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Psystar Claims Apple Forgot To Copyright Mac OS 648

Posted by kdawson
from the that-would-be-an-oopsie dept.
Preedit writes "Mac cloner Psystar is claiming in new court papers that Apple's copyright suit against it should be dismissed, because Apple has never filed for copyright protection on Mac OS X 10.5 with the US Copyright Office. Infoweek is reporting that the claim, if it holds up, could open the door for third-parties to enter the Mac market without fear of legal action from Apple. In its latest set of allegations, Psystar is also accusing Apple of bricking Macs that don't run on genuine Apple hardware." We've been following the Psystar-Apple imbroglio since the beginning.
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Psystar Claims Apple Forgot To Copyright Mac OS

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  • WTF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:15AM (#26208479)

    What
    the
    fuck

  • Berne convention? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:15AM (#26208483)

    I thought since the US joined the Berne convention [wikipedia.org] in the 80s or 90s, registration with the copyright office is not required...

    • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:21AM (#26208525)

      I thought since the US joined the Berne convention in the 80s or 90s, registration with the copyright office is not required...

      It is required if you want statutory damages (you know, those crazy numbers like $25,000 per song downloaded or whatever it is the RIAA threatens people with). Otherwise the worst you can sue for is actual damages - in this case the cost of a copy of OSX for each copy made.

      It sure would be funny if it is true.

      • by WiiVault (1039946) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:24AM (#26208551)
        I wonder what that will mean since Psystar buys actual OS X disks? Would Apple sue for the "damage" of not selling the hardware?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by kithrup (778358)

          Apple is claiming that the boxed copies are upgrade versions, and not the original license. So "actual damages" would still include whatever cost Apple claims (or could convince a court of 8-)) for the original license.

          • Re:Berne convention? (Score:4, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:03AM (#26210359) Journal
            Except they aren't. I used to have an upgrade disk for 10.3 (which cost £10, as opposed to the full price of around £60). It required me to have 10.2 installed before it would run (which was very irritating when I needed to do a reinstall after the machine was repaired, since I had to install 10.2, and then 10.3, even though the 10.3 installer was deleting everything already on the disk). In contrast, the boxed copies of 10.4 and 10.5 that I own install without checking for a previous version.
            • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by GizmoToy (450886) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:10AM (#26210391) Homepage

              Apple would argue that there is no reason for them to check for a previous version. From Apple's point of view, in order to install them you need to have a Mac, which would have come with OS X, therefore making the boxed copy an upgrade.

              Since you can't get a Mac without OS X, all boxed copies of the OS are upgrades.

              • I call bullshit on that. If you can install a working copy on a blank disk, then it's not an "upgrade" (at least in the technical sense), it's a full install.

                Of course, from Apple's point of view, you need a Mac to qualify, but Psystar has obviously proved that claim wrong!

      • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Informative)

        by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:27AM (#26208587)

        This is correct. But I'm not certain you can claim "a copy of OSX" is the damage per infringement.

        Psystar in this case is using legally purchased copies of OSX.

        Apple would be forced to disclose the ACTUAL *loss* that they sustain on each OS sale as the split between Retail and Development. So if every copy of OSX is sold at a $100 loss in order to push hardware sales they'd be forced to disclose that amount.

        • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by JebusIsLord (566856) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:46AM (#26209069) Homepage

          I'll be really surprised if Apple doesn't agree to simply make a deal with Psystar to manufacture clones for a licensing fee. It isn't that radical - Apple licensed Mac clones back in the late 80s - early 90s (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_clone#The_first_Macintosh_clones [wikipedia.org] ). My uneducated guess is that Psystar has been negotiating for a licensing agreement for a long time, and then calculated that an outright court battle would land them a better deal than paying the fees initially suggested by Apple.

          That or they're a fly-by-night outfit.

          • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Informative)

            by NF6X (725054) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @02:22AM (#26209241) Homepage

            I'll be really surprised if Apple doesn't agree to simply make a deal with Psystar to manufacture clones for a licensing fee. It isn't that radical - Apple licensed Mac clones back in the late 80s - early 90s (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_clone#The_first_Macintosh_clones [wikipedia.org] ).

