Psystar Looks to Public for Apple Deposition Questions

PC maker Psystar has started into its own deposition interviews of some of Apple's top employees in its defense against the company's claims that it is making and selling Mac clones without authorization. Instead of relying solely on its defense team, however, Psystar is looking to the public for some of those hard hitting questions.

"Now given that there is a significant interest in this litigation aside from the business interest of Psystar, in particularly those of the OSX86 community and others; we want all your input. On that note we're taking the top ten most highly moderated questions for each person to be asked at their depositions," the company said on its Web site.

Psystar's legal team, Camara & Sibley, came on board late in the game to replace Carr & Farrell. Camara & Sibley is well known for the work it did as the defense team for Jamie Thomas-Rasset in her battle against the RIAA. In that case, her proposed US$22,000 fine for allegedly downloading music from the Internet without paying for it blossomed into a $1.92 million fine.

Apple filed a lawsuit against Psystar in U.S. District Court northern California after the company began building and selling PCs with Mac OS X pre-installed. According to Apple, that's a violation of the Mac OS X end user licensing agreement, and the steps Psystar uses to install the OS on their PCs violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Psystar countered that it is within its rights to build and sell PCs with Mac OS X pre-installed and that Apple is overstepping its bounds by blocking companies from selling Mac clones.

Psystar has already completed depositions on John Wright, the Mac OSX Senior Software Manager, Kevin Van Vechten, the Mac OSX Software Engineering Manager, and Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing. Psystar has additional depositions scheduled through August 21 other top-level Mac OS X team members, but Apple CEO Steve Jobs is not on the list.

The two companies are also scheduled to appear before a Magistrate Judge on October 6 for a hearing to determine whether or not there's any possibility of settling the case out of court. That settlement hearing had originally been set for July 30, but was postponed so that it would fall after the August 21 discovery deadline, and so that Psystar's new legal team could get up to speed on the case.

Psystar looks happy to push forward towards the scheduled January 11, 2010 trial date with, in its own words, "guns blazin'."

"For the past week and for the following ten days we will be doing depositions of some of Apple's highest level people," the company said. "After numerous depositions of Psystar employees and associates the shoe is finally on the other foot, oh the joy!"

Psystar sounds excited today, but there are still a few court appearances before January 11 -- and the outcome of those hearings could change their level of enthusiasm.