Psystar accuses Apple of anti-competitive tactics in countersuit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Itself attacked for allegedly violating Apple's licenses, Psystar made offense its best defense on Tuesday when it filed a countering lawsuit in federal court, accusing the Mac maker of unfairly squeezing out possible rivals.



A statement from custom PC builder Psystar rejects the basis for Apple's complaint, which asserts that Psystar's OpenComputers violate the Mac OS X end-user license by running the software on non-Apple hardware. The firm instead argues that it's Apple breaking the law through the terms of the agreement in question.



By insisting that its software be tied to its hardware, Apple is violating pro-competition laws that include the Clayton Antitrust Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act, Psystar claims. Apple is characterized as a monopoly-like entity, abusing its copyright to guarantee its position as the only authorized PC maker for the operating system.



Since Psystar began selling what are effectively Mac clones as of April, the Florida-based company has repeatedly challenged Apple and insisted that Apple is deliberately ratcheting up the prices on Macs knowing that there was no real alternative for running its operating system, although Psystar has never elaborated on this perceived cost difference.



While the plaintiff in the new lawsuit intends to negate the restrictive clauses of the Mac OS X license as well as obtain damages, company chief Rudy Pedraza tells CNET that the goal is simply to make non-Apple Mac OS X systems a possibility rather than forcing complete access to the platform.



"What we want to do is to provide an alternative, an option," he says. "It's not that people don't want to use Mac OS, many people are open to the idea, but they're not used to spending an exorbitant amount of money on something that is essentially generic hardware."



Apple has kept to its traditional silence regarding lawsuits, but in this circumstance won't have that option for much longer; the California-based electronics designer is legally required to respond to Psystar's complaint within 30 days.



Simultaneously, Psystar has no intentions to reverse course even after the threat of an Apple lawsuit intimidated what's allegedly a small portion of its customers. In addition to the OpenComputer and the more recent OpenServ, Pedraza's company is planning a portable computer that would also support Mac OS X through unofficial, community-sourced methods.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 254
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,947member
    Yeah, good luck with those arguments. You'll need it.
  • Reply 2 of 254
    Psystar, will you just roll over and die please? Pretty Please? No one wants Mac OS X on cheap PC hardware. This cheapens a genuine Mac experience. Mac hardware and OS X go hand in hand. One without the other is just not quite right.
  • Reply 3 of 254
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Since when does the software for anything have to be separable from the hardware? If Psystar is so intent on making Mac clones, why don't they just make a Mac OS X clone that runs Mac apps?
  • Reply 4 of 254
    irelandireland Posts: 17,649member
    Either Psystar are very rich or very stupid. They don't have a case.



    I wish they did. Their original intentions were no doubt good, but they are in over there head now, and they had no right to sell OS X on non-Apple hardware. Despite the amount of people who wanted it.
  • Reply 5 of 254
    wallywally Posts: 211member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    Since when does the software for anything have to be separable from the hardware? If Psystar is so intent on making Mac clones, why don't they just make a Mac OS X clone that runs Mac apps?



    Exactly.



    That is the only way they can offer a "true alternative".



    Apple made their own system (OS and hardware combo) so the whole anti-competitive yammer is baseless. Now if Apple was trying to keep Psystar from creating their own unique system (OS and hardware) - then they would have a legit complaint - but because they are making money selling hacked Mac systems (using Apple's own OS), they seem to be in for a big fight.



    That's part of the reason Microsoft got busted was because they were trying to keep other companies from creating their own unique alternatives to Microsoft's products (i.e. Netscape) - not because they were the only ones selling Windows.
  • Reply 6 of 254
    ivladivlad Posts: 740member
    They gonna loose anyway.
  • Reply 7 of 254
    Even if they were successful with the lawsuit, I would imagine the Mac community coming together and not purchasing there products. I also think this is more possible than most people think it is. I would presume they have figured the cost's out also, they probably have a large investor backing them of some sort. Who knows it could be a large computer manufacturing company.



