back to article Hackintosher aims 'blazin' guns' at Apple

Psystar, the pesky Hackintosher that has been giving Apple fits for well over a year, has switched legal representation and is preparing to go to trial with, as the company puts it, "guns blazin'". In a posting on the Florida company's newly launched Psystar Community blog entitled, "In comes the cavalry", the Hackintosher …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    If I buy something it's mine

    "Apparently, the Hackintoshing Floridians see no difference between licensing and buying. Apple does. Every EULA we've ever taken the time to read does too."

    P**s on EULAs. If I buy something it's mine. If I buy a book I can burn it,

    cut it up, use it to balance my table, etc. No diff.

  2. J 3
    Jobs Horns

    regualalrly titled

    I wish Psystar success. Down with the freaking EULAs telling people what to do with the stuff they own.

  3. Charles 9 Silver badge

    First Sale Doctrine

    Now Psystar is challenging Apple's MacOS EULA on the grounds of the Copyright Act, claiming Apple has no right to restrict what happens to a licensed copy of their software (apart from those restrictions already declared by law) once it leaves their hands. This justification actually has at least a few similarities to the 2008 Autodesk case.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to hear they'll be more open from now on.

    Maybe with this occasion they will tell the world who is financing their lawsuit.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    In a word "support"

    My biggest concern throughout this whole sorry affair is support. Who will support the users of this "product"?

    Apple will deny it - You're not running it on our hardware, against the dictats of the EULA when the software was purchased.

    Psystar - They would neither have the full backing or full gamut of technical expertise to be able to handle some of the bizarre things users of any products can come up with, let alone a full blown O/S.

    How is a tiny company like Psystar with, at a guess 200 hundred employees, going to support a few hundred to a few thousand users of hardware they don't make and software they didn't write? You call up with a support call and the Psystar then spend the next days trawling the Hakintosh support forums for help? No thanks.

    Seems like one big PR exercise to raise people's awareness of Psystar and their purpose, try to get customers and a financial backer for their cause. Maybe they're simply trying make themsleves out to be the classic biblical David, I'm not the religious type but didn't Goliath start it in the first place, not David?!

  6. Wrenchy
    Linux

    GO PSYSTAR!

    Let's take some control back from these evil people. Besides, what is Apple so afraid of?? This can only be good for them. What? Can't control what you spoonfeed the Apple faithful?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Corrine

    @In a word "support"

    Few companies support the OS beyond 'here's a re-imaging tool' and you certainley don't get free support from MS anymore.

    If it bugs you then pay more for the support.

  9. Ty
    Jobs Halo

    heheh

    All you poor Windoze zealots secretly pining for Mac OS X. Makes me laugh!

    Get a grip, get a life, get a Mac!

  10. N2

    Hmm, early days?

    I see the group is heaving with new members...

    All three of them.

  11. Sebastian Brosig
    Happy

    Apple - labbled gear

    1) buy apple in supermarket, with sticky label naming the variety

    2) stick label onto computer

    3) eat apple

    4) install Hackintosh

    5) an apple a day keeps Apple-lawyers away

  12. gray_
    Jobs Horns

    Doesn't know who he's messing with!

    This poor guy doesn't understand the organisation he's messing with. The next thing he knows the Foxxconn security chief will be popping around asking him if he wants to take a tour of the roof...

  13. Chris 21
    FAIL

    Camara & Sibley?

    The same Camara & Sibley who did such a sterling job in the second Thomas-Rasset trial? Sure. Lotsa luck Psystar.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Ty

    Quote /

    All you poor Windoze zealots secretly pining for Mac OS X. Makes me laugh!

    Get a grip, get a life, get a Mac!

    Or, buy 3 PC's for the same money.......

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Haven't they got

    anything better to do?

  16. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Minnows and Sharks...... A Cautionary Tale for Traditional Investment Brokerage ....

    ... in Alternative Intelligence Markets*

    "Psystar - They would neither have the full backing or full gamut of technical expertise to be able to handle some of the bizarre things users of any products can come up with, let alone a full blown O/S." ..... By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 29th July 2009 03:28 GMT

    AC,

    Psystar may disagree with you on that or alternatively they may know of some expertise that can easily handle a full blown O/S.

    * In a Fresh Water Environment is the Minnow King and Lord over the Shark. And in the World of Virtualisation are Real World Powers a Liability if they are not Freely Shared with a Cash Boost to and for ITs New Players to Boot, and Return to the System with XSSive Capital Spend/Novel Plant and Innovative Material Purchase.

    Thus is Traditional Capital Investment Quickly Returned to the System for yet A.N.Others to Benefit from and with the Self Same Flash Cash Injection/Infection, and the Resultant SMARTer System Benefits from ITs New Control Power Tools and Drivers, for a Double Whammy of Good Fortune and Fortunate Betas. And should the Former Helped become the Phorming Helper, then that is also an Advantageous Opportunity to Plunder for Added Treasure and Pleasure.

    To think to halt or hinder such Progress to the next Higher Levels of Confusions will only Result in the Obvious Outing of Malicious Embedded Code masquerading as Essential Protection whenever all that it really is, is a Self-Serving Trojan Worm and Debilitating Virus Gorging on ITs Hosts' Generosities/Intelligence Weaknesses. And that is an Action/ProAction which will always Warrant the Harshest of Natural Justice Punishments delivered with Impunity and Immunity which cannot be Challenged or Denied.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @christian graffeuille

    No, it doesn't mean you can install it on as many PCs as you like: there's this thing called "copyright", you know, and copyright exists and works without any so-called EULAs.