            From the Wikipedia article that you linked to:

            Jobs claimed [...] that the Mac clone program was doomed to failure from the start, and since Apple made money primarily by selling computer hardware, it ought not engage in a licensing program that would reduce its hardware sales.

            Prepare to be really surprised. ;-)

            • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Informative)

              by JebusIsLord (566856) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @02:56AM (#26209357) Homepage

              Back then a computer was $4000, which included significant margin. Nowadays, computers (yes, even Macs) are much cheaper, and the margins are lower. Apple sells a new copy of OSX every year to most of its customers, with or without a new computer. This could make them money, if tightly controlled.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              And some people stiull say that Apple hardware is not overpriced. The profit margins on the hardware must DAMN LARGE if they'd rather sell one system than one OS.
              • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Informative)

                by thesandtiger (819476) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @11:15AM (#26211625)

                You are missing a lot of factors that go past the margin on the hardware.

                One of the reasons Windows gets a bad rap for crashing a lot is because it has to be able to handle any kind of hardware you throw at it. One of the reasons Linux gets such a bad rap for being difficult to install and use is because virtually everyone who's ever installed it has probably run into a problem where some piece of hardware that should be easy to make work just won't. Apple, on the other hand, gets a reputation for "just working" because they control what hardware is used with it - yes, there are problems, but in general they are much less on a user-per-user basis than alternatives.

                Another big factor would be reputation as a premium brand. iPods are the bit of Apple that anyone can afford, but they maintain their image as premium by generally doing a good job trying to control the retail experience, charging a premium for the hardware, and all that. Being just another OS would remove that and would take a lot of tarnish off the corporate identity.

                Another would be a huge spike in support costs. Right now, many of Apple's customers buy AppleCare and that subsidizes the costs of support to some extent. If they're just selling the OS and people start having problems because Cheap Chinese Piece of Shit Video Card doesn't work with OSX, they have to be able to handle that OR risk ruining their reputation for "just working" and their premium brand image, both of which eventually lead to their margins.

                It isn't just the margin on the hardware that Apple's worried about - it's everything else. They'd have to completely change the way they do business and completely overhaul the company. I suspect that the margin on the hardware + all that other stuff is what makes it so much more profitable to sell complete systems instead of just an OS.

            • Re:Berne convention? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:19AM (#26210435) Journal

              Clones were bad for Apple because Apple produced high-quality hardware. The clones produced machines with better specs, but much cheaper components, so were able to undercut Apple and take away their business. Now, however, Apple produce fairly shoddy computers (in absolute terms - they're still a bit better than a few of their competitors), from off-the-shelf components. From their financials, their margins on most computers are less than a boxed copy of OS X, which means that letting people install bought copies of OS X on other hardware would be in their interests.

              A few years ago, I suggested that they should partner with IBM or Sun to sell OS X-based machines for the business market. They would license OS X under a non-compete agreement, so the other company could only ship machines in market segments where Apple didn't have a product, and would both market each other's systems. IBM (back when they were making chips for Macs) would get a nice desktop OS for business desktops built with their chips, and Apple would get a second source. Sun would have been the other option, since they had quite a nice kernel and at the time the OS X kernel was an embarrassment (it's quite nice with 10.5), and had a history of working with Cocoa/OpenStep (although not one that makes them friends with Steve Jobs).

          • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @03:15AM (#26209411) Homepage Journal

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Computer [wikipedia.org]

            In early 1982, Franklin released the Franklin Ace 100, and in March of the same year, the Franklin Ace 1000; they were very close copies of the Apple II and II+ computers, respectively. The motherboard design is nearly identical and Franklin also copied Apple's ROMs. Two months later, Apple Computer sued Franklin for copyright violation. Franklin initially won. (See Apple Computer, Inc. v. Franklin Computer Corp..)

        • by mstone (8523) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:51AM (#26209089)

          The unit cost of OS X is irrelevant.

          Apple doesn't sell OS X for non-Apple-branded hardware, and Psystar doesn't sell copies of OS X per se. Psystar isn't taking any money out of Apple's pocket in a software market for 'copies of OS X', because no such market exists.

