back to article Apple ups the ante in Psystar battle

Apple has filed to dismiss with prejudice clone-maker Psystar's monopoly complaints. The two have been trading legal blows since July when Apple accused the company of infringing on its trademarks and copyrights. Hackintosh vendor Psystar offers machines capable of running OS X from as little as $555. Psystar responded in …

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  1. Snail
    Jobs Horns

    No wonder Apple are scared

    Apple can argue all they like that they like that they compete with PCs, but if you want a computer to run the Apple operating system, your pretty much stuck with Apple.

    I think this case could be good for consumers. Apple are very good at what the do, but they always severly overcharge for their hardware.

  2. Alexis Vallance
    Flame

    How?

    How can you monopolise a sector of the market you created? Does this mean averything that has a patent is monopolising the market as well?

    Psystar are screwed, and rightly so.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    I'm afraid ...

    ... I'd have to agree with Apple on this one. Does Mercedes create a monopoly by refusing to sell their engines to other carmakers? No - they have a right to put them exclusively in their own brand of cars.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Its a monopoly

    Mac's are in competition with PC's for peoples cash, which means there is an OSX vs Windows thing going on. PC's have many vendors competing against each other for the PC market which keeps the competition there going, Mac's have no competition in the Mac market which means there is zero competition there. Jobs can continue to rip off idiots who buy Mac's and compete against the PC market (Mac laptops are what, 25% of the market share now?).

    It would be pretty much like Microsoft launching a PC and then introducing a licence for Windows that says "This software may only be installed on Windows branded hardware", in fact they *could* do this, because it is what Apple does, except wouldn't that create a monopoly for Microsoft with their product? Yes it would, which is why Apple have an unfair advantage over PC makers, they can set their prices to whatever they want them to be, and people are *forced* to buy their products if they want OSX. They also do not have to keep their prices down to compete with other sellers of OSX products, because there are none.

    Maybe now that Apple are getting a very healthy market share, the EU will look into the monopoly that Apple has.

  5. Jared Earle
    Alert

    Apple are right

    Try it like this: "Canon Firmware should run on Nikons! It's so unfair!"

    It's not a monopoly, get over it.

  6. Lotaresco

    Mercedes

    "Does Mercedes create a monopoly by refusing to sell their engines to other carmakers?"

    Not a good example to choose, Mercedes doesn't refuse to sell their engines to other car makers. For example Daewoo and SSang Yong use Mercedes petrol and diesel engines in their cars. BMW also licence others to use their engines.

  7. Mark
    Jobs Horns

    re: How?

    You do it like you do with any abusive monopoly: you ban competitors into the market.

    Duh.

    PS Starter for 10: What is copyright?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: "Its a monopoly"

    There's a fundamental difference between Microsoft and Apple that you've missed. Apple are providing, as their "product" a full suite - whereas Microsoft are only offering the OS.

    Nokia provide phone & OS. Sky provides your Set Top Box & OS - Virgin too.

    Now, none of those are "monopolies" because you can go elsewhere. Don't want a Nokia phone - fine, by a Motorola. Don't want a Sky STB, fine go with Virgin (or one of many 3rd party solutions).

    There is no case here - regardless of whether you think what is happening is "right" or wrong.

  9. Ashley Stevens

    Mercedes analogy

    >... I'd have to agree with Apple on this one. Does Mercedes create a monopoly

    > by refusing to sell their engines to other carmakers?

    That analogy is not quite right. It's actually like Mercedes refusing to sell replacement engines to people who don't own a Mercedes. Pystar is not selling OS X, it's selling PCs. The user must also buy an OS X license from Apple.

  10. Ed

    But...

    Why shouldn't a vendor decide what hardware it's software runs on? Many devices come with firmware that can only run on that device (mobile phones, MP3 players, ovens etc...) I can't see why Apple should _have_ to sell their software for other computers, when their software is just designed for their computers. That's like insisting Sony Ericsson sell their OS to run on any phone...

  11. Mark
    Go

    I like turtles

    "There's a fundamental difference between Microsoft and Apple that you've missed. Apple are providing, as their "product" a full suite - whereas Microsoft are only offering the OS."

    Microsoft aren't allowed to include other stuff because of anti-trust stuff, so how does that work?

  12. Rob Crawford
    Stop

    See the apple fans run to the pumps

    What would happen if MS doctored windoze so it refused to run on Apple branded hardware.

    It would result in the cry of unfair business practices by the very people defending Apple in these comments.

    Apple Macs are standard PCs with a deliberately hobbled OS (oh sorry the slightly fancy case and apple badge makes all the difference dosn't it).

    The Apple OS is written to run on standard Intel machines, previously they could have claimed it was written specifically for their own hardware (back in the Mororola days but not now.)

    Making the comparason with properiaty hardware such as phones, microwave ovens or even mobile phones (though the phone market is changing) is just very very silly. As for printers I'm old enough to remember when almost every laser printer was based on the old BX engine and the only difference between printers was the RIP used to rasterise the page.

    They use OSX to force people to buy over priced (and usually underspecced PCs)

    Plese stop being silly

  13. Lozzyho
    Jobs Horns

    Of course Apple are a monopoly

    Even Wozniak said "there are two monopolies: Microsoft and Apple"

    Jobs is the one who tore up the clone agreements, buying off or bankrupting the clone vendors in the process. They realised the vendors were doing a better job of making Macs than Apple.

    It's about time people woke up and realised that Apple is EVEN MORE anti-competitive than Microsoft. They just get away with it by being "trendy" and loved by the sycophantic media.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Interesting thought

    If Apple does win this, then does this open the way for Microsoft to design a set of hardware devices it manufactures and sells directly? That they will be the only one's allowed to run their OS through their hardware, because their EULA says so?