    Also, I rather suspect that the Hackintoshing Floridians do see a difference between licensing and buying: they are probably going to argue that buying is what took place in this case.

    Something should be done about the ridiculous tradition of so-called EULAs. You can't make something into an "agreement" (which implies a contract) just by writing it all in capitals and putting the work "AGREEMENT" at the top. There has to be a "meeting of the minds". Obviously there's no meeting of the minds when the purchaser doesn't read the document in question until after they've bought the product, and in most cases not even then. (Why should they? It's not as if they're signing anything or have any choice.)

    Unfortunately, any attempt to clarify the situation through legislation will inevitably make things worse for the general public as the politicians who make the laws have little enough respect for the general public even when dealing with issues that the general public follows and understands.

  18. /dev/me

    Wouldn't it be great...

    ...if one of the people from the 'you find it, you keep it' Microsoft commercials ends up buying a Psystar? Heheh

  19. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    Psystar remind me of that knight in the Holy Grail who has had his arms and legs chopped off - "it's only a flesh wound", "I'll bite your legs off" etc.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Copyright

    "If this works, then we can do anything we like when we buy a copy of any software. Like install it on as many as we like PCs."

    As I understand it, it would just mean that we could install a copy on any PC we liked - singular - at a time. Copyright would still restrict us to one "working" copy at a time in addition to backup copies which are not in simultaneous use.

    The real issue is not copying but the requirement that one only install the software on Apple-approved (ie, manufactured) hardware. Which is an important point with implications across many industries from Blur-Ray players to cars; it is very important to consumers everywhere that Apple lose here, even if they've never used a computer of any sort in their lives.

  21. Charlie Mason

    Way around this

    The EULA states: "This License allows you to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so."

    So slap on a sticker which reads 'With Apple's OSX' and include their logo.

  22. Jonathan 6

    @ Go Psystar

    Quote: "By Wrenchy Posted Wednesday 29th July 2009 03:51 GMT

    Let's take some control back from these evil people. Besides, what is Apple so afraid of?? This can only be good for them. What? Can't control what you spoonfeed the Apple faithful?

    "

    Given that Apple has actively requested that this goes to court in spite of Pystar's "bankruptcy", my guess would be that they are not afraid of anything because they know that they are going to win. As it seems that others think that this is only about the EULA, it isn't as it is also about the DMCA and theft of IP. Psystar might (a big might) have got somewhere if it were just about the EULA, but they have no chance whatsoever against the DMCA. They are going to lose and lose badly.

  23. jake Silver badge

    @Ty

    "Get a grip, get a life, get a Mac!"

    My computers are tools that I use to enable (and finance) my chosen lifestyle. For any given task, I use whichever combination of applications, OS and hardware that gets in my way the least. Over the last decade and a half, that's been mostly Slackware[1].

    I don't need a computer to have a life. In fact, I'm quite looking forward to retiring from IT entirely sometime in the next year or so. I'll still maintain the wife & I's personal stuff, and keep the barn's web presence and email system up to date, but that's about it. Oh, and family stuff (Mom, my Great Aunt, etc., folks who really aren't up to learning about the guts of this new-fangled technology, but still make use of it to communicate with far-flung family).

    [1] I'm not a fanboi. Slackware works for ME, and has for a long time. The wife's two main boxen (laptop & desktop) are WinXP, and I'm happy with that, because they work for her. We also have a couple Apple machines that we use mostly for video editing. The servers are all one variation of BSD or another (with a couple of legacy exceptions). I have a Win2K box under my credenza that runs AutoCAD (it is air-gapped, I'm not stupid). The barn office & lounge have half a dozen machines that dual-boot WinXP and a custom version of Slackware 12.2 (soon to become a custom Slack13). Most of the barn-brats[2] prefer to boot Slackware; the adults[3] seem to mindlessly use whatever is running when they sit down in front of it. The lone Mac in the lounge hasn't even been powered up in months, according to firewall logs.

    [2] Kids learning to ride ... Between 6 and ~16 y/o, usually between 3 and 4 dozen on any given week. More if you include scouts getting merit badges. More if we book a largish party of tourists for trail rides. All of 'em seem to think that getting the latest pics onto MyFaceTwitsGiHotBlogs before leaving the barn is somehow important ... I'm seriously thinking about putting in a three-hour modern-day delay-line[4].

    [3][5] ~26+ y/o ... Adults, serious about riding. None of them have any clue about technology.

    [4] No, I won't, not really. The lack of ethics that comes with storing the password info on my local systems isn't my bag.

    [5] After ~16, the kids are more interested in the boyfriend/girlfriend/MotAS game; prior to ~26 or so, if still interested in horses and capable of affording to ride, they seem to be at University.

  24. James O'Brien
    Troll

    @Ty

    Umm seriously? Your going to post a comment about the goodness of Apple stuff when there have already been multiple comments from those who run *nix, who are questioning the EULA or the support questions? SERIOUSLY??

    Wow bro you couldnt have come off as more of a fanboi/troll then you just did. You managed to take a comment thread that hasnt had a mention of Windows and turned it into an all out flame war. Good Job bro.

    I wish I had the Apple Syndrome. Atleast then I could feel as if I am in an elite crowd when a story about Apple gets posted.

    Good day to you fanboi/girl.

    /Why should I bother explaining the icon? (looks at Ty)

  25. Bill 31

    Blah!

    OK, IP, intelectual property, who owns it? I own my own and that's it, I'm allowed to use other IP, such a reading a book, watching a movie or TV show, even installing an application on a PC. I have the rights to USE said piece of software and said software will always come with a EULA and a copyright. Now the book is copyrighted, but it doesn't have a EULA, so technically, once I buy the book I can reproduce it to PDF, or copy it word for word into a word processing application or retype it, or even handwrite it into a notepad, but I can't sell said reproductions without the owners expressed permission.

