German clone maker "not afraid" of Apple

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
The makers of the PearC brand of Mac clones say they're standing on solid legal ground in Germany and will withstand legal action from Apple.



A spokesman for HyperMegaNet UG, which sells the Intel-powered towers under the PearC brand with a copy of Mac OS X installed, said while the company hasn't heard from Apple Legal yet it is "awaiting some soon."



"First, we try to settle with Apple out of court," Dirk Bloessl told Computerworld in an e-mail. "But if necessary, we are not afraid of going to court with Apple."



On PearC's website, the FAQ section includes the question "Is the PearC legal?" The answer reads, "Yes. According to european laws Apples EULA is void."



The saber-rattling from HyperMegaNet comes while Apple and Florida-based cloner Psystar are engaged in a similar dispute over copyright and competition, but according to the German company, PearC does not violate Apple's copyright or EULA there.



"The German law says explicit[ly], that restrictions made after buying a product are not valid," Bloessl said. "So, because Apple's EULA can [only] be first read after buying and starting the setup, they are invalid in Germany."



That is, since the system has already been paid for and turned on before the End User License Agreement ever appears, Apple can't make "restrictions" on the use of the operating system, HyperMegaNet argues.



According to the clone maker's website, the PearC Starter "combines good performance with an appropriate power drain" for 599 euros, or roughly $773. The base configuration ships with a 2.5GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core, 250GB hard drive, 2GB of 1066MHz DDR2 memory, a 256MB GeForce 7200GS graphics card from NVIDIA, three FireWire 400 ports, and ten USB 2.0 ports.



Meanwhile, the PearC Advanced (799 euros or $1030) is the "allround computer" that ships with a 3.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 500GB hard drive, 4GB of memory, a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS graphics card, and wireless. Available upgrade options include a Core 2 Quad processor, 1TB hard drive, 8GB of memory, a 1024GB NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX Plus, a second hard drive up to 1TB that can be preinstalled with Vista Home Premium, XP Professional, or Vista Ultimate, and a writable Blu-Ray drive.



The site offers to ship to Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and the U.K.



Back in the United States, a case that began in July recently took a few steps forward with Psystar's filing of an amended complaint late last week.



However, the trial isn't expected to start for another nine months.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 114
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,573member
    Apple should withdraw ALL retail sales of OSX and do an online upgrade option whereby Mac owners can purchase the OSX upgrade by supplying a valid serial number. This will sort out all of the wanna be Apple clone makers.
  • Reply 2 of 114
    guarthoguartho Posts: 1,208member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    That is, since the system has already been paid for and turned on before the End User License Agreement ever appears, Apple can't make "restrictions" on the use of the operating system, HyperMegaNet argues



    Isn't there a notice of the EULA on the box with a url to read the EULA before purchase?
  • Reply 3 of 114
    daseindasein Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Guartho View Post


    Isn't there a notice of the EULA on the box with a url to read the EULA before purchase?



    That would be my question. If that's the essence of their argument, it seems logically flimsy.
  • Reply 4 of 114
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,716member
    All EULA's are available on Apple's website:



    http://www.apple.com/legal/sla/



    There's nothing on the outside of my Leopard retail box that says anything about going to their website to access the EULA.
  • Reply 5 of 114
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    Apple should withdraw ALL retail sales of OSX and do an online upgrade option whereby Mac owners can purchase the OSX upgrade by supplying a valid serial number. This will sort out all of the wanna be Apple clone makers.



    Which would be cracked in about a week. Have we learned nothing from Microsoft??? And whats not to stop me from sharing my copy of OS X on a torrent site. Or hacking it so it runs on non-Apple Macs and then sharing it on a torrent site. All an online upgrade would do is create a HUGE headache for both Apple and customers trying to upgrade.



    The only way to stop it...go back to PPC processors and make Mac OS X a PPC only OS again. Of course we all know that isn't gonna happen!
  • Reply 6 of 114
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,573member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    Which would be cracked in about a week. Have we learned nothing from Microsoft??? And whats not to stop me from sharing my copy of OS X on a torrent site. Or hacking it so it runs on non-Apple Macs and then sharing it on a torrent site. All an online upgrade would do is create a HUGE headache for both Apple and customers trying to upgrade.



