Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Oct 2009 21:45 UTC, submitted by JayDee
Hardware, Embedded Systems Just when you thought you saw it all. So, we all know about Psystar, the two lawsuits between them and Apple, and all the other stuff that's been regurgitated about ten million times on OSNews alone. Well, that little company has taken its business to the next level - by announcing an OEM licensing program.
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RE: Oh no..
by alcibiades on Tue 6th Oct 2009 08:44 UTC in reply to "Oh no.."
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

should we start placing bets on when apple will come crasing down on them in a hell fire and brimestone laden wrath? or will apple actually make a public press conference about how they are pissed at people building hackintoshes?

Surprisingly apple has not made any sort of public disclosure about hacktosh boxen, and or publicly acknowledged their existance other than in the form of bricked updates.


Won't happen. All they would do by public pronouncements is incite people to make hackintoshes. And this last move is an act of genius which must have been inspired by the new Psystar legal team.

The problem is, there is no copyright infringement going on, as long as it is either the end user and owner of the retail copy who does the installation, or some one acting with his authorization. See Title 17 S117 for the US law on the subject, and see Softman and recently Vernor vs Autodesk for case law on whether purchased retail copies are owned or licensed.

The only thing which is open to civil suit is thus that the installer is violating the EULA clause that mandates your hardware must be sourced from Apple.

So if Psystar simply certifies that a machine will work with OSX, and the end user then does the installation himself, its the end user who is violating the EULA. It is the end user who clicks through and enters into the secondary contract with Apple, and who breaks one of the terms. It is thus the end user who will have to be sued.

Welcome to the public relations world of the RIAA. Lets see what it does to Apple's image to be suing hundred, thousands, tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of end users, all of them legitimate customers who have bought retail copies of OSX, but have just bought their hardware someplace else.

This is dead in the water. A brilliant strategem. One looks forward to seeing Apple's response, but its hard to see what could work against this one.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Oh no..
by wirespot on Tue 6th Oct 2009 10:21 in reply to "RE: Oh no.."
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Ah, but what about the DMCA? It could be argued that Psystar is providing tools to circumvent Apple's methods of preventing OS X from running on non-Apple hardware. Recent lawsuits have decided that it doesn't even have to be good protection, just be there. And you're not allowed to break it.

But this aside, Psystar would simply do what the hackintosh forum is doing. Except they do it for money. Apple's biggest problem has always been the hardware clones. Apple sells hardware. Their OS is just the added value to make that hardware more attractive. If end users want to tinker with OS X themselves, they're fine with it. But if a rival company tries to hurt their hardware sales, that's another thing.

I personally feel that if I device a really nice piece of hardware, and also a nice piece of software to go with it, and make a nice profit out of selling the two, it's entirely my merit. I don't see why someone else should be able to sell much cheaper hardware with MY software and undercut my business. They can build their own software and God bless them. So I'm with Apple in spirit on this one.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Oh no..
by alcibiades on Tue 6th Oct 2009 10:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Oh no.."
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

The DMCA has an out for interoperability and cracking to allow competitive offerings. This is a non-starter. Check out garage door openers and printer cartridge cases.

I also don't believe that Apple's business model is the way of making the highest returns from the OS. That model is to force people to buy stuff they do not want in order to generate margin from it. However, and we can't know for sure without seeing the internal accounts, its at least plausible that they would get more margin from selling more copies of the OS at no incremental cost to anyone who wants it, not engaging in lawsuits, and just selling their hardware either with OSX or Windows installed to anyone who wants it. Its arguable in short that their strength is being a designer brand, not in being a supplier who only sells their stuff in bundles.

Apple thinks of itself as being a hardware vendor, but this is really an illusion. Its a hardware reseller, just like Dell, and using the same OEMs. But Apple is deeply conservative, and there are probably lots of total no-go areas when it comes to strategy discussions, and these will stay, at least as long as Jobs is around. But the business model is not necessarily correct, and one day it will probably be changed, when Jobs leaves.

