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.

Companies: apple, psystar

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Comments on “Apple Claims Nefarious 'Other Persons' Behind Psystar”

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Ima Fish (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Newbelius says:

Re: 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.

Kevin says:

Re: 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.

Phil McCraken says:

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.

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…

mslade says:

Re: 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.

dssstrkl says:


“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.

Biskit says:

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.

dssstrkl says:

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?

Valkor says:

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.

alan says:

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.

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