Hackintosh maker lands Apple punch
Judge approves Psystar for more fight
In its on-going legal battle with Apple, upstart clonemaker Psystar has won its first victory in many a month.
It was a minor victory, to be sure: a US District Court judge has allowed Psystar to continue copyright - but not monopoly - arguments in its countersuit against Apple.
But hope springs eternal for the Doral, Florida clonemaker.
It's been a tough seven months for Psystar. Last July, Apple filed a complaint in US District Court, accusing the company of "copyright infringement, induced copyright infringement, breach of contract, trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition."
Apple told the Hacintosh maker: "Stop installing our operating system on computers you sell, stop making people who buy your stuff criminals for using it, and stop using the term Mac OS X and its good-looking logo to sell your products."
In the seven months since Apple filed the suit, Psystar has had little to celebrate. In August, the company countersued, wielding the big stick of the Sherman Antitrust Act and Clayton Antitrust Act and claiming that Apple was indulging in "restraint of trade" by tying its operating system to its hardware.
If Psystar wins, $554.99 will buy you an ugly-but-serviceable Hackintosh
Of course, Apple didn't agree. In late September, the company filed a motion to dismiss Psystar's countersuit, claiming that the cloner was "ignoring fundamental principles of antitrust law, and the realities of the marketplace."
The big blow came in November, when the US District Court Judge handling the case, William Alsup, agreed with Apple and dismissed Psystar's countersuit. In sum, Alsup said that Psystar's claims that Apple was a monopoly were baseless since Apple is not alone in the personal computing business - there are plenty of other competitors, both of hardware and operating systems.
How accurate was Alsup about a thriving world of operating-system competitors? We'll let Linux fans chew on that.
Alsup did give Psystar one final shred of hope, however, by allowing the company to provide a counter-argument by early December, which he would respond to in early 2009.
However, less that a week before Psystar's counter-argument deadline, Apple muscled-up their original complaint by adding the allegation that Psystar was in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA). This amendment asserted that Psystar had hacked Apple's copyrighted software-protection schemes.
And that's when things started to get odd.
Next page: The John Does
Let Macs be Macs and PCs be PCs...
I know it must be embarrassing/annoying that an army of Windows & LINUX developers can't come up with software of the same quality that Apple gives away but is the open business model so weak that it's proponents need to break Apple's integrated model with legislation?
Mac clones. I'm not going to bother with the legal issues to any great extent.
However, look at the history of Apple. Whenever Stevie 'Boy Wonder' Jobs has been involved (remember, the board of directors DID ease him aside for quite a few years) Apple has exhibited a particular type of behaviour.
For example: Innovation. You know, they 'invented' the WIMP system - except they didn't - Xerox did.
Then there's Litigation: since Apple 'invented' the WIMP interface they got into a cat-fight, which they lost, with Micro$oft over the Windows OS. Apple, under SJ, has historically got into endless litigation with various people. Even, on occasion (remember 'Apple Corp' and the 'no sound if you use our name' row - ever noticed the system sound called 'Sosumi', which exists to this day?) breaking agreements with others. That shows SJ's real attitude to the law...
Finally, there's a degree of protectionism in Stevie's makeup. Getting spares for an Apple product is nearly impossible. To this day. This year my Intel iMac 24, which I use for work, died, for the third time in less than 18 months. The delay on getting a repair (it was on a 3 year warranty) was unacceptable, So, I now have a MacPro. Which suits SJ just fine...
As far as the 'you CAN replace the battery' argument's concerned - yes, you can - NOW. Because, for once, Apple had to back down. The uproar about iPod batteries, within a year of it coming out, was such that with a successful class action looming and a lot of negative publicity they gave in.
But obtaining out of warranty Apple spares is still virtually impossible.
SJ is on record as considering the Mac OS as 'the crown jewels'. Bill Gates once advised SJ to follow the M$ route, SJ predictably scorned the idea. Mac Clones only existed when SJ wasn't in charge.
SJ's business model, certainly in the computer field, is to sell marginally adequate hardware (no really - I have a PC (twin core 3.2Ghz, 2Gb RAM, 8800GTX) standing on my other desk that leaves my new MacPro (8 core 3.2, 8Gb RAM, 8800 GT, XP and more than twice the price) in it's dust) - in 'designer cases' - at hugely inflated prices, while defending this practice by aggressively litigating against anyone using 'the crown jewels' on more cost effective hardware.
