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Unauthorized Mac clone maker Psystar throws in the towel

post #1 of 49
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Pesky would-be Mac clone maker Psystar said Friday it plans to close shop immediately, this following a definitive court ruling earlier this week preventing the company from shipping Apple's Mac OS X operating system on its third party systems.

Eugene Action, an attorney for the Doral, Fla.-based firm, told Dow Jones Newswire that Psystar President Rudy Pedraza will be "shutting things down immediately."

"They will not be in business," he added, noting that the company also intends to fire its eight employees.

Word of the shuttering comes roughly two weeks after Psystar said it would halt all hardware sales related to its unauthorized Mac clone business. It brings to a close a near 18-month legal saga that began in April of 2008 when the then little-known firm first began touting a $400 Mac clone via its website.

The fatal blow for Psystar came earlier this week, when a federal judge issued a permanent injunction against clone maker, banning it from selling hardware running hacked versions of the Apple's Mac OS X operating system.

Having been the recipient of Pystar's marketing taunts for roughly three months, Apple finally sued Psystar on grounds of copyright infringement in July of 2008. Psystar fired back the following month with a countersuit accusing the Mac maker of using anti-competitive tactics to unfairly squeezing out possible rivals.

However, Psystar would see its defense slowly unravel in the year that would follow, with the court throwing out the vast majority of its arguments before the clone maker made a bid for bankruptcy in an apparent attempt to delay the case.

Psystar ultimately agreed earlier this month to pay Apple a $2.7 million settlement, which included $1,337,500 in damages over copyright infringement, breach of contract, and violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Additional damages and attorneys fees amounted to another $1,337,500.

As of Thursday evening, Psystar's website had gone dark, though Action said Psystar intends to appeal the court's most recent decision.

The closing of the Web site also likely signifies the official end of the Rebel EFI product, which was a point of contention that stood out following this week's permanent injunction. The $50 application allowed users to install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on certain Intel-based machines.

In his ruling in a San Francisco federal court, Judge William Alsup said he would not specifically include the Rebel EFI product as part of the injunction. Alsup said he did so because Psystar's statements to the court avoided saying specifically what Rebel EFI does, so the judge felt it was inappropriate for him to determine whether the software falls within the scope of the injunction. However, he said the company's argument that it has a right to sell and distribute the software is weak, and likely would not hold up if properly tested in court.

"Whether such a defense would be successful on the merits, or face preclusion or other hurdles, this order cannot predict," Alsup said. "What is certain, however, is that until such a motion is brought, Psystar will be selling Rebel EFI at its peril, and risks finding itself in contempt if its new venture falls within the scope of the injunction."

At the time, it appeared likely that the Rebel EFI matter would be resolved in a separate lawsuit filed by Psystar against Apple in a Florida court. In that complaint, Psystar alleged that Apple was engaged in "anticompetitive attempts to tie Mac OS X Snow Leopard to its Macintosh line of computers." But with the Florida company's Web site gone dark, potential customers no longer have a method to purchase the Rebel EFI product.
post #2 of 49
post #3 of 49
Hasta luigi!
post #4 of 49
Quote:
As of Thursday evening, Psystar's website had gone dark, though Action said Psystar intends to appeal the court's most recent decision.

"Come back and I'll bite your kneecaps off!"

post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Pesky would-be Mac clone maker Psystar said Friday it plans to close shop immediately, this following a definitive court ruling earlier this week preventing the company from shipping Apple's Mac OS X operating system on its third party systems.

The wheels of justice turn slowly, but I guess they do turn after all!
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
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post #6 of 49
Adios, losers.

Time to get real jobs.
post #7 of 49
i mean really. did anyone expect them to stick around.

their Windows and Linux system prices were not so great that you couldn't do as well at the local Best Buy. and they have no local support outside of their neighborhood. who wants to have to ship a computer off for days to weeks everytime.

they needed the Mac gig.

and that was shut down by the Judge banning them from selling any computer system with Leopard or any other version of the OS or any other Apple created software of the essentially the same functionality (would that include the iphone OS???).. AND selling or giving away anything that would allow anyone else to install the software which means their 'we ship the machine before Mac OS is installed and let the user do that' doesn't fly.

News would have been if they didn't toss in and declared that they would live on even without the almighty Mac

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post #8 of 49
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"They will not be in business," he added, noting that the company also intends to fire its eight employees.

