Clone Mac maker Psystar loses to Apple in attempted court appeal

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Psystar, a company that previously gained notoriety for building custom computers with hacked copies of Apple's Mac OS X operating system installed, lost an appeal in court this week, perhaps signaling an end to the lengthy saga.



Circuit Judge Mary Schroeder ruled in favor of Apple in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week, according to CNet. The judge maintained that Psystar violated Apple's copyrights related to Mac OS X in building custom knock-off computers.



The ruling may be the final ruling for Psystar, which has dragged on the proceedings with Apple for years. The ruling comes more than a year and a half after Psystar appealed the initial decision in January of 2010.



Apple initially sued Psystar for copyright infringement in July of 2008. The Florida-based company attempted to go on the offensive with a countersuit, accusing Apple of using anti-competitive tactics to defeat possible rivals, but the measure failed.



In December 2009, Psystar agreed to pay Apple a $2.7 million partial settlement. An injunction soon followed, effectively ending Psystar's business, but the company attempted to stay alive with its appeal that was struck down this week.







Even after Psystar was shut down, the company's website and store remained operational for some time, selling a t-shirt with the slogan "I sued Psystar... and all I got was a lousy injunction" written on it. There, visitors could provide the bankrupt company with donations in the amount of $20, $50 or $100.



Psystar also sold an application called Rebel EFI, which allowed Intel-powered PCs to run Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Sales of that product were halted by the court, which found that it violated Apple's copyright.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    This was soooo big a few years ago. I remember all my podcasts talking about it.



    I almost forgot about it!
  • Reply 2 of 39
    Anyone know the damages? Did they have to compensate Apple for any of this? Court costs?
  • Reply 3 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbonner View Post


    Anyone know the damages? Did they have to compensate Apple for any of this? Court costs?



    Except they have no money, unless I make a donation of $20, $50, or $100.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Screw Psystar, what a bunch of morons trying to fight Apple and countersue, when they were clearly in the wrong and it was obvious that they were going to lose.



    Apple doesn't go after individual people who make their own hackintosh and who installs OS X on it, but somebody who starts a company to mass produce and sell hackintoshes can't be the brightest person around. They were practically begging to be taken down due to their arrogance and stupidity, and Apple happily complied with their wishes.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,482member
    It takes a fearless frame of mind to even start a company like Psystar so it does not surprise me that they fearlessly battled (and lost) in court.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    Does SJ have "steal my IP" written across his forehead? What is it with these people?
  • Reply 7 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    It takes a foolish frame of mind to even start a company like Psystar so it does not surprise me that they foolishly battled (and lost) in court.



    You're only off by two phonemes.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    I was listening to the 1997 keynote a while ago where Steve was talking about how the clone-makers didn't want to pay licensing fees that were any higher than what they had paid before, even though those fees had seemed to be too low. I read something a while later about how after that, no one again tried licensing a Mac OS - but is that true? Does anyone here actually know if Apple would allow another company to license the OS if they paid a "fair" fee, or is it just not allowed after that fiasco 14 years ago?
  • Reply 9 of 39
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    we all figured pystar was being funded by apple competitors

    why can't apple get all their documentation to discover WHO was the puppet master
  • Reply 10 of 39
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post


    Does anyone here actually know if Apple would allow another company to license the OS if they paid a "fair" fee, or is it just not allowed after that fiasco 14 years ago?



    I really doubt that. As a matter of fact, I'd bet money against it happening, especially with Apple's position today. Steve Jobs was really pissed at those clone makers and he even used a curse word during that keynote, something that you normally don't see during an Apple keynote.
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post


    Does anyone here actually know if Apple would allow another company to license the OS if they paid a "fair" fee, or is it just not allowed after that fiasco 14 years ago?



    Of course they wouldn't. That's not what Apple is today.
  • Reply 12 of 39
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post


    I was listening to the 1997 keynote a while ago where Steve was talking about how the clone-makers didn't want to pay licensing fees that were any higher than what they had paid before, even though those fees had seemed to be too low. I read something a while later about how after that, no one again tried licensing a Mac OS - but is that true? Does anyone here actually know if Apple would allow another company to license the OS if they paid a "fair" fee, or is it just not allowed after that fiasco 14 years ago?



    Apple shut them down. I don't think the argument was about licensing fees, from what I remember. The problem was that the clones were supposed to expand the Mac market, but mostly took sales away from Apple.



    One problem was that it was expected that the clones would compete by making less expensive Macs on the lower end, and that Apple would reserve the high end for itself. That way, people would buy the clones because of price. But what happened was that the clone makers began to compete on the high end, and often got new cpu's before Apple did, because they didn't need as many, while Apple needed to wait until stocks were enough.



