Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ruling for Apple against Psystar means clone-makers have no legal recourse; Guardian, 11/14/09

Charles Arthur, Guardian; Ruling for Apple against Psystar means clone-makers have no legal recourse:

"Psystar, the little company in Florida that seemed for a while to be based in the back of a truck while it made Apple clones based on PC hardware, has lost all its claims against Apple in a legal victory that is an important ruling against would-be clone makers.

The company had already filed for bankruptcy - specifically, Chapter 11 protection, which protects a business from creditors while it restructures - back in May. But in the ruling (via BusinessWeek, via Groklaw) Judge William Alsup ruled that Apple's end user licence agreement (EULA) on its Mac OSX software is legal and can be interpreted broadly - that when it says you can't install on non-Mac hardware, that's what it means; it doesn't mean that you could argue that it's a bit limiting on you.

The PDF of the ruling explains that the problem comes down to this line: "Psystar has modified Mac OS X to run on its computers and has sold them to the public."

Psystar had claimed that "first sale doctrine" in the US means that the buyer (Psystar) can sell something on, regardless of whether the original owner (Apple) likes it. But the modification - "Psystar then replaced the Mac OS X 'bootloader'", to quote the finding of facts - means that first sale doctrine doesn't apply any more."

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