Apple Wins Like a Champ - Psystar is Toast

  • Posted: 14 November 2009 02:02 PM

    Groklaw have the stuff up for your perusal.

    Psystar just got what’s coming to them in the California case. Here’s the order [PDF]. It’s a total massacre. Psystar’s first-sale defense went down in flames. Apple’s motion for summary judgment on copyright infringement and DMCA violation is granted. Apple prevailed also on its motion to seal.
    Psystar’s motion for summary judgment on trademark infringement and trade dress is denied. So is its illusory motion for copyright misuse.

    There are still issues remaining for trial, despite Psystar’s attempt to present everything now as being moot. Here’s what’s left to be decided at trial: Apple’s allegations of breach of contract; induced breach of contract, trademark infringement; trademark dilution; trade dress infringement; and state unfair competition under California Business and Professions Code ? 17200; and common law unfair competition. See anything on that list that will be helpful to Psystar?

    So that means damages ahead for Psystar on the copyright issues just decided on summary judgment, at a minimum. The court asked for briefs on that subject. In short, Psystar is toast. Psystar’s only hope now is Florida, and frankly I wouldn’t bet the house on that one. Judges notice if you were just found guilty of a similar cause of action in another state.

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  • Posted: 14 November 2009 07:21 PM #1

    There was little doubt as to the outcome of these motions. I’m not an attorney, but Apple’s case in my view has been as solid as the determination’s made.

    In my view (and again I’m not an attorney) Psystar’s foundation for its legal arguments had no basis in precedence and case law and Apple’s positions were supported by established law.

    My only question is who are the financial backers bankrolling Psystar’s legal efforts? From here the legal costs for Psystar may continue to rise without any justifiable financial reward relative to the risk. In other words, from my vantage point (not being a lawyer and without professional knowledge in this legal area) I wonder why Psystar is taking the case(s) through the courts with little to no chance of a positive outcome and only increasing financial risks.

    If I recall correctly Psystar claims to be in a financially precarious position yet continues with this litigation. I don’t see a realistic chance of the company being granted by the courts the right to sell Mac clones.

         
  • Posted: 15 November 2009 11:23 AM #2

    Here’s sommat, Tim Elfrink, who wrote last weeks hagiography in the “award-winning” Miami News has done a follow up article with Psystar’s reaction.

    Psystar Loses Key Copyright Ruling In Apple’s California Lawsuit
    By Tim Elfrink in NewsSun., Nov. 15 2009 @ 9:00AM
    This past week, we brought you the story of Rudy and Robert Pedraza, the Miami brothers who have taken on Apple by hacking its OS X to run on cheap PCs.

    ?Although the self-funded, self-taught programmers are taking on a computer giant, we wrote, they might just have a chance to win on their legal merits.

    That chance just got a hell of a lot slimmer. U.S. District Judge William Alsup has granted Apple a summary judgment, agreeing that Psystar infringed on its copyrights.

    “Psystar infringed Apple’s exclusive rights to create derivative works of Mac OS X,” Alsup writes, “by replacing original files in Mac OS X with unauthorized software files.”

    Alsup also agreed with Apple that Psystar violated portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The judge, in the same ruling, tossed out all of Psystar’s requests for a summary judgment.

    So is this the end of the line for Psystar? Not necessarily. There’s still a good bit of legal conflict to sort out.

    “We think that the court got the law wrong, particularly on copyright misuse,” Kiwi Camara, Psystar’s lawyer, tells Riptide. “Psystar will fight on in Florida and in the Court of Appeals.”

    Alsup still has to rule on Apple’s claims that Psystar violated contract law by going against the click-through agreement on OS X. Complaints over unfair competition, trademark infringement and trademark dilution remain unresolved.

    And Psystar’s separate lawsuit against Apple in Florida, claiming that the company violated anti-trust laws, is ongoing.

    But there’s no doubt: Alsup’s ruling is a Messi-esque kick in the balls for Psystar and the Pedrazas. Alsup has set hearings for later this month to decide how much money Psystar owes Apple for the violations, and there’s a good chance the answer will be “a hell of a lot.”

    But let’s be clear: No, we don’t regret profiling these guys in light of Alsup’s ruling. Why would we?

