Apple nukes Psystar

Apple nukes Psystar

Summary: The Apple vs Psystar case has ended rather predictably, with Apple basically nuking the Mac clone maker out of existence.


The Apple vs Psystar case has ended rather predictably, with Apple basically nuking the Mac clone maker out of existence.

Florida-based Psystar rose to fame back in February of 2008 when it started to market Mac close systems - basically PCs modified and configured to run the Mac OS. In July of that year Apple threw a spanner into Psystar's plans by filing a lawsuit against the company. That case has been progressing through the legal system ever since.

However, on Friday Judge William Alsup dealt what seems to be a fatal blow for Psystar by granting Apple’s motion for summary judgment while denying Psystar’s counterclaims.

Basically Alsup ruled that the Mac OS End User License Agreement (EULA) is both legal and valid and ruled that installation of the OS on non-Apple hardware is not allowable. Period.

Alsup also dismissed claims that Psystar was protected by the first sale doctrine (doctrine that gives purchasers of a copyrighted works the right to resell without the permission of, or payment to, the copyright holder). Alsup stated that first sale doctrine only applies to legal copies of software and since Psystar had modified the OS to run on their systems, it did not apply.

This isn't the end though. A hearing is scheduled for December 14 to thrash out remedies, which should be interesting. And who knows, Psystar might still appeal.

So, what does this mean? Well, basically that Psystar is dead. Nuked out of existence by Apple's legal machine. It also sees the legal system side with the EULA. It also kills off any chance of seeing other OEM come out with Mac clones anytime soon.

At time of writing the Psystar website is still open and offering systems running Mac OS X for sale.

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Apple's legal team...

    ...didn't nuke Psystar, the law nuked Psystar. They were acting
    unlawfully from the start. A good analysis can be found over on
    Groklaw (
    • I agree. Apple doesn't want OS X on non-Apple hardware.

      Apple has that right. They sell hardware and happen to supply the OS to operate said hardware.

      Want OS X? Buy Apple hardware. EOS!
      No More Microsoft Software Ever!
      • Ever the comedian aren't you.

        To stand behind a corporation bent on gouging the consumer while out the other side of your mouth you rant and rage on about Windows legal EULA and legal right to sell their software with their legal partners.

        Just like your nic, your double standards do nothing but highlight your biased opinions and negate you from having any professional qualities.
        • Here come the clowns...

          • Great song. Sad Cafe circa 1978

            On the other hand, my nic is not "no more open source software ever!", speaking of clowns.
          • Good come back!

            Credit where it's due!
          • Well Done - nt

        • Yes, quite entertaining - nt

      • fortunately, I DON'T want an Apple OS anywhere NEAR my PC

        I own several Macintoshes. They have very artistically-designed cases and are splendid examples of industrial design. However, I have not found an Apple OS to handle the business tasks I have worked with (word processing, database management, image processing and some computer applications development) as well as the contemporary front-line Microsoft OS and its available applications since the mid-1990s.

        My last go-around with Macintosh OSes - the 8.x series shipped with iMac desktops - cured me of ANY desire to operate an Apple OS on ANY hardware platform. My wife's former employers were and continue to be a Mac shop despite constant system outages, data loss and not infrequent malware problems (oh, but Macs don't GET viruses.... ). The "I'm a Mac" character on Apple's TV ads should be played by Tommy Chong.
  • Read the decision...

    you can find it at

    Apple does not stifle competition; they do not prevent anyone from
    selling an OS, nor from selling a computer. They have competition in
    both hardware and software.

    Judge Alsup: "Apple has not prohibited others from independently
    developing and using their own operating systems."
    • Correct

      Apple's not stopping you from installing Windows or Linux onto your Apple hardware. In fact, Apple helps you do it by providing Windows drivers for some of their hardware bits.

      Also, it's not illegal nor is it wrong in any way to be a monopoly. The government can't fault a company for being successful. It [i]is[/i], however, illegal to abuse your position as a monopoly in order to maintain a monopolistic hold on the marketplace.
      • Which is why Microsoft would be in trouble if Windows worked only on MS H/W

        Microsoft HAS a monopoly on Operating Systems for IBM-PC compatible computers. If Microsoft decided to manufacture said hardware and suddenly made Windows ONLY work on that hardware then MS would be abusing their OS monopoly.

