Hackintosher's new line: Linux and T-shirts
Psystar refuses to die
The irrepressible Hackintoshers that earlier this month were pronounced bleedin' demised, only to respond with a Pythonesque "I'm not dead yet!" cry of defiance, have reemerged with a new business model: T-shirts and Linux boxes.
Mid-month, Florida's Psystar was slapped with an injunction by the US District Court for the Northern District of California that forbade the company from selling copies of either Mac OS X or any software that would enable said OS to run on non-Apple computers.
That would seem to include Psystar's boot-loading Rebel EFI utility. However, in a recent post to their company's website the Hackintoshers told their undoubtedly dwindling fan base that they had "voluntarily suspended" their Rebel EFI sales while they ask the court for clarification on whether or not they can resume offering it.
They also announced that they would soon resume selling computers, but that "they will be bundled with your choice of Linux operating system."
Rapier wit is not a Psystar hallmark
And if you think that this is Psystar's admission that the Mac OS X battle is over, think again. "Our hardware [is] specifically chosen such that it is known to be compatible with OS X (via Apples own drivers or open source offerings online)," the post continues. "This makes it easier to get up and running with your favorite XNU based operating system, including Pure Darwin."
Despite the court's ruling, Psystar still maintains that a purchaser of software - read: Mac OS X - has the right to use it wherever they wish. As they explain it: "A publisher cannot forbid you from reading a book in the bathroom or listening to a music disc while riding your bicycle."
Clearly, the Floridians continue to have a difficult time understanding the critical distinction between software licensing and software purchasing.
For either $14.99 or $15, depending on where you look on their website, you can pick up a sure-to-be-cherished souvenir of the whole Apple/Psystar dust-up: a black T-shirt with "I sued Psystar" on the front, backed with "...and all I got was a lousy injunction."
A novel business model
In an even more poignant stumble down the boulevard of broken dreams, Psystar is also requesting donations, presumably to help it with that $2.7m settlement it entered into with Apple a month ago, or with their own legal bills.
Conspiracy theorists who continue to believe that there are shadowy deep pockets behind the entire Psystar imbroglio will likely see the donation request as a clever ploy to create a distracting diversion.
Others may regard the request for financial benediction as yet another indication that the Floridians have anointed themselves as noble warriors of justice, deserving of both admiration and alms.
Psystar's website limits contribution amounts to $20, $50, or $100, but we're willing to bet that if you'd like to give more, the company - and its legal team - would be more than willing to accept any offering.
And no, contributions are not tax-deductible. ®
Distinction, What distinction?
The distinction between software purchasing and licensing exists only in the minds of lawyers and software vendors. Real people don't license software, they go to the store (or online) and buy it. And then having got their purchase home, they click "agree" or whatever that stupid little button is labeled in order to use the software they've already paid good money for. But they certainly don't read all that text above the button or have any intention of obeying any silly rules that might be contained therein.
"the critical distinction between software licensing and software purchasing"
>As they explain it: "A publisher cannot forbid you from reading a book in the bathroom or listening to a music disc while riding your bicycle."
>Clearly, the Floridians continue to have a difficult time understanding the critical distinction between software licensing and software purchasing.
Or maybe they're making the point that it's a bogus and unreasonable mechanism used in the restraint of trade and the denial of consumer rights?
It's reasonable for a software publisher to tell me I can only run their OS on one machine at a time unless I buy multiple copies. It's not reasonable for them to tell me what machine I can run it on, or what I may or may not do with that machine while running their OS.
Copyright law provides publishers all the mechanisms they need to prevent the first course of action. They are abusing the concept and practice of rights licensing to impose improper restraints such as the second, and the comparison to a book publisher who claims that they have not actually sold you a book but merely licensed you to read the content within and that they may therefore impose licensing conditions such as forbidding you from reading it on the toilet is entirely accurate, and a perfectly good illustration of what is wrong with the concept.
If you accept that Apple may use licensing constraints to restrict you from freely running a copy of their OS that you have legitimately purchased and paid for in any way that you please, if you accept that they can tell you what hardware you may or may not run it on, then do you not accept that they may also tell you what software you may or may not run on it? Do you not also accept that they may tell you how you may or may not use that software? The rights that publishers attempt to abrogate to themselves through the use of licensing would allow them to tell you you can't write a critical review of their products using a word processor running under their OS; do you accept that?
The sooner EULAs and click-wrap licensing are understood as a massive rights-grab and thoroughly struck out in the courts, the better. Until then, any publisher that attempts to rob us in this fashion *deserves* to have its software pirated; it's legitimate self-defence to steal from someone who is robbing you.
That's just sad that a for-profit company has to ask for donations.
My donations go to the United Way, not some poor joe who has a failed business model and thinks of himself as the people's savior from corporate tyranny.
@ Steven Knox
See the above post from Pablo. He's right. Any sensible person neither knows nor cares about EULA's. As far as I'm concerned I own what I've bought.
Dumb 'R Us?
Even a halfwit can read into the Money Grab and understand the irony.
"Hate Apple? Hate Macs? Then buy our shirt so we can then give your money to Apple so they can make more Macs!"