Stop the Noiz

Psystar Joins Ranks of Dumb Criminals

Frank Fox - 2009.11.16 - Tip Jar

The news is all over the web about Apple being awarded a summary judgment against Psystar.

Of course, there are those who don't like Apple's restrictions on Mac OS X. These people see the decision as wrong - or at the very least biased.

These people want to paint the victory by Apple as proof that the trial was fixed. They would like to imply that Apple used its money to gain the win over the defenseless small guy. Some have hinted that the judge was unfair, or that the laws are wrong.

By claiming the law is wrong, they can justify Psystar doing whatever.

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

The truth is that Psystar acted more like those crooks you see on YouTube - the ones who commit a crime and then post video of themselves in the act for everyone to see. Sure, it may be great bravado to act that way, but you get caught real easy, and you have no chance at trial.

Psystar basically told the whole world that it was making Mac clones and thereby dared Apple to do something about it.

The results are what you'd expect.

It wasn't enough that Psystar broke copyright law, violated DMCA, abused Apple's trademarks, and ignored the End User License Agreement, etc. Psystar did it in a bumbling, clumsy fashion, so that once all the discovery was in, the judge didn't have much choice except to rule in Apple's favor.

All that is left is to add up the damages to award to Apple.

Almost 100% in Apple's Favor

On almost every single issue, the judge ruled in Apple's favor. Psystar didn't even make a good attempt at following the law closely enough so that the few exemptions would apply.

For example, the doctrine of first sale does apply, but that is not what Psystar did. It took the original version of OS X, loaded it on a Mac mini, made whatever changes it needed so the copy would run on Psystar's non-Apple hardware, and then used an "imaging station" to make as many copies as it needed.

It's like it took a book it had marked up, then took it to a printer to make as many copies as it wanted. Only the purchased book is covered by doctrine of first sale; every copy of that book is illegal if the copyright owner didn't approve making copies.

Three Strikes

Psystar tried to say that because it included a legitimate copy of Mac OS X with each altered copy on the computer, it was okay to mass-produce the altered copies. However, the judge stated that case law shows that such copies are not legal. Strike One.

Then Psystar didn't demonstrate that every computer sold came with a legitimate copy of Mac OS X. It failed to have sworn evidence to prove this. It could have been true, but it was not shown to be true in the court. In fact, Apple's expert, John Kelly, found that for nine computers examined, three did not include a Mac OS X DVD. Strike Two.

The clinching proof that Psystar wasn't even trying to follow copyright law was that fact that the version of Mac OS X that was being copied to its computers didn't match the version on the DVD that was included with those computers. If the versions didn't match, Psystar wasn't modifying the copy it was selling. Strike Three.

For those who thought that Psystar may have had a chance, you didn't factor in how dumb the company was. The next time you hear of a company breaking a half-dozen laws as part of its business model, don't give it your money or write articles praising its chances. LEM

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