          The place where Psystar is taking money out of Apple's pocket is in hardware. The difference between "an Apple-branded computer running OS X" and "a Psystar-branded computer running OS X" is the machine itself, not the OS. Therefore, the damage to Apple is the cost of equivalent hardware less the cost of one retail copy of OS X. Apple's retail computer prices are public knowledge, so adding up the damages would be trivial.

          That's only where Psystar's barbed-wire enema begins, though. The big money will be in 'brand dilution'.

          Apple's brand is immensely valuable, and Psystar has been trying to redefine it. Apple has always presented itself as a company that sells "the whole widget." They've spent a lot of money in every aspect of their business, from R&D to manufacturing, to sales and support, pushing the idea that a box from Apple is a single unit that Just Works (TM). Then along comes Psystar, telling everyone that Apple is really just a component vendor, whose OS division is just like Microsoft and whose hardware division is just like Dell. If you want an "Apple compatible computer," you can pick and choose pieces from any vendors you want.

          A large part of this case revolves around whether Psystar has a legitimate right to tell the whole world what business Apple is in. At present, it looks like the answer to that is a big, fat "No."

          If a court rules that Psystar has indeed been blowing smoke out its ass, then the equivalent advertising cost of every square inch of newsprint or second of airtime devoted to covering this case in the public view can be treated as damage to Apple. Every "they can't tell me what to do with the OS after I've bought the box" comment in these threads counts as noise that Apple will have to spend time, effort, and money arguing against. That time, effort, and money are resources Apple could otherwise have spent writing more software, designing new hardware, or otherwise expanding or improving its business. Psystar would have imposed an operating expense on Apple without having any legal right to do so. And following the theory that "if you light the fire, you can be held liable for whatever gets burnt," the court can rule that Psystar owes Apple the cost of cleaning up the mess it created.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by sonamchauhan (587356)

            > A large part of this case revolves around whether
            > Psystar has a legitimate right to tell the whole world
            > what business Apple is in.

            Nonsense!
            Whatever this case is actually about, it is not the stuff you are stating.

            Hello world - I affirm that Apple is in the browser business.

            Now sue me Apple!

          • by dubl-u (51156) * <[2523987012] [at] [pota.to]> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @03:50AM (#26209521)

            The big money will be in 'brand dilution'.

            There are a relatively small number of sorts of information that are legally protected. Brand is not one of them, except insofar as you are boosting somebody's trademarks. But Psystar's whole point is that they aren't Apple, and they aren't using Apple's trademarks to pretend they are.

            the equivalent advertising cost of every square inch of newsprint or second of airtime devoted to covering this case in the public view can be treated as damage to Apple

            Heh. Normally people just say "I am not a lawyer" rather than proving it dramatically. Maybe you should try that next time?

        • by jamesh (87723) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:40AM (#26210493)

          That made me giggle. If Apple was losing $100 on every sale of OSX, then in terms of 'actual' damages, if you pirate it does Apple have to pay you?

          I know it doesn't work that way, the 'loss' in question here is basically just income from software sales vs costs of development, so what I've said above is rubbish, but I still thought it was a curious concept :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by BobTheLawyer (692026)

          How can that be? The cost of physically producing a copy of OS X is tiny. There may be a huge sunk development cost but - no matter what it is - Apple will make money off each sale. Whether this is increasing Apple's profit from OS X, or reducing its loss doesn't change that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by gruntled (107194)

      Copyright protection is automatic, from the moment the work is created in a fixed form.

      HOWEVER

      In the United States, if you want to sue for infringement of work, you must have registered the work.

      It's true that if Apple didn't register a copyright, they can't sue for damages in the US.

      • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Informative)

        by gruntled (107194) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:24AM (#26208563)

        Sigh. From the US Copyright Office:

        http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#cr [copyright.gov]

        Copyright Registration

        In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However, registration is not a condition of copyright protection. Even though registration is not a requirement for protection, the copyright law provides several inducements or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration. Among these advantages are the following:

                * Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.

                * Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.

        • by corsec67 (627446)

          The GP said "It's true that if Apple didn't register a copyright, they can't sue for damages in the US."

          So, if Apple hasn't registered the OSX copyright, they couldn't sue until they register the copyright, and then they can only sue for "actual damages and profits..." if it has been longer than 3 months since the specific version was published.

