Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Businesses News Apple

Psystar Antitrust Claim Against Apple Dismissed 256

Posted by kdawson
from the oh-give-me-a-clone dept.
CNet has a report that a federal judge has dismissed Psystar's antitrust suit against Apple. Observers had said that the counter-suit embodied the Mac clone-maker's best chance of prevailing and staying in business. We've been following Psystar and the dueling lawsuits since the beginning.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Psystar Antitrust Claim Against Apple Dismissed

Comments Filter:
  • This is probably the proper legal ruling.
    Though I disagree with Apple profitting off OSS which they did not initially create. They might as well be Linspire, in that regard.
    • by dssstrkl (900534) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @07:15AM (#25815423)
      What's the problem with Apple making money using FOSS? Its not like they don't write their own code or contribute very strongly back to the community?
      • by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <koiulpoi AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @08:20AM (#25815737)
        Adding a question mark to any sentence makes it a question?
        • These could be considered as a form of echo question [sil.org]. Consider the example:

          "I ate an entire bowl of thumbtacks."
          "You ate an entire bowl of thumbtacks?"
          "Yes."

          Here the repair that's typically assumed to be part of echo questions is the entire sentence (which would likely be seen a semantically aberrant). There's no structural change to the sentence with the question mark (modulo some theory about hidden movement which I don't feel like working out). You'd probably hear an intonational change in speech.

          • These could be considered as a form of echo question.

            They could.

            Instead, they should be considered a form of rhetoric [wikipedia.org], hence the term "rhetorical question".

            As for those who invoke such intonations in speech uncessarily, the term would be "caricature". Once upon a time it used to be called Valley Girl speech [wikipedia.org], but that was before it found widespread adoption. That it's accepted as anything other than an indication of immaturity, illiteracy, a propensity to socialising in mall environments, or a behavioural

      • by the_womble (580291) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @08:26AM (#25815771) Homepage Journal
        There was a time when the KHTML devs were not happy with how code from Webkit was being released (i.e. although they stuck to the letter of the LGPL, they were being unhelpful so not really sticking to to its spirit), but I think that has now been resolved.

        Other than that I do not think they have ever done anything other than what the licences were meant to allow them to do.

    • by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @07:19AM (#25815441) Journal
      Though I disagree with Apple profiting off OSS which they did not initially create

      Why not? Most tech companies do this in some way.
      • Or if not "most tech companies", then every company that profits off of OSS is profiting from code that they didn't write. Even if they actually start the project, there will still be other code that they didn't write. Either that, or they're wildly unsuccessful at attracting developers to the project.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by lysergic.acid (845423)

        i think profit is the wrong word here. there's nothing wrong with a company using FOSS for commercial purposes, like running a LAMP server or installing Linux on the systems they sell. however, i don't think it's ethical for a company to sell free software they didn't write or own the rights to. they can sell support for the software, or sell hardware running the software, but they should provide the FOSS for free.

        however, when it comes to modified FOSS things become a little more complicated. ideally, all

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          I think the spirit of what your post drives at is what Apple wants to do, but as with any large company it's not as simple as it should be.

          With KHTML, Apple has given a lot back to the community with Webkit (even with the teething problems associated with releasing code back to the community that may or may not have been overblown by sensationalist slashdot stories). Either way, Webkit is out there, with a lot of development time from Apple in it, for anyone to use if they like. And while Apple doesn't dire

    • by Xymor (943922)
      There is nothing wrong from profiting from OSS. In fact, I think you're incentivized to put a price different than free by some FOSS licenses, probably to enfisize the difference between free and free.

      As long as you distribute the source you're ok.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @08:09AM (#25815683)

      They're not profiting off the Free & Open Source Software that they did not initially create. You can download that bit for free, no profit for Apple. Free of charge, completely.

      What they're profiting from is the non-OSS part that they did create (or bought the rights to, in the case of the NeXT created segment) and the integration of the F/OSS that they use with their OS. That's their work and not covered by F/OSS licenses.

    • Though I disagree with Apple profitting off OSS which they did not initially create. They might as well be Linspire, in that regard.

