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Psystar to Pay Apple $2.7 Million in Settlement

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

Psystar has agreed to pay Apple $2.7 million in a partial settlement of an ongoing copyright case.

It's a sad day for Mac clone maker Psystar. A quick visit to the the company's website shows all Mac clones as "out of stock" and according to a company attorney, they won't be back anytime soon. Computerworld cites a Psystar lawyer as saying the company will no longer be selling OS X machines. The decision is just one part of a settlement with Apple; Psystar will also pay the Cupertino-based company $2.7 million in damages.

However, it's not over yet. After a year and a half of fighting, Psystar isn't going to give up until it has exhausted all possible channels. The terms of the partial agreement state that Psystar doesn't have to pay Apple a penny until "any and all appeals in this matter are concluded or the time for filing any such appeal has lapsed."

"We've agreed that Apple will not collect these damages until all appeals have been heard," CW quoted Psystar's chief attorney, K.A.D. Camera of the Houston firm Camera & Sibley LLP. "Until then, we have no liability."

Other terms include Apple's withdrawals of its remaining six claims (including trademark infringement and unfair business practice violations), however, Apple retains the right to reintroduce these claims at a later date.

Next, Psystar plans to take the case up with the Ninth Circuit. The company also plans to continue with the pending lawsuit that accuses Apple of breaking several antitrust laws by tying Mac OS X 10 to Apple-branded hardware only.

Read the full story here.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    ssalim , December 2, 2009 3:21 PM
    Let's hope they win the "pending lawsuit
    that accuses Apple of breaking several antitrust laws by tying Mac OS X 10 to Apple-branded hardware only."
  • 12 Hide
    ominous prime , December 2, 2009 4:40 PM
    gamerjames
    Quote:
    I'm so sick of seeing the 12 year olds that apparently post here in indignation over how they should be able to run whatever they want on their machines - like they own Apple's software./quote]But if you buy it, you do own it don't you?
    Quote:


    Apparently not. I feel this sets a dangerous precedent.
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    deathblooms2k1 , December 2, 2009 3:21 PM
    In apples defense this company could of been the death of them. OSX minus the hardware apple tax kills what is probably Apple's biggest profit margin. Not to mention the possibility of tarnishing their reputation of stability when driver errors start occurring on the machines not using Mac proprietary hardware.

    Can't really blame them for protecting themselves.
  • Display all 28 comments.
  • 15 Hide
    ssalim , December 2, 2009 3:21 PM
    Let's hope they win the "pending lawsuit
    that accuses Apple of breaking several antitrust laws by tying Mac OS X 10 to Apple-branded hardware only."
  • 2 Hide
    doc70 , December 2, 2009 3:49 PM
    deathblooms2k1In apples defense this company could of been the death of them. OSX minus the hardware apple tax kills what is probably Apple's biggest profit margin. Not to mention the possibility of tarnishing their reputation of stability when driver errors start occurring on the machines not using Mac proprietary hardware.Can't really blame them for protecting themselves.


    So, you're saying that their reputation for stability (which is not by far anywhere near 100%) is due only to the fact that their OS is supposed to run ONLY on their branded hardware? OMG, that's blasphemy...

    I thought so, too. My car is the best in the world (when it runs in my driveway)...
  • -8 Hide
    ta152h , December 2, 2009 4:11 PM
    Apple has a right to defend things they created. I'm so sick of seeing the 12 year olds that apparently post here in indignation over how they should be able to run whatever they want on their machines - like they own Apple's software.

    Here's some news to you - you didn't create it, you didn't have anything to do with making it. It belongs to them. If you don't like it, vote with your dollars and buy other machines and operating systems instead of whining like petulent children because the world won't give you what you want.

    My question is, why would anyone even care? The only time I ever considered buying an Apple was when I had to because of a job. I was flabbergasted at the price of them, like everyone else, but there are the fools that want to be stylish and trendy, and buy these machines, so I do understand it. It's like those who buy really expensive clothing or adornments. It's not that expensive to make, but, it's stylish, I guess.

    Apple has a right to protect things they created. If it weren't for them, you wouldn't have the option to even use this OS (not that this would be a bad thing). It's not yours to do with as you please. That's life. I'm glad they won, even though I have no use for them at all. It's the principle. Their OS, their decision.
  • 6 Hide
    gamerjames , December 2, 2009 4:23 PM
    Quote:
    I'm so sick of seeing the 12 year olds that apparently post here in indignation over how they should be able to run whatever they want on their machines - like they own Apple's software./quote]

    But if you buy it, you do own it don't you?
  • 12 Hide
    ominous prime , December 2, 2009 4:40 PM
    gamerjames
    Quote:
    I'm so sick of seeing the 12 year olds that apparently post here in indignation over how they should be able to run whatever they want on their machines - like they own Apple's software./quote]But if you buy it, you do own it don't you?
    Quote:


    Apparently not. I feel this sets a dangerous precedent.
  • 1 Hide
    deathblooms2k1 , December 2, 2009 4:55 PM
    Quote:

    So, you're saying that their reputation for stability (which is not by far anywhere near 100%) is due only to the fact that their OS is supposed to run ONLY on their branded hardware? OMG, that's blasphemy...

