While the idea of Apple clones is nothing new (they used to even be licensed, back in the ‘old days’) they’ve been forbidden for some time. While the idea behind Psystar’s offering was intriguing—legal mac software on generic PC hardware, anyone who actually dealt with them often left with a bad taste in their mouth. Now, however, a judge has said no more.
A U.S. District Court today handed down what Apple has been asking for for months, which is a permanent injunction barring Psystar from selling its self-branded Mac clones. There’s really no way around it—the judge was quite clear. What does this mean for Psystar? Well, the company always seemed a little shady to begin with; despite claiming that no laws were ever being broken, they certainly skirted around more than a few regulations in order to manufacture and sell their products. While they never openly used illegal copies of Apple’s OS X operating system, Psystar did essentially mock Apple’s trademarks and IP. It does make one wonder if this case will have any bearing on software licenses, frequently called EULAs, which have never been fully tested in a court of law, and of which Apple’s points out that installing OS X on non-Apple hardware is expressly forbidden.
|Psystar “must bring its conduct into compliance with the injunction by midnight on December 31, 2009, at the latest,” the court’s arbiter, Judge William Alsup, declared. “Defendant must immediately begin this process, and take the quickest path to compliance; thus, if compliance can be achieved within one hour after this order is filed, defendant shall reasonably see it done.”|
While the ruling also forbids Psystar from openly enabling others to install OS X (even just by providing instructions), even if they themselves aren’t doing it, it doesn’t necessarily forbid them from selling their alternate firmware and boot assistants, since they have clear uses outside of installing OS X on non-Apple hardware. A warning to those who look to the defeated company for aid, however—you’d do well to search around for just what you’re getting. A number of enterprising followers of the so-called Hackintosh communities on the web have done some pretty in-depth look into exactly that which Psystar is claiming they’ve developed.
Their findings? It looks to be little more than code lifted from one or more open-source projects (with no credit given, of course) combined with, in the case of the EFI boot dongle, generic USB hardware. Psystar went so far as to file serial numbers of the undoubtedly commodity parts in order to prevent users from seeing just how much they’d overpaid for the product. In the end, while cheaper Macs would be nice, you’re just as well off reading up on how to do it yourself–the instructions aren’t too hard, all things considered–and leave Psystar to what seems like a well-deserved fate.