back to article Apple victorious: Courts deny hackintosher's final plea

The long-running legal imbroglio between Apple and hackintosh-maker Psystar has – almost – been brought to an end: a federal appeals court has affirmed Apple's 2009 injunction of death that prevents Psystar from selling Mac products from now until eternity. This case has traveled a long and bumpy road, one filled with …

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Paris Hilton

who is bankrolling Psystar?

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Black Helicopters

I have it from good sources that it is the JUICE - an acronym for Joint Undertaking Intent on Cupertino Eradication.

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Next move

Setup outside the US and carry on as before.

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Fanboi article alert

Could you have possibly written that article from a more passionately Apple-fanboi-centric angle? Whether a US Court feels that psystar's case had any merit or not, most /impartial/ readers would probably feel that there's another angle that you could have considered, just for a second or two at least, before writing your scarily one-sided article.

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Happy

reg writers

are not people who operate in the grey area. there's PC fans and there's Apple fans. articles are often biased towards one of them, depending on who wrote the article. Isn't that one of the reasons we come here? writers post stuff like this, with a bias towards their personal preference and we debate it from our own perspective.

It's definitely one of the reasons i love el reg so much. grey areas are dull.

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true...

Although the hardware section does seem to be a bit apple-centric - anything with a fruit logo seems to get an automatic 90+, regardless of the whole 'I could buy a small island for that price' factor ;).

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Vic
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Re: Fanboi article alert

> most /impartial/ readers would probably feel that there's another angle

Most impartial readers /that have followed the case/ would disagree.

I'm very far from being an Apple fan[1], but, having kept up with what has happened in this case, there really was absolutely zero hope for Psystar. They were breaching copyright both in the idea of what they were doing, and also in their implementation. They were dead from day one, and it is just the idiocy of the US Justice system that kept any life in the case at all.

I'm still hoping we'll find out who put them up to it. But somehow, I doubt we will :-(

Vic.

[1] Although I used to be. Until I bought one...

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Anonymous Coward

re: Fanboi article alert

The other side? That Psystar were a bunch of chancers trying to make a quick buck under the guise that they were trying to free consumers from the shackles of Apple?

As the article said, the company was taking the work of someone, who had made it freely available, and attempting it to exploit commercially. Here’s what the creator had to say - http://netkas.org/?p=62 (incidentally, the guy still does sterling work).

There are parallels with the EFI-X module, which plugged into PC motherboards to run OX – see http://www.tomshardware.com/news/asem-efix-mac-chameleon,8617.html - the company there, took the work of the Hackintosh community (they couldn’t be bothered to even come up with their GUI and ripped that off too) and tried making money.

In both of these cases, if the people involved in the companies had produced something from their own efforts, or brokered a deal with those whose work they stole, then I would have sympathy. But they didn’t.

Psystar claimed it had bought copies of OS X for each machine they were selling (let’s overlook the contention that retail copies are supposedly sold as an OS upgrade, rather than the full OS as that’s another issue), but when ask to provide proof, it said it had lost the receipts. Complete chancers, pure and simple.

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Coat

That's a bit harsh Danny

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jai
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Re: true...

" regardless of the whole 'I could buy a small island for that price' factor ;)."

And who's being biased now?

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Unhappy

"Open and Shut" case takes 3.5 years

Oh, to be an American lawyer....

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WTF?

Absolutely brilliant...

If you visit their store or cdn you can view the XAMPP welcome page, and a quick at their phpinfo shows the idiot that's running XAMPP for them on a Windows machine also has the Microsoft Kinect SDK, Tortoise SVN and Bitvise Tunnelier installed. Brilliant.

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Costs are awarded to Apple

Chance of collecting zero.

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Vic
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Re: Costs are awarded to Apple

> Chance of collecting zero

Yes, but it makes a point; this is a relatively unusual ending for a case, and one that shows how silly the judge thought it all was.

So although Apple will not actually get their cash, it might encourage les autres...

Vic.

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terrible court, predictable decision

No one has enforced anti-trust except against enemies since at least Eisenhower, maybe never. Perhaps we should change the law; if it has any excuse for being a law then it applies to Apple. In spades.

And...that Court is the worst Court in the western world. I'd appeal to the Supremes.

Jobs...is anti-Jobs except he was and remains pro-Steve Jobs. lol.

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Anonymous Coward

How does apple get away with it

Do the anti trust rules not to Apple?

