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Lawsuit Between Apple and Psystar Moves Toward Settlement 242

An anonymous reader writes "Psystar and Apple have agreed to alternative dispute resolution to keep the public eye away from their disagreements, and to reduce legal costs. This will eliminate any rulings that would set a precedent over Psystar's claim that Apple is violating anti-trust laws by tying Mac OS X to only their hardware and thus creating a monopoly. This could result in a profit for Psystar's business, but eliminate their line of open-computing Mac-compatible PCs. On the other hand, what's to stop a similar company from doing the same thing?"
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Lawsuit Between Apple and Psystar Moves Toward Settlement

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2008 @12:20PM (#25431695)

    The fact that they'll sue, and even if you eventually settle, you're probably going out of business?

  • by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @12:36PM (#25431831)

    Most small businesses can't afford 50hrs of lawyers fees a month for 3years. (About $500,000). Or if you try to go cheap and represent yourself they still can't afford to have their business partial stopped, have their stock dropped to nothing. And you boss of the company losing maybe 150 hours a month putting up a decent defense will surely have an effect on the company. In MOST case right or wrong don't matter. A big company can make anyone eat minimum a half million dollar bill. When I was starting up my company my lawyer cited an average $800,000 for ip suits, regardless of who wins. It only gets interesting when both sides can eat a million dollar loss without being too damaged (30million+ net-worth companies)

  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @01:51PM (#25432483)

    Apple is also fond of pointing out that Macs are not PCs. It is illegal for Ford to insist that it's engines can only be installed in a Ford manufactured automobile.... I'm just sayin.

    On what basis would that be illegal for Ford to do? They don't insist on these terms because they don't care much what you do with their engine, but if they did care, what would make it illegal? As a concrete example, Ferrari sells Formula I racing engine to the Scuderia Toro Rosso team. Now McLaren might be willing to pay a generous amount of money to lay their hands on a Ferrari engine, and Ferrari would be quite unhappy about it. If the contract between Ferrari and Toro Rosso says that the engines cannot be sold on, do you seriously suggest that would be illegal?

  • by ocularb0b ( 1042776 ) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @01:57PM (#25432549) Homepage
    There is at least one other company selling NonMac hardware [gvs9000.com] with OSX. This machine is nothing like what Pystar sells and prolly has a price tag much higher than a MacPro. Personally I wants one.
  • by Alrescha ( 50745 ) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @01:59PM (#25432559)

    "Why is Apple immune from the righteous wrath that they deserve for their business practices?"

    I'd like you to point out an instance of their business practices that deserves "righteous wrath", as I can't think of one.

    They don't get the same amount of crap that Microsoft does because on the evil scale Apple is '-1, A cursed ring that you cannot remove', whereas Microsoft is '-1000, Obliterates all life on the planet which it occupies'.


  • Re:That's a shame (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TeacherOfHeroes ( 892498 ) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @02:26PM (#25432803)

    Apple has already replied to Psystar's idiotic "monopoly" arguments, citing about a dozen cases that say absolutely clearly a single product of a company cannot possibly constitute a meaningful "market", and therefore Apple cannot have a meaningful monopoly in the non-existing market of "MacOS X compatible computers".

    What about computers that are able to run Mac OS X applications? Clearly, there is more than just the one of them, and Apple hardware is the only EULA compliant way to use any applications which are not open source or cross-platform.

    Can Apple have a meaningful monopoly in the market of "Mac OS X Application compatible computers"?

  • by quanticle ( 843097 ) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @02:54PM (#25433051) Homepage

    On the other hand, it can be a win for the little guy as well. If I sue a big company for something that I believe I have a legitimate case for, and the judgment goes against me, I only have my own legal fees to pay. If I had to pay for the large corporation's legal fees as well, I'd be essentially bankrupted.

    In other words, an automatic loser-pays system would make whistle-blower lawsuits almost automatically nonviable, since those suits are hardly ever sure wins.

  • Curious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday October 19, 2008 @02:55PM (#25433059) Homepage Journal

    Could a third party sue to force the case to be brought into a court of law, claiming public interest in the matter?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:06PM (#25433159)

    a. What you can buy isn't the point. What Ford SELLS is the point. Ford sells whole cars, Apple sells whole computers and boxed upgrade licenses with an included installation disk.

    Software dealers sell licenses. Licenses to the information coded on plastic discs, and licenses to download - but just licenses.

