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Judge OKs Psystar's Countersuit Against Apple

Earlier in the week we reported that a German company was following in the footsteps of Mac clone company Psystar, and offering machines running OS X on non Apple-branded hardware.

While Apple has yet to respond the Ultrameganet’s claims about the validity of the OS X EULA in Germany, further developments in the Psystar case are no doubt keeping the Cupertino-based company’s lawyers busy.

According to ComputerWorld, a federal judge last week signed an order giving Psystar the OK to amend its countersuit against Apple. On Friday U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that Psystar may change that countersuit, which originally accused Apple of breaking antitrust laws, to instead ague that Apple has stretched copyright laws by tying the Mac operating system to its hardware.

The OS X EULA states that the software can only be installed on Apple-branded machines and according to Apple, Psystar is violating that licensing agreement. However, Psystar says that’s akin to saying Honda owners can only drive on Honda-approved roads and filed an anti-trust suit.

Alsup threw out that suit at the end of last year. The judge handed down a 19-page ruling that said Apple is not abusing its position in the market and we assumed that would be the end of it, despite Psystar’s desperate accusations that Apple was abusing its copyright on Mac OS X to stifle competition. According to a report in CNet:

“Psystar alleges that by virtue of Apple’s leveraging of copyrights in the context of Apple’s EULA, spurious litigation via the DMCA, and various other anti- and unfair competitive conduct, there is no viable alternative to the purchase and use of Apple-Labeled Computer Hardware Systems for users who wish to use the Mac OS, for a prospective buyer of the Mac OS, or for a user of an older version of the Mac OS.”

CW reports that Alsup said last week if Psystar proves that Apple abused copyright laws, some of Apple's charges against the company would be dismissed and seem to hint that others would then be free to follow in Psystar's footsteps. "Moreover, if established, misuse would bar enforcement (for the period of misuse) not only as to defendants who are actually party to the challenged license but also as to potential defendants not themselves injured by the misuse who may have similar interests," he said.

Read the full report on ComputerWorld.

  • jsloan
    i hope that the legal system hand apple their azzes and allows clones. the osx license agreement is anti competitive in nature imagine your auto dealer telling you that you can only use their tires on their cars or their radios in their cars, ect. nonsense, apple has been able to get away with this nonsense like sco got away with their nonsense until the legal system put an end to it.
    Reply
  • AndrewMD
    jsloan,

    Auto Manufactures in fact can tell you what you can and cannot do with your (their) car. If you continue to use the wheels supplied with your car, then you will need to purchase tires that fit that spec, Radios are the same, now that people want it to look more integrated with the car, it is harder to replace it with an aftermarket.

    Now what I believe you were trying to say was A dealer cannot make you stay with them for all work performed on your car. That would be illegal.

    Reply
  • 2GooDrumr
    Apple really depresses me. I'm totally a die-hard windows user, but that's besides the point. Back a week or two ago there was an article on Toms Guide about the newest copyright Apple has submitted, effectively barring any future companies fro even thinking about multi touch technology. Mac just keeps waving its user agreements and the likes around (iTunes...). I'd like to see them at least have to rethink their policies once.
    Reply
  • m3kt3k
    AndrewMD UMMM you are wrong. They can tell you they would void the warranty but not that you cant use them.
    Reply
  • etrnl_frost
    andrewmd, That's not quite the same as what's being described here. Even if you get different spec wheels and tires, often times you'll have a choice of manufacturer for those options. More often then not, 3 or more different manufacturers. Radios, too, are easily replaced with non OEM parts.

    With Apple, you can't buy from other manufacturers. You can only buy apple equipment to run the OS X.

    Look at Microsoft or Linux's OS's, for example, which while they must have hardware requirements met, there are many different ways of reaching these requirements through several different manufacturer's. You don't NEED to use a MS licensed CPU. You don't need an MS licensed Mobo. Or chassis. Or PSU. Or whatever.
    Reply
  • tayb
    2GooDrumrApple really depresses me. I'm totally a die-hard windows user, but that's besides the point. Back a week or two ago there was an article on Toms Guide about the newest copyright Apple has submitted, effectively barring any future companies fro even thinking about multi touch technology. Mac just keeps waving its user agreements and the likes around (iTunes...). I'd like to see them at least have to rethink their policies once.
    The most ridiculous part of the multi touch patent is the fact that Microsoft had the Surface almost two years before the iPhone was even launched. Dell also had the XT which launched 6 months before the iPhone that featured multi touch. They weren't even close to being the pioneers behind the technology but somehow they are awarded a patent for it.
    Reply
  • geoffs
    All of which completely ignores the fact that the only way to get a non-upgrade license for OS X is to buy a Mac. You can't run OS X on a PsyStar machine because PsyStar can't sell you a full copy of OS X, they can only sell an upgrade, and the upgrade license (which is clearly valid), says you have to own a qualifying previous version of Mac OS to use it. Like it or not, Apple's EULA limiting it to Apple hardware is valid.
    Reply
  • smalltime0
    taybThe most ridiculous part of the multi touch patent is the fact that Microsoft had the Surface almost two years before the iPhone was even launched. Dell also had the XT which launched 6 months before the iPhone that featured multi touch. They weren't even close to being the pioneers behind the technology but somehow they are awarded a patent for it.they've been awarded patents for almost every way of doing touch and several functions.... it borders on insanity. If Microsoft or IBM tried to file some of the patents Apple does they'd get laughed out of the patent office. And if they did get the patents they'd be subject to all sorts of rulings by the EU etc.

    I really do hope Pystar win, but I have to wonder... where are they getting their cash to fight this battle?
    Reply
  • jsloan
    osx only upgrade? can you do a full install with it, then its more than an upgrade. a manufacturer can suggest what how they would want you to use their product, but you are buying a copy that you can do what you will, so long as you don't make illegal copies, and installation is not maing an illegal copy. also the car wheels size is tied to the rim size, you can get after market rims of different sizes for any car, you can change anything you want about your car, including the computer and roms, their are after market shops that sell cheap roms, with tweaks. the thing is if you don't know what you are doing you can get hurt or cause an accident, but you are not prevented from doing it, so long as it passes inspection, for example it has to be able to stop at x speed in y feet or whatever the state you have the car registered in asks for... don't worry with any luck the apple clones will be available to everyone in no time and apple will have to find another way to stick it to their customers.
    Reply
  • curnel_D
    geoffsAll of which completely ignores the fact that the only way to get a non-upgrade license for OS X is to buy a Mac. You can't run OS X on a PsyStar machine because PsyStar can't sell you a full copy of OS X, they can only sell an upgrade, and the upgrade license (which is clearly valid), says you have to own a qualifying previous version of Mac OS to use it. Like it or not, Apple's EULA limiting it to Apple hardware is valid.I think that was made clear by phystar amending it's case. Now they're trying to convince the courts that doing so in the first place is anti-competitve, which for the most part is true. If the judges arent payed off by apple, phystar has a decent chance at winning I think.
    Reply