    The only way to stop it...go back to PPC processors and make Mac OS X a PPC only OS again. Of course we all know that isn't gonna happen!



    You miss the point. People will always pirate stuff but these clone makers wouldn't be able to release PC's with OSX on it. They would no longer be able to buy hundreds of legal copies of the OS to stick on their systems. If they were to continue they would have to use illegal software and they would get screwed for it.
  • Reply 7 of 114
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post


    You miss the point. People will always pirate stuff but these clone makers wouldn't be able to release PC's with OSX on it. They would no longer be able to buy hundreds of legal copies of the OS to stick on their systems. If they were to continue they would have to use illegal software and they would get screwed for it.



    They would find a way around it. Trust me! There's ALWAYS a way around a system. Like I said, this would only create headaches for Apple and its customers. A lot of people like to go into a store and buy software so they can take it home and install it that day. People like to use the Apple Stores as meeting places for special events like a new OS being released. Apple would miss out on a lot of sales by going online only. Its just a bad idea!



    Going to PPC processors would stop it. You can't get a PPC logicboard around every street corner like you can a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad motherboard. They would have to develop their own board and have it produced. There goes all of the profits thus, there's no reason to even attempt it. This doesn't mean I want Apple to go back to PPC processors. I'm just saying its the easiest way to stop it.
  • Reply 8 of 114
    Doesn't the box say something about being only for installation on Apple branded computers along with the minimum system requirements? If so, then that would be pretty clearly stated before the purchase and would not even involve the EULA.
  • Reply 9 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quevar View Post


    Doesn't the box say something about being only for installation on Apple branded computers along with the minimum system requirements? If so, then that would be pretty clearly stated before the purchase and would not even involve the EULA.



    No, it just says Mac computer with Intel, PPC G5, or PPC G4 processor (867 MHz or faster). It doesn't specifically say Apple branded computer and you can't just assume Mac computer means Apple branded. Assumptions don't hold up in court!
  • Reply 10 of 114
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    They would find a way around it. Trust me! There's ALWAYS a way around a system. Like I said, this would only create headaches for Apple and its customers. A lot of people like to go into a store and buy software so they can take it home and install it that day. People like to use the Apple Stores as meeting places for special events like a new OS being released. Apple would miss out on a lot of sales by going online only. Its just a bad idea!



    Going to PPC processors would stop it. You can't get a PPC logicboard around every street corner like you can a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad motherboard. They would have to develop their own board and have it produced. There goes all of the profits thus, there's no reason to even attempt it. This doesn't mean I want Apple to go back to PPC processors. I'm just saying its the easiest way to stop it.



    There is no way around requiring a serial number registration and verification. If there was then we would have seen it with Apple Up-To-Date and similar service. Apple make all the hardware and they have records of all the serial numbers. This will stop the clones in their tracks and the only way they can sell clones is to steal serial numbers, buy used copies, or use illegal pirated copies of Mac OS, which is illegal everywhere. This might not be the best for Apple or customers but believe me Apple would do it if they have to.
  • Reply 11 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    They would find a way around it. Trust me! There's ALWAYS a way around a system. ...



    There is not always a legal way around a legal requirement though, and that's the point.



    I agree that this system would be onerous, and we have Psystar and all the other selfish clone rip-off artist to thank for that.



    There are less onerous ways to accomplish the same thing however and we should definitely expect Apple to take one of those options with Snow Leopard, thus shutting down the cloners. I don't see as they have any other option (other than licensing) myself.



    For instance a simple label on the box that said: "This product is an upgrade for use only on computer systems purchased from Apple." (or something similar) would make the German company's actions illegal in one swoop.



    I think we can expect some kind of online digital download for most upgrades in the future also, with the retail box still making an appearance albeit with giant labels on the outside defining it's use.
  • Reply 12 of 114
    Quote:

    Apple should withdraw ALL retail sales of OSX and do an online upgrade option whereby Mac owners can purchase the OSX upgrade by supplying a valid serial number. This will sort out all of the wanna be Apple clone makers.



