Apple Claims Nefarious 'Other Persons' Behind Psystar

from the who-might-that-be? dept

The ongoing lawsuit between Apple and "MacOS on non-Apple machines" company Psystar has taken an interesting turn. Groklaw notes that in its latest filing, Apple adds a dash of conspiracy, noting that some mysterious "other persons" are behind Psystar, and it intends to figure out who they are:
On information and belief, persons other than Psystar are involved in Psystar's unlawful and improper activities described in this Amended Complaint. The true names or capacities, whether individual, corporate, or otherwise, of these persons are unknown to Apple. Consequently they are referred to herein as John Does 1 through 10 (collectively the "John Doe Defendants"). On information and belief, the John Doe Defendants are various individuals and/or corporations who have infringed Apple's intellectual property rights, breached or induced the breach of Apple's license agreements and violated state and common law unfair competition laws. Apple will seek leave to amend this complaint to show the unknown John Doe Defendants' true names and capacities when they are ascertained.
There's some speculation that this is a bit of a fishing expedition by Apple to uncover the names of various hackers who have been making it possible to run the Apple OS on generic machinery.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Ima Fish, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 6:30am

    A company like Dell would love to be able to sell Macs. I could see someone with money creating Psystar for the sole purpose of setting legal precedent to allow him (or her) to legally sell third party Macs.

    That this is all about setting legal precedent can be shown in the fact that Psystar set up in the US. If Psystar had set up in Asia it could have sold the systems under the radar and without much legal threat for a few years. By publicly setting up in the US Psystar clearly knew that a legal showdown would quickly take place.

    I'm not saying it's Dell or anyone involved with Dell. I'm just saying that it's probably someone wanting to test the legal waters without him getting his own feet wet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 6:42am

    Microsoft, is there any doubt? They're trying to take the niche away from Apple. If they can prove that OS X runs just as well on "Generic" Hardware, they can make the case that Apple just over charges for their hardware.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 4th, 2008 @ 6:42am

    Hmm

    As much as I would like to try a Mac at some point, Apply makes it super easy to hate them. They do a lot of stupid stuff. Makes me much less likely to try a Mac.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Ima Fish, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 6:48am

    Re: Hmm

    Agreed, no matter how evil and draconian Microsoft is, Apple is 100 times worse. Apple gets away with it because their products are shiny and prettier. Which is a pretty strong support for the argument that an asteroid wiping humans off the face of the earth would probably not be a bad thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    anon, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 6:58am

    Re:

    according to a couple reviews, there are a couple important features in osx (namely updates) that dont work, so i dunno about that "generic" hardware stuff.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Pjerky, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, but that is because Apple wrote the limitation into the software. They didn't have to. The only real problem with running OS X on other hardware than what they provide would be lack of drivers for chipsets, video cards, some processors, and other hardware.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Billary Clinton, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    It's a vast right-wing conspiracy...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 7:21am

    What a fun trial! The two trials I was a juror for didn't have nefarious plots and underhanded scheming master villains wringing their hands! Just a couple jerks selling cocaine...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Stuart Gray, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    Microsoft? Microsoft loves the fact that OS X only runs on apple hardware. Apple fanboys don't care that they are being overcharged. They like it. It makes them feel better than. Safer. Microsoft sells OS's if Pystar makes it legal to put OS X on any system that is less systems installed for Vista / XP.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 7:39am

    Re:

    If they can prove that OS X runs just as well on "Generic" Hardware, they can make the case that Apple just over charges for their hardware.

    There may be some truth to that statement, but Apple seems to put more value in the sum of the parts, than the parts alone.

    Designed by Apple in California...?
    Think of it like building a car. Sure, it may be possible to get a body, engine, exhaust and piece it together, but is it still a design that can be maintained? Sure, your doing that work and piecing it together. If you take the finished product to a Service Center for work later, they'll probably scratch their head, and won't work on it because it's different than the original design. What Apple provides as a value-add is warranty work which can include software. This adds value to the entire product and brand as a whole thru the entire experience. Thusly, Apple seems to be positioning itself as an "experience" brand than anything else.

    Goal: Agility. With more parties, is it more complex?
    Apple's continually focused on the end user experience, and to do this, they are setup end-to-end as an engineering company rather than simply piecemeal software duct-taped to generic hardware. Why do you think Apple walked away from HP-fabbed iPods a few years ago?

    Customer: "But it's your Operating System!"
    Psystar isn't setup to execute on Jobs' master plan of experience, and this ambiguity has the ability to confuse customers when/if issues occur. How many calls do you think Microsoft gets that actually are hardware related, and how are those items resolved? Here's a hint: "The Drive/videocard/memory manufacturer's support number is..."

    Why is this important?
    I get the impression this is about protecting the end-user experience and managing the single point of contact for any/all issues, something which is only more complex when 3rd party vendors take unauthorized systems without the know-how to execute as an "experience brand" built by engineers. And the fewer moving free radicals, the better it can be engineered and maintained.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Kevin (profile), Dec 4th, 2008 @ 7:59am

    A Hackintosh

    They are not that hard to create, though there can be some rather tricky hardware quirks. Psystar simply created a product behind the concept.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 8:11am

    Good Work Apple! For a while there, I was afraid that Mac might become more common if people could run the OS on generic hardware, but Apple was right there to ensure that their OS stays a niche product rather than becoming truly mainstream. Bravo!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    You have it all wrong. They don't WANT their OS to be mainstream, unless it is running on Apple hardware. Apple is a hardware company, not a software company. They make their money selling wildly overpriced hardware. Their unique selling point is "Sure our hardware costs 3 times what it should, but it's got a cool design. And the software that runs on it is cool and easy to use." Letting a third party sell OSX on non-Apple hardware potentially hurts Apple hardware sales.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Phil McCraken, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re:

    When are you idiots going to give up on the "wildly overpriced" bandwagon. Compare it to a similarly spec'ed tier 1 manufacturer like dell or hp and you will see the it is not overpriced, for the ten millionth time.