    Microsoft's EULA does not specify where I have to install their OS, I can install it on a physical machine from a name brand computer manufacturer, or onto a home built PC, or even run it as a virtual machine, using something like Virtual PC, Virtual Server, VMWare Workstation, Hyper-V, VMWare Fusion...

    OR

    Dual boot it on a Mac....

    Why can't we do the same with Mac OS? I want to run Mac OS as a VM, but due to it's legalise and it's EULA, I'm not allowed to. Sounds like Apple has it's own monopoly on it's own stuff, more so that Microsoft does.

    Can anyone name any applications, outside of iTunes, Quicktime and Safari, that Apple makes that can run under OS's other than Mac OS?

    My thoughts, my opinion, take it or leave it.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, to cut through the PR spin a bit

    "our previous lawyers told us we were fucking morons for getting into a fight like this in the first place and weren't going to win, so we fired their asses in favour of some other lawyers who said they'll kiss it all better and gave us a nice reacharound"

  27. Andy 97
    Pirate

    Hardware-schmardware

    Seems like a very simple work-around.

    Psystar sells the hardware OS-free, you just go to the Apple website and buy a copy, install and you're done.

    Am I missing something here?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "Get a grip, get a life, get a Mac!" - and

    Get ripped off!!

    Overpriced shiny hardware made in China by the cheapest labour force in the world. If Apple started boxing turds these idiots would buy them.

  29. Hugh_Pym

    If they break this EULA

    Then all of them break. Microsoft included. Can't really see them allowing that to happen. Especially if, as some people suggest, Microsoft are paying the bills.

  30. Trygve Henriksen
    Unhappy

    @AC...

    Sure you can do whatever you want with the physical BOOK, but the book is just an INFORMATION CARRIER. you're still not allowed to repost the CONTENTS or rewrite it and publish as your own.

    The same with the MAC OS CDs.

    You can use the physical CDs as coasters, frisbees, break them into small pieces or een microwave them if you want.

    Because of PsyStar we may end up with 'copy protection' or other nonsense on these CDs.

    (Something Apple has never had to do with their OS before. )

    Can I sue Psystar for the added inconvenience they will be causing me?

  31. Lottie
    Badgers

    lottie

    Can't they just put a sticker of an apple on the case and say it's apple labeled?

  32. northern monkey
    Linux

    @Ty

    Did you just come into this to be a troll?

    Anyway, I'm a linux user and in no way do I 'pine' for mac os x, nor does my bank balance!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    the next thing...........

    if they loose, will apple unbundle safari with their OS and installing Opera by default...............

  34. The Beer Monster
    Coat

    @Ty

    You forgot your joke icon...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    So...

    If PsyStar manage to overturn the EULA, and that's a massive if, what's to stop Apple, MS, et al from dramatically increasing the cost of their operating systems? They're businesses after all, lost revenue has to be recovered one way or another, and the easiest way of doing that is putting prices up.

    Perhaps OSX CDs for a fresh install will simply be priced so high that buying a hackintosh no longer makes sense. (Never owned a Mac so I'm not sure how the whole upgrade / fresh install process works)

  36. stu 4
    Gates Horns

    kicking off

    I see all hackintosh and osx86 stuff has disappeared from ebay now. Even folk just selling hackintosh logos and stuff.

    Apple must have forseen this coming when they moved to open x86 hardware.

    To have a RETAIL OS that you sell that runs on open x86 hardware, and then try to tell folk they must run it on an apple is no different from say Sony saying you should only use SONY CDs in your Sony CD player, or Ford saying you must only use ford oil in a ford car.

    It ain't gonna fly.

    If pystar have got wee Bill G behind them with his wallet open it could be an interested decimation of apple....Or more likely they will engineer osx back to require non open hardware, and we'll all lose out :-/

  37. ThomH

    @Charlie Mason, Sebastian Brosig, Lottie

    The full EULA clearly establishes in the preamble that Apple are a company, so it's clear from context, from ordinary legal construction and from the rules related to proper nouns versus common nouns that 'Apple-labelled' with a capital 'a' means labelled by the company Apple, not labelled with a picture of an apple.

    Any legal statement on the extent to which EULAs may apply is to be welcomed though, I think.

  38. Steen Hive
    Jobs Horns

    @Robert Long 1

    Right. Restrictive licences are anti-consumer, full stop. Allowing companies to dictate arbitrary licensing terms does not a contract make. You know where this ends up - "Thou shalt not use this software on the sabbath" - type clauses which the consumer gets browbeaten into thinking is acceptable - well it's not.

    One more thing - can Psystar be liable to comply with an EULA if they are not technically the "End-User"?

  39. Chris P
    FAIL

    Mac Cracking FAIL

    As both a Mac and Windows, and when I need to, Linux user, I do believe Psystar should fail miserably.

    Psystar have taken it up on themselves to deliberately 'bodge' a perfectly good, well established product for their own financial gain, and expect the creator (Apple) to sit back and do nothing. Or do I misunderstand?

    What say, some numbskull buys one of these pieces of less than second-rate Psystar junk, with a hacked version of Apple's fantastic OS X. (Linux lovers and other Apple haters should read the first line of my post again, right now, before entering Keyboard Warrior mode). It then fails miserably, because Apple poured millions of $ into making OS X work perfectly on their own (equally well-developed) hardware, and Psystar just spent months simply cracking it to work on anything with an Intel processor.

