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Apple Files Suit Against Psystar 805

Posted by kdawson
from the grind-exceeding-fine dept.
Reader The other A.N. Other, among others, alerts us to the news that Apple has filed suit against Psystar, the unauthorized clonemaker. (We've been discussing Psystar from the start.) The suit alleges violation of Apple's shrink wrap license and trademarks, and also copyright infringement. News of the lawsuit, filed on July 3, first surfaced on a legal blog. There's speculation that the case has been sealed.
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Apple Files Suit Against Psystar

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  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @02:32PM (#24200417) Homepage Journal

    Well I am not a fanboy and don't own a Mac but.
    Their notebooks except the Air seem to be competitively priced.
    The Imac seems a little pricey.
    The Pro towers seem again to be competitive for what you get.
    And the Servers seem like a pretty good deal.
    What they lack are the super cheap entry level disposable junk that you see at BestCompuMaxCity.
    They do lack a moderate price expandable tower.

  • Demand for OS X (Score:2, Informative)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @02:36PM (#24200479)

    Much of Apple's success is due to the fact that they have what is IMNHO by far the best consumer OS on the planet. They have the exclusive right to distribute that OS. As they should: they put up a sizable investment of human and technological resources to build it. Normally, I'm against harsh "intellectual property" laws, but this is Apple's investment in a huge competitive advantage, and they've earned it.

    Naturally with their "monopoly" on OS X distribution, they're able to skim off the top and limit distribution and the types of computers (ex cheap minitowers) that can run it. This has all kinds of people frustrated, as I'm sure some in the Slashdot crowd are. Apple tolerates a few hackers jumping through hoops to get it running on commodity PCs, as long as that means they lose maybe 0.1% of their potential customers.

    Now some small fry entrepreneur is willing to take the risk of tapping into the rest of the 99.9% of the OS X market by selling PCs with OS X loaded on them. Despite the overwhelming legal precedent against them (I don't know of any official retailer that has gotten away with installing pirated versions of Windows on commodity PCs), they figure it's worth the risk. If they argue that they paid for every shrink-wrapped copy of OS X, then they stand a moderately better chance of succeeding.

    Still, I imagine there's massive unsatisfied demand for OS X, which seems to be what MacOSX86 and Pystar are all about.

  • not sealed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @02:38PM (#24200531)

    Here is a slightly more informative (less speculative) posting: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=9328 [zdnet.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @02:45PM (#24200655)

    Now Steve Jobs has to pull the same kind of antics that Microsoft was endlessly bashed for.

    Really? When has Microsoft ever engaged in these sorts of tactics? You're welcome to sell any computer you want that has Windows on it, as long as you hand over the Windows license with the computer.

  • by Pontiac (135778) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @02:53PM (#24200841) Homepage

    Well getting damages in a copyright case does equire trying to mitigate damages..
    They may have spent the time trying to the company to comply or get a licensing agreement worked out.
    Apple's case will go much smoother if they can show they tried to settle the issue before moving to legal options.

  • Re:Thankfully... (Score:5, Informative)

    by joranbelar (567325) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @03:05PM (#24201081) Homepage

    The 9th Circuit Court is the most over-turned court.

    False. In fact, the 1st, 2nd, and 10th circuits had 100% of their decisions heard by the supreme court reversed in 04-05. The 9th had 84%.

    In terms of pure numbers, yes, this may be true. But the 9th circuit also hears comparatively more cases than the others, as well. In terms of percentages, this is an oft-repeated but rarely-documented fallacious statement. The only time in recent history when they were the most overturned was in the 96-97 session.

    It's also somewhat of a silly statistic, given that the supreme court rarely hears cases that it doesn't expect to overturn - if the general consensus is agreement, why would they hear the appeal unless it's important enough to "reinforce" the original court's decision?

  • by crmarvin42 (652893) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @03:06PM (#24201097)
    Upgrading ram and HD do NOT void your warranty!

    I've done it on machines that later were serviced under my AppleCare Protection Plan. Even though the person in the call center noticed my specs didn't match what they were at time of purchase they didn't try to weasel out by claiming a warranty violation.

    The last time I sent my Powerbook G4 in for service, the problem was actually related to the cheap 3rd party ram I was using. They simply took it out, put it in a static bag, shipped everything back, and told me to re-install the original ram that shipped with the unit. No attempt was made to bill me for work not covered under the ACPP.
  • by BUL2294 (1081735) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @03:06PM (#24201099)

    Anyone who bought a Psystar should have known that Psystar wouldn't necessarily support (or be able to support) them either. Them's the risks when you buy a hacked product.

    And those risks are minimized if the product never needs updating. But now that many items (PCs, cell phones, game consoles) need to phone home to get security fixes, buying a hacked item, be it a Psystar or a hacked iPhone, just doesn't make sense...

  • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @03:30PM (#24201551)

    What's funny is how no one mentions that Apple hasn't made a single legal move against the OSX86 project.

    They haven't made a peep, not a disapproving statement nor threats of legal action. The ONLY reason Apple cares is because Psystar is riding their name and software in an attempt to make a cheap buck, and would likely push the support issues off to Apple who will take a black mark for refusing to support hardware they had no hand in.

    Apple doesn't give a damn about you running OS X on your hackintosh, because you're part of a small audience and are probably aware that you get exactly nothing in terms of support. Apple does give a damn about companies like Psystar, even if their copies are legitimately purchased they'd have -nothing- if not for Apple.

    And Apple was fully within their rights to kill off the clone market. They simply refused to continue licensing MacOS out to 3rd parties because, as Jobs duly noted, they were gutting Apple's bottom line. All the profit of the hardware sales but none of the software development expense. Continuing to do so would have been a critical error that would likely have killed Apple and MacOS entirely. It was a smart, if vicious, move.

