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Psystar Back in the Fight Against Apple

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 54 comments

Psystar gets new lawyers and is ready to fight 'guns blazin'.

Psystar, the most publicized Mac cloner of all, appears to be back with a second wind and truly prepared to fight Apple in court.

"Open PC" maker Psystar takes PC hardware and through special software is able to make it compatible with Mac OS X. This obviously set Apple's legal team in action, who believes that the installation of Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware is a violation of the end user license agreement.

Psystar appeared to be avoiding confrontation with Apple when it filed for bankruptcy protection, but then the courts decided to allow the legal battle to proceed. Now Psystar is back and ready to fight – or at least it seems so from a posting on its company blog.

"Everyone here values openness. And that’s how we’re going to fight Apple: in public. We have nothing to hide. We buy hundreds of copies of OS X legally, from retailers like Amazon and Apple itself," the blog read. "We’re probably one of Apple’s biggest customers. Then we install these copies of OS X, along with kernel extensions that we wrote in-house, on computers that we buy and build. Then we resell the package to people like you. That’s it."

Psystar doesn't believe that the copyright on Mac OS X gives Apple the right to dictate which hardware it is permitted to run on, just as how it cannot tell developers what type of software to write – which suggests that Psystar sees itself as a Mac developer. Either way, the company now seems better ready to fight with new legal counsel.

"Now we’ve changed lawyers to better reflect who we are. Camara & Sibley LLP of Houston, Texas, has officially become our primary legal counsel in our ongoing litigation with Apple," the blog continued. "A new trial date has been set for January 11, 2010, in federal court in San Francisco. As we move toward trial, we’ll be keeping you informed about the arguments, the evidence, and what’s going on in the case. And, come January, Camara & Sibley will be ready to fight for Psystar, guns blazin’."

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    megamanx00 , July 30, 2009 4:07 PM
    Sure hope Psystar wins. I don't like OSX myself, but I like Apple trying to force people to use it's generic overprice PC hardware even less.
  • 24 Hide
    Parrdacc , July 30, 2009 4:10 PM
    Go Psystar!
  • 24 Hide
    cekasone , July 30, 2009 3:57 PM
    Even though I would never use OS X, I am happy to see Psystar putting up a fight against the big dudes. Apple just wants to be the only company out there providing consumers with OS X. You don't see Microsoft getting all pissed when people buy Windows and install it on a custom built machine.
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  • 24 Hide
    cekasone , July 30, 2009 3:57 PM
    Even though I would never use OS X, I am happy to see Psystar putting up a fight against the big dudes. Apple just wants to be the only company out there providing consumers with OS X. You don't see Microsoft getting all pissed when people buy Windows and install it on a custom built machine.
  • 25 Hide
    megamanx00 , July 30, 2009 4:07 PM
    Sure hope Psystar wins. I don't like OSX myself, but I like Apple trying to force people to use it's generic overprice PC hardware even less.
  • 24 Hide
    Parrdacc , July 30, 2009 4:10 PM
    Go Psystar!
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 30, 2009 4:14 PM
    That's because that's what Microsoft wants you to do. They couldn't care less what hardware you run it on.
  • 17 Hide
    marraco , July 30, 2009 4:15 PM
    I hope Psytar wins.

    Forcing the consumer to buy product A with product B is a-moral.
  • 7 Hide
    Miharu , July 30, 2009 4:46 PM
    Apple build a closed market.
    Banning from IPhone Apple Store every software making competition with his own OS. Banning Google and others big name.

    Something with the Mac Hardware. It's a PC with specified hardware. Specified hardware that you pay over the current market price.

    I think Apple build an Antitrust case with theirs products and we should stop them.

    If you read all article about Apple on Toms, you can see... Apple trying to stop every user to use their software incorrectly (for them).
    Actualy, if you can go somewhere else then "Apple Store" is BAD.

    Basicly, if you jailbreak your IPhone, your a big hacker and you have destroyed their integrity and their phone tower.... Next step, they'll send policeman after people who have an IPhone jailbreaked...

    Apple is actualy a worst Antitrust case than ever.
  • 10 Hide
    Montezuma , July 30, 2009 4:59 PM
    I have wondered why the EU has been raping Microsoft with all these "anti-trust" suits, but they do nothing against Apple and their forcing(or attempting to force) customer to use their hardware with software the customer purchased(namely, the Mac OS).