      Well, if you're being intellectually consistent in your ethics, then you should be disgreeing with Red Hat, Canonical, TiVo, LinkSys, Microsoft (yes, Microsoft), Sun Microsystems, IBM, HP, and a bunch of other big-name industry companies.

      All these companies -- and more -- have profitted (well, okay, Canonical hasn't made a dime, technically ;) from OSS which they did not initially create.

    • Though I disagree with Apple profitting off OSS which they did not initially create. They might as well be Linspire, in that regard.

      Isn't that a bit daft? Are you against anyone profiting off OSS they didn't create? What's the problem with profiting off OSS as long as they keep o the licence?

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:31AM (#25816909) Homepage

      Though I disagree with Apple profitting off OSS which they did not initially create.

      They started with BSD code. Which is released under a BSD license which expressly allows this. What's the problem? You are free to make money off that stuff too if you like.

      You can do that with Apache stuff too. Some OSS licenses expressly allow you to use their stuff as a basis for your own stuff. This is a good thing.

      Cheers

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jo_ham (604554)

      I disagree with Ford profiting off the car, which they did not initially create.

      I disagree with Edison profiting off electricity which he didn't initially create.

      I disagree with your assessment that OSS is somehow immune from future development and profitability if it is further developed by anyone that wants to have a go at it.

      Perhaps you have a thing against Apple because you somehow see it as "stealing" the good work of people who put their code out there as open source (you know, free for anyone to use

  • by wild_quinine (998562) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @07:05AM (#25815389) Homepage
    I never understood what these guys were trying to do. It was clear from the off that they would be legally defeated at every single last turn. Blam.

    You see, whether or not you agree or disagree with the legal standing of this EULA, or that EULA... whether or not you have a position on all this stuff, whether or not you agree that the law needs to be codified more properly for modern times, changed to fit the needs of the public... whatever you think there are just simply weaker cases which need to be tested first.

    These guys marched straight into the castle stronghold without a hope in hell, and pissed on the kings chips.

    We all stood back watching, saying to ourselves... well, this won't go anywhere. This was stupid. These guys are going to get slaughtered.

    And lo! It was stupid, it didn't go anywhere, and they just got it handed to them.

    • by Andy_R (114137) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @07:12AM (#25815409) Homepage Journal

      They took a gamble on how a very vague law would be interpreted by a judge. If they won, then they would have been sitting on a goldmine, having lost they will still have the paycheques they they took home each month. There was a lot of upside for hardly any downside.

      • Except perhaps bad timing. Its probably not the best time to start a new business or look for employment.
      • There was a lot of upside for hardly any downside.

        Until damages and costs are assessed in Apple's favour.

        • I think you mean "adjusted"
          • Actually, I meant "assessed", as I meant that the judge, having ruled in Apple's favour, would assess damages (if Apple counter-sued, which I expect they did), and that the judge would also make a costs ruling in Apple's favour. I'm not sure what you mean by "adjusted", is this the term more commonly used in US jurisdictions? Or are we thinking about different kinds of costs and damages?

    • by Shivetya (243324)

      I hope they find an angle that works.

      Really it is amazing how people will come out of the woodwork to support Apple in this. Sorry, I own multiple Apple products but I do not see how in the hell it is justified they can tell me or anyone else how to use their product once I buy it. This would be akin to Microsoft having said Windows only on Intel, using another processor violates the EULA. How far would have that gone?

      Apple isn't denying Pystar business by suing them on grounds of copyright violation, th

      • I'm glad they lost (Score:2, Insightful)

        by crmarvin42 (652893)

        This would be akin to Microsoft having said Windows only on Intel, using another processor violates the EULA

        Except that Microsoft does say that with the Xbox and Xbox 360. They have 2 different platforms with 2 different lisencing strategies for their hardware. Windows is lisenced to anyone and everyone for an exorbinant fee, while the Xbox OS is not lisenced to anyone and used only for running hardware assembled and sold by Microsoft. Apple doesn't have any obligation to market it's computer OS the same way that MS does, and unless you have a problem with MS, Sony, or Nintendo marketing their OS the same way

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by blincoln (592401)

          Except that Microsoft does say that with the Xbox and Xbox 360. They have 2 different platforms with 2 different lisencing strategies for their hardware. Windows is lisenced to anyone and everyone for an exorbinant fee, while the Xbox OS is not lisenced to anyone and used only for running hardware assembled and sold by Microsoft.