    Now get back to your room in your mom's basement and keep trying to troubleshoot that white box linux machine you picked up at Fry's on Black Friday so you can figure out how to load vista on a PSP...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Newbelius, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 8:59am

    Re:

    @2: Microsoft, is there any doubt?

    I would tend to think that Microsoft would be the last one on Psystar's side. After all, if Psystar is vindicated, then that would likely open the doors for Dell, HP, Lenovo, et al. to begin selling their systems with an alternative OS at a price point well below Apple. Good for them, but bad for both Apple and Microsoft.

    If there is a third-party financial supporter, it would more likely come from the list of systems manufacturers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Kevin (profile), Dec 4th, 2008 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Amen

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    mslade, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "When are you idiots going to give up on the "wildly overpriced" bandwagon. Compare it to a similarly spec'ed tier 1 manufacturer like dell or hp and you will see the it is not overpriced, for the ten millionth time."

    I think you are slightly confused by this. What you cited is why savvy tech buyers don't purchase pre-fabs from Dell or HP. They buy the pieces and put it together. With a Mac, you don't have that option because they aren't built to be modified by the end-user. Therefore if you want a Mac OS, you must buy a Mac, it must be pre-fab. Alternatively if you want Windows or *NIX, you can buy components and put them together yourself (which only requires a hobbyist-level interest in PC-building) for a much much much lower cost.

    Therefore, if you don't compare overpriced Macs to overpriced non-Macs, you will find that Macs are overpriced. The existence of other over-priced products in the market does not prove anything to the contrary.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    dssstrkl, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 9:53am

    Wrong

    "There's some speculation that this is a bit of a fishing expedition by Apple to uncover the names of various hackers who have been making it possible to run the Apple OS on generic machinery."

    The OSx86 projects are open-source, public and actually predate the official launch on Intel Macs. Psystar uses well-known and highly documented methods and tools to make and sell hackintoshes. In fact, Psystar seems to be violating the GPL by distributing several of these tools, particularly the EFI emulator. The OSx86 community has been up in arms over Psystar, since Apple has not only left them alone all this time, but several Apple engineers have unofficially supported the various projects from time to time.

    Apple is talking about financial support for Psystar, not technical. That's why they point out that Psystar was somehow able to afford a really expensive law firm despite their relative lack of money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Biskit, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 10:00am

    Macs overpriced?

    Hey Phil! Claiming that Macs don't cost more than the equivalent mass-market PC? Seriously? What world do you live in? Dollar-for-Dollar, spec-for-spec, Macs are more expensive. Always have been. Probably always will be.

    Dell Inspiron 13" w/2.1 C2D, 3GB, 250GB HD, w/ video cam on monitor, X3100 vid = $945. I could probably knock another $100+ if I spent 5 minutes looking for coupons.

    MacBook White 13" w/2.1 C2D, 2GB, 250GB HD, X3100 vid = $1,224. You're not going to get it for any cheaper (unless it's a refurb or something).

    I don't know where you went to school, but in my world $945 is cheaper than $1,224. I can do the same exercise with every other Apple product. But of course, that doesn't take into account Apple's core principles of usability, design, 'coolness', perceived ease-of-use, etc. People who buy Macs are *not* primarily concerned with the cost. They want them for the 'Appleness' of the product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    dssstrkl, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 10:21am

    Re: Macs overpriced?

    Why do people always choose the junkiest Dell to compare Macs with? Try that comparison with a PC that's equivalent to a Mac, like the Dell XPS M1330 or a Sony Viao, or anything from Alienware, Voodoo, Falcon Northwest, etc. People pay more for quality. Unless you think that people *only* buy the shittiest and cheapest Dell they can find?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 10:49am

    Biskit comes from the gene pool that thinks it's cool to have a Lamborghini emblem on their Daewoo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Paul Hanson, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    Michael Robertson

    You know, this sounds more like something Michael Robertson would do than something Microsoft would do. Take someone elses idea, mix it with someone elses idea, market the heck out of it, sell the product and then at some point sell if for a profit.

    Every step of the way ride the grey line of legality (MP3.COM, Lindows)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: Macs overpriced?

    Um, just checked and it looks like that Dell XPS actually offers more grunt for the same price. People don't cite comparisons to Alienware hardware when they're comparing to Macs becasue Alienware, and those other boutique vendors you mentioned, sell shiny, pretty, overpriced hardware. You could just as easily say "Look, Apple costs just as much as Voodoo, therefore Apple is overpriced" and you've just disproven your own argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    donald ray moore jr., Dec 4th, 2008 @ 1:23pm

    uhm

    you do realize that mac os x is the only consumer grade licensed UNIX around?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    alan, Dec 4th, 2008 @ 9:46pm

    uh humm

    Mac OSX is one of the stranger unix systems, though I suppose it does warrant the name. OpenSolaris is consumer grade. It has an open license. It is most certainly UNIX. Its not perfect, as Sun is still figuring out how to deal with an open source community, but they'll get there eventually I believe. MacOSX may be the more friendly, pretty and polished of the two currently, but it is certainly not the only one out there.

    And IMHO, compiz is already better than anything on MacOSX, and its just getting started.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Thomas Bodetti (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 5:41am

    Amazing apples

    You know if apple would spend half as much energy on improving its own products software products, instead of worrying about hardware issues, they might find that the stock price might just go up...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This