    Yup, Im with ya!!! This is getting wayyy out of hand and complicated. Apple should just find a better way to distribute Snow Leopard. And not to mention Im sick of this people whom are making money off people product without their authority. Sheesh.
  • Reply 13 of 114
    Perhaps if they made the OS X software cost $1000 and the hardware starting at 1$ (Hardware only available bundled) ?



    As for upgrades, that would then have to be via online updates or via a voucher for an upgrade in the hardware box.
  • Reply 14 of 114
    If I were Apple, and I actually lost this case I think I'd pull all my products from the German market. I could actually see Apple of all companies doing this
  • Reply 15 of 114
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,069member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by belunos View Post


    If I were Apple, and I actually lost this case I think I'd pull all my products from the German market. I could actually see Apple of all companies doing this



    Pardon? Apple created this situation all on their own. Just because they insist on their "each version of OS X is just 129" marketing dance, they refuse to print "Upgrade" on the retail box. This one word alone would solve the problem in the US and Germany, once and for all. Any OEM reselling an upgrade as a full version could be stopped in 24 hours (and it would not cost Apple a penny). Offer a full version for 2,000 USD and the upgrade for 129 USD, and watch these idiots go away. And if somebody should ever buy the "full version" for 2,000... so what?
  • Reply 16 of 114
    This is a very interesting situation developing. Apple are claiming a breach of their EULA, but just how sound a legal basis does the EULA actually have? What legal right does the seller have over a product that they have sold? Software companies say 'we're not selling software, we're licensing it', but if you go into a store, give them some money and take a product home you have bought it surely? At least a court may well see it that way, which is why software companies have avoided a head-on court case over the legality of EULAs, because they fear they might lose, so for now they are happier sitting in this legal half-light. Companies like Psystar (or at least whoever it is that's funding them) appear to be looking to force this issue, probably because they are confident that a court would rule in their favour, and HyperMegaNet, based in the EU where consumer rights are more developed than the US even more so.



    As we know, Apple has a large legal department, and they will be aware of the tenuousness of their legal argument, and have presumably told the board that they might be trying to defend the indefensible. If this is the case, Apple, being a very smart company will certainly have a contingency in place. Which brings us back to the PASemi acquisition. If Apple cannot prevent third parties buying OS X and sticking it on a clone, how about putting an in-house proprietary chip on the logic board, not to 'lock out' the OS (and possible litigation down the line) but to provide some additional functionality that enhances the OS. Sure you could go and buy a $500 clone (of which $129 would go to Apple for no effort on their part) but to get the full 'enhanced' OS X experience you would have to buy the machine it was designed to run on.
  • Reply 17 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    There is no way around requiring a serial number registration and verification. If there was then we would have seen it with Apple Up-To-Date and similar service. Apple make all the hardware and they have records of all the serial numbers. This will stop the clones in their tracks and the only way they can sell clones is to steal serial numbers, buy used copies, or use illegal pirated copies of Mac OS, which is illegal everywhere. This might not be the best for Apple or customers but believe me Apple would do it if they have to.



    Never say never! People aren't stupid in this world!
  • Reply 18 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    No, it just says Mac computer with Intel, PPC G5, or PPC G4 processor (867 MHz or faster). It doesn't specifically say Apple branded computer and you can't just assume Mac computer means Apple branded. Assumptions don't hold up in court!



    A Mac is an Apple branded computer. There are no assumptions to be made here.
  • Reply 19 of 114
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,870member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Banitsa View Post


    Perhaps if they made the OS X software cost $1000 and the hardware starting at 1$ (Hardware only available bundled) ?



    As for upgrades, that would then have to be via online updates or via a voucher for an upgrade in the hardware box.



    That is a brilliant idea. Or even a "Free Mac with every copy of OS X!" Just adjust the cost of the version of OS X to each Mac type :lol. Then all updates are specifically updates that won't install without either seeing a previous version that is legitimate or checking with Apple on line.



    Hey, I'd hate the M$ mentality this would create but if Apple's financial future were at risk I would be happy enough to submit to far greater checking rather than see these thieves make money by reselling OS X and damage Apple.
  • Reply 20 of 114
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,584member
    Screw serials and crap. Has everyone went nuts here?



    If they are not afraid of Apple, I will quote Yoda. "You will be. You will be."
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