    Said numbskull then discovers that the Frankenstein's Monster of his wannabe Mac takes exception to some of the simple instructions he passes to it, because the OS is operating outside of its natural environment. He then flames Apple, and the Mac, saying it's useless to all his friends, who were maybe thinking of moving to Apple, away from the Dark Side. What he doesn't tell them is that he was a tight-ass who couldn't afford (nor wished to pay for) a real Mac, and wondered why his POS (not Point Of Sale) didn't work.

    It's like buying a BMW 3 series - to all intents and purposes, a well designed, and well built car, which BMW poured millions into developing and building. Some guy then says "I know, I can make a BMW! All I need is some pieces of metal, some seats and a PC motherboard!"

    Should one then take this 'ultimate driving machine' to a BMW dealership and say "I bought one of your cars last week and It's not running or handling right - can you fix it?"

    What should the nice man in the workshop say to the customer his Bob's Motor Wagon 3.5 Series GTI rolls onto the ramps?

    FAIL - Because it should be Psystar's corporate slogan.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Licence not the issue

    EULA talk is a red herring designed to take eyes off the ball.

    Real issue is the fact they are cramming OS X onto non Apple hardware, therefore tangibly causing Apple financial loss for each machine sold.

    Apple really only have to prove their losses here.

  41. Ivan Headache

    @AC

    "All you poor Windoze zealots secretly pining for Mac OS X. Makes me laugh!

    Get a grip, get a life, get a Mac!

    Or, buy 3 PC's for the same money......."

    So it takes 3 PCs to do the same work as 1 Mac.

    Has anyone noticed that as soon as an Apple item appears on El Reg, it doesn't take too long before an AC posts with the word 'turd' somewhere.

    Is is the same AC?

    If so, AC you have a problem and need therapy.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Ivan Headache

    "So it takes 3 PCs to do the same work as 1 Mac." - No just cost's 3 times the price.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legal ignorance

    "Real issue is the fact they are cramming OS X onto non Apple hardware, therefore tangibly causing Apple financial loss for each machine sold.

    "Apple really only have to prove their losses here."

    Causing a company to lose money is not grounds for suing them, otherwise Apple could sue Microsoft every time someone bought a Windows PC. Apple must prove Psystar actually violated some law. And the law around EULAs is rather messy and not fully tested, with many EULAs perhaps not legally enforcible.

    The USA still has some anti-trust laws which are intended to promote competition, as well as laws to protect intellectual property. If Psystar offer a better or cheaper product, they will succeed as a business, and good luck to them. If they offer a worse, buggy, badly-supported product, they'll go bankrupt no matter what Apple does.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Re: "Get a grip, get a life, get a Mac!"

    Get bent.

  45. sleepy

    what's presumably happening here is . . .

    Psystar's first lawyers wouldn't do any more work without being paid, so they got a new lawyer who's willing to do it for the publicity. If there is a covert financer of Psystar, they may afraid of being found out.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    re: GO PSYSTAR!

    Erm, you do realise that Psystar has simply taken the work from the various groups in the hackintosh community and tried to make money from it?

    Worth noting (as yet) that Apple hasn't gone after the hackintosh community, most of which is absolutely furious with Psystar as not only has its open source work has been ripped off by a company trying to cash in, but Apple may decide to their efforts aren't as harmless as once thought.

  47. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Grenade

    "buy 3 PC's for the same money"?

    Yep, 'cos the new efficient super Windows bloatware needs a three-node cluster to be able to run up a word processor, spreadsheet or browser, but not all three at once obviously

    "*nix, efficiency inside!"

  48. Charles 9 Silver badge
    Alert

    Re: So... (@AC)

    But if they make the OS too expensive, people will stop buying it, and their revenues will dry up. Why do you think Microsoft is going out of its way to make Windows 7 so affordable. They WANT people to make the jump, so they're reducing their revenues to get people on board.

    But back to the subject. If the EULA argument gets a hearing, you can rest assured just about any software company doing business in the USA will be watching this very carefully. If EULA's are found to be unenforcable beyond that which is already in the law, then this both restores the resale and transfer rights of software (as it is with music and books) and boosts the case for the right to resell and transfer software in the increasing world of digital downloads.

  49. Michael C

    You did not buy the OS...

    ...you only bought an UPGRADE to the OS... Apple does NOT sell the OS wholesale at all. You have to actually have a working Macintosh in order to use the retail copy. Sure, the disk in the box performs both a "full install" as well as an "upgrade install," but so does your upgrade copy of Vista, XP, etc... The only difference is that Microsoft requires an activation key, and validation of previous purchase (insert old CD or type in old CD key to validate your upgrade), and Apple can assume you have a Mac, and since all Macs come with OS X (Not all PCs come with Windows) and doesn't need such a process, making the "upgrade" status less obvious.

    If the EULA does fall (a HUGE if, as it would have MASSIVE rammifications throughout the industry, and no small judge is likely to risk the backlash of such a decision without federal appelate backing) then Apple will simply relable all the existing copies "Upgrade" (reflecting it;s actual status) and then start selling "full versions" for the appropriate price (likely between $300 and $400 a copy, reflecting appropriately their profit margin on a system).

    ...and for those of you STILL saying things like: "Get a grip, get a life, get a Mac! Or, buy 3 PC's for the same money......." You still fail to make actual performance/price comparrisons. If you DID, you'de know that each Apple machine falls nicely between $100+- of each equivalent HP, Dell, etc machine. Yes, you can get an el-cheapo PC notebook for $500, and the cheapest Mac notebook starts at $850, but the cheaspest Dell that compares to that $850 mac is a 15" monster costing over $1000, weighing nearly double, and has only a 2 hour battery life (and lacks bluetooth, firewire, an SD reader, backlit keyboard, is made of cheap plastic, the warranty costs more, and the vid card is inferior compared to the CHEAPER Mac). The higher in class system you go, the cheaper Apple gets. At the top end, their systems undercut Dell's pricing by $400+. Some MacPro desktop configurations are $2,000-3,000 cheaper than the competition.