    I am anxious to see how this turn's out.\
  • Reply 8 of 254
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,590member
    Ultimate FAIL !



    Apple do not sell a standalone OS. All of the Mac OS X software sold are, in effect only upgrades as you have to have an existing Mac to install it on. Unless they actually start to manufacture Apple computers under license they have no right whatsoever to install the Mac OS on any of their systems.
  • Reply 9 of 254
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple has kept to its traditional silence regarding lawsuits, but in this circumstance won't have that option for much longer; the California-based electronics designer is legally required to respond to Psystar's complaint within 30 days.



    Don't expect anything telling in that Answer. It will very likely be a boilerplate Answer generally denying all liability. Answers to Complaints are rarely very revealing. Sometimes they are, but rarely.
  • Reply 10 of 254
    "Apple is characterized as a monopoly-like entity..."



    And that's where their entire argument goes down the toilet. The market is for OPERATING SYSTEMS, not copies of OSX.



    In the OS market, Apple is under 10 percent, pretty much the opposite of a monopoly.



    Apple would only have a monopoly if Windows didn't exist.



    I can't wait for this nonsense to be over and Psystar to get their ass handed to them. Honestly, I don't know why their lawyers were even stupid enough to take this case.
  • Reply 11 of 254
    Maybe Apple should give in and release their OS for Psytstar so they can

    compete with them. Just charge $899.00 for the Full Retail OS, include it for free for New Mac buyers just as they have always done. Offer discounted $129 upgrades to Mac owners that require specific hardware to function, but $499 for others who have a OS non mac hardware disc to prove they purchased the full OS. I would even specify that the product was offered to appease those who wanted access to Mac OS without the Apple Hardware and that apple could not warrant that the experience would be remotely equivalent to running on Apple's prefered platform.
  • Reply 12 of 254
    wobegonwobegon Posts: 764member
    Can't wait to see how Psystar's inevitable OpenXbox360s that use the console's custom OS bundled with near identical hardware fly with Microsoft. Then the OpenWii, OpenPS3, OpenPSP, OpenDS.
  • Reply 13 of 254
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by genovelle View Post


    Maybe Apple should give in and release their OS for Psytstar so they can

    compete with them. Just charge $899.00 for the Full Retail OS, include it for free for New Mac buyers just as they have always done. Offer discounted $129 upgrades to Mac owners that require specific hardware to function, but $499 for others who have a OS non mac hardware disc to prove they purchased the full OS. I would even specify that the product was offered to appease those who wanted access to Mac OS without the Apple Hardware and that apple could not warrant that the experience would be remotely equivalent to running on Apple's prefered platform.



    Hypothetically, if Apple lost that is along the lines of what would happen. But they won't. The whole premise makes me think they are getting taken for a ride by their lawyers after they ponied up a retainer.
  • Reply 14 of 254
    wobegonwobegon Posts: 764member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    Apple would only have a monopoly if Windows didn't exist.



    Oh, so the iPod has a monopoly position simply because it has a majority percentage of the mp3 player market? The Wii must have a monopoly in the home console market then too, right!



    Those were leading questions. The correct answer to both is no.
  • Reply 15 of 254
    Why don't they also sue ATI and nVidia for limiting Crossfire and SLI to their own licensed hardware? Afterall, the graphics card drivers support all chipsets ("generic hardware" like their Apple claim), they just artificially lock SLI to nVidia chipsets and Crossfire to ATI and select Intel chipsets.



    And what about the XBox 360 and PS3. Ignoring the SPEs, the XBox 360's CPU is basically just three of PS3's PPE with the same instruction set. It's should be possible for the XBox 360 and PS3 OSs to be interchangable since they are both PowerPC based, they just need appropriate drivers like what OS X needs to run on generic hardware. Perhaps Microsoft and Sony should open up their OS to each other.