        Apple does sell OS X. It comes with the hardware. They only sell OS X upgrades for existing Apple hardware customers.
        No More Microsoft Software Ever!
        • Where's my Franklin ACE

          Apple has a long history of protecting itself in this way, and their buiness model which is very different from the M$ model.
          the M$ model from the start was to sell S/W and services whereas the Apple model from the start was a combined approach.
          Its only since Apple started using INTEL chips instead of powerPc that the APPLE<-->MICROSOFT debate has grow hotter, since it is now possible to build a hackintosh (but no one said it was easy).
          PsyStar's mistake was to start selling the mahcines without Apple's blessing, and Apple made them pay dearly. Apple is like the big alpha male, don't fool with them or they will come after YOU.
          To me this is NO DIFFERENT than the guys who sell ripped DVD copies of movies on the sidewalk. Its more likely that a studio will go after them than someone who makes a "backup copy" of a DVD from a rental place to keep and posts it on bitorrent. Why? Because the bloke is earning profit from it! Folks, its all about the ca$h.

        • der

          so it's not about how heinous you are, just whether you're on top.

          Apple's big-brothering is hurting them in that it could garner a huge audience in its' OS, but it's obvious from their stance in the matter, that they make a metric buttload of money on their hardware (serious Duh) because part for part, a mac is exactly the same as a PC, except for that special "copy protection" parity chip that allows osX installation. Granted, they have serious design chops (MOSTLY. what is up with the Air, anyhow?) and they use good hardware, but not an extra grand good. They don't have phenomenal resolutions on their LCDs, nothing special in their superdisk drives (in fact, all of those miniDVD recording camcorder owners are out of luck using the discs with a mac.) but if they sold the OS to anyone, and made the extra money on the "value added"(coughcough) superior hardware th go with it, they would still have plenty of fanboi action, and more and more people would be enamored of osX, want to program for it, and be able to afford to. Apple's efforts to release "price-effective" hardware have turned up utter crap. They DO know their market. They DO have some of the most amazing ad people, and they absolutely know how to wring a buck out of every gen-x design freak to continue the fallacy that macs are better at anything at all besides emptying wallets and strongarming people who WANT the OS but aren't willing to sell a spleen or testicle to get it.
        • RE: Which is why Microsoft would be in trouble if Windows worked only on MS

          Microsoft HAS a monopoly on Operating Systems for IBM-PC compatible computers.

          Why is that? In part because Apple won't allow you to run their OS on any IBM-PC compatible computers.

          This is a marketing move on Apple's part to protect both the integrety and reputation of their OS and corporate image, and their profit margin.

          Imaging if MSFT only allowed Vista to run on MSFT built computers... we wouldn't have had all the horror stories of Vista not running properly on your hardware.

          You can run any flavor of Linux on an IBM-PC compatible computers. If Apple allowed their OS on IBM-PC compatible computers, then the MSFT "monopoly" might not even exist, seeing how OSX is so superior...
        • Microsoft DOES NOT have a monopoly on PC OSes

          In fact, Microsoft didn't have a definite lock on IBM-compatible PCs going back to the early 1980s. Later, those of us of a certain age remember Digital Research's DOS ("DRDOS," pronounced "Doctor DOS") as well as other non-Microsoft OSes which quite legally ran on IBM-compatible iron throughout the 1980s and 1990s. And, of course, Linus Torvald's OS and all of its derivatives have run on IBM-compatible computers with no problems relating to any "monopoly" owned by Microsoft or anyone else.

          Where DO you get your information?
          • Agreed

            But try telling that to those that think big means monopoly... although i am guilty of terming MS as a monopoly through its capability to monopolize just because of its sheer size.

            And i do have to agree with bb_attix... many Apple users are in the belief that MS is the big bad monopolist that should be tamed, when Apple seem to have the only OS that maybe able to loosen MS's grip on PC's if only they where to make it available to install on non Apple hardware.

            But there is a problem with that, without the safety of screened hardware, i fear OS X will become just another OS as its reputation for stability and reliability is tested.
      • Correct?

        Why is it legal to run another OS (Windows or Linux) on Apple hardware, but you can't run the Apple O/S on non Apple hardware?
        • Without being flippant...

          because it is! :)
        • It's the license

          If you don't know by now, the "legality" is the license/contract
          that users agree to when they buy from Apple--it simply does not
          allow their OS to be run on any hardware but their own. Microsoft
          chose a different business model and allows their OS to be run on
          essentially any hardware--but it also tries to strictly enforce the
          license/contract buyers agree to when they buy MS software or
          OS. It is not complicated.