          Microsoft doesn't sell the "Xbox OS" as a separate product. Apple does sell OS X independently of their hardware.

          • Microsoft doesn't sell the "Xbox OS" as a separate product.

            Neither does Apple. Neither company "Sells" any software. Instead, they both license software to users, and both sell at least some hardware which comes with the licensed software pre-installed. Apple arguably has more a more restrictive license for their computer OS, but that in and of itself isn't an indefensible legal position.

            If you consider my point to be unnecessarily pedantic how about this. Apple doesn't sell boxed licenses of the Mac OS as a separate product either. What they sell are boxed

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Sancho (17056) *

              Don't buy into the copyright cartel's bullshit. You bought a copy of the OS, just like you buy a copy of a book or a copy of a CD. Copyright law is founded on the idea that you sell copies of your work.

              Put another way, if everything is licensed, there's no need for copyright at all, yet I'm sure that these companies would fight to the death any measure which ended copyright in favor of contracts.

              You bought a copy. End of story.

        • by gad_zuki! (70830)

          +3 insightful to defend hostile EULAs and lawyering shenanigans? Wow. Is this slashdot?

          Psystar isnt selling you a hacked product (and even if they did it wouldnt be wrong). They are selling hardware/EFI that works with the OS X installer.

          Its no wonder we have no consumer rights and no hacker rights when people support abusive companies and support their right to keep us locked out of the products we own.

          The countries that are producing kids who have opportunities to hack and make stuff have already started

          • Psystar isnt selling you a hacked product

            Yes they are!

            (and even if they did it shouldn't be wrong).

            Fixed that for you.

            They are selling hardware/EFI that works with the OS X installer.

            No, that's what the other cloning company was doing that closed up shop almost before they opened (I believe they were based in Australia).

            I agree that software should be sold and not licensed, but that is not the way things are done at the moment, and violating EULA's will not make them go away. As I said in a different response to this post, it would be better for everyone if the energy being put into violating EULA's went into changing the laws instead.

            I'm not defending

        • Would I like cheeper Mac's, of course, but that doesn't mean I advocate hamstringing their ability to decide the direction of their own products.

          It's not just an issue of them deciding what to do with their products. It's a matter of them deciding what you can do with the products you've bought from them.

          Apple's monopoly is worse than Microsoft's. They have a monopoly on both software and hardware.

          I'm sorry, but if my motherboard breaks on my machine, I should be allowed to replace it with whatever motherboard I want. If I bought software, I should be able to install it wherever I want.

          This isn't about them controlling their stuff. It's about th

          • You can do what ever you want with the hardware you purchased from them. However, you are limited in what you can do with the software you license from them.

            If your motherboard does break you are allowed to replace it with whichever motherboard you want, but Apple isn't obligated to support it.

            You are the 4th or 5th person to respond to my post with statements to the effect of "I bought the software so I should be able to do what I want". However, you DON'T BUY SOFTWARE. You License it. I think the l
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Andy_R (114137)

        This would be akin to Microsoft having...

        Judge actually ruled that this is pretty much the exact opposite of 'This would be akin to Microsoft...'

        This particular ruling isn't about the EULA aspect of the case, it's about the (alleged) monopoly abuse. Psystar's argument was that Apple had a monopoly in the market for computers running OS X, and therefore had to abide by the much stricter laws on what a company can and cannot do if it gets into a monopoly position. The judge said that 'computers running OS X'

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          he defined the applicable market as 'computers running any OS'

          Define "computer".

          Sincerely,
          The mobile phone business

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by penix1 (722987)

          The judge said that 'computers running OS X' isn't the applicable 'market' in this case, he defined the applicable market as 'computers running any OS', therefore Apple only have a minority of the market, and Psystar is wrong. In that market, Microsoft do have a big enough OS market share to be defined as a monopoly.

          However, the other part of the Sherman Act (illegal tying) was still not addressed. From
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_(commerce) [wikipedia.org]

          Some kinds of tying, especially by contract, have historical

          • Surely the ruling does address tying indirectly? If the market is defined as 'computers running any OS', then it is possible to buy a computer without OS X or another OS without buying an Apple Mac ergo Apple is not forcing anyone in the market to buy a component from them because you can buy either component (computer or OS) from someone else. The tying would only be applicable if the market was 'computers running OS X.'