          So, if Pystar is right, Apple would be wrong in suing in this case, but Pystar could still be liable for damages. I don't know what the damages could be, since Pysta

        • by MidnightBrewer (97195) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:50AM (#26208757)

          So the copyright law basically says that you're protected automatically, but that the protection isn't worth anything until you actually register for protection? Nice. Good to know.

          • by gruntled (107194)

            No, the automatic protection allows for criminal prosecution. If you want to sue yourself you have to register.

            • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by fishbowl (7759) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:49AM (#26209083)

              >No, the automatic protection allows for criminal prosecution. If you want to sue yourself you have to register.

              Sort of. The trouble you'd run into, is that the law allows Apple to make that registration at *any time*, like, say, on the morning of your hearing.
              Even without the statutory damages, they *can* sue you, and there is no limit to what they can ask for as damages. It's good to have things registered because that constitutes "Notice", which provides the plaintiff with an automatic advantage in terms of preponderance of evidence,

              The misconception all over the thread, is that without the right to seek statutory damages, Apple would be limited in the amount of civil damages they could seek. This is untrue, and I can assure you that the amount of "actual damages" that Apple's very expensive and capable legal team would confront you with over OSX, would utterly dwarf even the "per infringement" maximum of statutory damages. And even if they sought statutory damages, which they still would do, that would basically amount to nothing but a "tip" on top of the really stupendous civil damages, which would seek liquidation and civil forfeiture of, 100% of your assets. Willful and knowing copyright infringement on an institutional scale is really not a good idea, registration or not.

              IANALBIHSLAWITF, consult a lawyer before you do something boneheaded like putting yourself on the defendant end of a civil suit with Apple.

              • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @09:11AM (#26210617)

                This is untrue, and I can assure you that the amount of "actual damages" that Apple's very expensive and capable legal team would confront you with over OSX, would utterly dwarf even the "per infringement" maximum of statutory damages.

                They can quote whatever number they want as compensatory damages, but the burden of proving those damages is on them. If they tried to approach a number exceeding the statutory damages, they would be facing an extremely angry judges. Judges are not a fan of being lied to, nor is it ethical for lawyers to even try. Push them too much and they might just throw you out on your nose.

                The absolute most they would be able to realistically get is the average cost of an Apple machine + whatever profits Pystar has made so far from selling these machines. Clearly that's nothing to sneeze at, but pretending that just because Apple has a lot of lawyers that they're magically going to get some uber-ridiculous number isn't based in reality. They're not even likely to receive that much, frankly. I'd wager the number would be closer to the cost of copies of OS X * sales + profits than it is cost of apple machines * sales + profits.

                Compensatory damages, which is what these are, are almost never that high. When you see "COMPANY Z ORDERED TO PAY ONE HUNDRED GAZILLION DOLLARS!" it's almost all punitive or statutory, neither of which Apple would be entitled to recover if Pystar is correct that they did not register their copyright prior to filing this lawsuit.

        • Re:Berne convention? (Score:5, Informative)

          by AtomicJake (795218) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @05:46AM (#26209897)

          Sight, if you quote the link, do it completely and correctly. Then you see that: (1) you can register anytime your copyright, and (2) your claims are limited if you register after an infringement.

          Quote from: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#cr [copyright.gov]

          Copyright Registration

          In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However, registration is not a condition of copyright protection. Even though registration is not a requirement for protection, the copyright law provides several inducements or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration. Among these advantages are the following:

                  * Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.

                  * Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.

                  * If made before or within 5 years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.

                  * If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.

                  * Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection against the importation of infringing copies. For additional information, go to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website at www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/import. Click on âoeIntellectual Property Rights.â

          Registration may be made at any time within the life of the copyright. Unlike the law before 1978, when a work has been registered in unpublished form, it is not necessary to make another registration when the work becomes published, although the copyright owner may register the published edition, if desired.

  • Seriously?!? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) *

    That's the worst argument I've ever heard. I've got two words for you Psystar: Berne Convention [wikipedia.org]

    You'd almost think they were organized just to antagonize Apple. Hmm...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:24AM (#26208571)
      Indeed they were. Apple formed Psystar as a way to boil the blood of Apple zealots and make them feel good about spending money on overpriced hardware.
    • Re:Seriously?!? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:32AM (#26208619)

      The Berne Convention will be out the window if we ever pass the Orphan Works bill that Corbis keeps trying to push down our throats.