    What good is a $500 notebook if it can barely meet the minimum specs to run Windows? If it's a "netbook" equivalent in a larger form factor, Apple has made it QUITE CLEAR, that is NOT their target user base, they're only interested in people who either use lots of media (manage tens of throusands of pictures or edit home videos), or people who use the machines professionally. Low end users are only profitable until the first time they call tech support, and low end machines that can't properly handle the OS and applications cause users to call support more frequently. Apple will not lower their standars of Support to Dell's level, now will they distribute different "versions" of their OS crippled to support the hardware underneath it.

    If you want a PC for your kid for researching school project and word processing, get them a cheap machine with Linux. If you have a grandma who wants to video chat and online shop, but that's about her level of technical understanding, get her a cheap PC. If you are a family, have a camera and camcorder, and communicate regularly with other members of your family who do the same, and maybe want to actually play some games on that machine as well, than an Apple Mac is in 80% of cases the CHEAPER option.

  50. B3vil
    Boffin

    Install on a MAC?

    Can you legally install OSX on a MAC, then move that hard disk into a standard PC, and have it work? You installed it legally, right?

    Could that be a loophole in their EULA?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris P

    Your argument would make more sense if Apple hardware wasn't itself unreliable crap that costs a fortune to buy and a second fortune to fix. I know Apple users who replace their machines every 18 months because that's how long they think computers are supposed to last and it's cheaper than sending them off to whatever secret bunker Apple repairs are done in. As a consultant, I regularly find cupboards full of discarded Apple machines less than 2 years old and managers who say "it just stopped coming on one day".

  52. Doc Spock
    Alert

    Buying vs. Licensing

    First off, I'll admit that I haven't read all the comments, but here goes...

    Common argument against EULAs: "If I buy something, I can do with it what I want"

    Well, that's rubbish - and here's the - obligatory - analogy to prove it:

    I buy a bus. It is mine. Yet I *cannot* drive it because __my driver's licence__ doesn't allow me to.

    Owning something whose *use* requires a licence does not imply that you can use it in any way you want. That is what the licence is for (funny that, wonder where they got the name...)

    If^H^HWhen this goes to court, Apple will win. Even if it is in Texas. All that may come out of it is a requirement to display a plain-english (non legally binding) summary of an EULA when it is presented to you.

  53. Ivan Headache

    @ Robert Long 1

    "As a consultant, I regularly find cupboards full of discarded Apple machines less than 2 years old and managers who say "it just stopped coming on one day"."

    If these managers can't keep the Macs working then no wonder they're in all these cupboards.

    Still it's better than being the skip with all the PCs that have suddenly become out of date.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Doc Spock

    You are confusing The Law with a private company's desire for control over their customers. There is no law which says that I must get permission from Ford to modify my car, nor from Epson to use their photo-paper in a Canon printer. There is likewise no law which compels me to use Apple software on Apple hardware, and it is important that this remains the case for reasons that should be bleeding obvious.

    I don't personally understand the desire to use modern Apple software or hardware*, but I do care about faceless multinationals being allowed to make up the law at a whim just because they have the money to keep a court case alive long enough to put legitimate challengers into bankruptcy.

    If I own something, then it is up to the democratically elected government (be it ever so corrupt) to limit what I can do with my own property, not some jumped up bunch of foreign rip-off merchants.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Legal ignorance

    Quote: "Apple must prove Psystar actually violated some law. And the law around EULAs is rather messy and not fully tested, with many EULAs perhaps not legally enforcible."

    No they don't have to do anything of the sort. All Apple has to do is prove that Psystar broke the DMCA (which they have, otherwise they simply would not be able to get OS X to install on non-Apple hardware). That is all. Psystar haven't got a hope in hell of winning this case regardless of the legal worth of an EULA or not. The EULA is completely irrelevant to this case.

  56. B 9

    @Corrine

    "Few companies support the OS beyond 'here's a re-imaging tool' and you certainley don't get free support from MS anymore."

    - May I introduce you to AppleCare? I guess that makes Apple one of the "few" that you mentioned?

  57. B 9

    @AC

    "Or, buy 3 PC's for the same money......."

    Annnnd what? Get 150K+ viruses for free? No, wait, I see what you mean, you have spare PCs to use when the others are compromised? Have registry lock? Are being scanned for spyware/viruses?

    Sage advice. Buy 3 crappy machines. On an ironic note, the difference between man and monkey was that man was supposed to be able to learn from his mistakes. It appears you belong to the monkey genus?

  58. Puck
    Paris Hilton

    Pah!

    Although I agree with users on here who imply there is an anticompetitiveness and anticonsumer issue about Apple having a monopoly on tied software-hardware packages, nonetheless UK users commenting should note in the US Apple self-cert-taxpayers get a tax deduction anyway, to buy a new computer every three years; as for other users being disadvantaged by the overpriced hardware Apple sells with its superior OS, it should be borne in mind that the low-end Macs work fine: other than video and photoshop (which worked fine on G4 Macs -admit it), the seriously processor-hungry software like proper voice recog, and gaming, is all only on PC!

