In Thursday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches bloggers watch Apple's continuing legal wrangling with would-be Mac clone maker, Psystar. Not to mention Buddy Beckett...
Jim Dalrymple reports:
The legal wrangling between Apple and Mac clone-maker Psystar is heating up this week. Documents filed with the court on Tuesday show that Apple believes Psystar may have backers involved with the company and Apple wants to know who they are.
The amended complaint adds John Does one through 10, representing up to 10 more defendants that Apple can add to the lawsuit. Lawyers for Apple said the complaint will be updated with the true names and capacities of the John Does when they are known.
Apple sued Psystar in July 2008 claiming the company violated its copyrights and licensing agreement when it sold a computer with Mac OS X installed on it. Apples end-user licensing agreement forbids Mac OS X from being installed on non-Apple hardware.
Egan Orion adds:
The Cupertino-based fount of über-sleek but overpriced and hermetically sealed computers, pocket music players and touchscreen mobile phones wrote to the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco that it wants to add new claims ... and enlarge its existing claims ... said it believes others put the clone maker up to its tricks, and it wants to find out who they are through civil litigation discovery and sue them too.
All of Psystar's counterclaims against Apple have already been dismissed by the court, and Psystar stipulated to Apple's motion to amend its complaint because its lawyers apparently saw no hope of opposing that.
Psystar is now like a mouse at the mercy of a very angry cat. If others yet unknown are implicated in discovery, this case could get even more interesting.
Nilay Patel agrees:
The soap opera of would-be Mac cloner Psystar was already full of shady twists and turns, but there's a possibility Apple's legal team thinks there's some truth to a few of the wilder conspiracy theories out there.
Chances are Apple's just covering its ass in case it wants to sue the major investors of Psystar individually or even the OSx86 hackers that unwillingly enabled the company's dubious business. Either way, with all of Psystar's antitrust counterclaims dismissed and Apple adding new DMCA claims to its lawsuit, we've got a feeling things are about to go boom in Florida pretty soon ... this is probably your last chance to grab a piece of (semi-functional) history.
Pamela Jones groks the motion:
Apple alleges that it believes there are corporations and/or individuals behind Psystar, who may be added as defendants once Apple in discovery finds out who they are. Woah ... that made my eyes bug out.
Apple apparently believes that somebody else is behind Psystar, which might help to explain why a major law firm would take on what seems like a fly-by-night's case; also why Psystar has been so bold in continuing to sell its products. I knew this thing felt funny. As Alice in Wonderland might put it, "It gets interestinger and interestinger.
Psystar's only hope now is that it is not guilty ... I guess the moral of this story is don't mess with Apple's legal rights, because they will most likely fight to the death, scratching, kicking, whateve... But you know what? Psystar asked for it. And that's why there is another moral to this story. Don't be stupid.
But Devin Coldewey thinks Apple has "lost it":
Oh dear, I think Apples legal department is getting paranoid. After suggesting that people taking their ad literally were irrational, theyre now suggesting that a shadowy unknown may be behind the whole Psystar drama.
Good lord, how mysterious! Can they really think that someone like Dell for example, jealous of Apples increasing market share, would set up a shell company to sell pieced-together Frankenmacs? I think Apple needs a drink.
Ed Oswald muses:
It does smell a little bit of paranoia ... but Apple does have its right to find out if its rivals are attempting to sabotage its business.
Jobs and Co. must have some pretty trustworthy leads if they are going as far as to include such an accusation in a legal document ... These John Doe suits have been used in the past, most notably in RIAA/MPAA anti-piracy suits.
The company will now be either found guilty or not on Apples own claims, while at the same time Apple will be working to uncover the identities of those who may be supporting Psystar. If these companies are revealed, you bet Apple will publicly expose these folks, and likely sue them too.
Christopher Neher thinks it's time for a colorful metaphor and an implied accusation:
Psystar could very well be the physical proof, in the form of a desperate last-ditch legal test, that the Windows hegemony recognizes its impending doom at the hands of Apple.
If there is any justice in this universe, regardless of legal cases and their outcomes, Apple's destined to overcome the Windows hegemony's tasteless thieves and their armies of leeches anyway.
Never forget that Steve Jobs plays to win.
Other Computerworld bloggers:
- Seth Weintraub: Amazon app for iPhone is hit (picture search) and miss (mp3s)
- Preston Gralla: Which Google projects will bite the dust?
- Douglas Schweitzer: High tech attacks need high tech response
- SJVN: The world's worst way to market Linux
- Dan Tynan: Today's Internet has been brought to you by porn
- Robert L. Mitchell: It's official: The desktop is dead
- Shark Tank: Isn't that what the help desk is for -- to help?
- Shark Bait: Myth: Every system has Internet access
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 23 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: firstname.lastname@example.org.