    If Microsoft did that, the EU would go into a full fledged "emo" rage. Hey, I just found a copy of OSX, I think it is time to install it on my non-Apple machine.
  • 4 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , July 30, 2009 5:11 PM
    montezumaI have wondered why the EU has been raping Microsoft with all these "anti-trust" suits, but they do nothing against Apple and their forcing(or attempting to force) customer to use their hardware with software the customer purchased(namely, the Mac OS).

    It's not OSX customers that are being targeted by Apple, that's why you don't see them shutting down the various homebrew Hackintosh groups and hobbyists. What they're going after is other companies reselling their product against Apple's licensing terms, for a profit. Imagine if someone was buying up a bunch of DVD movies, transferring them to VHS, and then selling those tapes for a profit. That's kind of what Psystar's doing with OSX.
    I dislike Apple's attitude about OSX only shipping on Apple hardware, but I also don't think Psystar has a leg to stand on in defending what they're doing either. For me this is kind of like watching two jerks get into a fight.
  • -6 Hide
    garydale , July 30, 2009 5:12 PM
    People like to complain about Apple's prices but according to Consumer Reports and others, they have the most reliable machines. And the build quality is superb - better than you get from any other large manufacturer. None of this comes cheap.

    You may want to remember that Apple ][ clones predated all the "Windows" machines (that used to be called PC clones after the IBM PC they mimicked). And for a while Apple even licensed third party Mac clones. When they switched operating systems to OS/X - based on a BSD Unix variant - they released the kernel, and have also released their Webkit modifications to the Linux Konqueror web browser core. What they are really protecting is the GUI, the same way M$ protects the Windows GUI.

    Apple's policy of insisting on only running OS/X on their hardware may or may not stand the legal challenge. However, I'm more concerned about M$'s efforts to control the market than I am about Apple's attempts to enforce its license.

    Apple at least constantly innovates while M$ seems to sit back until forced to move. Remember the long period of IE6 before Firefox forced M$ to upgrade their browser? And how about the long wait for an update to Windows XP (we're still waiting for a real upgrade)? M$ only released Vista because it was so far behind everyone else. Even Windows 7 will be playing catch up to OS/X and Linux.

    Let's not forget M$'s corrupting of ISO to get their docx format accepted despite the fact that ISO rules disqualified it.

    And then there is M$'s legal challenge against Tom Tom for using their FAT32 file system. The same case can be made against every USB key maker. On the "evil" scale, Apple barely registers compared to the "great Satan". :) 
  • 3 Hide
    lifelesspoet , July 30, 2009 5:14 PM
    I am actually a fan of apple products. I have a couple but I have also avoided a couple because its apple's way or the highway. Regardless of whether i like a company or on, I always like it when a the little guy calls bullshit on their practices and is willing to take it to court.
    Bring on the clones.
  • 2 Hide
    socalboomer , July 30, 2009 5:22 PM
    jw_37Hey hypocrites, remember when MS was sued because they strong armed PC manufacturers like Dell, HP, etc to sell only Windows?


    No - strangely, it has been only Win or Linux and Dell and HP do that. We were in favor of it when it started happening, and MS isn't worried about it.

    I'm against ANY strong-arming. I'm against the strong-armer portraying themselves as "open" and as the good guy. . .
  • -8 Hide
    Moohbear , July 30, 2009 5:24 PM
    Apple doesn't have a monopoly on MacOS X, just like MS doesn't have a monopoly on Windows. You can't have a monopoly on your own product, only on a product class/market. The EU doesn't go after Apple for MacOSX because it's less than 5% market share, ie, Apple has no leverage to impose its commercial decisions on the computer market. MS has close to 95%, anything they do WILL have a strong impact. Now if you want to hit Apple for an antithrust case, the iPod/iTunes/iTS is a much better bet (just give it a little more time).
    On Psystar; they're leeches, period. They want to profit from Apple brand name and marketing to squeeze a few bucks out of greedy and incompetent customers. Nothing they provide cannot be done by relatively simple home-made hacking . Plus, they're plundering the effort of the Hackintosh community, people Apple never went after. until now. GG Psystar...
  • 12 Hide
    Greg_77 , July 30, 2009 5:25 PM
    Next Apple will claim that OSX clones will bring down the internet and set puppies on fire...
  • 3 Hide
    SAL-e , July 30, 2009 5:32 PM
    WheelsOfConfusionImagine if someone was buying up a bunch of DVD movies, transferring them to VHS, and then selling those tapes for a profit.