    I thought so, too. My car is the best in the world (when it runs in my driveway)...


    Yep pretty much. How can you deny that OS's designed to run on anything and everything are infinitely more difficult to keep stable than those that run on a select few pieces of hardware.
  • 6 Hide
    sylvia648 , December 2, 2009 4:56 PM
    I guess you don't own anything you buy anymore. You own what the big companies say you own (nothing) and you pay what they say to pay it seems like that's the way things are going.
  • -4 Hide
    micron , December 2, 2009 5:28 PM
    If you've a problem with Apple, then don't buy its products. The most effective way to convey your disapproval of the company's policies is by affecting their bottom line.

    Of course Mac OS is going to be more stable running on Apple hardware. The programmers know all the variables. This is compared to another OS that must be designed to run on unknown hardware configurations. Anyone who argues otherwise is a buffoon.
  • 4 Hide
    accolite , December 2, 2009 5:31 PM
    Kinda sounds like Communism, You don't own jack the state does. In this case it's Apple.

    This theme is going on a lot in the States and also the world. You buy software but it's not yours, it's just on lease to you?

    Kind of sounds like we are going backwards instead of forward in society.
  • 1 Hide
    leafblower29 , December 2, 2009 5:38 PM
    As if they don't have enough money already.
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , December 2, 2009 6:12 PM
    gamerjames
    Quote:
    I'm so sick of seeing the 12 year olds that apparently post here in indignation over how they should be able to run whatever they want on their machines - like they own Apple's software./quote]But if you buy it, you do own it don't you?
    Quote:


    Actually, no, you don't. It's always been this way. You buy a license to it. But, you know going in that you're buying it and it doesn't run on non-Apple software, so they aren't tricking you.

    That's how they add value to their computers. You'd have to be a complete self-absorbed fool to think anyone but them has a right to say how their creation can be used. That's their business model. If the OS sold for say $400, I guess it would be easier for the people here to understand it, but really, do you think they can sell that software and make money on it at the price it sells at? Obviously not. Look at Microsoft and the number of units they sell, and at the price they sell it for. Apple builds that cost into the cost of the hardware. Why? Obviously, it's good for their consumers, since they can upgrade their OS really cheap, and it's also a great form of anti-piracy. It's easy to copy software. It's much harder to make hardware for software that was made to run only on specialized hardware. You put the onus on corporations, which can be sued easily, rather than the average person, who is basically a thief if he can get away with it (based on how rampant piracy is, and how often people defend it).

    Once you get past being self-centered, and look at it from Apple's viewpoint, it makes a lot of sense.

    But, again, if you don't like it, don't buy it. That's how the market works. Whining on public forums isn't the answer.
  • 2 Hide
    producepete , December 2, 2009 6:41 PM
    accoliteKinda sounds like Communism, You don't own jack the state does. In this case it's Apple. This theme is going on a lot in the States and also the world. You buy software but it's not yours, it's just on lease to you?Kind of sounds like we are going backwards instead of forward in society.


    Indeed, this is becoming the common model for all sorts of software. A lot of business level software works on licenses, so you pay "x" amount each year for "y" amount of licenses; thus generating a continuous cash flow for the software company. Even World of Warcraft operates in a similiar fashion, you may have bought the game and subscription, but it isn't forever. One day Blizzard will pull the plug on those servers and those game discs are essentially coasters at that point.

    Now, it is personal opinion that determines if a particular company is being greedy, but the world runs on cash and EVERY business is out to make money.
  • 2 Hide
    Maxor127 , December 2, 2009 7:06 PM
    OS X is for Macs only. Just accept it. If anyone is desperate enough to run it, then buy a Mac. I don't see why anyone would even waste their time trying to run OS X on non-Apple hardware. If you're that unhappy with Windows but want to control your hardware, then use Linux. People only care because of the "principle" of it. And even then, I think Apple has the right to decide what systems their OS runs on. It's no different than if someone created a 360 or PS3 clone. Sony and Microsoft would be all over them in a second. Microsoft has a completely different business model for Windows.
  • 0 Hide
    clavote , December 2, 2009 7:57 PM
    I don't care for Apple, but they did win and they are right. It is their software and anyone that buys it only licenses it's use. If you violate the terms of the license, you can be sued. This is similar to the Xbox debate. Read your license. It looks to me like Psystar is simply delaying the inevitable in paying their damages by appealing to the 9th district court. The appeal will probably not be heard. Apple has a good business model and they control all the pieces. Where would those of us that create things be if the courts allowed anyone to do what they wanted with our intellectual property. Where would we be if people were allowed to break contracts and literally steal from us. It's not fun if you are the one getting ripped off. So this is a good ruling for Apple and for intellectual property and contracts. Want OS X, buy an Apple machine. Don't steal
  • 0 Hide
    jellico , December 2, 2009 8:03 PM
    ta152hApple has a right to defend things they created. I'm so sick of seeing the 12 year olds that apparently post here in indignation over how they should be able to run whatever they want on their machines - like they own Apple's software.Here's some news to you - you didn't create it, you didn't have anything to do with making it. It belongs to them. If you don't like it, vote with your dollars and buy other machines and operating systems [...remaining mindless blather deleted for brevity...]

