Psystar hires Apple-killing attorneys

Conventional wisdom seemed to dictate that as soon as Apple filed a lawsuit against Psystar, Psystar was going to start sneezing hemoglobin and teeth. But Psystar's being surprisingly resilient. They've just hired an attorney, and it doesn't appear to be some bargain-basement defender. They got a good one. The firm they've hired is Carr & Ferrell, who specialize in intellectual property cases. A few years back, they successfully fought Apple off in the case, and Apple was forced to settle and pay them $10 million in fees. In short, Psystar has hired an attorney with a proven track record of beating Apple in court in intellectual property cases. I've been hoping against hope that Psystar had some sort of plan here, and it appears they did indeed. It always looked like Psystar wanted to get sued by Apple, but the more obvious answer was corporate doofusism, as opposed to a conspiracy to test Apple's EULAs and copyright claims in court. Maybe Psystar is as wily as we hoped. Psystar retains Apple-beating law firm [ZDNet]
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7 Responses to Psystar hires Apple-killing attorneys

  1. Jorge says:

    I don’t mean to be cynical, but perhaps they are just trying to extract money from Apple and they are not so altruistic as you think.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Exactly! Apple’s hanging onto OS X after they’ve sold it, like a leech, instead of letting the market dictate its usage.

    They need to be smacked down. The same laws that let them buy a DVD Burner and include it in their computers also allow other people to buy OS X and resell it in their own bundles.

    It Apple wants to retain control they need to stop selling the OS at retail. They could license it via their website, only after making people view and acknowledge their contract.

  3. eeyore says:


    In the eyes of Apple, Psystar is a commercial entity whose entire business model is

    1. Adulterating an Apple product in ways expressly prohibited by the terms of sale in order to

    2. allow it to be used in ways expressly prohibited by the terms of sale, and THEN

    3. re-selling the product with the single advertised benefit of allowing the Apple product to be used in ways prohibited by the terms of sale.

    Now, very likely a private citizen who built such a thing for personal use and then sold it would receive First Sale protections – and that is as it should be. However, the rules may well be ( and should be ) different for a commercial entity.

    OS X is protected by copyright law, and that does give Apple some limited control over the commercial use of the product. Note that the case here is not really whether they could distribute a retail OS X CD with their hardware – I don’t think even our courts would dare to try to prevent that. The case is over whether or not they can – as a commercial entity – HACK OS X to work in an expressly forbidden ( as opposed to unintended ) – by ignoring TPM hardware checks and altering software update to reference non-apple servers fashion and THEN resell the results.

    In those terms, I think Psystar likely did overstep the bounds of law.

  4. Jorge says:


    I chose my wording poorly. What I meant to say is that Psystar may only be looking to get some lump payment out of Apple and then stop selling their wares.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jorge: And Apple isn’t trying to extract money from the DVD Burners and LCD panels they buy? Since when is profit illegal? In fact, much of society is geared just to get one guy’s stuff out to other people for a cut of the transaction. This middle-man behavior is encouraged. We call is retail, Value-Added-Reselling, etc.

    #4 (btw, use # for post #s, not @)

    I’m sure Apple would have a case is Psystar wasn’t clear in marketing this. But Apple is saying that Psystar isn’t allowed to try, no way, no how.

    Psystar is being very upfront about this. They aren’t providing what looks like an Apple, they’re providing a PC that will run OS X. There’s nothing shady about the marketing here.

    This doesn’t mean that Apple can necessarily disclaim warranty coverage. If the modification (hacking OS X) cannot be shown to have caused the failure, the warranty stands. (Your car company can’t disclaim warranty coverage because of off-brand parts, unless they show that those off-brand parts actually caused the problem.) So if iTunes deleted all your music for a bug that could have struck on real Mac hardware, Psystar users could get warranty coverage as well.

    This is really simple. Apple just needs to properly market their product, as licensed not sold, and remove it from retail channels. If they did that they could legally enforce this. But they want the benefits of retail sales (quick, common) without the cost of retail sales (losing control of the product.) Why should they be able to abuse copyright and contract law simply because they don’t want to properly market their product?

    I think Apple should be held to the same laws as the rest of the companies – the laws that have built our economy to this point. Apple should not be able to abuse copyright law to provide a monopoly on their market. Everyone jumps on Microsoft when they do this…

  6. Smurf says:

    Welll… Doctrine of first sale. Plus an EULA which may or may not be as enforcible as Apple hopes it to be.

    In other words, Psystar may actually have a legal leg to stand on. Whether that’s enough to not fall over is anyone’s guess.

  7. Downpressor says:

    Me personally I’m hoping for the outcome of bowel liquidation and tooth spraying on the part of Psystar. No love for leech types.

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