Apple Crushes Clone Maker in Court

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on November 14, 2009

Psystar Open 7Apple won a sweeping legal victory against Macintosh clone maker Psystar Corp. Nov. 13 when a federal judge in San Francisco ruled (PDF, courtesy of Groklaw) that Psystar had violated Apple’s copyright and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Judge William Alsup struck what may be a death blow for Psystar by granting Apple’s motion for summary judgment while denying Psystar’s counterclaims.

The only real surprise here was the swiftness and thoroughness of Apple’s victory. Judge Alsup basically ruled that the OS X End User License Agreement (EULA), which prohibits the installation of the software on non-Apple hardware, is legal and means exactly what it says. It is just the latest in a long string of ruling upholding EULAs, sometimes called shrinkwrap or click-wrap licenses.

Judge Alsup sidestepped Psystar's claim that it was protected by the first sale doctrine, which generally gives the buyer of a protected work the right to resell it without the permission of, or any payment to, the copyright holder. The judge said first sale only applies to legal copies and that the way in which Psystar had modified the software to let it run on clones meant that the copies did not meet this standard. The judge rejected out of hand Psystar's claims that it made legal use of Apple's trademarks and that Apple has misued it copyrights.


A hearing on remedies is scheduled for Dec. 14. The order does not cover several other claims by Apple, including breach of contract and trademark infringement, but the ruling suggest that Apple would be heavily favored to win should the remaining case ever come to trial. There is also similar litigation pending in Florida, where Psystar is based.

If you want a Psystar Mac clone--there are six models starting at $600--you probably should order it soon. I don't think they are going to be around for much longer.

Reader Comments

josephf

November 14, 2009 1:39 PM

it amazes me that Stephen Wildstrom would urge the purchase of the Psystar Mac clone in light of the fact that it is has been ruled illegal as per his article. i am sure he will claim that he is just being witty.

josephf

November 14, 2009 1:42 PM

it amazes me that Stephen Wildstrom would urge the purchase of the Psystar Mac clone in light of the fact that it is has been ruled illegal as per his article. i am sure he will claim that he is just being witty.

Steve Wildstrom

November 14, 2009 1:45 PM

@josephf--Actually you're right--I don;t really recommend that anyone buy a Psystar. Not because it is "illegal"--we're talking about a commercial dispute here, not a crime--but because I don't think the company is long for the world and service is going to be a problem. It seems very likely that the judge will enjoin the sale of Psystar clones after the Dec. 14 hearing.

R. Mansfield

November 14, 2009 2:21 PM

A Psystar Mac will be quite the collector's item, though.

Bob

November 14, 2009 2:35 PM

Where did you read that the writer "urged" the purchase of a Psystar? You read something different than I did--he simply stated that he suspects their doors will be closing soon.

Steve

November 14, 2009 3:04 PM

"..would urge the purchase of the Psystar Mac clone in light of the fact that it is has been ruled illegal.."

I could not agree more.

Let's say that someone found a way to crack the subscription of Business Week. Will Mr. Wildstrom appreciate a journalist urging readers to download the crack before the website is shut down?
Furthermore, as of Nov 14, it would be illegal for Psystar to sell a clone, but also for anyone to purchase knowingly a counterfeit product.

Tony

November 14, 2009 3:24 PM

I would NOT recommend buying a Psystar system, especially now that they're going to be shut down soon. They modify Mac OS X to the point where software updates do not work. The only way to update the OS is to get it directly from Psystar. And when they're gone you're going to be left with a brick.

Podesta

November 14, 2009 7:21 PM

It was always a bad idea to buy a Psystar computer. It is now an awful idea to purchase one, window of availability notwithstanding. The ruling confirms that Psystar is engaging in illegal actions, despite occurring in civil court. If the principals of Psystar continue the same actions under a new name, as has been hinted, this will become a criminal matter. Steve Wildstrom should have deleted that off-the-cuff, inaccurate passage when he reread what he had written.

Dave

November 14, 2009 9:29 PM

Steve - don't listen to the weenie's who are taking your last lines seriously. No one can take a frigging joke any more... "ooh, lets get all SERIOUS..."...

