Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
arbitration, clones, eula, settlement

apple, psystar

Psystar Apple Case Goes To Arbitration; Results May Be Secret

from the hopefully-not dept

As we noted before there even was a lawsuit, a legal battle between Apple and Mac-clone maker Psystar could represent a key legal battle in determining the enforceability of certain provisions in an end user license agreement (EULA). And, indeed, the case was looking interesting, as Apple sued and Psystar hit back with antitrust charges. However, as a bunch of readers have sent in, it appears that the case has moved to "Alternative Dispute Resolution" (ADR). Basically, rather than going through a lawsuit, the two sides have agreed to first take it to an arbitrator, who may be able to work out a settlement. There are many, many good reasons to go this route (many of them have to do with saving money on the lawsuit), but the fear is that any settlement then isn't a binding legal precedent at all, and the actual results may even be kept secret. I can understand why both sides would do this, but it may deprive the world of a useful precedent.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2008 @ 12:08pm

    God forbid they allow competition with their OS installed on computers that aren't overpriced. They may have to drop their margin down to only 85%.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2008 @ 12:39pm

    Re: #1

    How are Apple computers overpriced? Have you priced comparably equipped machines from Dell, HP, Sony, Lenovo? Apple usually includes premium hardware in their configurations. I wouldn't say Apple is discounting parts, but their prices are pretty competitive when they first release a machine or issue price adjustments. Sometimes there are price/feature gaps between product cycles because other computer manufacturers have flexible pricing, but for the most part Apple isn't price gouging the fan-boys. And no, I don't own an Apple computer but I have priced them for some of my frieds who were less computer literate. The Apple OS seems easier for novice users and harder for Windows veterans.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2008 @ 12:51pm

    There is no way that Apple would want the Anti-Trust case to move forward. IBM was forced to tolerate clones of the IBM PC and I would imagine a similar fate would be in store for Apple were the case to heard.

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

  4. identicon
    probaby, 20 Oct 2008 @ 1:43pm

    Apple is overpriced

    Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB DDR3 Memory
    160GB hard drive
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics

    Free Shipping

    Acer Aspire Laptop
    Model: AS5735-4624
    IntelĀ® PentiumĀ® Dual-Core processor T3200 2.0GHz
    2GB DDR2 memory;
    160GB hard drive
    Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M
    $499.99 2528210

    Need I say more?

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward #42, 20 Oct 2008 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: #1

    Premium hardware? Yeah, right. Marginal hardware with a premium price maybe. As for pricing, yes, I have compared some other models. Let's take this one for example:

    New 13-inch Apple MacBook (base config)

    13.3-inch LCD panel, 1200x800 res
    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz
    2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
    160GB hard drive
    SuperDrive 8X dual-layer DVD burner
    nVidia GeForce 9400M graphics, 256MB shared memory

    Total Price: $1299

    Dell Studio 15 (base config)

    15.4-inch LCD panel, 1280x800 res
    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz
    2GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    250GB hard drive
    8X dual-layer DVD burner
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 graphics with 256MB shared memory
    Sound Blaster Audigy Advanced HD

    Total Price: $749

    Okay, so what we have here is a laptop with a bigger screen, bigger hard drive, comparable graphics, slightly slower memory (although most typical users will not notice the difference), and better sound. And it's almost half the cost of the MacBook. Btw, the 15-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1999. Um, yeah, WAAAAY overpriced. Plus, if you want to run Windows via Bootcamp, for gaming or something, you'll have to shell out for a license of Windows on top of the price of the Mac. And if I went with the $1299 price as the spending limit on the Dell, I could easily put the Mac to shame feature-wise.

    I'm willing to bet that a good chunk of the extra $550 you pay goes towards that expensive aluminum brick milling, just so you can save a few screws that would cost mere pennies. If I ever find myself desperately needing to use the Mac OS, I'll probably build my own $400-500 box and crack OS X to run on it. I refuse to waste money on ridiculously overpriced hardware.

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

  6. identicon
    GanzHimself, 20 Oct 2008 @ 2:16pm

    Up until recently, the MacBook was using the Intel X3100 on-board video... Not exactly what I would call "premium" as I have the EXACT same chip in my sub $599 Dell Inspiron 1525.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2008 @ 7:14pm

    The best campaign ad ever!

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

  8. identicon
    Sos, 20 Oct 2008 @ 11:41pm


    From the other posts it seems PC laptops are cheaper than Macs, yet people still buy Macs. Must be some other value in there...

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

  9. identicon
    TD Reader, 21 Oct 2008 @ 7:27am

    Show me a PC with an 8-core processor. Oh, wait, there aren't any. But 8-core processors come standard on a Mac Pro. And I noticed that not one of the above comparisons uses systems with absolutely identical components, name brand and everything, which would be the only truly objective means of comparison.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2008 @ 9:11am


    Show me a PC with an 8-core processor.

    They're coming, although I have no idea who needs an 8 core desktop: ystem/ table/

    Looks like Apple is definitely ahead in the 8 core marketplace. Which is... huge? If people are demanding 8 core desktops, they will be there.

    And are you seriously saying the differences in components between the MacBook and the Acer listed above are worth $700? It's almost 2 1/2 times as expensive! I could get a laptop, a desktop, and a big monitor for the price of the MacBook. If you're rational at all, I think you would have to conclude that the value lies elsewhere as someone else posted. We could argue about whether it's in the case design, the OS, the support, or the brand name, but it's pretty clear to me it's not in the components. I considered going out and getting a specs on a $1300 PC laptop, but something tells me you wouldn't be convinced by that either.

    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
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.