    To look at the starship-enterprise-specced Macs in some folks' homes, running email and youtube, you'd wonder how people got by in 2000 with their 366mhz G3s and G4s -and yet they did, just fine, and Hollywood and the music charts and god knows what else, from the time, are testament to that; I remember the 400mhz G4 Powerbook being called 'the first portable supercomputer' - and it was!! The upshot being, if you need a supercomputer, get a Mac Mini (OK wait til the i5 version comes out) and enjoy.

    Paris, because, er, we'll always have her.

  59. I didn't do IT.
    Boffin

    eula IS NOT dmca, et. al.

    @ (Trygve Henriksen) @AC: Apple never had to do copyright protection on their OS before? I seem to remember something about Heath Computers putting out a Motorola 68K chip-based kit computer that Apple simply freaked out about. As I recall, that is what started the hardware copyright engineering of MAC OS. There are still things going on in the BIOS, and that is why Apple had to release BootCamp to allow MS OS to run on a "WinTel" machine...

    @ (Chris P) Mac Cracking FAIL: What the BMW dealership says when the customer brings in a Ford, or a Chevy, or a Cooper; "Thank you sir, please sign here on the estimate, and we will have your car back to you in XX days for $$$. Please have a good day, and thank you for your business!"

    @ (Jonathan 6) @ Go Psystar: You are absolutely, positively, 100% exactamundo right! If Psystar has to go against the DMCA, they are toast. Good thing this is not IP or copyright infringement, then, isn't it? The Digital Millenium COPYRIGHT Act does NOT APPLY in this case because Psystar is 1) NOT selling its machines as genuine Apple brand machines, 2) NOT selling unlicensed copies of Apple's MAC OS, and 3) NOT attempting to reproduce or distribute counterfeit or forged copies of Apple's copyrighted software. All "preinstalled" software from Apple appear to be legally purchased.

    The problem here has nothing to do with copyright law, people. Sorry, sad fact, but true. An EULA (End User License Agreement) is a CONTRACT, and therefore does NOT gain any protection from DMCA or any other clause or statute about copyright, international or otherwise, even though Apple DOES copyright its EULA's (but that's another matter)...

    Because of this, Apple needs to be suing under BREACH OF CONTRACT, and its current claims of "copyright infringement, inducement of copyright infringement, trademark infringement", etc. (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-9991779-56.html). In fact, Apple attorney, Mark A. Goldstein, compares this sale to the "Grokster ruling", which was about a company convicted of contribuatory copyright infringement through the sale of its software. How this relates to LEGALLY PURCHASED copies of its software...

    Well, Apple claims that the LEGALLY PURCHASED copies of MAC OS Psystar must be using are upgrade versions only, and not valid (or available) for clean installs. Yet, this is shown to be false from here (http://www.apple.com/macosx/specs.html), where an installed MAC OS is not listed as a requirement; simply a "Mac computer with Intel processor". While it may be argued that Apple INTENDED to have it listed as "Mac computer with Intel processor [and existing copy of MAC OS]", IT DOES NOT, and that is what lawyers drool over and judges rule over. Likewise, while the page details upgrading from v10.5 and v10.4, it does not say that you CANNOT upgrade from any other version of MAC OS, or from anything at all.

    As YOU CAN install MAC OS without having a previous version installed, then Apple's case falls apart (it must be what Apple intended, otherwise the software WOULD NOT DO IT). If they try to argue differenly, then the lie quickly comes to surface, and the "update EULA" shows to be a red herring. For notice, I have not found a MS CD of XP labeled "Upgrade" that would install WITHOUT a copy of Windows installed on a hard drive, or without having a valid MS Windows installation CD of previous versioning. That is, after all, what MS intends.

    Now, if the install is predicated on something being in the computer to prevent "unintended or unauthorized" installation, THEN there is a case for DMCA, because that would be circumvention of a copyright enforcement mechanism (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap12.html#1201). However, it is useful to point out that the Apple legal team do not appear to have that as part of the case... And it is also worth noting that it is not required, as "Michael C" points out above.

    @ (Doc Spock) Buying vs. Licensing: Sorry, but in order for you analogy (as it stands) to be applicable, there must be a STATE MANDATED AND RUN licensing bureau, department or agency that will license you to operate a computer. However, you DO NOT need such a license to operate a computer. Your analogy would actually be "I buy a bus, it is mine. Yet I *cannot* drive it because _my driver's license_ doesn't allow me to run the ROM code in the bus' internal computer module that controls the fuel injection and timing", which is FALSE. Even without a CDL (Commerical Drivers License) Class C (or Chauffer's licence) you CAN get in, turn the key and run the engine, legally (at least in my state, and in TX from what TX BMV seems to say on the website) as long as you do not drive on PUBLIC roads or property. You can drive your bus all day long on closed tracks, private property, etc. There is still nothing about your driver's license to stop you from TAKING OUT that computer module, and putting it in ANOTHER BUS OF A DIFFERENT BRAND, which might be a closer analogy to what is actually happening here.

    Of course, I am not a lawyer. Luckily, lawyers have no monopoly on common sense, or the ability to take the time to read a contract properly, or even to interpret law. That just means that I cannot (legally?) charge someone to give my advice to them on legal matters, and I cannot represent anyone other than myself in court without a legal instrument (power of attorney - ironic, isn't it?).

  60. Don Fredricks
    Stop

    @Doc Spock

    If I buy a bus, I most certainly may drive it, license or no, *on my own private road*.

  61. Mike Powers
    FAIL

    The PR Firm of Camara & Sibley

    Based on the way the Jammie Thomas trial went down, it's obvious that Psystar doesn't expect to win. What he plans to do is to cop-opt the machinery of the legal system to distribute his press releases and opinion statements. (Same thing with the Tenenbaum trail.) Expect a lot of briefs that are long on rhetoric and short on citations, and only tangentially (if at all) refer to the case at hand.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't care about Apple specifically...