            The Wikipedia article on tying seems fairly clear on this in the 'Tying in United State

          • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @07:04PM (#25825581)

            You quoted only part of the text, and missed the critical bit.

            Certain tying arrangements are illegal in the United States under both the Sherman Antitrust Act, and Section 3 of the Clayton Act. A tying arrangement is defined as "an agreement by a party to sell one product but only on the condition that the buyer also purchases a different (or tied) product, or at least agrees he will not purchase the product from any other supplier." Tying may be the action of several companies as well as the work of just one firm. Success on a tying claim typically requires proof of four elements:
            (1) two separate products or services are involved;
            (2) the purchase of the tying product is conditioned on the additional purchase of the tied product;
            (3) the seller has sufficient market power in the market for the tying product;
            (4) a not insubstantial amount of interstate commerce in the tied product market is affected.

            Look at point 3 - "sufficient market power."

            Apple do *not* have sufficient market power (which is usually triggered by monopoly status) and therefore are not subject to laws against tying.

            Monopoly status (or 'sufficient market power') triggers a whole raft of conditions which are not an issue before that point.

      • by MrMickS (568778) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @09:15AM (#25816089) Homepage Journal

        Apple isn't denying Pystar business by suing them on grounds of copyright violation, they are denying you the right to purchase hardware supported by another vendor to run an operating system of your choosing.

        So when it sends reports following crashes where do they go? Apple.

        When someone files feedback or some such where does that go? Apple.

        When something doesn't work as expected who gets the blame? Apple.

        Apple gets bad rep and no financial recompense from Psystar's business model. Why is this something that should be allowed?

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @09:26AM (#25816193) Journal

          Apple gets bad rep and no financial recompense from Psystar's business model

          Unless you count the $129/sale from the boxed copy of OS X that Pystar include as a financial recompense...

          • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @10:58AM (#25817393) Homepage

            And it is some level of financial recompense, but it doesn't address the question of whether it's fair recompense. The $129 number is a price subsidized by the purchase of a Mac. That's essentially the "upgrade" price. We don't know what the fully retail price of OSX would be if Apple were licensing it for use on non-Apple computers, because Apple doesn't offer those licensing terms to anyone.

            It may be that, if Apple chose to license OSX for generic PCs, they would charge $500 or $1000 per copy. We don't know.

            So in light of that, it's not clear that the $129 is sufficient for Psystar to say, "But we bought copies of OSX fair and square!"

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by iron-kurton (891451)
              That was a really fancy way of saying Apple's hardware is way overpriced (perhaps to offset the high marketing costs??)
          • by itsdapead (734413)

            Unless you count the $129/sale from the boxed copy of OS X that Pystar include as a financial recompense...

            If you pay Microsoft $129 then all you get is an upgrade to Vista Home Premium which requires that you already have a license for XP. If you fancy "Ultimate" for that sort of money you'll have to settle for an OEM copy, the license for which specifically excludes technical support (now that's one EULA which would be fun to see tested in court).

            So Apple could easily point to their main competitor and argue that $129 is not a fair recompense for a "full retail" license of a full-featured OS (and since when

        • by BigDish (636009)

          Lets change one word in your statement:
          So when it sends reports following crashes where do they go? Microsoft.

          When someone files feedback or some such where does that go? Microsoft.

          When something doesn't work as expected who gets the blame? Microsoft.
          --
          Hmmm, sounds like the attitude most of Slashdot has towards Windows.

          To be quite honest, I'd really disappointed to see this antitrust suit thrown out. Apple is selling PCs, and Mac OS runs on PCs - they just won't admit it. It's time the OS competes on tech

        • by internic (453511)

          "Sorry, be we've decided to make Sony Blu-Ray players (and PS3s) only play on Sony brand televisions. After all:

          When the HDCP support on the TV doesn't work and the connection is degraded, where do the complaints go? Sony.

          ..."

          Does that sound reasonable? Look, the line of thinking you're using can be extended to all sorts of products. It's true that it's much easier to ensure a good user experience if you control all aspects of that experience, and it's true that when you have your products intera

      • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

        You do not buy an operating system. You buy a license to use an operating system. You are required to abide by the terms of the license.