    • Re:Seriously?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:41AM (#26208687) Homepage Journal

      That's the worst argument I've ever heard. I've got two words for you Psystar: Berne Convention

      From the article you link to:

      (note however that when the United States joined the Convention in 1988, they continued to make statutory damages and attorney's fees only available for registered works).

      I suspect this is what Psystar are referring to, rather than Information Week's rather short, content free insinuation that Apple loses all rights if they fail to register.

      You'd almost think they were organized just to antagonize Apple. Hmm...

      Testing the waters, Hardware vendors want to sell something other than windows. I'm willing to bet one (or more) of the big 5 PC vendors is behind this

      • Re:Seriously?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:54AM (#26209105)

        Testing the waters, Hardware vendors want to sell something other than windows. I'm willing to bet one (or more) of the big 5 PC vendors is behind this

        I just can't see it.

        Even in the most decisive win for Psystar the ONLY thing apple has to do is take OSX off the retail shelf. That's all folks! if Psystar can't buy OSX, it can't bundle OSX. Game over!

        Apple then only bundles OSX with actual Apple computer, and it delivers new versions to registered customers via Apple Software update, requiring them to have a valid apple hardware serial number and a credit card to, obtain that particular update.

        Then the only way anyone is going to get OSX then is to either buy an Apple, or to Pirate it. Neither of which will do Psystar or anyone else in the 'big 5' any good. Sure Psystar could buy a mini, and 'rebundle' OSX with a Core2Quad tower... but Psystar is going to have a tough time being price competive, paying $500+ per license... unless they part out the mini's on ebay or something to recoup the cost.

    • In fact, you can't sue in a US court unless you've registered your copyright. The principles of the Berne Convention do indeed automatically grant copyright from the moment a work is placed in fixed form, but in the US, only copyright owners who register their works can sue for damages. Psystar is correct in this claim (assuming Apple did not in fact register the copyright).

    • Re:Seriously?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LoRdTAW (99712) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:00AM (#26208823)

      Follow the money? It just might lead to Redmond, Palo Alto or Round Rock.

      Apple will never let anyone run OSX on non Apple hardware. As long as they want to keep their hip turtle neck wearing image they must keep complete control. Imagine Dell selling dull gray OSX computers for half the price Apple does? Or OSX Latitudes. The once hip OSX now runs on un cool nerdy looser PC guys computer. Not cool.

      No I am not bashing Apple or its users. This is what their marketing department must think. Remember Apple is kept alive by what I believe is a damn good marketing machine. It keeps Apple looking hip no matter what. Take away the cool hip design and marketing and your looking at another boring PC (technically an Apple is a PC). How else can you explain people high fiving each other when they bought their shiny new iPhones?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gtall (79522)

        Most of us who buy Macs do so for OS X and the integration with the hardware. Marketing might work for the iPhone, but I never met anyone who bought a Mac to "be cool".

        Gerry

  • Case closed! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:16AM (#26208489)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Divebus (860563)

      Looks like you're right. The Apple lawyers only need to stand up, say "Registration Number TX0006849489" and sit down. (sfx: gavel strike)

    • Back to Basics (Score:5, Informative)

      by westlake (615356) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:51AM (#26208773)
      The United States Copyright Office says otherwise.

      "No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright.

      If made before or within 5 years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.

      If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.

      If the work is an unpublished or published computer program, the deposit requirement is one visually perceptible copy in source code of the first 25 and last 25 pages of the program. For a program of fewer than 50 pages, the deposit is a copy of the entire program.

      If the work is in a CD-ROM format, the deposit requirement is one complete copy of the material, that is, the CD-ROM, the operating software, and any manual(s) accompanying it. If registration is sought for the computer program on the CD-ROM, the deposit should also include a printout of the first 25 and last 25 pages of source code for the program." Copyright Office Basics [copyright.gov]

  • Snowball, hell (Score:2, Redundant)

    by G0rAk (809217)
    That argument has surely got no chance of flying. The OSX splash screen says that Apple own the copyrights on the software as does the pretty box the disks come in and all you need to assert copyright ownership is a mark on the product that says so.