    Or even better, why was Microsoft allowed to keep control over the original XBox's OS. The OS was basically a modified Windows 2000 build, and the XBox was built on generic parts including an Intel Celeron and what is pretty much an expanded GeForce3 GPU. There is nothing proprietary about the original XBox's hardware. Shouldn't PayStar sue Microsoft to allow for the right to run original XBox games on third party consoles built on generic parts?
  • Reply 16 of 254
    The only thing Psystar has going for them is that the OS is sold separately from the hardware and it is not called an upgrade as there is no upgrade pricing. For example, if you owned a 10.2 computer, you could've skipped 10.3 and bought 10.4 as 10.3 was not required for the upgrade. And 10.3 purchasers did not get a break on 10.4 pricing (though pricing has nothing to do with qualifying what an upgrade is.)



    Yeah, yeah, owning a Mac is required for the upgrade, but Psystar must've gotten some bad advice regarding Apple's EULA thinking that hacking something you bought is acceptable. If that's the case, I guess the DMCA gets thrown out the window because now you can hack all protected media. Hurray!



    Not gonna happen...
  • Reply 17 of 254
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    They gonna loose anyway.



    Lose, they are going to lose. Loose is where something is not tight, does not fit snugly. Lose is to not win.



    Thanks
  • Reply 18 of 254
    It's senseless that Psystar would start making these clones in the first place. Furthermore it's just insane to think they are making their living off of what is, essentially, a legal loop-hole or at best a gray area in the EULA. Give it up Psystar, before you hurt yourself even more.



    If I thought that Apple was adding an unfair margin to their macs I would probably not buy one or buy a used one. It's all about what the market will bear. If it was really unfair then nobody would buy a mac. That said, I really don't think that macs are that much more expensive than a comparably-specced pc. Not only that but macs are still significantly prettier than PCs.



    When I see a new PC laptop come out, I have to yawn. (with very few exceptions) There's just nothing exciting about new PCs.



    Yay it has a faster processor, more RAM and a bigger hard drive. Who saw that one coming?



    Oh look, they added a swiveling screen, a fingerprint reader and a stylus. Now Windows is actually more difficult to use. *snore*



    Someone wake me up when Windows X comes out.
  • Reply 19 of 254
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wobegon View Post


    Oh, so the iPod has a monopoly position simply because it has a majority percentage of the mp3 player market? The Wii must have a monopoly in the home console market then too, right!



    Those were leading questions. The correct answer to both is no.



    I'm not sure what your point is, or whether you're disagreeing with what I said - your response doesn't seem to have anything to do with what I said. Maybe you just misread my post?



    A monopoly doesn't come from having a majority of a market, it comes from having almost all of it, in the range of 90%+. Windows fits that. I don't know the iPod market share, but it's probably pretty close. Wii might be the biggest seller, but they're probably nowhere close to 50 percent of the market much less 90.
  • Reply 20 of 254
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    It would kind of interesting if Psystar wins the suit, and Apple is required to sell non-upgrade boxed copies of OS X. They'd cost $400 (only fair that it costs a bit more than the less-capable VIsta Ultimate), with no bulk OEM discounts, and would be sold "as is" with no guarantee that the OS would even run, no tech support, no guarantee that future updates wouldn't break, and no guarantees that 3rd-party software would run right either.



    That way Apple wouldn't have to test and debug for every other hardware maker's machines. And I don't see a court forcing them to do THAT. It would slow OS X development to a crawl and add Windows-style bloats and workarounds. More complexity, more bugs, slower innovation.



    Either Apple spends a LOT of time and money making sure their OS runs on non-Apple hardware, or it will not run reliably. Ditto for many 3rd-party apps. So naturally, 3rd-party Mac software would all have the disclaimer "may not be compatible with non-Apple hardware." They'd have to cover themselves in such an unpredictable situation.



    And who wants to buy a machine whose OS and apps may or may not run, with every software update being Russian roulette?



    I think the user agreement is the LEAST of Psystar's problems if they want a viable business.
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