Psystar’s Web Site Goes Dark

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Erstwhile unauthorized Mac cloner Psystar's Web site is offline as of this writing. The company's would-be Mac business was ordered shuttered by a federal court this week as part of a permanent inunction sought by Apple following a copyright legal fight between the two companies.

While Psystar had a non-Mac business -- it's main business model was making cheap PC computers on which one could run one's OS of choice, including Mac OS X with the help of software (more or less) developed by Psystar called Rebel EFI -- it's not yet clear if the company intends to try and continue selling its PCs.

Judge William Alsup granted Apple a permanent injunction against Psystar that prohibited the company from selling PCs with Macs installed on them, selling or distributing software that allowed users to install Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware, or in any other way assist anyone in doing so.

The company has until no later than December 31st of this year to comply with the order, but the judge stipulated that, "if compliance can be achieved within one hour after this order is filed, defendant shall reasonably see it done."

Psystar's Web Site Down

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24 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

I’d guess that PsyStar’s financial backers have apparently stopped answering their calls.

vpndev

I?d guess that PsyStar?s financial backers ...

I still want to know who they are/were

geoduck

We’ll probably never know. PsyStar may not even really know. If I were going to do this I’d set up a shell company and run the money through it to keep my hands clean. Psystar, may have just gotten checks from Acme Corp based in Barbados or something like that. The real deep pockets are surely well camouflaged.

Lee Dronick

The other domains who hosted on the server also seem to be dark

efirebel.com and eyerebel.com

Interestingly the psystar.com domain was going to expire on 10 Jan 2010

http://whois.domaintools.com/psystar.com

Tiger

The Dark Side has gone dark. And that secret’s probably being kept tighter than who shot JFK.

Nemo

If, as I suspect, Psystar is complying with the permanent injunction that Judge Alsup issued on 15 December 2009 on pain of facing Apple’s motion for contempt, it is certainly a vulgar act for the Pedraza brothers to leave all 1,000.00 or so of their customers, who doubtlessly include some of Apple’s consultants, engineers, and lawyers, without a word of explanation or thanks.

vpndev

[quoteThe real deep pockets are surely well camouflaged.]

Well, let’s see what happens in the next few days.

Psystar can’t do Ch. 11 as they’ve been enjoined from that, although I forget when that expires. Still a couple of months I think. So Ch.7 might seem to be the unavoidable “choice”. I don’t do lawyering but suspect that Apple’s judgement would put them at the head of the list of creditors. I wonder how much the “deep pockets” will bid for the contents of the filing cabinets? Just so they don’t fall into other hands.

Lee Dronick

The Dark Side has gone dark. And that secret?s probably being kept tighter than who shot JFK.

There was a second programmer on the grassy knoll

Durga-Durga

I was wondering if Apple itself was behind Psystar, so as to force this issue and establish a precedent.

geoduck

it is certainly a vulgar act for the Pedraza brothers to leave all 1,000.00 or so of their customers…without a word of explanation or thanks.

I don’t see it as much more vulgar than anything else in this sorry saga.

vpndev

I was wondering if Apple itself was behind Psystar, so as to force this issue and establish a precedent.

I never worked for Apple but have worked closely with lots of Apple employees over 20 years. All my interactions lead me to strongly believe that this would never happen. Apple just doesn’t work that way. They compete hard, but this is beyond the pale. This is waaayyy beyond unethical.

Besides, the sanctions on any lawyer involved would be mind-numbing. Not just those on the company - the lawyers would be seriously out of work. Disbarred and tainted. They couldn’t practice and no company would ever hire them. Not a career-enhancing move at all.

So, in a word—no.

geoduck

the lawyers would be seriously out of work. Disbarred and tainted.

Wow. I knew it was somehow unethical. I didn’t realize it would be that severe.
What would the legal profession call this? Something that wrong must have a name to put on the charge.

Tiger

Something that wrong must have a name to put on the charge…

Congressional oversight? grin

vpndev

Wow. I knew it was somehow unethical. I didn?t realize it would be that severe.

Lawyers are officers of the Court and, as such, owe their allegiance to the Court and to the law. That’s why a lawyer never has to take an oath in court “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. It’s already implicit in being a lawyer and being admitted to the Bar (no, not that bar). You and I have to, but a lawyer does not.

So for a lawyer to engage in such a scheme to “game” the Court undermines the whole system of trust upon which the legal system is based.

Lee Dronick

vpndev said: the lawyers would be seriously out of work. Disbarred and tainted.
Wow. I knew it was somehow unethical. I didn?t realize it would be that severe.
What would the legal profession call this? Something that wrong must have a name to put on the charge.

Maybe Nemo can tell us.

