Psystar Loses Big To Apple
from the and-so-it-goes dept
The court hearing the case didn't seem to think any of Psystar's main lines of defense had any validity at all and granted summary judgment to Apple on all of the major points, saying that a trial wasn't even necessary. The "fair use" claim was already weak, and the judge noted that Psystar didn't even try to discuss any of the four factors generally used in determining fair use. The two (I thought) stronger claims were that (a) the right of first sale applied, and once Psystar purchased OSX legally, it could resell it, provided it was only installed on that one computer, and (b) that Apple went too far in its EULA terms, which demanded that OS X could only work on a Mac. Unfortunately, the judge didn't agree to either one, though I find the judge's reasoning perplexing and hardly convincing.
On the issue of first sale, here's what the ruling said:
The copies at issue here were not lawfully manufactured with the authorization of the copyright owner. As stated, Psystar made an unauthorized copy of Mac OS X from a Mac mini that was placed onto an "imaging station" and then used a "master copy" to make many more unauthorized copies that were installed on individual Psystar computers. The first-sale defense does not apply to those unauthorized copies.Perhaps I'm missing something here, because earlier reports had suggested that Psystar legally purchased each copy of OS X and then installed the legally purchased copy on the new machine (which it then included with the sold machine). But from the description above, it sounds like part of the problem is that a single "master copy" was used to make multiple installations. Of course, that raises a whole host of separate issues. If Psystar legally purchased a separate license for each one, but still used a single master copy, is that really infringing? After all, the code is identical, and it seems positively ridiculous to say that even though you bought, say, 20 licenses, you can't just use one master copy to install 20 times. It seems like this could use additional clarification. Because, the other way one could interpret this is that there is no right of first sale if the company says a copy is unauthorized -- which would have troubling implications.
On the EULA front, the court again basically just takes Apple's position, and insists it did nothing wrong. I'm not surprised by the outcome at all, but I would have expected at least a more complete response to the First Sale doctrine rights issues. Even ignoring that a "copy" was being made -- with the physical copy, it really is a matter of first sale. The company is selling something it legally purchased.
Psystar will likely appeal, though I still have little faith that will get anywhere.