    The Pedraza’s personal story is damned fascinating, and was never told before we reported it. The legal arguments we’ve explored are valid and interesting. None of that changes because a judge in California has agreed with Apple on some key issues.

    “So is this the end of the line for Psystar? Not necessarily. There’s still a good bit of legal conflict to sort out.” he writes. to quote Groklaw:

    There are still issues remaining for trial, despite Psystar’s attempt to present everything now as being moot. Here’s what’s left to be decided at trial: Apple’s allegations of breach of contract; induced breach of contract, trademark infringement; trademark dilution; trade dress infringement; and state unfair competition under California Business and Professions Code ? 17200; and common law unfair competition. See anything on that list that will be helpful to Psystar?

    Article can be read Here.

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  • Posted: 15 November 2009 02:13 PM #3

    Sure there are legal issues to “explore” provided someone is financing the “exploration.” I’m not an attorney, but it’s my understanding once damages are determined the courts can not be used to postpone payments of penalties. It’s my understanding Psystar will need to provision for the damages as part of an appeals process. In other words I don’t think there’s a free ride down the pike and the District Court’s determinations will carry much weight in the Florida case determinations.

    I’d like to know who is paying Psystar’s legals bills and who will be providing the provision for awarded damages and cover the costs of the appeals. Issues remain for court but the summary judgements indicate IMHO Psystar’s legal claims are flimsy at best and the summary judgements indicate their arguments are so weak they do not merit court time bringing them to trial.

    These are industry issues not just Apple issues and the weight of law weighs heavily on Psystar’s shoulders. I don’t see an economically rational basis for Psystar to continue operating outside the law considering damages increase with every PC sold that has Mac OS X illegally installed.

         
  • Posted: 15 November 2009 02:45 PM #4

    There are no legal, regulatory or ethical issues to explore here.  It’s over plain and simple.

    Psystar clear and simple broke the law and now its time to suffer the consequences.

    Anyone who wants to milk this for their own discredited views of what is right and wrong, legal and illegal, etc., go right ahead.  But when you are finished with your asinine nonsense, you will find this company no longer exists.

    It is going to be buried in the unmarked grave of liars and thieves, of leeches who took a run at living off the efforts of others and talked themselves into being victims.

    Flush this company down the toilet with your next bowel movement.

    [ Edited: 15 November 2009 02:48 PM by Mike in Helsinki ]      
  • Posted: 15 November 2009 03:19 PM #5

    That’s fair and simple Mike.

    However, I like, DT am really interested in seeing who is behind the mask.

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  • Posted: 15 November 2009 03:54 PM #6

    rattyuk - 15 November 2009 07:19 PM

    That’s fair and simple Mike.

    However, I like, DT am really interested in seeing who is behind the mask.

    Me too.  I want to find out who it is that has been financing these cockroaches.

    Hope that will come out in future court hearings.

         
  • Posted: 15 November 2009 06:00 PM #7

    I doubt we will find out if anyone else is behind it. The brothers may simply have been dreaming of getting rich, remaining unaware of the reasons why lawyers were willing to give them hope and represent them with no likelihood of being paid. If there is a large player behind it, I think Psystar don’t know who. But someone could have arranged for lawyers to approach and encourage them. Lawyers at least know how to keep a secret.

    I have to say, Michael Dell seems fairly obsessed with copying Apple, from the Ditty (iPod) to the Adamo (Macbook Air) to the Zino HD ( Mac mini) to the Mini 3 (iPhone). Maybe he was dreaming of putting OS X on the Adamo and Zino and thereby weakening both Apple and Microsoft, to return Dell to the glory days of moneymaking.

         
  • Posted: 15 November 2009 11:05 PM #8

    Someone has to pay the bill when damages are determined and continuing the court action following the summary judgements gets real expensive. Court appearances are certainly not cheap and preparing for court can be just as expensive. I can’t imagine there are many law firms willing to take the risk of tying up staff for court prep and appearances without some prospect of getting paid. Even on a contingency basis there’s very little chance of reward in contrast to the spiraling costs of court work.

    With the California summary judgements as precedent there’s little the Florida court can do with regard to its pending case. I don’t see any new issues to address in Florida and I doubt the Florida District Court has much of an appetite for clogging the appellate court with a conflicting opinion.