Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Sep 2010 22:09 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems There's this hole here at OSNews, a hole left when Psystar was dealt a devastating blow by Apple's legal team. That whole saga provided a nice steady stream of news articles that's been dried up for a while. However, Psystar was not the only clone maker out there - what happened to Quo Computer, that clone maker with an actual real-world store front? They're still here, and just launched a new product.
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RE[4]: Good luck...
by rhavyn on Thu 9th Sep 2010 07:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good luck..."
rhavyn
Member since:
2005-07-06

Even if the manufacture were not buying OSX directly at the user's behest and were marking-up the price and making a profit, that would be their rightful prerogative. Once they've bought a copy of OSX, that copy is theirs to sell at any price they can get. Right of ownership has been a basic principle of western trade for several millennia.


U.S. copyright law (17 USC 109 if you want to look it up) gives you right right to sell a lawfully owned copy of a copyrighted work. As pointed out in the Psystar judgement (page 7 starting around line 14) an unlawfully made copy voids the first sale defense. Further, by installing the software onto a computer and then selling the computer you are actually selling two copies of the software. The limited exception in 17 USC 117a does not make for a lawful copy that can be resold as per 17 USC 109 since 117a only holds if 1. the copy is an essential step in the utilization of the program or 2. it's a backup copy that is destroyed if you sell the original copy. We're not talking about the utilization of anything here since we're selling the computer not using the software and I think everyone can agree backups are irrelevant to the current discussion. The further exception in 17 USC 117b fails because a "further adaptation" (i.e. modification) is necessary in order to make the software work on a generic PC and you're not going to get the copyright owner's permission (Apple) necessary to make the sale legal.

The only way you can do this and potentially not break the law is if you have 3 separate transactions take place, the purchase of a computer, the purchase of OS X and then some kind of consulting contract where the consultant installs the purchased copy of OS X on the purchased computer. Unfortunately, that is simply infeasible for any kind of mass production since each machine would need to be hand processed using the specific disk from the specific copy purchased. Any pre-installation or usage of an imaging machine would run you afoul of the above, and as the Psystar judgement makes clear, you will lose that lawsuit.

Please note, none of the above steps outside the realm of simple copyright law. EULAs are not involved or relevant, that would be an entirely separate hurdle for you.

Remember that Psystar lost it's case because Apple convinced a judge that Psystar had violated the very questionable DMCA, by circumventing Apple's "technology" designed to prevent OSX from being installed on non-Apple computers. The EULA had nothing to do with the rulings.


Psystar lost it's case because they committed straight up copyright infringement. The ruling parts 2 A, B and C are all about normal copyright infringement. You need to get all the way to part 4 on page 13 (of a 16 page document) before the DMCA is discussed.

So, Psystar and Quo are not doing anything wrong by buying copies of OSX at the user's and/or buying OSX and marking it up.


US copyright law would tend to disagree with your assertion.

And before anyone wants to quote some other countries laws, can we please keep in mind that all the companies in question in the article are based in the US, so US law is all that matters.

Also, too, as per usual the quality of the legal information provided on OSNews is generally worse than useless, please consult an actual attorney before messing around with other people's copyrighted or patented works.

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