IBM had to allow clones of its mainframes and its PC.

Microsoft forced to allow browser choice.

I just don't understand how they get away with it.

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Anonymous Coward

>>"Do the anti trust rules not to Apple?" Yes, and I have no doubt that if and when they breach anti-competitive legislation, they'll be dealt with to the full extent of the law. As this ruling shows, several people far more qualified in matters of law than you have said that Apple are not breaking any laws. Get the fuck over it.

>>"IBM had to allow clones of its mainframes and its PC." IBM's own anti-trust suit was thrown out of court in 1982 for being without merit by the way. Or are you talking about Compaq's clean room reverse engineering of IBM's BIOS? Either way, conflating the two doesn't help.

>>"Microsoft forced to allow browser choice." Microsoft leveraged their market dominance in the OS marketplace to gain dominance in the web browser market. This is illegal.

>>"I just don't understand how they get away with it." It's quite simple really, they don't break the law. This isn't my opinion, this is fact as enshrined by the findings of the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court.

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Vic
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Apple isn't "getting away with it"

> Do the anti trust rules not to Apple?

Of course they do. Which ones do you think they have broken?

> IBM had to allow clones of its mainframes and its PC.

And Apple has to allow clones of its computers. What it does *not* have to do is to give up its copyrights on OSX.

You and I are both perfectly at liberty to make a work-alike of a Mac. But we are *not* permitted just to copy Apple's copyrighted software without a licence. And the only licence available is conditional on using Apple's hardware.

> Microsoft forced to allow browser choice.

Indeed. But they were *not* forced to give away IE to whomever wanted to copy it against their wishes.

Apple permit software choice on their hardware. They do not permit copying of their software except under the conditions of their licence (which means Apple hardware).

> I just don't understand how they get away with it.

Try to find a law they've broken. Your inability to do this will show you why no action is taken against them.

Vic.

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"IBM had to allow clones of its mainframes and its PC."

IBM never attempted to protect the PC, so they didn't "have to" allow clones. They just did. Which is the main reason that PCs outsell Macs. You may say that the main reason is that PCs are cheaper, but PCs are cheaper because of the competition in the PC market. There is no competition in the Mac market because Apple chose to protect their hardware designs.

Just because they chose to do that does not mean that they have a monopoly. Yes they are the only (leginitmate) seller of Mac hardware, but that is not the same as having a monopoly. cf Sony's position in the TV market, Some Sony TVs have technology that is unique to Sony - this doesn't mean Sony have a monopoly. There are other TV manufacturers. Apple do not have a monopoly because there are other computer manufacturers.

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If it was MS doing this....

......would the outcome be different?

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The fact that MS never did this is precisely the reason why their OS is installed on a hundred times as many PCs as Apple's OS.

Of course Pystar doesn't stand a chance, but it's always good to see someone putting a spotlight on Apple's maniacal control-freakery.

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Vic
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Re: If it was MS doing this

> would the outcome be different?

Not much.

Microsoft has to deal with monopoly legislation in addition to what Apple has to deal with, so their actions are a little more limited.

But I don't think that would have come into play in this case.

Vic.

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Stop

Yes, because the Sherman Act would then Apply

Way back in the 90s there was a 'Finding of fact' as part of the MS anti-trust complaint which determined that MS did indeed have a monopoly in the desktop operating system market.

This means that the Sherman Act applies to their actions in that market, where such actions would seek to extend their monopoly. If MS were therefore to start making PC hardware and to refuse to license windows to other OEMs, that would fall squarely into the frame of the Sherman Act - and would be a criminal offence. .

Apple has no monopoly in desktop OS, so the situation does not apply. .

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Anonymous Coward

EULA only legal in the US

Rather like their patents system

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Vic
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Re: EULA only legal in the US

That's not true.

Vic.

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Windows

US EULA only legal in US...

Just like any other vendor, Apple have different EULAs for different territories, each carefully constructed to give the most protection / benefit to Apple while complying with local trading, licensing and contracts legislation.

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WTF?

wtf?

So Apple actually decides what hardware you can install their OS on?

i feel a rant coming on, but i suppose it'll be futile to post it, everyone knows i'm a die-hard apple hater anyway.

this though, makes NO business sense to me whatsoever.

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Devil

MS next move ?

Trusted and signed OS on new hardware, anyone?

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re: wtf?

"So Apple actually decides what hardware you can install their OS on?"..