    So by the time Apple made a high end machine, a lot of customers already bought one from a clone maker.



    The licensing was badly written, is my guess.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post


    I was listening to the 1997 keynote a while ago where Steve was talking about how the clone-makers didn't want to pay licensing fees that were any higher than what they had paid before, even though those fees had seemed to be too low. I read something a while later about how after that, no one again tried licensing a Mac OS - but is that true? Does anyone here actually know if Apple would allow another company to license the OS if they paid a "fair" fee, or is it just not allowed after that fiasco 14 years ago?



    It is incredibly doubtful that Apple would license OSX to any general purpose OEM (there may be some vertical folks). A while back Dell had publicly stated that they'd be willing to ship an OSX compatible box but Apple never took them up on it. And why would they, they don't make money from OSX (or iOS), they make it from hardware sales. A fact apparently lost on many pundits years ago who were crying to Apple to "follow Microsoft" and turn the company into a software company (right after they switched from PPC to x86).



    So no, I certainly would not hold my breathe waiting for the second coming of the Mac clones (or iOS clones either for that matter) regardless of how much someone was willing to offer.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Apple shut them down. I don't think the argument was about licensing fees, from what I remember. The problem was that the clones were supposed to expand the Mac market, but mostly took sales away from Apple.



    Even the cannibalization would have been O.K., Jobs maintains, if Apple had earned more from licensing. But the fees ''don't come close'' to covering engineering and marketing costs, he says. Without killing off the clone program, ''Apple would have a very hard time returning to profitability, and it would drag down the whole Mac ecosystem.''



    http://www.businessweek.com/1997/37/b3544085.htm
  • Reply 15 of 39
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    You gotta love some of the Apple clones that were sold back in the day!



    Was this the Macbook Air of it's day?







  • Reply 16 of 39
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Even the cannibalization would have been O.K., Jobs maintains, if Apple had earned more from licensing. But the fees ''don't come close'' to covering engineering and marketing costs, he says. Without killing off the clone program, ''Apple would have a very hard time returning to profitability, and it would drag down the whole Mac ecosystem.''



    http://www.businessweek.com/1997/37/b3544085.htm



    Nah. That wasn't a real situation. There was no way that licensing fees could ever be large enough to do that. It wasn't the reason. He was just saying that IF they could have charged enough, it would have been ok. But they couldn't.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Even the cannibalization would have been O.K., Jobs maintains, if Apple had earned more from licensing. But the fees ''don't come close'' to covering engineering and marketing costs, he says. Without killing off the clone program, ''Apple would have a very hard time returning to profitability, and it would drag down the whole Mac ecosystem.''



    http://www.businessweek.com/1997/37/b3544085.htm



    Yeah, that's pretty much what I remember reading, but as melgross pointed out, that seems like just a convoluted way of saying they don't want any licensees anymore because it wouldn't ever be worth it.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Nah. That wasn't a real situation. There was no way that licensing fees could ever be large enough to do that. It wasn't the reason. He was just saying that IF they could have charged enough, it would have been ok. But they couldn't.



    Why is Steve Jobs claiming in this video that he would love to license Apple's software to the clone makers, but the clone makers told Apple to go pound sand?



    This is where he announces that Apple is killing the clones.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maIgu_7oLm0
  • Reply 19 of 39
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Why is Steve Jobs claiming in this video that he would love to license Apple's software to the clone makers, but the clone makers told Apple to go pound sand?



    This is where he announces that Apple is killing the clones.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maIgu_7oLm0



    I know, I was there. But it wasn't realistic, as I said. Jobs really didn't want clones. He really didn't. I don't know how much he was asking, but it had to be unrealistic. It was thought at the time, and I agree, that Apple was deliberately asking for amounts that wouldn't be accepted.



    The situation was that the Mac at the time was going nowhere. Micheal Spindler really screwed up holiday season 1995. That led to all of this. Businesses were divesting themselves of Macs. Apple asked what would make them consider Macs again, and the answer was to multi source them, because Apple was a fairly small company, and they were worried it could go out of business. So Apple complied. Motorola helped to push them in that direction.



    But it didn't work out. Apparently, the agreements weren't spelled out formally. So clones took the place of Macs instead of adding to them. At first, it was thought that within two years, Mac sales would double. But that didn't happen. If it did, then things would have been fine.



    I'm pretty sure, from talking to people I knew at Apple, and in a couple of cases, still do, that Apple wanted out of the clone business, and that it was thought they would turn Apple's offer down. That's what happened. The rest is Marketing speak.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Those clowns are still around?!



    I think they should have sold t-shirts saying "I thought I was smarter than Apple and now I am broke!"
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