IF the Apple Mac hardware were as good as SJ would like you to believe, then there would be no need for this. The fashionistas would still buy Macs - possibly even after they realised 'the crown jewels' would run on far more cost-effective hardware. The rest of us, who actually like the Apple OS and some of the software that ONLY runs under it, would have cheap, reliable hardware that we could upgrade and/or repair easily and cheaply...
But that would dilute the immensely valuable revenue stream that Apple's extended warranty and Apple authorised repairer schemes represent.
I think that Apple loosing this litigation would actually turn Apple into a more competitive entity. Sales of the Mac OS would soar. Yes, hardware sales would decline. But this SHOULD be sufficient motivation for Apple to start designing truly 'state of the art' hardware. There's no shortage of existing PC hardware out there that could transform Macs from 'previous generation' state of the art hardware into something truly jaw dropping.
As things stand, have stood for many years, Apple is poor at hardware, and rather good at software, especially in the field of the user interface. Given the present economic conditions, 'the crown jewels' are indeed Apple's most valuable asset - but NOT locked into overpriced, under specified hardware.
SJ has a big ego. It's now (again) Apple's biggest problem. That and his 'not invented here' syndrome. Or should that be 'not invented on MY watch'?
Remember the Newton? For it's time it was actually quite amazing. So, when he returned to Apple, he ordered it dropped - he also said that any Apple staffer seen with one was to be sacked...
While I admire Steve Jobs to some extent, the man is, after all, an innovator, he's also not the ideal man to have at the helm today. Being forced to change Apple's strategy would be, I feel, no bad thing.
One problem will be that the shareholders see SJ as God. Notice the effect his recent health problems have caused for Apple share prices?
SJ can and very likely will play his ace card at some point in the not to distant future - by offering to step down.
His real problem will be that the courts aren't likely to be impressed with that...
Share holders he can probably ignore. But not the courts.
Meantime, PsyStar do appear to have surprisingly deep pockets. Clearly Apple's plan was to use prolonged litigation to break PsyStar. This hasn't happened. So now the rumor's being spread that PsyStar have 'a backer'...
Well, the list of potential candidates is long and complex. I won't speculate. Except to say I very much doubt Bill Gates is on it. Now if you made a list of ex-Apple board of directors members, that might be where to start looking.
This whole thing's set to run and run. Sooner or later Apple's business model has to change. The longer it takes, the more damage Apple's going to suffer.
Pliz read this
I want Pacstar or whatever its name is to win the case cause then there will be no more macs(what if apple changed its mind).......Then windows will rule and be supreme and unstoppable.c'mon how many people you know can play crisis on macs or Linux(forget the damn wine).sure windows has many flaws but its the most used os and there are millions or maby billions of configurations out there,so please dont think of windows as a flaw and please change over if you are a mac or linux user.Give it a try.Windows and Microsoft aren't bad or whaterer.Its what media makes microsoft look like.Now that Windows 7 is hot every media is Glued onto microsoft,but once there are bugs or holes and stuff its the media that criticizes.
Microsoft makes the diff versions of windows vista and se7en to focus on the hard times of people and offer them with what they need(eg:Windows vista basic)cheapest and fully functioning
FYI – Sky don’t require you to buy a Sky decoder to watch their satellite broadcast.
Wrong, to receive their (SKY) broadcasts a Sky receiver and a Sky card IS a requirement
Most are produced by Amstrad, with lesser volumes by Pace, Samsung, and several other firms…
Correct, under license to SKY
When you order from them direct you get whichever one happens to be in the distribution centre feeding you, as long as it conforms to being a normal box, Sky+ box, HD, etc. Thus you can actually acquire a box from elsewhere, install it yourself if you know where to point it, and all you need to buy is the subscription package from them to start viewing, much like the standard PC business model.
Partially Correct, to receive their packages you need their receiver, their card and their subscription, and to live in the UK or Eire. Try going to ITV (103), pull out the card and see what happens. So even some NON SKY UK telly requires a Sky Card UNLESS you choose another service.
You may be thinking of FreeSat, no card, no Sky?
It's a shame that hardware vendors aren't forced to provide APIs to interested parties. That would certainly assist the BSD/GNULinux OSs function properly on a much wider variety of hardware. Making those OSs more easily installed and making them just a little more accessible to the home user.
I'm sure both of the main home use OSs do everything they can to help prevent this. It's a shame they can't be caught and fined heavily enough to make it not worthwhile for them to break laws. That brings to the topic of corruption in business and government.....blah blah blah