Nemo

It is true that no lawyer could knowingly participate in a scheme, where Apple sued itself or set up a party to sue it in an effort to win a favorable precedent.  To do so would volate the Model Rules or Model Code, depending on the jurisdiction, that regulate a lawyer’s ethical conduct and would certainly result in disbarment.  Also, since the judgment woud be the result of fraud, it would be vacated once the fraud was discovered, or worse, the court could deem such conduct by Apple to be its consent to allowing third parties to install OS X on generic PCs, hold that Apple is estopped to from arguing otherwise, and enter judgment for Psystar on the grounds that Apple consented to licensing OS X to third parties.  Also, all parties involved would be subject to criminal prosecution for obstructing justice.  Since this is federal court, that would be a federal felony.  So it is highly unlikely and would be the highest folly for Apple to have set up Psystar as an illegal marker of Mac clones so that it could sue Psystar and win that suit.  And there is no evidence to support such a theory and, since the judgment would be at least vacated, once the fraud was discovered, there is no reason why Apple would do such a foolish and unethical thing.

I also know the reputation of Apple’s lead trial counsel.  He is regarded as a man of unimpeachable integrity, who would never be a party to such despicable, criminal, and unethical conduct.

And finally, though courts expect its officers and employees to comport themselves with the highest standards of ethical conduct, lawyers, as everyone else, take the oath when sworn testimony or other statements are required.  However, even without the oath, a lawyer must be truthful in his dealings with the court.  Failure to be completely honest with the court will result in the severest discipline.

geoduck

That is very interesting. Thank you Nemo.

GreenMonkey

I?d guess that PsyStar?s financial backers ...

I still want to know who they are/were

I’d say look to the northwest.  They’ve done it before.

gslusher

There’s a term lawyers use, “cui bono”—essentially, “who would benefit,” that could lead to mild speculation as to who was providing funds for Psystar (assuming that the brothers were not wealthy to start with).

* Microsoft: an obvious suspect, but, IMO, not the top. Allowing Mac OS on clones might hurt Apple, but it couldn’t help Microsoft—indeed, it might hurt their sales, as the barrier to switching would be much, much lower if PC owners could install OS X on $500 PCs.

* HP: hurting Apple might help them, but computers are a small part of HP’s business.

* Sony, Acer, etc: Possible, but also unlikely. Sony’s primary business is AV-hardware & games, not computers.

Then, we come to my #1 suspect—not in the Northwest, but in Texas:

* Dell: Dell has indicated that they would like to license OS X, but, of course, Apple has told them to p*ss up a rope. What better way to force the issue than to have some pipsqueak company start making & selling Mac clones? Of all PC manufacturers, Dell would stand to gain the most from open licensing of OS X. Dell is a hardware company—they don’t really care about the OS as long as it doesn’t cost too much and they can sell hardware.

I had thought about some big investors who were selling Apple short & wanted to drive the stock price down, but that strategy is by necessity short-range.

Bryan Chaffin

My take for quite some time has been that Psystar and its legal counsel(s) were simply too stupid to be backed by big dollars from elsewhere.

Stupid business model x complete lack of understanding of basic legal principals ? big business’s backing.

It’s been blunder after blunder after blunder after blunder with these guys, and in this case Occam’s Razor suggests that what we see is what we get.

gslusher

It?s been blunder after blunder after blunder after blunder with these guys, and in this case Occam?s Razor suggests that what we see is what we get.

Oh, I agree. My previous post pure speculation. I’m generally not one for conspiracy theories. I expect that Hanlon’s Razor (rather than Occam’s) is a bit more to the point: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” (For “malice,” one can substitute “conspiracy.”)

Ol’ Occam talked about not “multiplying entities.” It’s a logical proposal but, in science, it often does not apply, especially when dealing with biological systems. Such systems were shaped by evolution—genetic change + natural selection, usually based upon modifications of what already exists, so they are often more complex, distorted, or convoluted than necessary. (For an example, look up “recurrent laryngeal nerve” and why it takes a round-about route from the vagus nerve to the larynx. Another would be the human tail—a few people are actually born with small tails.)

Joe Anonymous

“If, as I suspect, Psystar is complying with the permanent injunction that Judge Alsup issued on 15 December 2009 on pain of facing Apple?s motion for contempt, it is certainly a vulgar act for the Pedraza brothers to leave all 1,000.00 or so of their customers, who doubtlessly include some of Apple?s consultants, engineers, and lawyers, without a word of explanation or thanks.”

Actually, from what I’ve seen, most of them were sold to journalists who wanted to brag about how great it was to be able to buy a cheap Mac and then couldn’t get their article written without laughing their heads off at the ‘quality’ of the Psystar machines.

Plus my boss bought one. Classic technophobe who had no concept of what he was getting and thought it was just the same as a Mac. Now that he’s gotten a POS computer and thinks it’s just like a Mac, he’ll be turned off on Macs forever - which is exactly what Apple was trying to prove.

Joe Anonymous

“* Microsoft: an obvious suspect, but, IMO, not the top.”

This is absolute nonsense. Microsoft was NEVER the ‘obvious suspect”. They had nothing to gain by having OS X widely available on cheaper machines—- and a lot to lose.

gslusher

This is absolute nonsense. Microsoft was NEVER the ?obvious suspect?. They had nothing to gain by having OS X widely available on cheaper machines?- and a lot to lose

Apparently, you didn’t read either the rest of that paragraph—where I said just what you did, nor the comment just ahead of mine by “GreenMonkey.” (“Northwest” = Washington) Microsoft was an “obvious suspect” to many people, if you had been reading the stories and comments on the Psystar situation over the last several months.

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