Well yes. Because they design the hardware and write the software. If you don't like it, you are free to not use OS X.

Quite simple really.

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It makes perfect business sense when you realize that Apple doesn't make profits on OS sales, they make profits on hardware sales. This is pretty extreme in the case of Lion which costs about $30, and that's for a full installation, not an upgrade - and not even a single machine installation - you can use it on multiple machines in a residential household. It's not even just a desktop edition, it comes with the full server edition. For $30.

So the difference is that MS lets you license windows for anything, but the licenses are extremely limited - generally locking to a single motherboard - whereas Apple restricts the category of devices that OS-X can be placed on, but gives an extremely broad license so that Apple users have fewer license headaches to worry about.

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FAIL

"this though, makes NO business sense to me whatsoever"

Any yet Apple just became the worlds most valuable company. They must be doing something right in business then.

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Only possible outcome

Effectively what Psystar were doing was buying an upgrade liicense for some software, removing the copy protection, and reselling it as the full product. When you buy a retail copy of Mac OS X it is by definition an upgrade license because it requires an existing Mac to run it on, and that's the only way to get hold of a "full" license.

More interesting would have been if Psystar purchased and gave away a Mac with their offering, rather than just including the retail upgrade discs. They could then have argued they were just letting you run software you already had rights to on different hardware, but they didn't do that.

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Still kicking?

I'm impressed, go Psystar!!!!

Mind, you probably can put together a Hackintosh for less than 200 quid nowaday.

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I think you will also find costs are court costs. Lawyer costs are separate.

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I don't know about the US, but here in the UK if a court awards costs in your favour then that means your opponent has to pay all your legal costs in the case. Otherwise what's the point? If that wasn't the case nobody would enter into any litigation against a richer oponent.

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Anonymous Coward

Psystar's Argument was that Apple were trying to copyright their hardware. The court ruled that "Apple’s SLA does not restrict competitor’s ability to develop their own software, nor does it preclude customers from using non-Apple components with Apple computers. Instead, Apple’s SLA merely restricts the use of Apple’s own software to its own hardware. As the district court properly concluded, Apple’s SLA has “not prohibited others from independently developing and using their own operating systems.” Apple I, 673 F. Supp. 2d at 939. Psystar produces its own computer hardware and it is free to develop its own computer software." It's all there in the ruling; http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2011/09/28/10-15113.pdf

This isn't about anti-trust, it's about copyright infringment and now amount of strawman logic is going to change the fact that Apple are opperating within the confines of the law.

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Why didn't they just fit their kit..

.. into old G3, G4, etc cases?

Then they would have been upgrades.

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Anonymous Coward

Psystar took the wrong tack.

They were naughty boys but we loved them anyway.

I built a hackintosh but even though it was completely successful it felt like an empty victory. Yes, OSX is an ok *nix os with a decent gui, but it's the whole package that makes the thing attractive. I have a old silver imac and it's the nice screen, webcam, good speakers and keyboard (not the mouse, that's rubbish), the silent operation and the pretty apps that make a mac, not just the OS. It isn't just the control of the platform that makes a mac "good", it is also apple's ability to ensure that the whole package is of a reasonable quality. My PC with it's vastly superior computing and graphics-card spec, is nowhere near as pleasant to use. Buzzing fans, poor quality sound detracts, speakers on a messy wire detracts, a poor(er) screen detracts, no webcam or a plastic lump with a wire detracts.

Yes it was vastly cheaper than a mac pro and had the power to play games (my main reason for using it over the graphically poorly endowed imac) but if I want that power for games, I'll just boot windows on my hackintosh instead.

Get a low-spec mac with a big display instead of a high-spec imac/mac pro and put the spare money into a separate pc for 3d "work".

Of course I have linux on the pc too - that gives me a proper gui, *nix os and so on but it still has an uglier screen, no built-in webcam and crummy speakers. I skimped and I regret it.

A note to all upper-mid-range monitor manufacturers: include some decent sound and a webcam. We aren't looking for pro-photography or movie-making quality, we just want skype to work without having to stick a carbuncle on top of the screen and we want music to sound nice without the need for a stack of audio equipment on the desk too. Why do you feel the need to remove features on better-quality displays? If it isn't good enough for our purposes then we'll use something else.

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Gimp

We never speak of the mouse.

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Compare retail cost of

a) OS X vs Windows 7

b) Mac compared with similar PC

Apple make their money from the overpriced HW.