Strategery

November 14, 2009 9:51 PM

I don't get it--Macs have a tiny market share as it is, and someone wants to make a rip-off version? I thought the PC market was mature and that PCs have become a commodity, yet there are still curiosities like Psystar.

john

November 15, 2009 12:18 AM

Now I wonder, is Mac going to go after those who run the OS in vmware on PC's...Mac seems a little anal.

That is why the best bet is Linux, and I go for Novell OpenSuse.

Mac is as bad as Windows now...

vortech

November 15, 2009 1:38 AM

That tiny market share is growing by leaps and bounds the last two years. A tiny market share doesn't mean much anyways. Rolls Royce, ferrari, porsche all have small market share but do just fine.
But Psystar is trying to profit from Apple illegally, and that's just not right period. Good ridden's to them and all cloners who try the same.

Harrier

November 15, 2009 2:39 AM

I own a Mac and support Psystar. There is additional quality and versatility that should be put into High End computers that Apple has refused to do. Hard drives, RAM, expansion slots, SD cards, blue ray drives. Apple keeps changing the sizes of it's laptop casing so people cannot simply put in new mother boards. Trying to design obsolesce into their machines. Somewhere down the line there will come a time where a Toyota like company that will start will low end computers and build a type that can work forever and be continually upgraded for less thn buying a new computer for 25 years. They will design it so motherboards can also be upgraded. I some buys software and is not changing the software, regardless of what the maker wants, the buyer should be allowed to use it anyway he wants.

Apple is also having problems innovating and with Apple TV preventing further innovation with the entertainment portion of their OS, I expect to see greater competition. While people have critized MS for its OS, Apple has not made much changes in it's OS either. iLife has not has any significant changes in a very long time. Their computers are not keeping up with technology like they use to.

I believe Psystar will help sales of the OS on high end more versatile computers that Apple would never sell to. My guess is Psystar has the ability to contract out making its own OS and make it better than Apple. Psystar or MS does not realize how close they are to innovating to the next level like Dell once did

jz1492

November 15, 2009 3:15 AM

@Strategery: It is not its share of the overall PC market, but its dominance of the high end, high value sector thereof. Therefore, the highly attractive nature of Apple's business and the constant flock of ripoff artists circling Cupertino.

Tom

November 15, 2009 4:57 AM

Psystar made some critical mistakes. Instead of selling non-Apple machines with OS X preinstalled, Psystar should have done the following...

Offer three products ...
1. Barebones x86/amd64 computer w/o OS.
2. Installation utility for putting OSX on #1.
3. Retail version of Mac OSX (reseller)

This would have completely done an end-run around Apple. Under the scenario that I've outlined, a customer would purchase the three products individually/separately. Psystar would NOT install OSX on the computer. They would simply sell a retail OSX box to the customer, and would appear to be just like any other OS X reseller. It would be up to the customer to install #2 and #3 on the machine. I see little reason why this process couldn't be completely automated. Yes, there would be a little more effort on the customer's part, but only a negligible amount. It would be as simple as putting in the disks.

Even if Apple got annoyed at Psystar and pulled their reseller license, they could have still sold #1 and #2, and had the customer buy #3 elsewhere. They could have made inroads into Apple's hardware business. Critical error.

Derek Currie

November 15, 2009 5:07 AM

Strategery sez: "I don't get it--Macs have a tiny market share as it is...."

A couple points:

1) Macs have been eating Windows PC market share for over 3 years now. In the USA the Mac market share is nearly 10% once again.

2) The motives of Psystar are extremely suspect.

- Their sales have been abysmal.
- Their machines have zero operating system support because Apple only provide support via hardware serial number verification, which Psystar boxes don't have.
- Pystar's verbal justifications for their motives have been nothing short of insane and delusional.
- Where has Pystar's money come from? They went bankrupt earlier in the year, and yet they still pursue their blatantly idiotic lawsuits?

One could almost believe the entire point of Psystar was to piss off Apple for a brief period of time, and nothing more. Now who would have the motive and money to do that?