    Would you be saying the same thing if it were Microsoft? Microsoft has been persecuted by the US and European governments for "anti-competitive business practices." Isn't Apple doing the same thing? No one is pirating their software, they are simply putting in place certain software drivers, if you will, to allow it to run on their platform. I don't see this as a problem anymore than the military using groups of PS3s as code-breakers. But no, if any other company does this it's evil, greedy corporations... blah, blah, blah. But when Apple does it, it's, "They have a right to protect their brand/IP/whatever [pant, pant, drool, pant]."

    We can vote with our dollars (or Euros or whatever) and buy other machines and operating systems... and we do. Which is why Apple remains a DISTANT second.
  • 3 Hide
    ta152h , December 2, 2009 8:26 PM
    Jellico,

    You make the mistake most people do, when you talk about Microsoft and Intel. The reason their behavior is considered illegal is because they are considered a monopoly. As you mention yourself, quite incorrectly however, that Apple is a distant second. They aren't second. They sell far fewer machines than Dell or HP, or even Acer, I believe.

    If Apple were a monopoly, and had 90% market share in the OS market, and then refused to let anyone else run their software, I'd say at that point you'd make a very good case. Because Apple isn't a monopoly, you have no legal basis for your remarks. That's the big difference. There's different acceptable behavior for monopolies.

    The reality is, no one is saying Apple is doing anything illegal. It's well within their rights.

    And like most people that look through their own eyes and defend companies they like, you are missing my point completely. I can't stand Apple. I think they are overpriced, and I hate supporting their OS when I have to. On top of that, I hate Unix and all the varieties of it. So, I'm not for Apple at all. I've never liked their machines. I just believe that they have a right to protect something they created. It's not a blanket "pro" statement for Apple. In fact, it's all I can do not to scoff when someone tells me they have an Apple. The first words that pops into my head are "pretentious idiot". But, I do defend their right to protect their property, as I would for any company that wasn't a monopoly. And maybe a few that were.
  • 0 Hide
    jellico , December 2, 2009 9:56 PM
    ta152h,
    While Microsoft and Intel have commanding marketshares, they are not officially monopolies. Yes, I am familiar with the Harvard case study that discusses Microsoft being a monopoly within the context of the suit brought by the federal government in the late 1990s. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't point out all of the glaring inaccuracies in that case study.

    When a company achieves the status of a recognized monopoly (and not a government sanctioned/regulated one such as a utility company), the government has traditionally forced the company to break up, just as they did with AT&T in 1974. They simply found that Microsoft was guilty of engaging in anti-competitive behavior. You are correct, however, in that such behavior seems to be tolerated and even applauded as savvy and aggressive business tactics when the company is small and relatively inconsequential. I think we can both agree that Apple is neither. When you examine their larger operations, (iPhones, iPods, etc.), it quickly becomes apparent that they enjoy their own major market shares.

    In the end, I was attempting to illustrate the hypocrasy of Apple fanboys more than I was evaluating Apple's actions from a legal perspective.
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , December 2, 2009 10:27 PM
    You may HATE Apple and Linux... but keep in mind, without those competing OSes, Windows7 or even WindowsXP wouldn't be the operating systems they are today. With Apple and Amiga - 2010 would the the year that MS releases something like Windows95.

    * I am not an apple fan, I don't hate apple. They are as good/bad as any other company.

    Apple is more in their right to WIN over the hacked Mac OSX hardware. Even thou back in the early 90s, I myself used a MacOS "emulator" on my Amigas to run certain programs. Had 99% Mac OS5~6 compatibility... actually faster than REAL Macs which was funny. The emulator sold for about $50~120 (depending on when/what you bought - hardware optional) and it was about 80k! (not including Mac "BIOS") yep, 80k! That ran the GUI setup screen, Virtual HD tools, etc. Could run MacOS in the background since Amigas were multitasking since 1986 (10 years before MS' Windows95).

    ------- end of history lesson.

    Windows7 runs very nice and has elements (finally) that are inspired from MacOS X / Amiga / Linux that has been around for years. I'm generally happy with Win7 and it could still use more work and a bit less IDIOT-proofing (add user options), because the explorer (vista/Win7) still sucks ass.

    With that said, I would still want to see Linux and Apple gain more market share. That means Microsoft will need to compete more and lower their prices WHICH THEY HAVE! such an Win7 3pak at $150, MS-Office Home editions for $65~120 (depending on sale) for 3 PCs vs. $200~500 for business with upcoming free version of MSO-2010. Thank the likes of Open Office and Google docs for helping with that... but also, many people are still using MSO-2000/XP/2003 because it gets the job done. So MS is also competing with itself. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    SASKEL , December 3, 2009 3:51 AM
    Do any of you ever read the License Agreement before you click "Agree"? if you ever did you'd realize your merely using the product under pre-specified conditions. There isn't a piece of software that you actually own, your only paying for the right to use it under certain conditions
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