Considering they sold less than a 800* clones, I would highly suspect that there were that many full time.

I would also surmise that they will have difficulty paying the court settlement. But if I were them, paying or not being able to pay Apple is one thing. I would, however, be more concerned about paying back my investors.

*http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...ge_clone_sales
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

"Come back and I'll bite your kneecaps off!"


Sorry, I could not resist a line from one of all time favorite movies. Priceless!
post #10 of 49
Were they even profitable? Ever?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #11 of 49
Just one clone got whacked in the game of 'whack a mole'

There are dozens of others we know about, much much more we don't know about.

Small (and expensive) victory really.

Apple shouldn't have used commodity PC parts for it's computers, or at least tie OS X performance to a special chip so it can't run very well on anything other than authorized Apple hardware.

But perhaps it's Apple's plan for OS X to take over the free market, much like hacked Windows versions are in China.

But then Microsoft doesn't make very much money from China as the black market Windows has taken over there completely.

Is this Apple's plan? Work form the bottom up? Replace Microsoft?


Rebel EFI, that's where Pystar is going. Mucho bucks in software and not easily whacked like hardware sales.

Hmm, what new country will they set up in now? China?
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post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Were they even profitable? Ever?

Extremely unlikely. But keep in mind that any company that sells material goods (as opposed to services) will not see a cent of profit until all their initial investment is paid off.

But with Psystar the red ink must have been overwhelming, to say the least.
post #13 of 49
So can we say the same for Quo computers, who are selling nearly the same product as Apple, somehow without the price tag?
post #14 of 49
R.I.P. lol
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

So can we say the same for Quo computers, who are selling nearly the same product as Apple, somehow without the price tag?

They don't appear to be bundling the OS with the computer. They're just selling computers that are capable of running OS X. That's not a crime.
post #16 of 49
post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

"Come back and I'll bite your kneecaps off!"


haha classic
post #18 of 49
I mean, who could have guessed that with no business model, no products and 2.7 million dollars in damages due, that Pystar would fold.
post #19 of 49
How can a company that has only sold 800 computers support 8 employees? Lets say they managed a profit of $200 on each , (highly unlikely) that would make a grand profit of $160,000. Cost of operations (rent, electricity, taxes, insurance?) for a year of operation, would generously leave them with $115,000, divided by all 8 employees leaves less than $14.7k per employee. With no corporate income!! And the probability of a $200 per unit profit is probably twice what it would really be. All of them on welfare?
post #20 of 49
Finally! It's irritating to see all these little guys drain Apple's resources while the real enemy, Microsoft, continues to grow fatter and fatter.
post #21 of 49
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Originally Posted by jcallows View Post

Finally! It's irritating to see all these little guys drain Apple's resources while the real enemy, Microsoft, continues to grow fatter and fatter.

And lazier and lazier. I used to worry about Microsoft, but not anymore.
Please don't be insane.
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post #22 of 49
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Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

And lazier and lazier. I used to worry about Microsoft, but not anymore.

I'd be more wary of Google, these days.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #23 of 49
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Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I'd be more wary of Google, these days.

True story, I am.
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post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

So can we say the same for Quo computers, who are selling nearly the same product as Apple, somehow without the price tag?

Based on the Psystar ruling they have to stop making Mac clones too
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post #25 of 49
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Originally Posted by Dreadkid08 View Post

Based on the Psystar ruling they have to stop making Mac clones too

Apple would need to sue them separately.
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post #26 of 49
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Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Apple would need to sue them separately.

Yeah but now they can cite precedent.
post #27 of 49
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Originally Posted by jglavin View Post

Yeah but now they can cite precedent.

thats what I mean
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post #28 of 49
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Originally Posted by jglavin View Post

Yeah but now they can cite precedent.

I'm not sure it is one. Even if the case is published, and I don't believe that is automatic, a subsequent case has to be within the same court jurisdiction, and the facts of the subsequent case similar enough to the prior case for precedent to be successfully cited. What Psystar's loss really does IMO is put anyone else who might try what they did on notice that Apple will take them to the mat.
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post #29 of 49
Microsoft was backing Psystar. There's no one more underhanded at destroying the competition then them.
post #30 of 49
Maybe we can have a Psystar "We hardly knew ya!" video contest and submit here...

http://800beers.com/

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post #31 of 49
BOOOO!!! Apple you whore!
post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by shavex View Post

BOOOO!!! Apple you whore!

