Earlier this month, Psystar suspended all sales of its hardware products, honouring the court’s decision which favoured Apple. This week, Psystar has also temporarily halted sales of Rebel EFI while the former clone maker confirms the tool’s legality with the court. Psystar also announced it will continue hardware sales in the coming days – with Linux rather than Mac OS X.
Psystar made all the announcements in a notice on their website. The company notes that the court order has no effect on warranties, so existing customers shouldn’t feel worried. “Warranties on hardware will continue to be honored as long the customer has a valid warranty,” the company says, “Rebel EFI support for existing customers, as always, will remain exclusively available through email and the built-in ticket interface.”
The company also states they disagree with the court’s decision, which obviously shouldn’t come as a surprise. They say they do not and have not ever condoned software pricacy, and that their actions are not “hardcore copyright [infringements]”. “It’s your software, you should be able to use it where you want to,” they argue, “If you purchase an off-the-shelf copy of OS X Snow Leopard, its your right to use that software. A publisher cannot forbid you from reading a book in the bathroom or listening to a music disc while riding your bicycle. There should be no difference in the software realm, no matter how much money Apple or anyone else throws at it.”
It’s obviously hard to disagree with this notion, but it’s also obvious that Psystar has not done a very good job of fighting for our rights as consumers. On top of that, there is still this pesky but very important issue of where Psystar got the code for Rebel EFI from – the company claims it has been developed in-house, but Netkas and others in the OSx86 community believe the code has been stolen from them.
The company is not planning on throwing in the towel, though. If the court agrees that Rebel EFI does not fall under the injunction, Psystar will continue selling it, and expand it to include support for specific computers, such as the Dell 9 Mini and HP Mini.
On the hardware front, the company plans to resume selling computers, but now with Linux instead of Mac OS X. “In the coming days, we will again be offering complete systems but at discounted prices as they will be bundled with your choice of Linux operating system,” the company writes, “In addition to using only first quality components, our hardware specifically chosen such that it is known to be compatible with OS X (via Apples own drivers or open source offerings online).”
It seems that Psystar is busy doing what it probably should have done in the first place: sell computers completely compatible with Mac OS X, but without Mac OS X actually installed. While it’s sad that software makers can apparently dictate whatever they want in their EULAs, this is at least better than nothing.
Lasty, I think we can also finally put to rest those ridiculous claims put forth by people like Groklaw’s PJ regarding Psystar being a Microsoft-sponsored attack on the GPL, an extension of the SCO case. It seems rather odd that a company funded by Microsoft to attack the GPL (as PJ claims) would sell machines with Linux pre-installed. Then again – some people will find an explanation for anything to keep their black helicopter theories afloat.