    What exactly is wrong here? You pay for DVD movies, you pay for VHS tapes, you put effort to produce something and you want to make profit on your effort. I think all companies are doing this every day, buy supplies/parts put some labor and produce new product and sells it for profit.
    Your example is incorrect because it implies that you get single DVD and making multiple copies and this is copyright violation, but Psystar is not copying, they are buying retail box of OS X for each computer they sell.
  • 11 Hide
    hellwig , July 30, 2009 5:34 PM
    WheelsOfConfusionWhat they're going after is other companies reselling their product against Apple's licensing terms, for a profit. Imagine if someone was buying up a bunch of DVD movies, transferring them to VHS, and then selling those tapes for a profit. That's kind of what Psystar's doing with OSX.

    Your analogy is incomplete. Psystar is only making 1-to-1 "copies". Your analogy implies they bought 1 DVD and made 100 copies, but Psystar buys 100 copies of OSX and makes 100 computers. They aren't cheating Apple out of any money with regards to OSX. Apple is upset because they don't get to the corresponding hardware sales.

    Imagine if Sony Pictures sued you because you bought the latest movie release on Blu-Ray, but played it on a JVC player instead of a Sony player. That's what Apple is doing here.
  • 2 Hide
    Houndsteeth , July 30, 2009 5:39 PM
    A Mac OS X that is no longer tied to Apple hardware would be a nice thing to see. It would mean that Dell or HP could then make a license agreement with Apple and sell their machines with the OS preinstalled. It would mean that Apple and Microsoft would finally be competing on even ground.

    My only caveats are this.

    1) As soon as Microsoft has to compete with Apple on the same hardware platform, Microsoft will shalve all future development for Mac OS X applications and suites, such as Office.

    2) Large holes in driver-level support for hardware outside of Apple standard reference will become very apparent. Apple has been developing their own "drivers" (in BSD Unix, these are essentially kernel extensions) for their own hardware, to include any devices on the mainboard as well as any PCI or USB peripherals. Some third party developers are experienced in driver development for OS X, but not nearly enough to deal with the multitude of hardware available out there for Windows. Hell, not even Microsoft can keep up with the driver development, as has been demonstrated by Vista's lack of key peripheral drivers from third party developers.

    3) Unstable hardware will give Apple an (even worse) name. The unwashed masses will blame pure hardware issues (ie, bad memory, faulty components, mishmashed hardware) on buggy unstable software from Apple. M$ has dealt with this for years, and while a large number of BSODs are verifiably attributable to bad programming, a large number of them are actually attributable to bad hardware. Apple uses near top-end hardware in their computers (which is less likely to have defects), while Dell (and other PC integrators) only use comparable hardware in their comparably-priced machines, while paying bottom dollar for their low end hardware that people snap up like hotcakes because it is such an unbelievable deal.
  • -1 Hide
    Moohbear , July 30, 2009 5:42 PM
    Quote:
    Imagine if Sony Pictures sued you because you bought the latest movie release on Blu-Ray, but played it on a JVC player instead of a Sony player. That's what Apple is doing here.


    Except Sony would be selling you the Blu-Ray cheap, provided you only play it on a Sony player.
    Apple doesn't sell "retail" version of MacOSX, only upgrades for existing customers. They require a Mac, which all come with a version of MacOS. Their only fault is not to require an install DVD to run the boxed version (like MS does for upgrade).
  • 0 Hide
    cekasone , July 30, 2009 5:56 PM
    The thing that really bothers me is that Apple says OS X can only be installed on Apple based hardware. But when i look at an Apple computer's specs, i see an Intel processor and nVidia graphics. What's so different other than the motherboard being proprietary. I think Apple should be like Windows and sell OS X as a stand alone operating system for people who are interested in installing the OS on a $400 desktop.
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