back to article Judge dismisses Hackintosh maker's anti-Apple lawsuit

Apple has successfully had the lawsuit brought against it by Hackintosh system builder Psystar thrown out of court - at least until its opponent can come up with a better case. So said California District Court Judge William Alsup yesterday in response to the Mac maker's request that Psystar's lawsuit - filed in response to …


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  1. Thomas

    Quite right too

    Irrespective of the merits of the central claim, a counterclaim alleging that Apple effects a prohibited monopoly in any segment of the computer market is clearly ridiculous.

  2. Jimmy Floyd

    Haven't we heard this before?

    Isn't this the same sort of thing as Codemaster producing unauthorised games for the Gameboy in the early 1990s? Nintendo lost that case but others still insist on that sort of approval. For instance, you can't release games for the Xbox 360 without Microsoft's nod.

    As much as I've love to see someone else produce computers to compete with Apple's overpriced hardware, I concede that I'm a little hazy on the legal situation given the above examples. Ideas anyone?

  3. Ted Treen

    Whatever next?

    Common sense from a judge?

    That's something I never expected to see in MY lifetime.......

  4. Peyton

    I don't know how to put it in legalese

    But surely if Microsoft suddenly said "you can only run our software on Dells" there would be some legal grounds for complaint...

  5. Colin Millar

    Installing OSX on a PC?

    Is that what they call snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

    Let the flame begin

    Pingu cos i Wibu'ed recently and its not too bad so far.

  6. Mick Sheppard

    @Jimmy Floyd

    *yawn* repeating the same old, same old, because it must be true. Apple's hardware is not overpriced. They don't have a cheap end computer but based on the spec their pricing is inline with other manufacturers based on a similar spec. Yes, its possible to buy a cheaper computer but in doing so you'd be compromising on some aspect of it.

    Flames because I'm fanning them.

  7. Mark

    re: Quite right too

    But how can installing the OS purchased (which, in US law and under the Berne convention is not a copyright controlled act, so cannot be infringement even if you don't agree to the EULA) be tied to a branded machine?

    In the UK, there is illegal tying. MS don't have the problem because they don't sell a PC, just the OS. Sony don't have the problem because you can't buy the OS. Apple sell the OS retail and want to tie it to only their hardware using a separate agreement (that as I've said above has no binding in the US wrt copyright infringement, which this suit from Apple alleges) from the hardware purchase.

    If Apple don't like people using their SW on a non-Apple hardware, one of these options is available

    a) suck it.

    b) don't sell the OS

    c) don't support the OS unless it is on apple branded hardware

    They really don't have any other option. There's no copyright infringement going on and if Apple don't like the consequences of that, they can decide not to sell. Pystar aren't forcing them to sell Mac OS X and they didn't force Apple to make it run on OTS hardware like the x86 intel lines.

  8. Chris C

    But I want it my way!

    This just screams the mindset of the youth of today -- "But I want it my way! Waaaaaaah!!" There's an incredibly simple concept at play here -- if you want to use any product, you must agree to the author/creator's stipulations. If you don't like the restrictions the author/creator places upon use of said product, don't use it. It's that simple. Just because a product exists doesn't mean you should be able to use it however you want. This is especially true in this case where Apple would likely get support calls from people having trouble with their unsupported, unlicensed systems, and Apple's (justified) refusal to help these people would garner ill will and bad press for Apple. I hate Apple and all of their products that I've seen, but in this case, I have to side with them.

  9. Brett
    Paris Hilton

    Illegal Tying

    Apple gets around the illegal tying because they do not sell the OS on the retail market. The OS you are buying in the store is an upgrade that requires you to have a prior installation on the Mac. So Apple does not sell their full OS in a retail box.

    Sure you can "hack" the CD to create a full install but that doesn't count in the courts. So without changing the retail CD the only way you can buy the full OS is buying a Mac computer.

    Paris cause she almost looks smart in glasses

  10. Dave

    Clone the SW

    If they really want to make it work, why not take the same starting point (BSD) and develop their own variant of the OS that will run code written for Macs? The obvious precedents here are that Wine exists to run Windows code on Linux, Linux exists (being a look-and-feel for Unix), pretty much all GUI interfaces can be encouraged to look like each other...

    If they really think Apple are unreasonable, there's plenty of scope to do something about it.

  11. Nick Fisher


    Of course Apple sells 'the full OS' in a retail box. Every shrink-wrapped OS release that I can recall from System 7 upwards could be installed on systemless bona fide Apple hardware.

    I replaced the HD in my MacBook over the weekend, installing 10.5 from scratch from a Leopard retail DVD. No target disk mode, no slurping from a Time Machine, nothing.

  12. Daniel B.


    I am amazed that Psystar couldn't find a good argument against this. The "Windows only on Dells" example given in one of the previous comments pretty much sums it up.

    Back in the 680x0 and PPC days, there was a compatibility gap which made it technically impossible to directly install MacOS on non-Mac hardware, partly because part of the OS was actually part of the Mac's firmware. This is why most of the early MacOS versions (5 thru 7) were able to fit on a 3.5" disk.

    However, they switched over to Intel, and the "Classic" firmware isn't even there anymore. So basically, the MacOS is now just another x86 OS, which can run in any x86 hardware; however Apple resort to stupidly locking down their OS! The measures are very similar to MS making Windows impossible to run on non-MS-DOS systems (like DR-DOS); and legally that was proven wrong in court.

    Oh, and the "they're not overpriced" story doesn't hold; Macs still have the same price-gap with PCs they had when they were actually using high-quality hardware (PPC arch, SCSI HDDs) even though the x86 hardware sells for peanuts; just check the price difference for SCSI HDDs!

    In fact, I think this trial was already done with IBM some time ago ... all that stuff about being unable to bundle hardware and software.

    Good luck, Psystar!

  13. Adam White

    RE: But I want it my way!

    The enshired right of first sale means that once you've bought something you own it and it's yours to do with whatever you want. Stick it up your nose, set it on fire, install it on a PC, whatever.

    In the specific case of software it's a bit trickier because software is "licensed for use" via a contract agreement, not sold. However the legality of unsigned, shrinkwrapped buy-before-read EULAs is still something of a grey area by my understanding - it hasn't been proven decisively proven in court yet whether these have the same weight as a traditional contract or not.

    There was a case a few years ago where Microsoft tried to sue someone for selling unwanted "OEM" copies of Windows on eBay, but I think they ended up dropping it due to bad publicity.

  14. Angus Millar

    @Brett #2

    Where the f**k did you get the ludicrous idea that that Apple don't sell full OSX installers !

    More to the point where do you get the neck to actually post such bollocks

  15. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    @ Angus Millar

    Since the licence agreement, and hence the contract under which you are agreeing to use the software, is very specific about only using it on Apple branded computers AND you can't buy an Apple without the OS, THEN every OS X pack they sell is in effect an upgrade. Whilst it will do a full, bare metal, install, that doesn't remove the fact that legally, it is in effect an upgrade from whatever the computer came with (or had previously been upgraded to).

    And there are other software packages which are sold as an upgrade but which are in fact a full install. For example, Adobe CS3 upgrade from CS2 is actually a full installer and will run without having CS2 installed - you just need to put in a valid CS2 licence key to make it work. OS X doesn't have licence keys etc (except for Server).

  16. Mark O

    Windows won't run on my washing machine

    I put a copy of Vista Home Premium in my washing machine on the 60 degree cotton colour-fast cycle and I was very disappointed with the result.

    I have contacted several lawyers but they are unwilling to take my case, presumably because they know they can't beat Microsoft, which is a big rich monopoly.

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