Psystar surrenders in Mac clone wars; still sells Rebel EFI

Beleaguered Mac clone maker Psystar has withdrawn its hackintoshes from sale, as part of its settlement agreement with Apple. However, it's continuing to sell a tool that allows others to build a hackintosh: Rebel EFI. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get to the bottom of the story.

By Richi Jennings. December 3, 2009.


Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention GOTO considered harmful...

    Katie Marsal gets inside the story:

Less than 24 hours after its $2.675 million settlement with Apple was revealed, Psystar has removed all of its unauthorized machines equipped with Mac OS X for purchase from its online store. ... Unsurprisingly, Psystar is still offering its Rebel EFI product. ... The $50 product allows third-party installation of Mac OS X on unauthorized computers.


[It] allows certain Intel-powered PCs to install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. In response, Apple has tried to convince the court that Psystar is "trafficking in circumvention devices" that will irreparably harm the Cupertino, Calif., company. ... [Psystar] has called Apple's tying of Mac OS X to proprietary machines an "anticompetitive" practice.

Eric Slivka rings the bell for Round Two:

Psystar has not given up its fight. ... [This] marks a shift in its business tactics in response to Apple's legal challenges.


While the current case in California centers on Psystar's inclusion of Mac OS X Leopard on its systems, a second lawsuit is also pending in Florida, where Psystar has claimed that Apple is in violation of antitrust laws by limiting use of Mac OS X Snow Leopard to Apple hardware. That case is unaffected by the recent decision in the original California case or by the settlement agreement between the two companies.

Nicholas Deleon crunches the numbers:

Of course, Psystar said it will appeal the decision handed to it that said it violated the DMCA when it installed Mac OS X on PCs.

  The beauty of the settlement is that while Psystar has said, yeah, it’ll cough up the $2.68 million, it won’t do so until everything has been figured out. All appeals, all complaints, all everything. Needless to say, this story ain’t dead yet..

The anonymous gnomes at Edible Apple pontificate thuswise:

Psystar will attempt to extend the appeals process for as long as possible, but [as] Apple noted in a recent motion ... Psystar has no money, and ... it’s operated at a loss during every single quarter of its short existence. ... [So] why not exercise its right to the $2.66 million judgment and make Psystar sweat for a while? Why not let them know that it’s not in their best interest to keep on playing games with the court system?


Psystar has been anything but upfront during the past few months of litigation, and given how Apple whupped Psystar in their respective motions for summary judgment, it’s a tad perplexing that Apple would give Psystar just a little bit more breathing room than necessary.

Pamela Jones pays attention to the man behind the curtain:

I don't believe for one second that Psystar is about two guys in a basement. ... Someone, somewhere behind all this is trying to destroy Apple's business, for personal profit, nothing less, just as SCO has been trying to destroy IBM's and Red Hat's business and Linux, for personal profit. Two strange cases, each threatening damage to major players in the US technology sector -- the two major competitors of Microsoft, actually now that I think of it.


If you think of it in those terms, then don't some of the otherwise odd elements makes sense? How else to explain dragging the cases out time after time, when the ultimate conclusions seem fairly obvious ... unless the goal is just to inflict damage? ... One has to look deeper and ask, who does benefit from all this? What is it really all about, if it can't be about what it says it's about? That doesn't mean I think Microsoft is necessarily behind it. ... [But] someone has figured out ... how to use them as throwaway litigation proxies.

Dennis Sellers is more succinct:

Give it up, Psystar. Put a fork in the Mac cloner; they’re done.

So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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