Think SCO and who backed up their idiotic lawsuits against Linux.... Could be. Not saying it was. Only could be.

tim

November 15, 2009 10:42 AM

The rumor was that Psystar was being backed (still is) by PC makers who want to put the mac OS on their units. The stand to make a huge profit if they are allowed to do this.

Apple created the need for the clone in two ways. The snow leopard OS only runs on intel based macs - 80% of macs are now obsolete in regard to new software upgrades. Second, Apple left a significant market open - there are no reasonably priced intel mac towers. Thus the clone markers had an opening.

Apple no longer sells leopard, upgrading is difficult unless you buy off tehe net - more expensive now to buy leopard. Snow leopard won't upgrade most macs.

It would be great if Apple would sell leopard at $49, so resellers could legally upgrade a few million machines and apple could make $100M. It would keep them out of the landfills for 2-3 more years. Better yet, sell the OS 10.5 cheap and let us convert a few million Dells whose users are upgrading to new computers using win7. The current Dells would make great MacDells, a second machine that is virus free and functional and out of the scrapheap. No doubt when the economy turns around many of those MacDell owners will become Mac owners. Everybody wins except MS

Tom

November 15, 2009 11:13 AM

It is a repeat of the same error that drive Apple from 80% to 2% of the market share back many years ago, selling high priced computers and suing anyone who dared produce aftermarket parts or clones.

PC's on the other hand, thrived because the open nature of the of the architecture encouraged creativity, and made PCs cost effective.

Even though MACs had advantages on ease of use, the market abandoned them, and went for the option that provided a market competitive environment.

It is sad that Steve Jobs failed to learn the lesson that almost destroyed the company first time around.

Blah

November 15, 2009 11:22 AM

Apple has shot their self in the foot. Microsoft can now add a clause to their EULA which states that Windows can not be installed on Mac hardware. They have rendered Bootcamp useless.

Steve Wildstrom

November 15, 2009 11:28 AM

@tim--There have been two somewhat contradictory conspiracy theories making the rounds about Psystar's alleged backers.

One, as you suggest, is that other PC makers wanted to establish the right to sell Mac OS on their own Intel boxes. The other, more complex, is that opponents of the GNU General Public License and open source software in general wanted to destroy the use of EULAs to control distribution. (The GPL depends on its EULA to guarantee adherence to the GPL's redistribution rules.)


There are two problems with these theories. One is that no one has been able to turn up a shred of evidence to support them. The other is that the lawyers for the big corporations supposedly behind these schemes would have realized that the chances of success were vanishingly small.


Like many of the commenters, I would love to see Mac OS X available on non-Apple systems. But I will concede that current law gives Apple an unambiguous right to prevent this. And, in Apple's defense, I will say that Apple's tight control over the hardware that OS X runs on is one of the things that makes the Mac user experience so good--Apple can optimize its software to perform on a very small subset of the available hardware.

Steve Wildstrom

November 15, 2009 11:34 AM

@Blah--Except that Microsoft has no interest whatever in doing that. Microsoft is in the business of selling software and, unlike Apple, has no great interest in what it runs on. Furthermore, Microsoft would have a very hard time finding a legal way to keep its software off of Apple hardware while allowing it to run on anyone else's. That would almost certainly be illegal restraint of trade and Microsoft remains under tight antitrust scrutiny.

Chris

November 15, 2009 12:18 PM

@Tom,

Who would you rather be, Apple or Dell? Apple makes more money than Dell by selling fewer computers because it is able to demonstrate high value in the computer systems (hardware [I]and[/i] software) it sells.

The fact is that while PCs outsell Macs, most PC makers are constantly on the edge of failing. Just look at Compaq, IBM, DEC, WANG, etc. for examples. PC makers tend to eye Apple's market share as a segment they'd like to grab to increase their margins, but that won't happen. Sure, Mac users are willing to pay a little more up front for the Mac hardware/software combination, but that's because we know we recoup that money and more through lower costs of ownership.

There's no way that a PC maker can take market share from Apple without lowering that PC maker's already thin margins because the only way to do it is by selling on price. Apple on the other hand, can grab market share from companies like Dell while still maintaining healthy margins.