    But this case has the potential to destroy every EULA written in the past 15 years and cause some very serious damage to the software industry in general as it takes the idea of software licenses and tosses it right out the window. Expect numerous "friends of the court" briefs and testimony from all manner of high profile individuals and companies.

    I'm not sure how to feel about what lies at the end of a Psystar victory.

  63. Ivan Headache

    @By I didn't do IT

    I'm quite intrigued by your post - particularly the bit about upgrades.

    This happened yesterday.

    I took delivery of a new mac mini which is going run Apple Server software.

    I removed the original HD and fitted a larger one. I took the server software dvd but found that I couldn't start the mac up with it. Removed the DVD and put in an ordinary Leopard install DVD (retail) - I have to format the drive before I can start work. Once again the mac will not start up.

    For the first time ever, the only way I could get that mac to start was to use the DVD that came in the box with it. So I get the HD fomatted, remove the DVD and insert the server DVD. It still refuses to start. Next I go back to the retail DVD and still it won't start. I have to use the supplied dvd to start the mac and install the OS that is on it.

    After that the server software installs without an issue.

    This is the first time in many years I have not been able to take a new HD stick it in a mac and format it and install from a retail DVD so perhaps things are changing and these retail CDs are actually upgrades after all. (Unless the Mac Mini is a different beast altogether!)

  64. Doc Spock
    Happy

    A Response

    OK, I'll admit there were flaws in my analogy, and that I would be able to drive the hypothetical bus on a private road, modify said bus with "go faster stripes" (for example), and so on.

    However, my intended point was that there exists a legally-enforceable licence which prevents me from doing certain things and thus I cannot do **whatever I want** with the bus. In the same vein, there is a licence that is designed to prevent owners of OS X from using it in certain ways. Saying that, I will concede that its enforceability in law is not as clear cut.

    Still, I would be very surprised if Psystar got anything other than a big fat bill to pay when it goes to court.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Doc Spock

    "There is likewise no law which compels me to use Apple software on Apple hardware, and it is important that this remains the case for reasons that should be bleeding obvious."

    But there is a law which compels you not to alter Apple's software so that it runs on another kind of machine, directly depriving Apple of a sale.

  66. This post has been deleted by its author

  67. ElReg!comments!Pierre
    Flame

    [the odd loonie's rant] Of EULAs and Apple PCs

    This EULA is a joke, but which EULA is not? How can a post-sale "contract" be enforceable in the first place?

    Yes, I know why Apple are doing this. It's twofold actually. First, the "official" reason: they tweaked the OS to work with their machines and want the end-user to get as good an "experience" as possible. I'm no fan of AppleOS myself, but I use it from time to time and it's reasonnably pleasing, if only a bit bloated (but I reckon that my expectations are pretty high on this front). Then the "unofficial" reason: they want to preserve the cashcow that their hardware business is. Unlike many Mac fans seem to think, Apple hardware is really less than prime-cut, and you can find better hardware for a fraction of the price (_including_ very high-end workstations). In my limited experience in Mac (or, as we normal people call them, "Apple PCs" or "Apple workstations") support, I couldn't help but notice that Apple hardware has a very annoying tendency to crap itself regularly when presented with sustained high workloads. Only anecdotic evidence I must admit, but quite reproducible in "my" hands. Maybe I'm just not very lucky. I have to admit that Apple's post-sale support is better than most, which kinda makes up for it, but repeated downtime is not acceptable in some cases, no matter how diligent the rep is. Think million-dollar microscopes shared on a pay-per-use basis....

    Now before I'm called a "windows fanboy" again, I must say that I also have to maintain a shitload* of Windows systems, and that has made me to hate MS beyond what words can express, but at least it will (legitimately) run on "inexpensive", reliable harware, leaving you with only the software cockups to deal with (and with Windows, that's far more than enough, thank you very much for asking). So if I didn't know how to tweak and deploy Linux or BSD distros, I would welcome the possibility to put AppleOS on some real good -and cheap- hardware. But hey, look, I don't need to! Still, being able to (legitimately) slap AppleOS on cheap and reliable machines would be a plus for some. That's why I still stand against Apple on this one (not _with_ the guys at PsyStar and their somewhat dubious morality. See, Hackintosh guys? that's why a "cancer" like the GPL is sometimes needed. But _against_ Apple, and _against_ ridiculous EULAs, that's for sure).

    On the other hand, the inflated price for Apple's PCs and workstation is probably what allows them to sell the OS at relatively low prices. I'm sure the hackitosh guys will agree with a significant increase in their beloved OS' retail price if they want to be able to slap it on random machines... or will they?

    As a sidenote, I'd like to remind the "Jobs is god and Apple is its prophet" -or the other way round- crowd that there is about as much real innovation in AppleOS as there are vitamins in a standard McDonald meal**. That's true for other OS vendors, too (Who just shouted "Microsoft!"?), but it doesn't make it any more glorious. It's all shiny wrapping around stolen ideas (which, incidentally, makes the often-heard "Vista stole Apple's look-and-feel" stance very, very ridiculous).

    Sorry for the boring rant, best regards to all, flame on!

    *shitload being a very appropriate term in this context

    ** In case you wondered, it means "not a lot at all" ***

    *** Jobs _did_ come up with reasonably new ideas at some point. But I guess no Jobsian will want to talk about NeXT right now...

  68. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Blood is all the same colour

    OK, as the title suggest, take a knife and cut yourself, the go and cut someone with Asian, middle eastern, European, and African decent, the blood is still red. Also check the location of all organs in each of these people, they're all in the exact same location.