    That restricting OSX to apple approved hardware is anti-competitive might have a chance but even with a little hat that first snowball ain't gonna last long.
    • by Skrapion (955066)

      all you need to assert copyright ownership is a mark on the product that says so.

      You don't even need that, but if you ever go to court, it helps your case. Having your copyright registered helps even more.

      As others are saying, it may be difficult to sue for more than just damages if your copyrighted work isn't registered. But the courts aren't that inflexible. Even if Apple can't sue for statutory damages, I'm sure they can find something else to sue the infringing companies over, particularly if they can prove that the companies knew what they were doing is illegal, and it's hard to

  • These clones suck (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:22AM (#26208529) Homepage Journal

    I wasn't using a Mac during the last time Apple allowed clones, but several people I knew at the time all claimed that their clones were generally faster than the machines Apple sold. So now that I us OS X, I'd like some Intel clones... but not from these clowns. They sound like the SCO of cloners.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      We had one of those clones -- a Power Computing machine. I don't know that I'd say it was faster than similar Apple-branded machines, but I will say that it didn't take me long to decide that it would be the LAST clone I'd ever buy.

      There's a reason why they were cheaper... made from much cheaper components. The case was flimsy, the cables looked gerry-rigged to make them work with Apple monitors, everything about them just screamed cheap!
  • The way US copyright law works is that copyright exists automatically, no registration is necessary. However, registration *is* required before filing a lawsuit. If Apple really failed to register before suing Psystar, they might be able to get the suit dismissed. If the judge is particularly nice, they might even get it dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can't be brought again (though I can't see why a judge would do that).

    However, that will in no way prevent Apple from registering their copyright and then filing suit against others. Nor will it prevent Apple from suing Psystar over alleged infringements of other copyrights (say, newer versions of OS X).

    This is an ordinary bit of legal maneuvering by some attorneys who noticed an apparent procedural oversight by their opponents and who are attempting to capitalize on it to get at least a little delay, and perhaps even more. It's really not a big deal.

    (IANAL, and I didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn Express, so the above is likely complete crap.)

    • There's an exception. You get a few months after "publishing" your work in which you can register your copyright *after* the offense and still sue for punative damages. I think it's like a 3 month window. So.. technically if OSX was released 3 months ago Apple could correct their mistake and still sue for punative damages.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PCM2 (4486)

      The way US copyright law works is that copyright exists automatically, no registration is necessary. However, registration *is* required before filing a lawsuit.

      But the important thing to remember is that, even if you haven't registered, if someone infringes you can register and then file a lawsuit. You might not get the full advantages of registering before someone infringed, but having failed to register so far won't stop you. It can be done retroactively.

  • By definition... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrahamCox (741991) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:26AM (#26208579) Homepage
    Psystar is also accusing Apple of bricking Macs that don't run on genuine Apple hardware

    Since the definition of "Macintosh" is a computer built/branded/sold by Apple, and no-one else, this statement is nonsensical. It could say "Psystar is accusing Apple of bricking generic PCs that are attempting to illegally run OS X", but, like it or not, I would have thought they are entitled to do so.
  • Bizzare (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WiiVault (1039946) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:28AM (#26208595)
    A few months back I would have never bought conspiracy theory that Psystar was mearly a front for other companies who wanted to bundle OS X (think SCO - MS) but with their tenacity and resources I am starting to wonder who Psystar really is. Oddly even Apple has asserted this claim in court docs. Once this is over we will surely hear some interesting stories.
  • Psystar is also accusing Apple of bricking Macs that don't run on genuine Apple hardware

    I'm pretty sure only Apple sells Macs, and I'm also pretty sure Apple is using genuine Apple hardware. Ergo there is no such thing as a Mac with non-genuine Apple hardware. Pystar may sell a computer that can hobble on Mac OS X, but that is not a Mac. What Pystar means to say is:

    Pystar is also accusing Apple of bricking their shoddy hardware which has been cobbled together to run Mac OS X

    Of course the bricking claim is a

    • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:29AM (#26208983) Homepage Journal

      You don't understand because you don't follow legal precedents in copyright law.