    The impact on the PC manufacturing world would be quite astonishing, but a ruling in favour of Apple could set the necessary precedent for Microsoft.

    I am not on anyone's side here, but IF Microsoft had complete control of the hardware development and driver lifecycle this would reduce their stability issues hugely.

    Apple should be a little careful about what they are wishing for.

  15. Pat Dougan
    Unhappy

    @ Ed

    Apple offer for sale a software licence to any member of the public that wishes to purchase one. They don't "have" to offer it for sale, but choose to do so.

    In the same way (to borrow an anology) I can fit a Mercedes engine to any car I so choose to (with me carrying out the neccecary modifications), I *should* be able to use the software I buy on any device I can homebrew to run it. It's not for Apple corp to decide what I may or may not do, or to suppress other manufacturers.

    The flaw in your arguments are thus : Sony Ericsson do not offer for sale their software separate from their hardware. To install the software on another machine you would have to do so with an unlicenced copy you took from another machine meaning two machines = one licence.

    SE software runs on custom designed, closed architecture (generally) to "clone" this would be in violation of SE's intelectual property. Apple computers however run on a bog standard, vanilla intel platform - Meaning that their software can run on other hardware. If Psystar can create a hardware platform that runs OSX, why shouldn't they? After all, apple will sell you licence. Psystar can buy the hardware with no (apparent) IP infringement.

    TBH, and I say this as a Mac user of long standing, I find Apple's position both disappointing and hypocritical.

    Next they'll be closing down iTunes to teach those pesky artists a lesson.

  16. Brian

    Microsoft only on Dell?

    Applying (perhaps misapplying certain logic), what would be the reaction from consumers (and others) were Microsoft to license the upcoming version of Windows to Dell alone? Forgetting for a moment the effects on their revenue and looking strictly at the chaos that would occur from existing users, things are a little more muddled. What would the businesses do that have millions (or even billions) invested in Window-centric networks?

  17. Gulfie
    Thumb Up

    Apple do not have a monopoly

    To decide if Apple are operating in a monopolistic fashion you have to determine the scope of the market they operate in. If your perspective is only OSX then you can state a belief, rightly or wrongly, that a monopoly exists. If you take the wider view and say that the marketplace is 'Operating Systems' then I can see three reasons why the current arrangements for OSX would not be ruled as monopolistic.

    1. There are other operating systems available to prospective purchasers. Windows (XP, just about and Vista) and Ubuntu to name two.

    Apple doesn't HAVE to extend its portfolio to every hardware platform in the world JUST because somebody wants it. I have software on my Windows PC that I can't get for my Mac, the people who wrote that software are not OBLIGED to provide a Mac version, they have simply made a commercial decision not to do so.

    2. OSX is not in a dominant position in that marketplace.

    If it were, then the situation would indeed be different. I would suggest that OSX would need to gain at least 25% penetration into a geographical region (the EU, for example) before that region could consider legislation to force Apple to support other hardware.

    3. There are plenty of other computer manufacturers out there who provide operating systems only for their own hardware.

    I don't hear people crying out for HP-UX or VMS on their machines. If you like OSX then you need to buy a Mac or create your own Hackintosh. Apple's stance is not fundamentally distorting the marketplace.

    The problem Psystar has got is that it is trying to make money on the back of Apple. It is not licenced to install OSX on non-Apple hardware and there is no reason why Apple should be forced to allow it. Psystar can sell computers with other, alternative operating systems installed and these computers will still be able to do all the normal things that people want - surf the net, send email, listen to music, play games... OSX is, at the end of the day, just another operating system with its own licencing terms. It doesn't do anything that can't be done with Windows or Linux, and can't be viewed as monopolistic.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Monopoly

    Personally I am thinking of suing Paris. She clearly has a monopoly on being Paris Hilton, and thus I think she should be required to sleep with me, and not withhold her favours simply because I'm a spotty faced nerd.

    Trying to come up with some asinine logic to call Apple a monopoly does not make it true either.

  19. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Coat

    @Ed

    "Why shouldn't a vendor decide what hardware it's software runs on? " - the answer is simple : support costs.

    Nevertheless, when Apple moved to Intel and, in principle, to commodity PCs, they at the same time abaddoned the market they claim to have created ("Macintosh") which renders the claim invalid.

    It about allowing legal access for other PC makers to the operating system Apple have created; or giving up some of its hardware sales in exchange for software sales.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Re: These analogies

    With all these analogies, you're not quite right here saying that Apple are right. Essentially a Windows/Linux based PC is no different from a PC that runs MacOS. They use the same core components which run no differently - apart from the BIOS/BDOS issue.

    I can very VERY easily go out and buy the components of a PC and run Windows on it. Windows, provided my license is legitimate, it will run with no qualms on any hardware I choose - which I can freely obtain from a multitude of hardware component resellers, or any pre-built computer from those like Dell, HP, Sony, and so forth.

    However, I cannot have that liberty with a Macintosh. I have no choice whatsoever, or freedom. They set the prices for the hardware and software. If I tried such an unthinkable act to build my own set up, the OS X system will initiate a kernal panic and render my computer as useful as a coaster. Even still, I'd be breaking the law, despite the fact that being identical in set up to what Apple provide, and even using far superior components, simply because it has no apple logo stuck on its face, it is wholly unacceptable. That is deemed fine and legitimate? That is tying the user to the hardware and software, and forcing them to only interact with the seller - Apple, after the sale. I'm surprised the French have not realised this issue yet... maybe someone should drop them a line as the act of tying is illegal there - hence why you have unlocked french iphones.

    Now, Microsoft could deem Windows as part of a full package and sell the hardware themselves, you'd think - but no they can't because it would annihilate Dell, HP, Toshiba, Sony and countless others. Even for including their own media player, they were ripped in half - note the anti-trust/anti-competive/monopolistic dealings and fines by the EU. Apple, again do this - you automatically get QuickTime with i-Tunes, and both when you get a new Mac.

    They have no lawsuits against them, but as they're growing expect to see them crop up. They're involved in bad business practice and their users are blind to it and supporting it.

    Psystar need a good lawyer to hold their ground, but I for one give them my support.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Addition to previous:

    Anti-Trust/Refusal to Deal

    "Banning abusive behaviour by a firm dominating a market, or anti-competitive practices that tend to lead to such a dominant position. Practices controlled in this way may include predatory pricing, tying, price gouging, refusal to deal, and many others."

    That kinda sums up this case against Apple.

  22. Mark
    Jobs Horns

    Re: Re: "Its a monopoly"

    Uh, why are they selling OS X separately then?

    Also, as an entire "thing", then merchantability laws mean that many sections of the EULA are illegal and that there is a warranty on getting the software TO WORK AS ADVERTISED (i.e. bug fixes must be made available or a refund given at any time a bug is found and not fixed).

    Though that may be why Apple sell OS X separately...

  23. Gulfie
    Thumb Down

    @Re: These analogies

    You're still missing a critical point. Microsoft licences their operating system differently to Apple. There is no legal requirement for Apple to licence non-Apple hardware, and their current stance does not distort the marketplace. Psystar chose to flog kit with OSX on because they can't compete with other Windows box shifters. They aren't licenced to do so. End of story.

    If Apple grows to anything close to the size of Microsoft then I'm sure this will change, but right now they just don't have anything approaching market dominance in the general business of selling PCs.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ How?

    > Does this mean averything that has a patent is monopolising the market as well?

    Well, to quote a book on US patent law: (And probably paraphrase US law itself...)

    "A patent is a contract between an inventor and the U.S. government which the government grants the inventor a limited monopoly"

  25. Gulfie
    Thumb Down

    @AC "Addition to previous" and @Mark

    AC, I think you've missed a few points here...

    "a firm dominating a market" - Apple does not dominate the PC operating system market, or the PC hardware market.

    "anti-competitive practices that tend to lead to such a dominant position" - Last time I checked, Apple are not manouvering to get into a dominant position and I'd never expect the US Government to let the,. They occupy a niche. If they ever move out into a more dominant position then yes, I'd expect to see successful actions to force them to open up.

    "predatory pricing" - hardly. I could have had a Windows PC for about £750 less than I paid for my MacBook Pro.

    Mark - "why are they selling OS X separately" - So that I can upgrade my Mac, of course.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Do what I do...

    Do what I do - don't buy Apple products. Ever. Avoid them like the plague. Laugh at the morons willing to pay a 25% premium (at least) for the priveledge of using Apple products. iTunes is for scum.

    anti-Jesus Phones are for crack addicts.

    -or-

    Pray for our savior Bill to come to Psystar's rescue. (Philanthropy is just a cover for his preparations for the final battle with the anti-Christ (Steve Jobs)). Psystar doesn't stand a chance of surviving the evil without help from the devine.

  27. Mark

    @Gulfe

    "Mark - "why are they selling OS X separately" - So that I can upgrade my Mac, of course."

    Which contradicts AC's message:

    "There's a fundamental difference between Microsoft and Apple that you've missed. Apple are providing, as their "product" a full suite - whereas Microsoft are only offering the OS."

    Hence the response.

    Don't le the sun shining from Jobs' arse blind you. Apple are in the wrong here.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Gulfie

    Difference in this case is that Microsoft do not license Dell et al the right to build the computers that run Windows. Linux do not licence the hardware vendors to run Linux on that said harware. Sun don't do it, no one apart from Apple are involved in that practice..

    Apple can't be forced to allow hardware vendors to build the machines that can run OS X, that is true. However, it doesn't make it good business conduct or legal. They are blatantly tying the consumer and eliminating competitors. Who builds Windows/Linux-compatible PC's? Thousands upon thousands of companies do. Who builds OS X-compatible PC's? Apple.

    So, who would you go to if your hardware required upgrading, or your system failed, Apple.

    In relation to phones, correct me of I am wrong, I do not think there is any restrictions preventing you from running an alternate operating system on the hardware. Whether the alternate system will function correctly is another issue entirely. Thing is though, when you look at OS X, there is nothing whatsoever apart from a minor alteration to the BIOS preventing it from running fine on a ready built Dell.

    And in regards to support, and the financial woes, I think that if I have problems with my computer, should it have been purchased from Dell, I would contact Dell, not Apple. The argument that Apple are ok to do this is futile, immoral and nonsensical.

  29. Mark
    Jobs Horns

    Two words: Boot. Camp.

    "Essentially a Windows/Linux based PC is no different from a PC that runs MacOS. "

    Are Apple aiding and abetting piracy with that???

  30. Mark
    Jobs Horns

    re: @Re: These analogies

    "There is no legal requirement for Apple to licence non-Apple hardware, and their current stance does not distort the marketplace."

    And there's no legal requirement for someone to USE their software on Non-Apple hardware. Copyright has nothing to say on USE, only on those rights solely the remit of the author.

  31. David Mantripp
    Flame

    Sorry, is this The Sun letters page?

    blimey. People who decide it's worth paying a small (when you add it all up) premium to buy an attractive computer that in general "just works", are now "scum". Are people who buy anything other than a basic model Tata car also "scum", now ? Makes me wonder what Nazis, child molestors and and such like are now... clearly, "scum" has been devalued.

  32. McObvious

    Not a monopoly

    As others have stated.

    As far as I'm aware, Apple don't specifically market their OS separately from their hardware. The TV ads all talk about 'Mac', and the OS is called Mac OS X. All the implication is that you buy the hardware and it happens to come with OS X... As others have stated, much like you buy a Nokia Mobile phone and it happens to come with a Nokia firmware/OS

    I think the car analogy is ok (though not brilliant), as Mercedes have chosen to sell their car engines to other manufacturers who have asked to buy it. Mercedes would be within their rights to refuse, but in that case I assume they have decided that it's in their business interests to sell the engines to third parties. Apple have decided the other way, which they're perfectly entitled to do.

  33. Steven Hunter
    Boffin

    @Alexis Vallance

    "Does this mean averything that has a patent is monopolising the market as well?"

    Uh yeah, DUH. That's the entire damn point of patents! It gives you a limited time monopoly on your invention to reward you for your ingenuity.

  34. Law
    Jobs Horns

    EASY ANSWER

    Just get M$ to update their license agreement to say that all current, previous and future Windows versions are not legally allowed to run on Mac hardware. How long before Apple cries fowl and mac sales go down (don't kid yourself, most people I know who own Mac's have at least one copy of Windows on their machine, either for work or gaming!!).

    I'm sorry, but to me it looks like they are trying to have their cake and eat it... to compete with a PC market, claiming people can in theory have the best of both worlds by switching to mac's that can now run windows if you need it. They then take advantage of the PC world by using pc based components (mainly because their ppc chips couldn't keep up with the speed and price of improvements to pc hardware). Then they lock their own software to their own branded hardware using the license agreement when there is no physical reason for it other than they don't get the full price of a full system, just the OS cost. Seem's very hypocritical when they are happy to push the advantage of using windows on macs, and use the reduction in hardware costs and improvements in speed thanks to the openness and widespread use of M$ products on multiple products, driving PC sales for decades.

    If apple software is FAR superior to Windows software, then they should prove it, and see how they cope trying to support all the different applications M$ have to cater for.

    Btw - this comes from a proud-ish Macbook Pro owner, who prefers to run XP for work within VMWare Fusion, so I can use OSX as my main operating system... so I do like OSX more than XP, I just hate Apple hypocrisy.

  35. Gulfie
    Flame

    Not legal?

    "Apple can't be forced to allow hardware vendors to build the machines that can run OS X, that is true. However, it doesn't make it good business conduct or legal" - If it is so clearly illegal, why has no action been taken to date?

    "blatantly tying the consumer and eliminating competitors" - Nobody forces a consumer to buy a Mac - and if Apple hadn't written an OS for their own hardware and done such a good job of it, nobody would be trying to piggy-back off of their success either. In fact nobody was really interested in this at all until Apple moved to Intel hardware. Why should a move to Intel mean that they are now operating a monopoly? Nonsense!

    Apple's practice is perfectly legal and above board. And I'm not 'blinded' by Mr Steve. As I've said in other Apple-related posts, I regard them no more highly than I do Microsoft, they are just much, much smaller and can therefore get away with things that Mr Bill cannot. That doesn't mean they aren't operating legally, though.

    "In relation to phones, correct me of I am wrong, I do not think there is any restrictions preventing you from running an alternate operating system on the hardware" - Well yes, actually, most phones don't even give you the ability to replace the firmware or remove the network's "skin". Show me an alternate OS for my RAZR V3...

    "If apple software is FAR superior to Windows software, then they should prove it, and see how they cope trying to support all the different applications M$ have to cater for." - but this is the very reason that Macs have a better reputation. A very small and tightly controlled pool of hardware means that it is far easier to guarantee the stability and performance of the OS, and in turn the applications that run on top of it. My Mac has nevber crashed in nearly a year of full-time use. Yes, applications occasionally stop, but less frequently than their equivalent Windows counterparts.

    I work in IT and run Windows at home and at work, have done ever since it became an option on top of DOS, and I've also used Linux and Unix desktop machines, and now I use the Mac full-time when I'm not required to work on a Windows platform. There are very few people who will abuse me to my face about owning a Mac, but very many say they'd like to be able to afford one. I got one because I could, finally, afford one, and I don't regret it.

    Psystar offered people the chance to get a Mac on the cheap, rightly or wrongly, and most of the vitriol I see here is from people who think this should be allowed, either because they see Apple as elitist or because they want a Mac on the cheap. Unfortunately nothing I have read here convinces me that there is any legal reason that Apple should sabotage their own business model when they are clearly not operating a monopoly.

    If I want a Ferrari I have to go to a Ferrari dealer, I can't expect to go to my locak Kia showroom and get a Kia body with Ferrari internals....

  36. Gulfie
    Happy

    And finally...

    I'd actually quite like to see an unbundled retail OS X licence for AN Other's hardware at a realistic (i.e. £150 a machine) price. I'd buy several copies immediately and move all my family from Windows to OSX. I think it is a trick that Apple has missed...

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @Gulfie

    "Apple can't be forced to allow hardware vendors to build the machines that can run OS X, that is true. However, it doesn't make it good business conduct or legal" - If it is so clearly illegal, why has no action been taken to date?

    Who knows why they don't, they did with the iPhone. I'm quite sure it's a matter of time and well - Psystar have brought it to our attention.

    --------------

    - "blatantly tying the consumer and eliminating competitors" - Nobody forces a consumer to buy a Mac - and if Apple hadn't written an OS for their own hardware and done such a good job of it, nobody would be trying to piggy-back off of their success either. In fact nobody was really interested in this at all until Apple moved to Intel hardware. Why should a move to Intel mean that they are now operating a monopoly? Nonsense!

    They force you to buy a Mac if you want to use OS X irrelevant of the fact that the hardware is identical to other PCs. And saying that you seem to follow the crowd that believe that apple have "their own" hardware. They DO NOT make hardware. Nothing whatsoever inside your Mac has an apple-label on it. And, that said, going by recent reports, their OS is far from secure either and that's not the only place that is lacking.

    --------------

    - Apple's practice is perfectly legal and above board. And I'm not 'blinded' by Mr Steve. As I've said in other Apple-related posts, I regard them no more highly than I do Microsoft, they are just much, much smaller and can therefore get away with things that Mr Bill cannot. That doesn't mean they aren't operating legally, though.

    When you look at their practices they are.

    --------------

    - "In relation to phones, correct me of I am wrong, I do not think there is any restrictions preventing you from running an alternate operating system on the hardware" - Well yes, actually, most phones don't even give you the ability to replace the firmware or remove the network's "skin". Show me an alternate OS for my RAZR V3...

    There's nothing stopping you from building your own, is there? Or modifying an existing one and putting it on there.

    --------------

    - "If apple software is FAR superior to Windows software, then they should prove it, and see how they cope trying to support all the different applications M$ have to cater for." - but this is the very reason that Macs have a better reputation. A very small and tightly controlled pool of hardware means that it is far easier to guarantee the stability and performance of the OS, and in turn the applications that run on top of it. My Mac has nevber crashed in nearly a year of full-time use. Yes, applications occasionally stop, but less frequently than their equivalent Windows counterparts.

    My PC has never crashed, nor have I suffered from unresponsive applications, driver problems or hardware/compatibility issues. Fact.

    --------------

    - I work in IT and run Windows at home and at work, have done ever since it became an option on top of DOS, and I've also used Linux and Unix desktop machines, and now I use the Mac full-time when I'm not required to work on a Windows platform. There are very few people who will abuse me to my face about owning a Mac, but very many say they'd like to be able to afford one. I got one because I could, finally, afford one, and I don't regret it.

    No one would abuse anyone about owning a Mac, it's quite the opposite. Mac's are not the elite product or the creme-de-la-creme. I'd recommend you pay a visit to Armari.co.uk.

    --------------

    - Psystar offered people the chance to get a Mac on the cheap, rightly or wrongly, and most of the vitriol I see here is from people who think this should be allowed, either because they see Apple as elitist or because they want a Mac on the cheap. Unfortunately nothing I have read here convinces me that there is any legal reason that Apple should sabotage their own business model when they are clearly not operating a monopoly.

    You fail here my friend, people do not want a Mac on the cheap. They want value for money and aside from that, they want to use OS X. I find it funny too that you think Apple would be sabotaging their business model by permitting the introduction of competitors into the OS X market.

    --------------

    - If I want a Ferrari I have to go to a Ferrari dealer, I can't expect to go to my local Kia showroom and get a Kia body with Ferrari internals....

    That made me laugh. It's quite the opposite. You're buying a Toyota MR2 kitted up like a ferrari with ferrari stickers all over it. PC's are just the MR2.

  38. Mark
    Jobs Halo

    Yes. Not legal.

    Other reasons why the apple mac isn't "a single unit".

    Can you only buy and use Apple Mice with your mac?

    Can you buy and use only Apple branded graphics?

    Monitors?

    Keyboards?

    No.

    And copyright (the ONLY thing that gives an EULA force) has nothing to say on installing software you bought.

    Now, ***support*** of this non-Apple branded hardware is not Apple's business. Just like if you take your Ferarri down to the local whiz garage mechanic and get the timings tuned for you. Ferrari do not say you can't do that with ANY mechanic. They CAN say that the three year warranty doesn't apply to an engine tuned by a non-certified engineer.

    Yes, you are blinded by Job's shining butthole.

  39. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re:Sorry, is this The Sun letters page?

    Well, if it is, why not just buy the branded Mac and ignore the non-branded machine?

    If someone doesn't think it is worth it, then they (rather than NOT be an Apple Mac customer) may buy

    a) Apple software

    b) non-Apple hardware

    You aren't FORBIDDEN to buy branded hardware just because there's non-branded PC's able to run OS X, you know. It's still available.

    So what's your beef?

  40. Mark
    Jobs Horns

    @McObvious

    So? You don't see Linux on telly advertised as even being AVAILABLE.

    They sell their OS in retail.

    They don't forbid non-apple branded hardware with their OS or with their own branded hardware.

    That they don't advertise "you can use the Phillips TouCam on your Mac OS X" doesn't mean they have banned you from it.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    apple are price gouging

    I'm afraid the whole case against psystar hinges on Apples rather dubious EULA clause dictating that OSX is only licenced to run on apple branded hardware.

    Note very closely that they have had to use the term "branded". This is simply because when you open the case, it's not apple hardware. Intel processor, intel motherboard nvidia graphics card, cheap kingston ram, crappy atheros wireless cards...

    All for a vastly over inflated price tag.

    Apple got away with squeazing the other hardware manufacturers (who did a superior job for better value) out of the market because at the time it was their own proprietry hardware licenced to those manufacturers by apple. For the very same reason, they were able to dictate their own pricing model.

    Unfortunately, Apple have now switched to an open source hardware market, but have failed to update their business practices appropriately. Although the Apple vs. Franklin case established software copyrights, those copyrights are not being infringed. The software itself is being sold unmodified directly to the end user for its intended purpose. In that respect, Psystar are merely acting as a software channel.

    Crucially though, apple has no recourse on the hardware front either. To start with, it's not actually Apples hardware, and the IBM compatibles pressident established in 1982 clearly defines a company's rights to make compatible hardware, so long as the bios is reverse engineered without direct copying of any code.

    This leaves Apple standing simply on their EULA clause stating that their software can only be used on IBM compatibles that bare their logo on the box. If we are talking anti-trust, then with the right lawyer, this could very easily become a turkey shoot.

    OSX is a decent enough product. Apples hardware leaves a lot to be desired, especially when you start to look at the price/performance. It's because of this hardware golden goose that that Jobs' lawyers have kicked off, but I fear they may have just shot themselves in the foot by bringing this matter into the spotlight.

  42. Law
    Linux

    RE: Not Legal?

    "A very small and tightly controlled pool of hardware means that it is far easier to guarantee the stability and performance of the OS, and in turn the applications that run on top of it. My Mac has nevber crashed in nearly a year of full-time use. Yes, applications occasionally stop, but less frequently than their equivalent Windows counterparts."

    That may be true for most, but it's not been my experience. I've found OSX to be a very nice operating system, and the fact it's tied closely to the operating does make the OS nicer to use (auto-dim/brightness for keyboard/monitor etc etc).... but I wouldn't say it's more stable. I tend to get a full OS crash once every few weeks... something I never had with my previous laptop, which was a pretty cheap and shabby Acer Aspire. Now the Acer was running XP-SP2, so I guess the OS was more mature than the OSX Leopard I'm running is right now, but I've had some very interesting issues.

    Anyway, I agree, they can control the user experience and to a point minimise problems with flakey hardware and stability if they lock osx to their hardware - but my point is that if they are going to have what is essentially a smear campaign against M$ on issues like operating system stability, virus protection and using dual-booting Windows as a positive - then they should even the playing field.

    ""In relation to phones, correct me of I am wrong, I do not think there is any restrictions preventing you from running an alternate operating system on the hardware" - Well yes, actually, most phones don't even give you the ability to replace the firmware or remove the network's "skin". Show me an alternate OS for my RAZR V3..."

    That's more to do with their combination of hardware components more than anything else I think - it would technically be possibly - but who want to go to all that trouble. You could say the same about the Apple/Microsoft thing, when Apple hardware was ppc based, Windows couldn't be run on that hardware because it was different - but again, now that the hardware is essentially the same and Windows can run on Macs and viceversa there isn't anything physically stopping you.

    "if Apple hadn't written an OS for their own hardware and done such a good job of it, nobody would be trying to piggy-back off of their success either. In fact nobody was really interested in this at all until Apple moved to Intel hardware. Why should a move to Intel mean that they are now operating a monopoly? Nonsense!"

    Isn't that true for any business - if it's a success people want in on it. Creative created some decent mp3 players and was getting some decent custom, so along came Apple with their iPod, a larger marketing budget, and some nice DRM to lock iTunes purchases to their player. Right or wrong, they did it because they noticed the potential for some sales in a new market. Psystar have noticed people want to run OSX without shelling out for expensive hardware - so they stepped into the market and did what some people wanted for a fast buck. Apple still get paid for OSX, they just don't get the hardware sale, which is not piggybacking really. Secondly, the reason people didn't say Apple were locking people in needlessly before they moved to Intel is because there was a physical reason for it - you couldn't run windows on the Apple hardware, or OSX on PC hardware. Now you can, and Apple doesn't want to let you, because they know they would potentially lose hardware sales... hardware people would source from somewhere else - and that is being anti-competitive. I wouldn't call it a monopoly, but they do want to keep other distributors out of their osx market, while reaping the benefits of the PC based market (Windows users/software market and an ibm-pc compatible hardware market).

    PS - lets not forget what OSX is built on btw - Job's didn't create a full operating system for his hardware, they modified and extended somebody else's operating system, and now it runs on other peoples hardware! ;)

  43. Paul Brandon
    Jobs Horns

    Humbug

    Some of the analogies here are complete rubbish, for example a Kia with a Ferrari engine, absolutely possible, you get a car mod company to do it (not that its incredibly likely) and as far as I know that's completely legal.

    Altering the OS on a phone, if a company came up with a way to put a motorola OS on a nokia phone should they be stopped (yes it may not actually be possible, but what if?, wouldn't you like that choice?)

    But a company that finds a way to put Mac OS on a non-mac platform, that's a no no - why? Apple are still paid for the OS and as long as Apple aren't required to support it and the other company provides that, then again, why not?! Because Apple want you to pay Apple for the hardware too that's why and that is monpolistic.

  44. Spearbox
    Alert

    @Mark

    I think you are unaware that OS X actually detects the hardware you are using. If it finds that you are using non-apple approved (emphasis on approved) hardware, it sends OS X into what is called a Kernal Panic and shuts your system down.

    You can't bypass it unless you modify their intellectual property. It will not function without end user intervention, which is wholly against their questionable EULA.

    "A kernel panic is a type of error that occurs when the core (kernel) of an operating system receives an instruction in an unexpected format, or that it fails to handle properly. A kernel panic may also follow when the operating system is not able to recover from a different type of error. A kernel panic can be caused by damaged or incompatible software or, more rarely, damaged or incompatible hardware." - "http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1392

    They actually induce this behaviour even if the license of Leopard itself is legitimate. It's what made Apple initially belief and say in their first legal doc that in order to run Leopard, they believed and therefore alleged that Psystar therefore had to modify the installation of Leopard prior to pre-installing it or providing it with their normal run of the mill PCs - which as they now know was an untrue allegation.

  45. Sooty

    @mcobvious

    "I think the car analogy is ok (though not brilliant), as Mercedes have chosen to sell their car engines to other manufacturers who have asked to buy it. Mercedes would be within their rights to refuse, but in that case I assume they have decided that it's in their business interests to sell the engines to third parties. Apple have decided the other way, which they're perfectly entitled to do."

    that is fine from a manufacturer point of view, Mercedes can sell to who they like for manufacturing and distribution. But what if you, as a car user, buy a Mercedes engine, from Mercedes, and put it in a mini. Would you expect it to work if, technically, it all fit together? If the engine were to detect that you were using a non-Mercedes chassis and refuse to start, you would think it anti-competitive!

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    ha ha ha...mactards and pctards

    Paris, 'cuz she knows they're all wankers and she prefers to clean the pipes herself.

  47. Kradorex Xeron

    Apple wants their cake...

    ...and to eat it as well.

    Apple are as many others are stating a MONOPOLY. Let's go down the list of reasons:

    1. Apple is saying essentally "You can't install our motor in your generic car." Absolutely no car manufacturer does this. so all analogies in reference to this are flawed.

    2. Apple claims their OS will not run on non-apple hardware, Psystar has proven this incorrect and has proven Apple to be liars.

    3. Apple is attempting to cause vendor lock-in, and is trying to prevent other vendors from even getting anywhere near the Apple market by citing EULAs and NDAs.

    Apple is in itself a market. Apple refuses to refer to their machines as PCs and therefore segregating themselves from the PC market. Yet they want to hypocritically compete within the PC market.

    Want, Eat. Cake. etc.

    A question to Apple fanboys: If Microsoft did the exact same thing as Apple does with one machine can only run their OS, what would your position be on that? Would you call Microsoft monopolists (thus calling your own Apple a monopoly as well)?

  48. Joe
    Alert

    Fight, fight, fight, fight, fight!

    Fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight!

  49. Mark

    @Spearbox

    PS there's no such thing as IP. There's copyright, there's patent and there's trade secret available here.

    PPS read up about reverse engineering. No need to take copyright. Patents don't apply here unless they are ridiculously vague. And trade secrets are lost if they get out.

  50. Mark

    @Spearbox

    No.

    That isn't legal though.

    If your car detected who was driving and how many people were in the car and refused to start if you weren't the one driving or you had four people including yourself in there, would you think the car broken? What if you find out the car manufacturer did that deliberately? Class action.

  51. Sean Baggaley

    (sigh)

    You can tell this is a techie site. All this talk about operating systems, Kingston RAM and Intel architectures misses the point: Apple is a DESIGN company, NOT a technology company. The underlying technology is irrelevant!

    Apple have never shied away from using their own interfaces and technologies where necessary. The iPhone hasn't been the most successful v1.0 (and now v2.0) phone design in history because of its technology. It's been successful because of how that technology was *exposed to the user*.

    We're finally reaching the end of an era. The end of that first, learning-how-to-walk-and-talk stage of the IT industry, where technology finally learns about manners, wearing nice clothes and how to behave when dealing with its peers.

    All the talk in this thread has focussed on PCs and how Apple uses the same hardware as everyone else. There are idiots here who have gone so far as to explicitly claim that this hardware is "identical"! And you call yourselves IT experts!? Since when have any two PCs ever been exactly the same, right down to the RAM chips and North Bridge? BULLSHIT! The IA PC is an open _hardware platform_. That means PCs have different graphics cards, sound cards, network chipsets, motherboard chipsets, RAM chips, even CPUs -- from Intel to VIA!

    It's precisely because of the PC architecture's openness that end users have had to suffer decades of instability and poor, lowest-common-denominator software and interface design.

    Yes, OS X now runs on a specific *subset* of PC hardware, but so was the original Xbox. I don't recall anyone _outside_ the tech-wanking fraternity caring a gnat's fart that Microsoft's box couldn't also run Microsoft Word! Closed, proprietary, systems are NOT a problem if -- and only if -- we have open standards for information exchange. We've been this route before with the likes of the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Acorn Archimedes -- all proprietary -- and not been the worse for it.

    (CPUs aside, all consoles are now around 90% industry-standard hardware components and 10% "special sauce". All three current consoles use PowerPC-derived CPU cores.)

    Technology is NOT the end. It is merely the means to an end. Enough already!

  52. Scott Mckenzie

    The degree of misunderstanding here is scary..

    ...some people seem to know what they're on about, many doubt.

    Modifying someone's closed source, compiled software to get it to work on your machine is not legal... end of story.

    I for one hope Apple win here (as they should) as if OS X gets opened out to all the tossers in the world then it'll end up like MS, trying to support every config in the world will make it a nightmare to work with and use, as it stands it's on predefined hardware, is incredibly straightforward to work with and for the most part, does "just work"

  53. TMS9900
    Gates Halo

    Complex

    Very murky waters IMHO.

    I find I tend to side with Psystar. I think the argument would be completely different if Apple *didn't* sell their software on the open market. But they do. Anyone can buy a copy. I'm sure the EULA subsequently requires the purchaser to run his purchased software on Apple hardware, but I doubt if that would stand up in law. (Not that i'm any expert).

    I'm sure the law could be simplified vastly: Make sellers assert their 'conditions' *before* sale, not *after* sale. (Ever tried to take a copy of Windows back to PC world because you didn't agree with the EULA?).

    That way, the buyer and the seller are protected: The seller is protected in so far as he can claim that the buyer was made aware of any pre-conditions PRIOR to purchase, and went ahead and purchased anyway.

    Anyway, I guess I'm drifitng off topic: I can't really see how Apple can sell you a CD with software, and then tell you what you can/can't run it on.

    *IF* however, they *only* made Apple Macs with the software on it already (like they used to do) then it would be a simple copyright/theft issue and I would side with Apple.

    Sorry Apple, you always seem to want your cake and eat it. You bitched and moaned about Windows Media Player, then went ahead and tied iTunes to Quick Time. Then you went ahead and built on online music portal tied to your own portable music player.

    Vile vile company.

  54. Mark
    Stop

    "The underlying technology is irrelevant!

    But that's the only copyright Apple have: the underlying technology.

    Which, if irrelevant, means there's nothing relevant to complain about.

  55. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    YOUR degree of misunderstanding here is scary..

    "Modifying someone's closed source, compiled software to get it to work on your machine is not legal... end of story."

    And NOT modifying someone's code but making your own and reverse engineering IS legal.

    And, except in Germany, not legal does not mean illegal.

    Shit. And YOU'RE telling US "we don't understand"!!!! Fuck, learn to understand what you say first!

  56. Paul Brandon

    OS not modified

    As far as I understand it, they haven't modified OSX as they then wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on, and they would know it, all it needs is a PC with BIOS modifications (which isn't part of the OS) as OSX runs perfecly fine on Intel x86 kit as it does in a real mac

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Mercs again

    "Does Mercedes create a monopoly by refusing to sell their engines to other carmakers? No - they have a right to put them exclusively in their own brand of cars."

    Aside from the licencing they do on new cars to other manufacturers, *anyone* is entitled to buy a replacement, recon or second hand Merc engine and do what the hell they like with it.

    If they want to stick it in a Ferrari or a Metro, then that's their business.

    As OS X is sold as a product in it's own right then you should likewise have the right to do what you want with it (apart from breaching copyright and pirating it). It's non of Apple's business.

    However Apple's case can only hinge on IP and patent infringement on the hardware. If it is proven that the hardware is capable of running OS X but infringes on nothing of Apple's then there's no case. Licence agreements saying you can only run it on their hardware are more than likely meaningless and unenforceable. Besides that, it still has no impact on the hardware manufacturer as it is the end-user who is breaking the agreement, not the manufacturer of compatible hardware.

    There is a down side to 3rd party hardware though in that once they become widespread then the OS will start to look bad as it suddenly exhibits all kinds of incompatibility and stability issues. Why does OS X "just work"? For the very reason Apple own and control the hardware.

    I can see the point in Apple's complaint though. They subsidise the cost of the OS through the hardware. If they allow 3rd party hardware then the OS cost will have to rise heavily.

  58. Rob Crawford

    Gulfie war syndrome ?

    Gulfie

    are you one of Websters alternate personalies ?

    Don't you understand the term "deliberately hobbled" the Intel macs are standard machines using whoevers chipset (I'm sure that varies throughout the year) OSX is simply doctored so it won't run inless it finds some form of Apple branding in there.

    There is no REAL reason apart from the following statement :

    OSX is the only way Apple can sell their over priced and mediocre hardware to any appreciable number of people

    > You don't hear people crying out for HP-UX or VMS on their machines.

    Err thats becasue those ran on propriety hardware. When I worked on DEC Alpha boxes you had VMS, NT or several U*IX or Linux variants. Personally I always wanted a version of VME that ran on PC hardware

    As for "Apple shouldn't be forced to allow OSX on other platforms." Well then THEY SHOULDNT SELL IT TO PEOPLE IN THE 1ST PLACE. Make it free (as indeed it was in the past) with the hardware, and simply charge for updates (and having to provide your macs serial number to prove you are actually a mac owner)

    As for stability issues, having worked in the publishing industry for 16 years, all I can say is that OSX is OK but not fantastic, but having lived through OS 7, 8 & 9 I would say that Apple have no proven track record on that score.

    They also have a remarkable number of DOAs when kit is delivered compared with the likes of Dell & HP (we are talking about deliveries of 250+ machines)

  59. Jared Earle
    Boffin

    Car analogies?

    Most car analogies don't work because you don't *license* cars, you buy them.

    If you buy a Honda race engine for a Fireblade from HRC, you're not legally allowed to put it in a Yamaha chassis and race it. Why? Because that's the license and conditions you agree to on purchase/rental.

    For better or worse, you're not buying an OS; you're licensing it.

  60. Mark
    Pirate

    re: Car analogies?

    Nope, you don't license. You buy it.

    The "you've licensed this" is what the grabby little fuckers WANT people to believe.

    But you pay for it as retail. It IS retail.

    If it's licensed, where's by DVD version of my VHS movies? If it's licensed, where's the recovery of goods at production cost if my CD's are stolen or scratched?

    See, it's only "licensed not bought" when they want it treated like a license. It's "Bought" when it suits them (e.g. "Buy now on DVD!" "Buy to own now!" or "No, you scratched it, you buy a new one").

  61. Mark
    Stop

    re: Mercs again

    There's no such thing as IP.

    The rest of your message is right, but stop spreading the BS the monopolies and cartels are trying to get us to swallow.

    THERE IS NO "IP".

    There's copyright.

    There's patent.

    There's trade secret.

    etc.

    THERE IS NO "IP".

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