Oh look. It's one of the eight Psystar ex-employees.
post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Were they even profitable? Ever?

No, they lied to investors claiming they would sell 12 million Mac Clones in 2010...when they only sold about 700 in their entire business. But no one said thieves that steal were smart.
post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadkid08 View Post

Based on the Psystar ruling they have to stop making Mac clones too

Not only are forums such as this used as places to discuss issues & ideas, they can also be used as places to go to for one to increase their knowledge. In light of that, I am asking the following because I really want to know. I am in no way challenging you or any one else on this issue. So here goes.

If, as I have been told, Quo computers don't come pre-loaded with any operating system, then where is the problem? Is it illegal for them to build a computer that is capable of running OS X as long as they don't load OS X onto the machine? Who bears the burden of responsibility, Quo or the end user, especially if the end user has the choice to load XP (shudder, shudder), Linux, or OS X?

I just thought of another question that may render my questions above pointless, but I'll leave them anyway just in case.
Could the illegality on Quo's part be because they have to embed something in their system that makes OS X think it is going onto a Mac?
post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranky View Post

If, as I have been told, Quo computers don't come pre-loaded with any operating system, then where is the problem? Is it illegal for them to build a computer that is capable of running OS X as long as they don't load OS X onto the machine? Who bears the burden of responsibility, Quo or the end user, especially if the end user has the choice to load XP (shudder, shudder), Linux, or OS X?

I just thought of another question that may render my questions above pointless, but I'll leave them anyway just in case.
Could the illegality on Quo's part be because they have to embed something in their system that makes OS X think it is going onto a Mac?

They still run afoul of the EULA, since they're assisting the customer in breaking the license agreement. So I believe there is precedent for that, since if EULAs were ruled invalid, there would be no way for Microsoft to demand that OEM copies would be OEM instead of retail copies that you could move from computer to computer without paying more to Microsoft. So that EULA legal contract is probably only one of the reasons why Quo computers will get sued and lose eventually.

I'm also wondering if the EFI somehow hacks the OS to make it run. Doesn't seem like Apple would just let any EFI run its OS.. assuming there were any from the big PC makers. Which is a good point you bring up there.. they could still run afoul of the DCMA too, because they might be breaking whatever copy protection measures that Apple imposed so that it would run only on their hardware.
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

No, they lied to investors claiming they would sell 12 million Mac Clones in 2010...when they only sold about 700 in their entire business. But no one said thieves that steal were smart.

Actually they told would be investors that they would conservatively sale 70,000 computers in 2009 and were asking for $24 million. Dr. Matthew Lynde could only find evidence for 768 computers--just a little over 1% what Psystar thought would be its worst sale figures.

Clearly despite the deranged rantings of a few squeaky wheels (likely due to worn bearings) there is next to no market for Mac clones. The netbook market is a profit nightmare even more razor thin than the general PC market so there is no way Apple is going to mess with that at the low end.
post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

I didn't realize they only sold 800 clones. With as many times AI reports on this you would think they were going to suprass Apple in sales.

I didn't realize they sold that many.

C
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post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

They still run afoul of the EULA, since they're assisting the customer in breaking the license agreement. So I believe there is precedent for that, since if EULAs were ruled invalid, there would be no way for Microsoft to demand that OEM copies would be OEM instead of retail copies that you could move from computer to computer without paying more to Microsoft. So that EULA legal contract is probably only one of the reasons why Quo computers will get sued and lose eventually.

It is not so much the EULA they would run afoul of but the DMCA code apple uses to keep MacOS X from being installed on non-Apple hardware. The court doesn't care how weak it is only that it is there. I'm honestly not sure where Microsoft OEMs fit in all this but given Microsoft Corp. v. Harmony Comps. showing not able to prove that products sold were lawfully acquired was enough to shoot down First Sale doctrine and the case was in 1994 I have no idea why Psystar even tried that option with the supposedly pathetic state their record keeping was in.
post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcallows View Post

Finally! It's irritating to see all these little guys drain Apple's resources while the real enemy, Microsoft, continues to grow fatter and fatter.

psystar going down the toilet, a nice hanukkah gift for ballmer
suck on it, you moron

i hope the same happens to microsoft someday
post #40 of 49
Psystar = Self-destructive Morons
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