      Pystar are trying to make that claim that the Mac OS X bootloader detects their hardware and refuses to run on it. That's illegal - so says the Supreme Court - as it denies competition. That is, you and I are required to buy a computer from Apple and only from Apple if we want it to run Mac OS X. What's more, the Lexmark case has declared that code written to enforce monopoly control is void of copyright. Pystar would really love to have Mac OS X stripped of copyright.. that would make their business model a whole lot more profitable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gnasher719 (869701)

        Pystar are trying to make that claim that the Mac OS X bootloader detects their hardware and refuses to run on it. That's illegal - so says the Supreme Court - as it denies competition. That is, you and I are required to buy a computer from Apple and only from Apple if we want it to run Mac OS X. What's more, the Lexmark case has declared that code written to enforce monopoly control is void of copyright. Pystar would really love to have Mac OS X stripped of copyright.. that would make their business model a whole lot more profitable.

        In Lexmark, the court decided that a fifteen byte program, that had to be written in exactly that way not for technical reasons but because the hardware calculated a checksum, had no copyright. Copyright is on the _expression_ of an idea; if there are limits that are so strong that something cannot be expressed in any other way, there can be no copyright. MacOS X is hundreds of megabytes of code, and there are hundreds of megabytes that could have been written in a different way and are therefore protectabl

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jimithing DMB (29796)

        I assure you they are not trying to claim the bootloader does any checks since they are using my bootloader [tgwbd.org] and not Apple's boot.efi.

        I think what they are trying to claim is that Apple's kernel startup routine blocks certain machines. And this is true. It blocks any CPU that is not family 6 and I think also checks for certain models (like 14 and 15 which are Core and Core 2). Beyond that it also checks for LAPIC version which if they actually were to enforce it would really fuck with running OS X under V

  • by evilgrug (915703) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @12:48AM (#26208737)

    Mac OS X Leopard Version 10.5.
    Type of Work: Text
    Registration Number / Date: TX0006849489 / 2008-01-24
    Application Title: Mac OS X Leopard Version 10.5.
    Title: Mac OS X Leopard Version 10.5.
    Description: Print material + CD-ROMs.
    Copyright Claimant: Apple Inc.. Address: 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014
    Date of Creation: 2007
    Date of Publication: 2007-10-26
    Nation of First Publication: United States
    Authorship on Application: Apple Inc., employer for hire; Domicile: United States. Authorship: new and revised text, illustrations and compilation; new and revised computer program.
    Previous Registration: 2006, TX-6-325-148.
    Pre-existing Material: Previous versions of "Mac OS" and "Mac OS X" operating system software code.
    Basis of Claim: new and revised text, illustrations and compilation; new and revised computer program.
    Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.

  • by Meor (711208) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @01:19AM (#26208943)
    This is just an editor rant. I'm sorry, kdawson is just a horrible editor. First he posts "google is horrible they're not giving bonuses and feeding the masses dogfood; P.S. use linux" Then he posts this article which dozens of people have immediately spotted as B.S. I want my 7 minutes of reading Slashdot back.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @05:37AM (#26209855)
    It has been said before in this thread, but I think not clearly enough. Just because Psystar makes some outlandish claim (and how likely is it that Apple forgot to register copyrights on MacOS X ?), doesn't mean it is true. In this case, the fact is that Apple has registered the copyright on MacOS X Version 10.5 Leopard on 24/Jan/2008 under the registration number TX0006849489. You caln follow the link below, which will time out again; when it is timed out do a search for "Mac OS X Leopard" which finds Apple's copyright and three copyrights for books. http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?v1=4&ti=1,4&Search_Arg=Mac%20OS%20X%20Leopard&Search_Code=TALL&CNT=25&PID=wRSriYVKQl7vglCfQyV3qoEcDM4&SEQ=20081223043158&SID=3 [loc.gov] What a waste of time this Psystar company is. Psystar also claims that Apple has code in MacOS X that prevents it from running on non-Apple computers and therefore is evil, but somehow this code isn't copy protection because Psystar would never, never circumvent copy protection and violate the DMCA act.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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