Tom

November 15, 2009 1:06 PM

@Chris

To keep all things in perspective, when MAC had a solid and reliable product and used this approach previously, they came very close to the edge of bankruptcy. What keeps them clear of bankruptcy now is not they single digit share of the computer market, but the iPods, iPhones, etc.

Let me ask you a question, who makes more money, the PC manufacturers, or Microsoft selling operating systems? There was a basic mistake made by IBM years ago in that they chose to let Microsoft have the O/S market and they chose PC hardware. They are now out of PC hardware, and how is Microsoft doing?

So has Apple more to gain by suing everyone to keep them from propagating hardware which could be used to run their O/S? Keep in mind that every machine out there, whether made by them or someone else is a customer for their O/S. That is why Microsoft became successful.

EdisonC

November 15, 2009 3:46 PM

@ Tom

Apple came close to bankruptcy precisely because it had entered the clone market.

Enlightenment

November 15, 2009 5:30 PM

Tom

November 15, 2009 5:34 PM

@EdisonC

I don't know where you are getting your information from, but I was watching the market quite closely back in those days - yes, I know that dates me ;-) - and there was a clear difference in Apples approach (which involved control and lawyers), and the PC approach which was to let the open market settle the issue. The control allowed Apple to maintain stable (read: high) prices, and to control any competition by requiring that anyone who wanted to sell products which looked like MACs or worked with them required licensing from Apple. That ensured that very little such product was available in the market.

As with anything else, you need critical mass to make such an approach successful. If they could have held to a large percentage of the 80% of the original personal computer marketshare, it might have worked, but it is hard to force the market to conform to your demands when you are running at 20%, then 10%, etc.. Large corporations looking to standardize on computers are looking at price, fitness for use, compatibility, and long term viability. Apples declining market share and high prices caused a downward spiral.

Ask any marketing expert. If you want the market to bend to your will, you need to establish a widespread footprint first. If you cannot do that, efforts to force to conformity to your product will lead to your demise.

Now, if Apple wants to ensure future competitiveness, they may want to consider an approach such as this:

- Sell their hardware business, or open the architecture (not licensing and control, but open it)
- Remove the restriction from their O/S on where it can be installed, but rather state that for best performance, it is recommended for installation on their hardware platforms.

This would put MAC O/S, which is a good O/S, in a competitive position against Windows, with an installed based several times larger than their current installed based. Their hardware manufacturing costs decline, while sales for the software soar. They already have a good name and good marketing - what are their commercials really advertising, hardware, or software? They identify their competitor as Windows!

Now only that, but the market wants to see a good competitive O/S which would go head to head with Windows, and MAC OSX would be a competitive product.

Chris

November 15, 2009 5:37 PM

Tom,

You apparently are too young to remember the early 1980s. Microsoft became successful because IT departments were all buying IBM equipment and IBM was dumb enough to license the OS for their PC from Microsoft instead of buying it. That idiotic move on IBM's part handed Microsoft a winning lottery ticket in the form of a monopoly.

Apple is one of the very few computer hardware companies from that era to survive, and they've done it by integrating their OS with their hardware. As they found out in the mid 90s, allowing others to sell hardware with their OS would result in the same race to the bottom that today's PC makers face.

Trying to duplicate Microsoft's rise is a mistake many now defunct companies have made. It can't be done, because nobody is both as powerful as IBM was in 1980 and foolish enough to give away an outrageously lucrative opportunity.

Matt

November 15, 2009 7:26 PM

It is the value of the two systems together. Hardware and Software tightly integrated that beats the LINUX/WINDOWS story.

How many time have you needed to download a new driver to make something work on your windows/linux platform.

The MAC definitely is in a niche market, right where it wants to be.

Tom

November 15, 2009 9:05 PM

@Chris

I appreciate the kind comments about my age, but I assumed that it was you who were too young to know what happened. I was employed in the hi-tech sector during that time and am very aware of what happened.