    They often include the plastic disc. The disc is yours. The bits on the disc are just licensed to you. Contrary to common Slashdot belief, if the license is proved to be not-applicable then you have NO right to the code (not "every right" to the code as the uninformed masses think).

    b. Apple isn't preventing the USE of anything, just the sale.

    Developers (and Slashdotters) love to frame it as if Apple is stopping hobbyists from using their OS however they want, conveniently ignoring the fact that that Apple only goes after builders who try to SELL those computers by advertising them as "Macs", "Mac clones", or as "running OS X". The OSX86 project thrives unabated.

    A Mac is a specific model of computer from a single maker with an operating system written specifically for it (as opposed to a generic machine with an outsourced OS).

    If Pystar was smart, they would advertise as being "Windows and Linux Free" and just not mention what OS they are running.

    c1. You just restated the second half MY point (and chose to ignore the first)
    c2. You misunderstand "First Sale"

    d. They CAN stop you. (From SELLING clones... which was the point of the five paragraphs that fell under the heading "D")

    Apparently, the people at Pystar aren't the only ones with reading comprehension issues.

  • by geekboy642 ( 799087 ) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:06PM (#25433163) Journal

    The US has tried de-legalizing alcohol. If you don't know or remember how well that turned out, go find out. Consider the results of Prohibition before you suggest doing it again. I would lay 5:1 odds that any complete ban of tobacco products would have an identical result.

    Here's a hint: It went very poorly for everybody involved, except the people selling alcohol. They got rich.

  • Re:It's nonbinding (Score:3, Interesting)

    by catwh0re ( 540371 ) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @04:57PM (#25434189)
    If the settlement with Apple music is anything to go by, then I doubt Pystar are going to be in a better position after all of this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v._Apple_Computer [wikipedia.org]
  • by nawcom ( 941663 ) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:09PM (#25435665) Homepage

    And Macs already use encrypted binaries against TPM but the key for that is known so that's why regular PCs can install a decrypted version.

    You are officially not informed and possibly stupid. Apple does not use TPM in their intel systems. It's done through dsmos.
    Read up before making claims [osxbook.com].

    As for removing the check from the code, that won't help much when it comes to updates and changes. This is why it's taken care of via a kernel extension. The same thing with cpuids when it comes to software and AMD systems. Currently it is manually checked and modified, but there is a new kernel extension almost ready to release that will alter installed files so that the cpuids in its opcodes will work for amd. There's also a kernel extension that makes sure that certain kernel extensions that are installed by default in updates (for intel macs) are immediately removed (since after rebooting it will make the OS unbootable).

    There's a lot more going on than most people think. The amount of people working on running OS X on the PC has shot up since 2005/2006.

  • by Lars T. ( 470328 ) <Lars.Traeger@goo ... Ncom minus berry> on Monday October 20, 2008 @02:01AM (#25437877) Journal
    Of course that would mean a party who knows they can't win because what they did was illegal from the start, will just spend the minimum amount they can get away with.
  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Monday October 20, 2008 @06:26AM (#25438883)

    I've wondered about the viability of an alternative blended version of "loser pays". Under such a scheme, the losing party would reimburse the winning party for their actual expenses but only up to the amount that the losing party spent. This may require fairly continuous disclosure of expenses by both parties to reduce "gaming the system".

    That is how it is set up in Germany. First thing in court, you tell the judge how much money you want (or at how much money the case should be valued). Judge takes that number and looks up in a table how much plaintiff and defense can pay for their lawyers, and how much the court takes to handle the case. That will end up being the cost. At the end of the case, the judge checks how many percent of what the plaintiff wanted he was actually awarded, and cost are split up accordingly.

    This avoids being sued for ridiculous amounts of money. If you sue me for $5bn and the judge decides I should pay $10,000, you will pay 99.999% of enormous cost for lawyers. If you sue me for $10,000 and the judge decides I should pay $10,000, I pay the complete cost for lawyers according to the judges tables - it won't be very expensive.

    And the judge will stop the plaintiff if they try to drag a case on and on to the point where the court loses money. If you sue for $10,000, and the judge checked that court cost will be say $1215, that's where he will stop the plaintiff.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 20, 2008 @03:44PM (#25445191)

    The argument that the "last time Apple allowed the clones were poorly made" is crap. I worked at an Apple authorized dealer and still bought a Power Computing Mac clone because they were as good as the mac hardware and were half the price. Never had one problem with that system.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner