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Apple Emerges Victorious Against Psystar, But Have They Really Triumphed? (UPDATED)

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qubit

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#1
In a court ruling on Wednesday 28th September 2011, Apple’s assertion that any kind of ‘Hackintosh’ was, is and always will be, illegal, was conclusively affirmed. This will bring great dismay to Psystar customers, potential purchasers of other “alternative Macs” and the many PC enthusiasts who want to run the latest Apple OS on the high-spec rigs they’ve built themselves from hand-picked components. This ruling has unfortunately sounded the death knell for enterprising and surprisingly plucky upstart outfit, Psystar, who showed what could be possible with an open mind and technical skill. UPDATE after the jump.



Psystar began selling their Mac OS X-capable Open Computer in April 2008, despite the fact that they unequivocally broke Apple’s licensing restrictions. The EULA read:
You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labelled computer, or to enable others to do so.

For a surprisingly long time, Apple did nothing. This caused some industry pundits to suggest that perhaps Apple had given their tacit approval for a clone. However, it turned out that this was most certainly not the case and Apple eventually sued Psystar. However, what surprised many, is that Psystar quickly countersued, asserting that Apple’s EULA violated the Sherman and Clayton antitrust acts.

In short, the case had more twists and turns than a whodunit novel, with Psystar actually winning a couple of small victories, although it was all ultimately for nothing. Psystar even filed for bankruptcy and just when it looked like it was all over, emerged phoenix-like from the ashes to continue fighting Apple. A surprising accomplishment in the face of such a powerful and relentless legal onslaught.

However, this Wednesday, Apple finally got the hands-down victory they had fought for so long, when judge Mary Schroeder of the US District Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco issued the final words in this case:
The district court's grant of summary judgement in favour of Apple and its entry of a permanent injunction against Psystar’s infringement of Mac OS X are affirmed.

But even in defeat, Psystar won a tiny victory. Apple – in its eternal quest to protect any and all information about itself – had asked Schroeder to keep documents about the summary judgement case sealed. Schroeder refused, saying that to do so "without explanation" was out of bounds.

So there still remains the small matter of whether Apple will be able to keep select court documents sealed, which may cause a smile or two among Psystar supporters. Of course, the damages that Psystar is now liable for are going to completely sink what's left of the company. It’s doubtful that Apple will actually see all the money that they’re owed and likely that they won’t care. It was all about stopping the competition.



So, are Apple triumphant in all this? Yes, they have been able to put the genie back in the bottle, they want to protect the ‘purity’ of their Apple Mac brand and keep any and all profits from the brand, which they have achieved. However, the bottom line is will this actually result in more money flowing into their bank account? It may not.

Think of the original IBM PC: it was cloned, against IBM’s wishes and due to a legal technicality, they couldn’t stop it. However, this made the platform grow phenomenally into the industry-dominating juggernaut that it is today, together with all the niche spin-offs, including the high performance enthusiast segment. And critically, it has made IBM’s product much more successful and lucrative for them than if IBM had been allowed to keep it closed and proprietary with high prices.

So, by the same token, keeping the Mac platform closed and proprietary, Apple are likely to actually reduce awareness and interest in their products. Therefore, ironically, Apple’s victory in court may actually be a bigger victory for those in the Anti-Apple camp, who want to see their market penetration remain small and who would be happy if they just faded away into obscurity. So, will Apple’s current stance remain now that Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO and no longer has such a dominating influence over the company? This remains to be seen.

By restricting their products this way, Apple have actually reduced the market penetration of their much-loved operating system, since running it on more and cheaper hardware configurations is no longer possible. Many people that like the Mac OS would normally never buy a Mac due to the sheer cost of entry to the club, which this would have lowered. In time, those same customers may well want the ‘real thing’ for their next machine and buy a genuine Mac. There’s no reason why Apple couldn’t have licensed the OS for Psystar hardware and collected a handsome royalty on every sale in the process – a win-win situation.

For more details and lots of links, head on over to The Register article this story was based on.


UPDATE

Well, it looks like this really isn't over yet. Psystar are down, but they are not completely out and are most certainly not giving up. They believe that they have a very strong case, so will be taking it all the way to the Supreme Court.

If Psystar eventually prevail, then it could mean the end of unreasonably restrictive product lockdowns by manufacturers. Read all about it over at update source, PC World.

Source: The Register
 
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#2
who is the man now? who do we fight now, huh?

all their ads telling you to fight the man is total bs... they were are as greedy from the very start as they are today.
 
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#3
I am a firm believer that a company should only be allowed to sell a product and that it should be completely illegal for it to influence and dictate the way it should be used. Cases like this make me sad.
 
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#5
Well Psystar clearly had no hope of winning this. But I think what was important was seeing how far they could nudge the 800lb gorrila. Likely expose some things to the public. But that makes me wonder, who would invest in such a company if they were doomed to fail from the start?

I think its important to note that Psy revealed a clear hole in Apple's lineup that Apple refuses to exploit. Not everyone needs or wants the Pro towers with server chips/etc. They like the OS but now that OSX is on x86, they gotta ask themselves as have I,"why can't I run this on my own PC? The hardware is the same now." The Mac Mini is not the answer. In fact, that desk coaster has increased in price ever since the switch.

These clones were the Macs that some of us would like. Decent power, OSX, and a price that is within reason.

I only hope some good comes of this and maybe with Steve gone, Cook will start to embrace the idea of a Mini Tower again. Maybe even a real budget Macbook. There should not be i5s or i7s in the low end models. That is just an excuse to make up for replacing discrete with shoddy IGPs again. Lookie lookie, we've got high end CPUs now in low end Macs! They are better because they are faster!! :roll:

I'd really love to buy another Mac, but after going PC for years. I'm not the Mac fanboy I once was. Not going to fall for it. Gimmie a good balanced system with moderate power like an APU. All running OSX, you got a deal. Then if I want more power, give me something in the i7s with a decent GPU too. Pro level machines need to be Pro level. Not just the CPU and linked with a weak GPU to save battery.
 
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#6
I'm sorry, but Apple triumphed... Keep telling yourselves that they are losing money by eliminating the competition
 
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#7
I don't agree with pretty much everything Apple says, but the case here is rather clear. They decided that their OS can only be bundled with their hardware. It's their decision which quite frankly doesn't really affect anyone. I mean why would you want MacOS in the first place unless you're an Apple freak and you own Apple device anyway?
 
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#9
The Mac Clones almost killed Apple in the mid 1990's. They aren't interested in playing that game again and probably never will be. If you don't like the way they run their business you are welcome to create your own and buy products from someone else.
 

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#10
I'm sorry, but Apple triumphed... Keep telling yourselves that they are losing money by eliminating the competition
No, this remains an open question. Think, normally companies will do anything for increased market penetration, because they know that it eventually leads to bigger profits.

I think what we saw there was the control freak hand of Jobs more than anything else. When he finally leaves completely, will the company have the same outlook? I don't think anyone can say. This is a wait and see situation, no getting around that.
 
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#11
I mean why would you want MacOS in the first place unless you're an Apple freak and you own Apple device anyway?
well, there are some specific cases, i have two friends running hackintoshes because of a single piece of software - logic studio. it's an music production software, you might say a top one at that, i do some production too and would like to give it a shot but i'm too lazy to go bother with the installation and don't have the moniez for a mac.

and today's music industry being musical taste killing piece of shit that it is, no wonder apple runs a big part of the show on that front too.
 

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#12
and today's music industry being musical taste killing piece of shit that it is
I disagree here. Small acts have never had such possibilites to put out their own music as they have now. The part of the industry that is bad is the popular music (well some of it anyway) but you don't have to be a part of that.

And I don't see anything wrong with this. Apple having control of the hardware is a big part of OSX's success imo.
 
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#13
Why there's no "I hate Apple" option in the poll?
 

qubit

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#14
I disagree here. Small acts have never had such possibilites to put out their own music as they have now. The part of the industry that is bad is the popular music (well some of it anyway) but you don't have to be a part of that.

And I don't see anything wrong with this. Apple having control of the hardware is a big part of OSX's success imo.
I'd say it isn't. Microsoft doesn't try to lock down the hardware* and look how their OS dominates. In the end, people quite reasonably prefer open systems.

For another fine example, look at HTC. It came from nowhere about three years ago with its open Linux-based Android OS and now it's leading Apple's iPhone in several markets.

*Ridiculously, it seems like they'd like to though. :rolleyes:
 

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#15
I'd say it isn't. Microsoft doesn't try to lock down the hardware* and look how their OS dominates. In the end, people quite reasonably prefer open systems.
Well maybe so, but it certinaly is part of their image. And I still don't think it's wrong of them.
 
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#16
I'd say it isn't. Microsoft doesn't try to lock down the hardware* and look how their OS dominates. In the end, people quite reasonably prefer open systems.

For another fine example, look at HTC. It came from nowhere about three years ago with its open Linux-based Android OS and now it's leading Apple's iPhone in several markets.

*Ridiculously, it seems like they'd like to though. :rolleyes:
Yes but don't forget Microsoft never had an opportunity Apple had to control everything like Apple does. This gives Apple a much easier job.

