Psystar countersues Apple, alleges anticompetitive business practices

Psystar countersues Apple, alleges anticompetitive business practices

Summary: Responding to a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Apple last month, Mac clone maker Psystar said it will file a countersuit today, alleging that Apple engages in anti-competitive business practices.CNET reports that Miami-based Psystar will sue Apple under two federal laws that are intended to discourage monopolies.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
9

Responding to a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Apple last month, Mac clone maker Psystar said it will file a countersuit today, alleging that Apple engages in anti-competitive business practices.

CNET reports that Miami-based Psystar will sue Apple under two federal laws that are intended to discourage monopolies. The company maintains that tying the Mac operating system to Apple's hardware - the computers - is anti-competitive. Psystar wants the court to void Apple's licensing agreement and is asking for unspecified damages. Psystar's lawyers are calling Apple's copyright infringement allegation last month "misinformed and mischaracterized" and are arguing that Psystar's Open Computer, which has been available online since April, is shipped with a fully licensed, unmodified copy of Mac OS X.

Apple will have 30 days to respond to the counterclaim.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

9 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Can Apple mention the original IBM PC/Compaq cloning incident?

    Whoops, I mean Psystar. Apple would be hanging a noose around its own neck if they brought up that ye olde lawsuit into court...

    Never mind "Apple hardware" is off-the-shelf PC hardware too, even their OS is based in part by OPEN SOURCE. People who volunteered to make software free for all.

    Worst of all, there's a tangent involved because it's the same hardware. Why should I ditch my $1000 DIY computer to spend $3000 or more for a comparably built unit with Apple's logo plastered all over it? That's a gross waste of resources that would end up in some landfill. Apple's actions are, in effect, environmentally unfriendly too.

    But that original lawsuit being a precedent, Apple hasn't got a chance, a prayer, and arguably a clue either.
    HypnoToad
    • Do you even understand..

      the issues around the Compaq/IBM dispute?

      Obviously not.

      If this were the same, Psystar would have to write their own
      version of OS X, like Phoenix did for Compaq.
      msalzberg
      • @msalzberg

        "Do you even understand..
        the issues around the Compaq/IBM dispute?

        Obviously not.

        If this were the same, Psystar would have to write their own version of OS X, like Phoenix did for Compaq."

        Um, a short history lesson: Phoenix did [b]not[/b] write an OS for Compaq. They cloned (reverse-engineered, whatever) the BIOS used in the IBM PC. They did this legally. The laws, however, have since changed, and such "reverse-engineering" can no longer be done.
        M.R. Kennedy
        • You didn't get my point.

          I obviously wasn't clear.

          The Compaq/IBM dispute centered on the BIOS, which
          Phoenix wrote in a "clean room," using no IBM code. I
          don't
          know if that's illegal anymore. I can't see why not.

          To make the Apple/Psystar situation analogous, Psystar
          would have had to write their own OS, rather than using
          Apple's copyrighted work. Since they didn't, this isn't the
          same as the Compaq/IBM issue.
          msalzberg
          • Psystar paid for the OS copies

            they're not just "using" it
            tikigawd
    • Good post, I agree 100% (nt)

      .
      NonZealot
    • You don't have to ditch your $1000 computer

      You would have to in order to buy a Psystar! But, you have the option of installing Windows, many flavors of Linux, and/or many flavors of Unix. You could also use Beos, OS2, and many other older OS's which are now open source.

      But, you cannot use OS X! Apple created it to run on Apple computers. That is their creation, and their right.
      jorjitop
  • This is getting interesting (NT)

    nt
    tikigawd
  • Apple will win.

    Apple owns the hardware and the software. They can say where it goes.

    So no soup for you.

    Pystar is trying to use an UPGRADE version of OS X on new equipment. There is no such thing as OEM version of OS X that can be obtained without an actual Apple Computer. Apple is not forcing others to install their OS on OEM hardware to the exclusion other OSs. Apple is not forcing others to build Apple computers in order to use their OS. Apple is not preventing other OSs from being installed on their hardware. Apple is selling their OS on their hardware, to their own exclusion, as a total package. Apple is preventing others from using their OS on other?s hardware. Apple is not in the business of selling the OS. They only sell it as an upgrade so previous Apple computer owners can keep up with the times, for a little while at least.

    The Pystar analogy to this would be if Yugo went to all of BMWs suppliers and said we want all the internal guts to BMW cars, engine, interiors, electronics, firmware, etc. Then proceed to produce a similar car to BMW with the parts. Of course the firmware isn't quite the same, the engine was assembled by Yugo workers and wasn't quite right. The shape of the car was a bit boxy, and the color was black or beige. However on the inside you have a complete BMW, leather seats, and on the dashboard is the BMW logo. Then proceed to tell your customers, it isn't BMW but it has BMW guts/parts. It's just as good at half the price. ?See the Logo??

    This isn?t legal or fair. Pystar is the predator here, taking advantage of Apple?s success and pirating not only the OS (as OEM), but Apple?s image, by even suggesting their computer runs and supports the Apple OS.

    Another issue. You can?t by any MP3 player and expect music to already be on it, unless the manufacture obtained a license from both the artist and distributer. Remember the U2 iPod? (a legal example) Even if the music was paid for, the manufacture or distributor of the MP3 player, can?t redistribute music in that way, of their own volition.

    The only reason Microsoft lost the IE on Windows issue was due to the total distribution nature of Windows in context to Microsoft?s practice of trying to exclude other OSs from being installed on PC hardware. Example: If you want to sell Windows, you can?t sell/distribute any other OS, on new computers, and expect an OEM discount ($34) for the OS. Also, while Microsoft had 95% share of the market, they made IE the default standard browser, and then proclaimed it couldn?t be removed. When you have such market shares you end up being king maker and this isn?t particularly good for the whole. However I think that Microsoft didn?t do anything wrong, they got too big and that strangled growth of others. They are kind of like crabgrass.

    So Apple is nothing like this. They have their own garden and it?s small and not bothering anyone. They made this really nice flower and want to keep it to themselves. If it was the only flower in the world, then they would have to give to everyone. But it?s not. It?s not air or water. You don?t have to have it and if it dies the world won?t suffer.
    danilko1