Apple defeats attack of the clones

Apple has won its copyright infringement claim against Florida Mac clone maker Psystar.

The key argument wasn't OS X's End User Licence Agreement (EULA) or Psystar's failed claims that Apple was running an unfair monopoly, but pure, simple copyright infringement.

Psystar was illegally copying, modifying, and distributing Apple's code. It was found Psystar was making multiple copies of OS X from an imaging station, and that cannot be done without permission, which was never going to be forthcoming from Apple since Psystar's entire enterprise was undertaken without Apple's agreement.

Psystar was arguing that it included a purchased copy of OS X with all of its computers.

But no - it turned out the version of the OS on the Psystar machines was often different than the version on the disc, and several of the machines examined didn't have discs included at all.

Psystar was also found to be circumventing Apple's kernel encryption in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Part of the copyright infringement found against Psystar was ‘creation of derivative works'. In order to boot OS X on what was essentially a ‘hackintosh' (a PC modified to load and run Mac OS X, despite it being licensed to run on Apple machines only), Psystar replaced OS X's bootloader, disabled and removed Apple kernel extensions, and added its own kernel extensions.

That was enough variation from Apple's code to warrant a finding of copyright infringement all on its own, since Psystar was essentially selling a custom version of Apple's copyrighted code. For that, my friends, you need permission. And hell hasn't frozen over quite yet.

Hacking OS X to run on non-Apple hardware is illegal. It's as simple as that, writes Engadget.

Psystar's antitrust and monopoly arguments has already been thrown out. Then Psystar tried to argue that Apple was misusing its copyright on OS X by limiting it to Apple hardware.

It may have been an interesting argument, and the court didn't buy it since Apple was not prohibiting others from independently developing and using their own operating systems.

As Apple doesn't try to prevent OS X owners from buying Windows PCs, for example, it can sell OS X whichever way it chooses.

Psystar, which had already filed for bankruptcy, will have to pay ... we don't know how much, yet.

The company was more than $250,000 (£148,000) in debt when it filed for bankruptcy in May, due to poor sales.

This case only covered Mac OS 10.5x ‘Leopard'; Apple and Psystar are fighting a separate battle over OS 10.6x ‘Snow Leopard' in Florida.

Apple has various other claims pending against Psystar, including breach of contract, trademark infringement and unfair competition. These haven't yet been addressed in a ruling.

None of this seems to have put off an Italian company. A startup computer maker called Engineering Project was intending a series of new computers including a couple that ‘could' run OS X, according to the Italian site Macity. There's a translation here.

Engineering Project lists several possible computers including a 2.93 GHz Core 2 Duo configuration with a 500GB HDD and 2GB of RAM. The highest offering integrates a 2.66GHz Core i7 CPU with a 1TB HDD and 4GB of RAM.

The Evo Store was inactive when this was reported earlier in November, but the company claims it will soon be operational.

Apple has licensed clones before. Received wisdom (OK, ‘wisdom' might be a bit charitable) from the Windows world reads ‘Windows is best coz it's most used. It's most used coz it runs on many different vendors' machines. If Apple wants to be as big as Microsoft, Apple should license its OS.'

This logic is wrong for many reasons: I don't think Apple wants to be as big as Microsoft. Apple likes to develop and build insanely great stuff that enables people, meanwhile emasculating the technocracy.

If Apple wanted to be as big as Microsoft, it wouldn't be charging what it charges, and Apple could easily afford to cut prices.

So it's very hard for me to believe that becoming Microsoft is (or was ever) Apple's intention.

Besides, being ‘as big as Microsoft' means buying into inertia and ennui.

Windows is not ‘best' because it's most used. At all. Just as McDonalds is hardly the best food in the world, despite its popularity.

If OS X ran on any machine, Apple would lose control of the hardware-software integration, which is a huge factor in how good Apple stuff is.

Apple would have to embrace legacy hardware issues well outside its control, and try and support all those grab-bags of components PC users get lumbered with.

The PC wisdom also comes from a narrow-minded view of how the computing world would be. A few misguided people still ask me, ‘Is Apple a hardware or a software company? It should decide!'

To which I reply: ‘It's plain to see, sir - it's both.'

Actually, there were licensed Mac clones once. This was allowed to happen when Steve Jobs was away in the 1990s, and it was cut soon after he came back. But for a while, Power Computing and even a few Daystar clones showed up in New Zealand, and they were, for a while (tis true!) faster and cheaper than Macs. Albeit ugly.

There's a Wikipedia entry about this.

To my eyes, Apple's rights and position seem very clear cut, and I have to wonder why anyone would enter such an enterprise, especially against a company with Apple's wealth and profile.

Is it just desperation to get more affordable computers for the world's best operating system? Or a (potentially very expensive) publicity stunt?

Probably just ill-advised madness, actually.

Source: NZ Herald

i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Ashdown Group: Linux Administrator - London - £50,000

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator ...

    Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Analyst - London - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL Server Reporting Analyst (Busine...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower