft? Making IE an application again, bundling it as a separate application and promising to never integrate applications like IE into the Windows OS ever again.

Those are the simple facts. It was never about bundling.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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