Because a company survives the early years of a new technology does not mean that they are the best or survived because they make the right decisions. When a new technology comes to play, they are a lot of new players, and the shakedown takes out most. Those remaining are not necessarily the best. You might want to talk to someone old enough to remember VHS vs Beta, and ask them if the best technology won out. But I digress....

Suggesting that Apple survived by stubbornly refusing to bend to market needs / wants, and rather demanding that the market bend to their wants is a stretch. Suggesting that Apple survived, when the reality is that that they approach lost them 98% of their market is to defy credibility.

We can see the result of both approaches. Apple was forced to change their business strategy simply did not work. If it had, Apple would have remained the dominant player in a market where they had few competitors.

I should add that if you are old enough to remember IBMs introduction into the PC market, many thought that they would be hard pressed to compete effectively in that space because it was not their area of strength. It was thought that they did not understand the market - it was Apple's home ground. And yet Apple lost ground so fast that it would make your head swim!

In business if you ignore your customers and demand that they buy what you want to sell, eventually someone will take you on who is willing to give the market what it wants. Apple had one round with that reality.

Jeff

November 15, 2009 9:10 PM

Matt: needing to download a driver does not dictate if a system is good or bad, even Mac's use drivers.

Apple switched to the Intel platform and became PC's. I can look at the specs of an apple computer and build a PC with the same or greater specs for less. I have a quad core computer with a Blu-ray burner drive, I've had that drive for about a year or 2 now, Apple still doesn't include Blu-ray drives in their systems.

where is the value in a system that costs more than a PC, doesn't stay up to date with technology, and still has issues Mac users have to deal with? http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2157518 for example.

OSX is a good OS, it's a UNIX OS from my understanding, alot of people are wanting an alternative to Windows, but Apple isn't interested in allowing me to install OSX on a computer I already own, even though my computer has better specs than most of Apple's computers out there... Apple's solution is I downgrade and pay alot of money in the process so that I can try OSX as an alternative. Apple isn't winning me over anytime soon if that's what I have to do.

Noel

November 15, 2009 10:25 PM

This is not the first time apple killed Mac Clones. In the 1980s Apple brancrupt two Mac Clones. This is why we have windows is the dominant OS in the market.

MS does not care about hardware, they produce software to run on any computers, thus apple was able to build their systems to run Windows.

I am also ammused by pundits saying that Apple will take market share from PC. When apple limts the number of machines that can run Mac OS, you are limiting your growth. Especially when Apple systems cost $1000s, not many people will invest that amount to learn a new system when PC are going for $499.

Dan

November 16, 2009 2:19 AM

I consider this ruling a shame, and I hope it gets challenged. What stinks here is that if you buy something (like a copy of snow leopard) you can not install it on whatever you please, as you can with windows. I think most people are of the belief that when you buy something, it is YOURS to do with, because you OWN it. I have built hackintosh computers out of my old parts for fun (though once they are built I scratch my head and think WTH will I do with it, I hate OSX) People should applaud microsoft, for the crappy hardware you can get their OS to run on. Apple doesn't do that, though through the hackintosh community it can be done. The same reason OSX is free of virus's is why they don't just sell an OS instead of the OS and hardware. If everyone used it, it would be exploited.

Drew

November 16, 2009 7:49 AM

I am rather puzzled by this debate. In my opinion (which is of course not that of the judge ;-),it would be perfectly legal to sell computers on which the Mac OS would run, provided that
1. users do purchase a license for the OS from Apple, not from Psystar (which would make sense anyway, if only to obtain - legitimate - software upgrades)
2. that the OS indeed works well on this other platform (which buyers / users are the best judge of anyway).
I am amazed that a company is allowed to prohibit use of it's software on any other hardware than it's own. To me this sounds like you would only be allowed to play a Sony record on a Sony walkman... (or indeed, an iTune tune only on an iPod or iPhone ;-)

Podesta

November 16, 2009 8:25 AM

There are some confused people on this thread. Apple's domestic computer market share, now gauged at 9% to 11%, is within the realm Apple seeks. As a manufacturer of luxury, boutique computers, it is doubtful that Apple expects to have even 20% of the market. The important thing is that Apple sells 90% or so of computers that cost more than $1,000 in the U.S. It has margins above 30%. Apple has no debts. This is why Apple is currently among the most successful companies in technology and retail.

Steve Wildstrom

November 16, 2009 9:18 AM

@Drew--The problem here is that what matters is not your opinion, or mine, or even the judge's, but the law and what the copyright act says is, for better or worse, clear. A Psystar win would have required a major reversal of copyright case law.

If Sony wanted to sell music that could only be played on its players they would be within their rights to do so. In fact, that's pretty much what Sony tried with both its ATRAC and SACD formats. It was legally permissible but a commercial disaster because consumers wanted nothing to do with the proprietary formats.

TechnoBob

November 16, 2009 11:09 AM

@Podesta- You are absolutely correct. One of the humorous things that really jumps out at you when you read these comment strings is how many people continue to prognosticate the demise of AAPL because they are a "closed" system. Commentary of this nature assumes that the WinTel business model is the only way to do business in this industry. WRONG!

AAPL has has their own business model that is indeed quite successful.

1. AAPL went through the clone stage... damn near killed 'em

2. Mac sales continue to grow in dramatic fashion, much to the chagrin of those who insist their closed business model will kill them... again.

3. As a business, AAPL is experiencing record earnings & market share growth.

4. AAPL has $34B in cash.... that's billion with a "B", does this sound like a struggling company?

People have been predicting the demise of AAPL & the Mac for 20+ years.... hasn't happened yet and won't happen anytime soon. If you don't want a mac, don't buy one. It's called free choice and we all have it. The current open architecture of the PC and Windows may be good for consumers but as is typically the case, it's not so good for the manufacturers. Margins & earnings suffer and they are constantly forced to cut corners in order to bring cheaper boxes to market. So while so many of the PC HW companies suffer, AAPL continues to prosper & grow.

So to all of the naysayers out there, just because you don't agree with AAPL's business model doesn't mean it is doomed to failure. AAPL chose to do things differently and stuck to it's guns, and it's paying off handsomely.

I'm a techie, but most of the adults I know are not. AAPL products just work and that's what people want. They don't care how "open" it is. They just want it to work.

Off my soapbox now.
TB

Tom

November 16, 2009 12:51 PM

@TechnoBob

I don't know where these folk get the idea from that there was a MAC "clone" stage that almost killed them. Let's be clear - I don't consider licencing and setting terms to be "cloning" - in such a case, you retain control, and can shut down your "competition" at any time.

Second, it is not the MAC which caused Apple's current success. It was innovation in other areas. The increased sales from the MAC from oblivion rode on the coattails of other products. I remember when Apple started coming back and people were saying - they still exist? They were seen in the same category as the Amiga and Commodore. So let's keep the historical record accurate.

It is not clones that "damn near killed them" - it was the open market place. Many other computer manufacturers are surviving in an open market, but effectively what you are saying is that Apple cannot compete in an open marketplace with a level playing field. I agree with that. If you pitted hardware against hardware in an open market, the MAC market would go back down to 2% overnight. The hardware is just simply overpriced and underfeatured. That is a key point.

It is the O/S that makes the difference. Even Apple understands that - look at their commercials. They identify Windows by name as they competition.

Jeff

November 16, 2009 1:15 PM

TechnoBob: I'm a tech as well, I've wanted a mac since I was just a kid. but I'm still using a PC.

If Apple wanted to keep their system proprietary they should have stayed with the G3/G4/G5 systems maybe move to the Cell processor if they wanted to out perform the PC. but Apple chose to move to the PC platform. It's the move to the PC that's causing the issues we are talking about, as I mentioned b4 I can price out the parts Apple uses and build a computer of equal or greater specs. I couldn't do that if Apple's Macs were still real macs. I couldn't question how Apple is pricing things more than PC's for the same stuff.

I noticed you are talking in terms of what's good for the manufactures not what good for the consumers, I debated in the format war and HD-DVD users were telling us things from the manufactures perspective how it was easier and cheaper for manufactures of HD-DVD, but HD-DVD lost in an open and free market.

If you want to buy a quality PC you can, it just costs more, I've worked on tons of systems that cost $300 that died because of a cheap power supply or motherboard. There is nothing stopping people from spending $1000 on a PC that won't have these limitations. I want to make it clear because I'm not sure you understand this but just because it's a PC doesn't mean it's cheap, I built a system worth $2000 I know it's worth it because I priced out the parts and I knew what I was getting.

Professor

November 16, 2009 1:39 PM

Podesta and TechoBob, Word!!!! You both said what I wanted to say.

Chris

November 16, 2009 10:27 PM

Tom,

I was wrong. I thought you didn't understand the technical aspects but it's the marketing that you don't get. First, Apple never had a high market share with the Mac. You can't lose something you never had. Second, market share is not as important as profit margin. Just as lots of people are having trouble understanding how Apple could make more from just iPhones than Nokia does with ALL of its phones, you seem befuddled by the idea that a company can be profitable without having the lion's share of a market.

The fact is, winning isn't owning the largest market share. It's making the most money. Apple does that by demonstrating higher quality in their products than their competitors. That higher quality comes from integrating their software and hardware.

Chasing marketshare would make Apple no different from Dell, but with a smaller market share. Market share is the only thing keeping Dell afloat, so Apple would be history in just a few years.

@ Dan,

You don't buy "a copy of Leopard." You buy a license to use Leopard, and that license must come with restrictions. If you were to buy a copy of Leopard, it would have to cost you BILLIONS of dollars. I doubt you'd be willing to pay!

Sct.

November 16, 2009 11:01 PM

@Jeff

You really believe that nonsense garbage you just upchucked on everyone, Trying to prove your point to the tune that Apple should have stuck with a underpowered Motorola chip that reached it's potential is not only laughable but proves that you are no tech and are of the age 21 or below.

Fact Motorola Did Not have a Low Powered Chip ready for Apple that had the Power it Needed to take it into the Next Phase, And that would be the utilization and bi-designing PPC-X86 Core of the Apple Purchased Next-OS that Steve Jobs sold to Apple... "Long History Story.. look it Up yourself"

AnyWay....

Trying to say you are aware of how things are the way they are because you priced them out "made me spit out my coffee" "My God that was Funny" (ROFL)

For heaven sake please don't post, You are the comic event of this blog posting, and it is clear that your level of education and knowledge are as limited as your feeble attempt at trying to prove you can post with even the slightest bit of validity.

And you speak of Real Macs.. Please You have no clue what a real Mac is, Regardless of the Chip design it is the Experience that make's it a Mac.

But only a NON Apple Macintosh user would post that Garbage you just did, Stick with PC's since this is what you know but remember trying to fool others into believing you are something you are not is just foolish.

Brad

November 16, 2009 11:29 PM

@Jeff

Lest we forget that Sony did everything short of bribing G.W Bush to make sure that it's Blu-Ray got off the ground in a fantastic display of financial greed! Remember that Toshiba was the creator of HD-DVD, and they provided inexpensive product, so we all bought it. Then Sony terrified that their product may never see the light of day, like Beta back in the late 70's early 80's, turned to Wal-Mart, then Disney. Push my product says Sony, and I will benefit you forever! Once it was that Wal-Mart agreed to only sell Sony's Blu-Ray players, as well as Disney would only right HD format movies on Blu-Ray it was decided. Not by the public, but by Sony, Walmart adn Disney! If the public got what it wanted, HD-DVD would be the player of the now. How Ironic it seems that I'm having a discussion about a monopoly on HD players, such as Apple has a monopoly on Apple and it's products!

kurt

November 17, 2009 1:14 AM

"Not because it is "illegal"--we're talking about a commercial dispute here, not a crime"--Wildstrom


How is copyright infringement not a crime? Such a semantic distinction is ignorant (and inexcusable from someone purporting to be a business expert).

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act criminalizes circumvention of DRM by amending Title 17 of the US Penal Code. There are civil and criminal penalties.

Podesta

November 17, 2009 3:24 AM

Jeff, Apple's comeback was based on the colored CRT iMacs, first manufactured in 1998. They were followed by the Luxo lamp iMacs, which were even more popular. The iPod (2001) and iTunes Store (2003) completed the turnaround.

In addition, you do not understand what 'monopoly' means. A monopoly must control access to a market and limit competition. Apple, which has a computer market share of maybe three percent worldwide, does not meet either criterion. Nor is it a monopoly in the smart phone market or multimedia downloading. Leading a market does not make a company a monopoly.

Steve Wildstrom

November 17, 2009 7:05 AM

@Kurt--There is such a thing as criminal copyright violation, but despite those FBI warnings on DVDs, it is very rarely invoked. No one alleged any criminal acts in the Psystar case although, as an earlier posted notice, it might become liable if it willfully persisted after having been found in violation (as a practical matter, though, it would more likely be found in contempt.)

By the way, Title 17 of the United States Code is the Copyright Act itself. Title 18 is the criminal stuff.

Kurt

November 17, 2009 10:26 AM

@Steve Wildstrom.

DMCA amended Title 17. Fact. (Title 18 is irrelevant here.)

DMCA makes certain infringing acts, of which Psystar engaged, criminal. Fact.

Saying that there is no "crime" for infringement simply because it is rarely enforced is logically false. Suggesting it is not criminal because penalties fall under Title 17, not 18, is a naive semantic argument.

"Title 17--Section 1204. Criminal offenses and penalties...."

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/usc_sec_17_00001204----000-.html

dd

November 17, 2009 3:53 PM

@Tom: Your comments are incorrect. The Apple-clone days were post/pre Steve Jobs, and they (Apple) had no idea what they were doing as far as licensing terms. Apple is not repeating history, because they have a plan and are executing it flawlessly. I'll take a $2000 MBP ANY DAY over a supposedly superior HP/Dell/Sony/Generic PC, simply because the hardware and software work together.

I'll continue to fix OTHER people's (Windows) problems and use the money to buy me a machine that is generally flawless (or has minimal issues).

Steve Wildstrom

November 17, 2009 5:02 PM

Some clarifications on Apple history:

--Apple faced a challenge from clones way back in the Apple II days. Franklin was the most successful. Apple put them out of business by successfully asserting its copyrights on code (long before the DMCA).


--In the mid-1990s, under Gil Amelio, Apple licensed a number of companies to build Mac OS systems, with Power Computing the most successful of them. Apple was building pretty lackluster stuff at the time and the clone makers built some interesting stuff. The problem was they were winning more market share from Apple than from IBM, Compaq, or other PC makers. After his return to Apple, Steve Jobs killed the clone program in 1997. Apple bought the remains of Power Computing to avoid some potentially ugly litigation. But the cancellation of "perpetual" licenses it had granted IBM and Motorola had lasting consequences.


--Apple's relationship with IBM and Moto never recovered from the clone fiasco, a problem since Apple was dependent on them for PowerPC chips. Moto eventually abandoned the business to IBM which found doing business with Apple generally a pain in the ass. IBM Microelectronics wanted to concentrate on specialized chips, the Power line for its own servers, the Cell for Sony PS/3, and a PowerPC variant for the Xbox. Matters came to a head over the cost of developing low-power versions of the G4 and G5 chips for laptops, and Jobs decided that Mac's future was with Intel. The parting was bitter, but has actually turned out to be a good thing for both IBM and Apple.

cbsofla

November 17, 2009 6:37 PM

I always prefer to start in the affirmative, so thanks to Podesta, TechnoBob, and a couple of others for having already hit all the main notes here. Simply put, whether software or hardware, computer or music player or phone, Apple has 34 billion responses to anyone who insists on trying to point out why Apple is such a loser.

Tom, since you have such obviously incredible world-class business acumen as to know what Apple should do if they want "to ensure future competitiveness," why are you wasting your time here, instead of rolling around in the billions of bucks you evidently can create on your own? Good heavens!

Steve, Phil, and the rest of the Apple crew — call Tom NOW! Obviously what you've been doing for the last decade sucks! Tom has everything you need to know!

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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