Don't forget, there are huge costs involved in being a hardware vendor. These are not at all the same level if you are just selling incremental extra copies of an OS. Especially not if you sell it only warranted to run on a restricted range of hardware components, which means no extra costs at all, if these are the ones you are using anyway.

Your point about what Apple wants? Well of course that is what they want, that is what all suppliers want, they want to tie the bits of their product line that people want to other bits that they do not want, and get more of the total market and more margin.

The law, unfortunately, is not about what suppliers want. Its about the rules governing how they compete with each other for customers, and what tactics they may or may not use as they do this. It is not about one supplier stopping another doing something, or stopping another customer doing something, because they dislike it.

Any more than on the baseball field one can stop the pitcher throwing a curveball because one finds it harder to hit. The rules are the rules, if you don't like them, don't play. Or play a different game in a different country.

So what Apple likes? Who cares? Not the law, that's for sure.

Edited 2009-10-06 10:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Oh no..
by Laurence on Tue 6th Oct 2009 13:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Oh no.."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I personally feel that if I device a really nice piece of hardware, and also a nice piece of software to go with it, and make a nice profit out of selling the two, it's entirely my merit.

Apple didn't devise the hardware though. In fact, bar the logic board, it's just standard PC hardware.
And you can't even argue that the logic board is what seperates the OS X's performance / stability from a typical PC World-built (for example) Windows desktop.

Apple aren't the hardware OEMs, they're hardware middle men. They're a software house that pre-loads their products onto off-the-shell hardware.

I don't see why someone else should be able to sell much cheaper hardware with MY software and undercut my business. They can build their own software and God bless them. So I'm with Apple in spirit on this one.


Competition laws say why other companies SHOULD be allowed to undercut you.


And if Apple don't want to compete in price, then they should just continue to compete on quality.
After all, if their hardware is so fraking magical (like Jobs like to exclaim), then people will continue to buy their hardware from Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Oh no..
by dagw on Tue 6th Oct 2009 14:07 in reply to "RE[2]: Oh no.."
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't see why someone else should be able to sell much cheaper hardware with MY software and undercut my business.

Trivial solution. stop selling your software without your hardware. If your software only comes pre-installed on your hardware and there is no way for me to buy your software separately, then I cannot (re-)sell it. Problem solved.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Oh no.. - retail OS
by jabbotts on Tue 6th Oct 2009 14:21 in reply to "RE[2]: Oh no.."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Why someone can sell your software without your hardware;

You chose to sell retail copies of your software off the store shelf without your hardware.

In countries where EULA related law is more rational, this means that the purchased retail unit becomes the property of the consumer will all rights provided by copywrite there in. Your EULA which removes rights from copywrite is thus over-ruled by the copyright law and probably laws invalidating post-purchase contracts.

The question of the EULA's validity remains in the US though that is one key item making this case worth watching closely.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Oh no..
by rockwell on Tue 6th Oct 2009 14:04 in reply to "RE: Oh no.."
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

//Won't happen. All they would do by public pronouncements is incite people to make hackintoshes.//

Er .. yah, incite maybe 200 people to make hackintoshes, in the grand scheme of things.

The number of folks that would go to the trouble of actually doing that is SO LOW compared to the number of folks how would buy a Mac, it's not even funny.

It's plainly obvious: Apple could care less about hackintoshes, because they know that the OVERWHELMING majority of computer users would rather buy a Mac than build one.

Edited 2009-10-06 14:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Oh no.. - think of the irony
by jabbotts on Tue 6th Oct 2009 14:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Oh no.."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Imagine if it happened though.

Apple's PR guy with a shocked look on his face; "uh.. how many people just publicly claimed love for there hackintosh and how many where new since our press release??"

And all those folk who where inspired to consider a hackintosh after it's public advertisement through Apple's press release; "Apple software sales have increased how much since they said that thing about not being allowed to do this??"

Irony in there own decree driving an increase in the item they decry while users rebel against it by bolstering Apple retail unit sales. hehe.. it's be all kinds of funny if it actually happened.

Reply Parent Score: 2