TBH, Windows targets different people than Apple does.
 

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#17
Yes but don't forget Microsoft never had an opportunity Apple had to control everything like Apple does. This gives Apple a much easier job.

TBH, Windows targets different people than Apple does.
Dang it, I hate to say it, but I have to agree :) MS certainly didn't have that control opportunity that Apple has.

I still think it ultimately helped MS's bottom line, but no company can resist a power grab instead of sharing wealth, even though sharing is likely to make them more money.
 
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#18
Apple made its own computers Microsoft never did and this is where the 2 fundamentally differ. Sure Macs run on intels and no longer proprietary hardware but they still make their own machines.

Microsoft are mainly in the OS business selling you a piece of software for your computer.
 
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#19
Small acts have never had such possibilites
true that, that part is awesome, but i don't really view small acts as a part of the industry and most of them shun it too. the industry part is all commercial now, the days of true originality and talent getting on top of the charts are long gone imo (don't get me wrong, i ain't saying that current most successful musicians don't know shit) since 99% of the music that actually gets promoted by the industry and therefore actually makes some substantial profit is MADE TO SELL, nothing else.
what i hate the most about the industry are the loudness wars - ppl seem to really not give a fuck about the quality of the hardware reproducing their music and they no longer give any attention to the track, it's so over compressed that it's simply being shoved into their ears.

end rant :shadedshu
 

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#20
I don't understand why Apple wouldn't be fine with this. To allow their OS to reach farther into the PC market, thats just stupid.
 

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#21
I don't understand why Apple wouldn't be fine with this. To allow their OS to reach farther into the PC market, thats just stupid.
Duh! :rolleyes: +1
 

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#22
I thought the point of moving to Intel processors and basically the PC platform was to start gaining a customer base for their OS. Would make a ton of sense, apple is making a ton of money selling their own stuff, and while they are ahead of M$. You can't ignore that the majority of Gates money was made selling an OS, not a whole setup. To be able to market your product to people who like to build their own rigs, it's a decent market, and to be able to sell it to companies like Dell, it could add a lot of profits I would think.

Only reason I see them saying no is, they would have to drop their prices on their hardware probably. Even right now, anyone with half a brain that knows little about computers can walk into Best Buy, see a Windows PC and a Mac and see the specs are the same, but the cost is $1500 or more apart. Some people are smart enough to notice that and say "what the hell". Others just see that Apple logo and don't care. But if OS X went onto PCs more commonly, it might confuse their brainwashed fanbase, and some of them might start buying the PCs with the OS vs the more expensive full solution from them.
 
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#23
thank god not all companies are apple ie if they had their way we would all be playing shit net games on shit gpus with restrictive draconian apple raking a great deal more money.

imagine a world without apples though, damn that would be bleak id have less people to laugh at
 

qubit

Overclocked quantum bit
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#24
I thought the point of moving to Intel processors and basically the PC platform was to start gaining a customer base for their OS. Would make a ton of sense, apple is making a ton of money selling their own stuff, and while they are ahead of M$. You can't ignore that the majority of Gates money was made selling an OS, not a whole setup. To be able to market your product to people who like to build their own rigs, it's a decent market, and to be able to sell it to companies like Dell, it could add a lot of profits I would think.

Only reason I see them saying no is, they would have to drop their prices on their hardware probably. Even right now, anyone with half a brain that knows little about computers can walk into Best Buy, see a Windows PC and a Mac and see the specs are the same, but the cost is $1500 or more apart. Some people are smart enough to notice that and say "what the hell". Others just see that Apple logo and don't care. But if OS X went onto PCs more commonly, it might confuse their brainwashed fanbase, and some of them might start buying the PCs with the OS vs the more expensive full solution from them.
Well said, I couldn't put it better myself. :toast:
 
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#25
Why would apple be fine with this? They validate all the hardware that goes into their boxes, work with companies to offer decent drivers and support for various features and so forth.

Saying apple should let other companies build cheap little clones and sell them is akin to saying Ford should just start putting Ferrari badges on the Focus cause really, they are the same hardware..just cheaper version. Never mind the effort that goes into designing, building, marketing, and selling a Ferrari, just let Ford call the Focus a Ferrari and profit from someone else's success in a niche market. Hel why stop there, Kia can make an even cheaper Ferrari! We can all have One! Never mind that it just wouldn't be the same, or as good.

Apple sells premium hardware, full stop. They don't want to offer anything under $1,000 and that's their business model. Maybe things will change later, but for now apple sells what they sell. And premium doesn't always mean absolute peak performance, the software, design, aesthetics, and so forth are all part of the equation.
 
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