      • Really it is amazing how people will come out of the woodwork to support Apple in this. Sorry, I own multiple Apple products but I do not see how in the hell it is justified they can tell me or anyone else how to use their product once I buy it. This would be akin to Microsoft having said Windows only on Intel, using another processor violates the EULA. How far would have that gone?

        Apple isn't denying Pystar business by suing them on grounds of copyright violation, they are denying you the right to purchase

    • On the plus side, they're probably making money until the court shuts them down, at which point they can declare bankruptcy and disappear.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet (841228)
      That is because the morons are aiming at the wrong target. The issue they should have brought up was first sale,which has a lot of precedent behind it and which a judge isn't nearly as liable to shoot down. To use a slashdot car analogy,it is like I buy a Ford motor and then build my own kind of car around it to sell. What I do with that motor is out of Ford's hands once they took my money. I bought,I own it,if I wanted to flush it down the toilet or paint it Chevy red is no business of Ford once the money
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @08:36AM (#25815835)

    Psystar is not modifying the OS. Check the details! They are not running a cracked or modified version of OSX on their systems. What they have done is created the EFI backbone so that will allow the OS will install run nativly on it. This is no different from when IBM made their machines, and people reverse-engineered the bios to make clones.

    All apple has to get them on is that the OSX license stipulates that it MUST BE INSTALLED ON APPLE HARDWARE. This is EXACTLY the same if Microsoft turned around and said that windows can only be used on specific intel motherboard and cpu, and that only microsoft can decree what hardware is allowed to be used with it.

    These guys are going to have a rough time of it, but I home that they succeed. Apple should not be the only hardware manufacturer allowed to run OS-X, no more than microsoft should be allowed to decree that windows is not allowed to run on AMD and Gigabyte.

    We should be allowed a choice!

    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

      This is EXACTLY the same if Microsoft turned around and said that windows can only be used on specific intel motherboard and cpu, and that only microsoft can decree what hardware is allowed to be used with it.

      No, it is not. Microsoft does not make hardware. The only way it could be considered the same is if Microsoft bought a computer hardware manufacturer and then said "You can only run Windows on Microsoft hardware."

      All apple has to get them on is that the OSX license stipulates that it MUST BE INSTALLED

      • Apple makes no secret that the license requires the use of Apple hardware. Because Apple sells a license to use the software, Apple has a legal right to restrict that use any way it wishes. Don't want to use Apple hardware, don't use OSX.

        Here's hoping you are wrong. I personally feel that once I buy something I can do whatever I want with it. Apple doesn't have to give me support but Apple has no right to tell me how I can or can't use something that I now own a copy of.

        You can not dictate the terms o
    • by itsdapead (734413) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @12:27PM (#25818945)

      This is EXACTLY the same if Microsoft turned around and said that windows can only be used on specific intel motherboard and cpu, and that only microsoft can decree what hardware is allowed to be used with it.

      So, rather like the terms under which the vast majority of Windows licenses are sold, then?

      Most new PCs come with an OEM version of Windows with a license that specifically restricts its use to the computer with which it was sold. Most "boxed" versions of Windows sold to consumers are "upgrades" which require that you have an existing copy. My employer has a Windows "site license" which entitles it to install any version of windows on its PCs but (last time I looked) only if they originally came with OEM Windows.

      The only "get out" is that Microsoft will sell you a "Full Retail" version for 2-3 times the price of the OEM/Upgrade versions which most customers buy. If Apple do lose the court case (flap, oink), one work-around might be to hike the price of OSX to, say, $500-$1000 (not without precedent for certified Unix with a full dev kit) and offer an "upgrade" to existing OS X license holders (i.e. anyone with a Mac) for $130. If someone challenges that it would set some interesting precedents for Microsoft...

      We should be allowed a choice!

      Remember that when you go to buy a netbook (like the EEE) or OLPC and find that the Borg have been round and now, somehow, the Linux versions are now (a) more expensive and (b) not in stock. Funny that. Now if Apple tried that, everybody would flame them...

Passwords are implemented as a result of insecurity.

Working...