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FAIL

"Apple make their money from the overpriced HW."

That's weird. Whenever I buy a new computer, I generally find Apple's kit is pretty good value for money.

That value for money argument does tend to fade as each generation reaches the end of its cycle, but each refresh resets that argument.

Right now, there is _nothing_ that compares—like for like—with the current Macbook Air. Show me an equivalent Acer, Asus, Lenovo or Dell that includes the same specs. (And I mean _exactly_ the same specs. You don't get to pick a cheaper, lower-res display, or miss out the Thunderbolt port.)

Even my iPhone 4 was _cheaper_, SIM-free, than its Android-based rivals when I bought it! (Note: I live in Italy, where operators don't tend to SIM-lock phones, or subsidise them anywhere near as much as they do in the UK or US.)

For those wondering why Apple don't get hammered by anti-trust regulations:

1. Microsoft are primarily a *software* developer. They don't make PCs, but sell a specific _component_ for PC makers to install: Windows.

2. Apple is a *hardware* manufacturer. They DO make PCs, but they ALSO build their *own* OS to run on them. However, they make their profits from their hardware, not their software.

An operating system is a required component of any modern computer. There is no shortage of operating systems to choose from. You can choose Windows, *BSD, or any of the umpteen GNU/Linux-based distributions. There clearly IS competition in this field, so anti-trust issues do not apply.

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"That's weird. Whenever I buy a new computer, I generally find Apple's kit is pretty good value for money."

Wow. Really. Look at the cost of a part for a Mac from Apple against a startlingly similar part for a PC from your friendly online retailer. The Apple bit will always be more expensive. In order to be better value for money than the other part the Apple bit would have to be significantly better at doing its job than the other bit.

And no I don't accept that not invalidating the warranty adds value. Those warranties are seldom worth much anyway and that sort of shit is illegal in the EU AFAIK.

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jai
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Examples please

The whole "macs are overpriced" argument is always rolled out with vague statements.

"go compare the prices between a mac and pc"

"look at the cost of a part"

But never any actual examples. Are you talking about replacement power supplies or batteries? or screen/mouse/cpu box?

Because, if you can't back up your vague assertions then stop wasting everyone's time

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Anonymous Coward

Or why don't you provide examples where Apple parts are better value than PC parts.

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Trollface

I don't know what all the fuss is about; OSX is nothing more than a fancy jumped up Unix GUI anyway...

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

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"Apple-labeled computers"

True, the OS X EULA does say this. But happily they would give you a couple of shiny stickers with your retail OS X, so you could label your own.

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Joke

Or you could just buy an apple at the greengrocer and use the sticker they usually put on those.

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FAIL

Protect the fanbois

If the Mac hardware was so good, Apple would have no problem with selling their software. The fanbois could still choose to pay 2 or 3 times as much for what they think is "good value" Apple Hardware, whilst others could make do with much more reasonably priced hardware (with Apple still getting cash for the licenses).

But the fanbois don't want this. They like to buy overpriced stuff - look how shiny it is!

They like being told what they can and can't do by Steve Jobs.

If they can get a cheaper machine built by someone else running OSX then they have to justify buying Apple on the hardware alone. Try running that past your boss!

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I will admit that the Apple hardware is well made. The Apple kit I have worked with has always been significantly better built than the other stuff - even big brand names. Although the performance of the hardware was never significantly better or worse.

That, however, is not unusual. A Honda will always be better built than a Kia even if it isn't necessarilly faster.

Where PC's and Macs really differ is that Windows has to work with every bit of hardware out there (Linex et al tend to have a much shorter HCL than MS). Apple get to design the hardware and the OS to work well together (except when occasionally they don't). And that is fine and dandy by me. Microsoft will always have a bigger market share in the OS market than Apple because Apple will only sell their OS to Apple hardware customers wheras MS will sell to anybody with a PC. You sells your product and takes your choice. All fine and dandy by me.

Where I do have a problem with Apple is that they don't effectively support pre Intel customers any more. So they consider anybody who bought their Mac more than six years ago not to be a true Apple customer any more. You want OS updates from us? Buy a new Mac! Nice.

In that respect I can see why an existing and previously loyal Apple customer might feel justified in building a hackintosh in order to get the latest release of OS-X rather than having to give Apple a small fortune for what is, when it comes right down to it, a PC. A very nicely built one with a few proprietary bits in it, but still pretty much a PC.

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