posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th May 2009 17:15 UTC
IconIf you thought Psystar was the only company making Macintosh "clones", then you are seriously mistaken. There is also German PearC, and the latest addition to the clone family is a Russian company called RussianMac, who debuted several Mac clones this week.

RussianMac offers a whole boatload of different Mac clone models, ranging from PowerMac-like machines to a tiny netbook model. They offer a multimedia/home theater model, the MiniBook, the Standart, the PRO, the Mini, and the Book. Specifications and prices are listed on this page, but note that the RussianMac/Apple comparisons made on that page are completely nuts. They are pretty cheap, though.

RussianMac joins US Psystar and German PearC, who also offer a number of machines with Mac OS X pre-installed. Psystar is currently entrenched in a legal battle with Apple, but PearC, who has been offering its machines for a while now as well, hasn't been sued just yet. European laws are quite different from US ones on these matters, which may make it harder for Apple to act against clone makers in Europe. For instance, German law states that EULAs must be presented before purchase in order to be valid, and this is where PearC hides behind.

The situation in Russia could prove to be even more difficult for Apple. Russia has become increasingly more protective over its own market and companies, and a big American firm suing a small Russian company might not go down well with the courts in Russia. RussianMac does use several Apple product names though, so that could certainly be a problem for them.

As time progresses, it becomes more and more unlikely that Apple will be able to put a stop to this. The Psystar case is by no means a sure win for Apple, despite America's fairly strict laws on the matter, and possible cases in Europe and Russia will only be tougher cases to crack for the Cupertino company.

Apple will have to individually sue each clone maker to put a stop to the practice, and with every country having different laws on copyright, IP, and consumer protection, this sure looks like "dweilen met de kraan open" voor Apple ('mopping the floor while the tap's still running').

All this is also interesting in the light of Apple's conspiracy theories concerning Psystar. The Cupertino PC maker claims that Psystar is being funded by super-secret third parties out solely to hurt Apple, so the question is: are PearC and RussianMac part of the conspiracy as well?

Time will tell.

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