    Now open up a Mac and a Dell, the guts of these things are practically the same, even the CPU will be identical, so why can't I run OSX on my Dell???

    What I'm getting at is this, if Apple opened up the EULA, and the OS to run on ANY x86-64 system, they would probably find that more people would purchase OSX.

    My last question is this, if the Mac and the Dell are 95% identical internally, why is the Dell 1/3 of the cost of the Mac?

    You know, if I could install OSX on my custom built PC legally, I'd go out and buy a copy, just because I could.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More than money

    You can't run OS X on your Dell because Apple would sell less machines. Really they don't even have to justify it - if they don't want you to run it on a non-Apple machine, they can. If they want to put in software locks, they can.

    Apple don't want 100% of the market - it's not about shifting copies of OS X, it's about selling hardware with high desirability with high profit margins. The brand reflects these values.

    Other companies like Dell have the pile em high, sell em cheap market sewn up. There's no point trying to take over that segment because you'll make less profit and devalue your products with a higher purchase price.

    Why are Dell's a third the cost? Because people want to pay two thirds extra for an Apple.

    Why do people pay more for a Volkwagen Golf than a Skoda Octavia? They're the same car.

    Why do people pay more for Armani jeans than a supermarket's own brand?

    Although, you've got to admit Apple machines look better and are far more stylish than a Dell. Also bear in mind that their are far higher R&D costs for any Apple machine than for a Dell.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dell supplying software allowing OS X installation

    http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/32047/Apple-hints-at-OSX-on-PCs

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Eh.

    At one point the Apple Mac was definitively a different beast from the PC. Different processor, different architecture, different interfaces. They were like the last company from the 70s and 80s where you bought a computer from company Foo and only software and hardware designed to run on or work with company Foo's machine would work. It was Commodore vs Sinclair vs Atari vs Acorn vs how many other companies.

    The PC has gotten where it was because it was designed to run on "commodity" hardware - standard stuff that you could buy off the shelf from anywhere, possibly even from third parties outside of IBM. After the BIOS got reverse engineered, it meant anyone and their mother could make an "IBM/PC compatible" computer. The inevitable result is that "PC" is now a standard computing platform used everywhere, and the only alternative machines that survive are ones that find their own niche. Apple's niche was graphic designers, because back in the day, the PC's graphical capabilities were less than stellar.

    These days though, the PC isn't the same lumbering old beast that it used to be. You've got people plugging the equivalent of three playstation 3s into their computer at once and calling it an "SLI rig", with the equivalent of a high end synthesizer posing as a sound card. The old way of "make your own special product and tie an entire market to it" only works for one company these days, and Apple aren't Microsoft. If it wasn't for the iPod and other similarly capitalized products, I don't think Apple would exist today except as a subsidiary of someone else, possibly a Redmond based company.

    What Apple did with the latest generation of macs is to get the guts of a PC, put their own variation on a BIOS in there (sorry, EFI, whatever) and call it a Mac. A sound business move because it's got to cost a whole lot less, much like grabbing the guts of BSD and putting a nice Appley interface with Apple apps in it and calling it OS X. You get to please the appletards while also grabbing a chunk of unixtards who aren't so bothered about being a freetard but like their bash shells and hey doesn't it come in a nice swanky slightly-off-white case?

    As for the ruling, I want PsyStar to win. I've never liked the idea of a software patent or EULAs that think they are more powerful than copyright law to begin with. It was - if I remember right - Compaq's devious ingenuity that first used the cold-room reverse engineering method to make "A machine that does the same thing as an IBM/PC but isn't an IBM/PC", and that resulted in creating not just a product but a whole industry. You can't say IBM did badly out of it either.

    Now if someone were to make a similar standard operating environment that was free to use, modify and redistribute, and you didn't need to pay a tax to some company or other for every machine you have, and came with in-built protection devices in its license against monopolising behaviour, I'd definitely be for that.

    Oh hang on, wait..

  72. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    RE: Buying vs. Licensing

    @ Doc Spock

    >> I buy a bus. It is mine. Yet I *cannot* drive it because __my driver's licence__ doesn't allow me to.

    The issue here is that the typical EULA restrictions are the equivalent of you buying a bus, but the bus manufacturer telling you what you amy and may not use it for. Whether there is a legal restriction (such as needing a driving licence and insurance) is a different matter.

    But that aside, I believe Apple are attacking on two fronts :

    1) Copyright infringement. Because Phystar aren't complying with the licensing terms, then they don't have a licence to use the software. That's copyright infringement.

    2) They are also applying the DMCA which is one of those really stupid anti-consumer laws passed at the behest of the music and film industries. Because they have to use a hacked component, that is automatically a breach of the DMCA because they have "circumvented a technical protection measure".

    I think their best bet is to get the EULA clause declared unreasonable and unenforcable - thus restoring the "first sale" limitations to all of us. IF they can do that, and it's a big IF, then they would be able to defend th DMCA action on the grounds that the "technical protection measure" is preventing lawful use - and so they have the right to circumvent it, but only so far as is required to make lawful use of the (in this case) software.

    Unless they can get the terms of the EULA declared unlawful, then they have no defence against the DMCA charge and are screwed.

  73. Craig 28

    re:eula

    Seem to recall something in the past about MS' EULA trying to stipulate that the computer on which their OS was installed on became MS property as a result. Surely the dismissal of one part of a EULA doesn't make them all in jeopardy.

    Frankly I think the EU would have been better off weighing in on this matter than sodding about making MS remove media player and/or internet explorer.

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