  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @03:47PM (#24201827) Homepage Journal

    I guess people forgot how they squashed the Mac clone market a decade ago by deciding to no longer license the ROM needed to run MacOS and thus putting many OEM companies out of business in one fell swoop.

    I guess you forgot that the clone makers agreed not to go after Apple's market and invariably did. Apple's intention to allow clones was to expand where it couldn't, yet instead of expanding they went after what little of the market Apple had. After having being burnt last time, I am not sure that Apple wants to go through that again.

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @03:49PM (#24201859)

    You would expect that such a problem would draw a bit of attention, and that you might find something about it if you say googled for "mac mini iPod shuffle charge" or "mac mini USB power". But, searching a good number of terms turns up absolutely nothing -- in fact, even one article claiming that the MacMini provides *too much* power for the USB spec, not too little. He's clearly just spreading FUD.

  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @03:59PM (#24202053)

    Links, or it didn't happen.

    Ask, and ye shall receive.

    Processor (x2): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041 [newegg.com]
    Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147056 [newegg.com] (I think, I'm not positive if this is the case I picked earlier)
    RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145175 [newegg.com]
    Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131232 [newegg.com]
    PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152031 [newegg.com] (again, I think... I didn't save these links so I'm not sure on some parts)
    GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121082 [newegg.com]
    Hard drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136098 [newegg.com]

    And I tacked on $40 for an optical drive, I believe. I overshot, looking now it looks like they're $25. Even better.

  • the problem (Score:4, Informative)

    by nawcom (941663) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @04:41PM (#24202809) Homepage

    I think the problem will come down to what is Apple hardware. Is an Airport Extreme an Apple branded device, or is it a Broadcom 43xx card or Atheros 5424 card with an Apple sticker on it? Is the sound card a "High Definition Apple Sound Card" that's built into the "MacBook Logic Board" or is it just an HD Realtek card (CX1988, etc) on an Intel motherboard with a pick Apple sticker on it? I know for a fact that on Macbooks, they use an Intel processor and motherboard with EFI instead of good ol BIOS, a Realtek Card, a Broadcom wireless card (Essentially the same thing as a Dell Truemobile 1390 or an Atheros 5424 card), A Yukon Gigabit Ethernet card (88E8053), with standard devices hooked to it (hard drive, etc) via ICH7. This is all built inside of a Quanta laptop casing.

    This is what Apple hardware is. Some may still see it as different, but I sure don't since my dell laptop has almost identical specs. And since Apple uses such an open source friendly license (http://www.opensource.apple.com/apsl/) I have easily ported linux and freebsd drivers to work on OS X. I have purchased a retail copy of leopard. I guess I am breaking the law, right? No, just the EULA. Why am I doing this? Simply to bring a good, friendly, stable, unix OS to my own computer. None of this requires pirating software

    FYI, we've already completed a way to install OS X on a PC without altering the original Leopard retail Disc. So people can essentially go out, buy a copy of Leopard, and install it on a PC after booting off of a USB device that loads up the kernel extensions for their own PC hardware. All open source, all following APSL.

    Also note that this is all homebrew stuff, none is earning any money off of it, and most of it is open source. This is why Psystar isn't really supported at all when it comes to the people who are putting their heart into this project.

  • by gyranthir (995837) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @04:55PM (#24203079)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconscionable [wikipedia.org] This is the reason.
  • by MojoStan (776183) on Tuesday July 15, 2008 @09:43PM (#24206957)

    I fully agree with the above above poster. Rate of failure seems higher to me too from personal experience. . And I trust that more than independent studies that are not done over long period of time.

    Sorry, but Consumer Reports has a larger sample size tested over a longer period than you do I bet. They've been evaluating Apple systems alongside other vendors for a decade at least and Apple has consistently been at the top of the heap for low failure rates.

    I'm not sure if you're referring to CR's Product Reliability Survey, but their most recent survey (June 2008 issue for computers bought between 2003 and 2007) had Apple's notebooks at the bottom (among major brands) for brand repair history (but only "meaningfully" worse than Lenovo and Compaq). Their results for percentage that "have ever been repaired or had a serious problem" (differences of less than three points are not meaningful):

    Lenovo (IBM): 20%
    Compaq: 20%
    Sony: 21%
    Toshiba: 21%
    Dell: 22%
    HP: 22%
    Gateway: 22%
    Apple: 23%

    So according to the most recent Consumer Reports Product Reliability Survey, for notebooks bought between 2003 and 2007, Apple (as a brand) is no better than any other big brand. I suspect there are significant differences in specific models (e.g. iBook vs. PowerBook, MacBook vs. MacBook Pro).

  • by Sandbags (964742) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @10:22AM (#24212187) Journal

    Per Gartner, Apple enjoys an 81% overall satisfaction rating as of April 08. #1 of all PC manufacturers. This is a rating of how many people gave apple high marks, but does not differentiate the remaining 19% into groups. To get this information, you have to buy a copy of the gartner report. Agencies that do can not publish or link this information or make parts of it public without gartner's permission, so i can't link you to sources. What i can tell you is there are several sub categories making up that 19%, and the bottom tier, "dissatisfied" was just barely over 3%. This basically includes the customers who not only had an issue of some kind with their Mac, or Apple's service of it, but actually disliked how the process was handled. It also includes the extremely small percentage of people who returned a Mac after purchase (far less than 1%).

    The 3% is not who has a problem with a mac and needs support, its the 3% who have ISSUE with the Mac itself, or supports processes. More than half of Mac owners call for support at some point during the system's warranty period... Solving these issues with only 3% complaining, that's outstanding.

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