Federal Judge Rules Against Scrappy Mac Clone Manufacturer Psystar

Sorry, Mac OS lovers who don’t love the price tags on Apple hardware. Apple has emerged victorious in their copyright lawsuit against Mac clone manufacturer Psystar. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that Psystar is violating Apple’s copyright as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by selling computers with a modified version of OS X pre-installed.

While Psystar claims to purchase a copy of Apple’s software for every computer sold, these copies were allegedly not used during the manufacturing process. By installing the operating system on their computers through an imaging process, standard practice for computer manufacturers, Alsup ruled that Psytar made unauthorized copies of Apple’s property. This was necessary, though, because the version of OS X installed on Psystar’s computers was modified for that purpose.

“Psystar admittedly replaced entire files within the software while copying other portions,” said the judge. “This resulted in a substantial variation from the underlying copyrighted work. In fact, if the bootloader and kernel extensions added by Psystar were removed, then the operating system would not work on Psystar’s computers.”

Although Alsup’s ruling did not specifically mention subsequent moves by Psystar, which include selling the “Rebel EFI” utility , that program may now be in legal jeopardy.

Almost exactly a year ago, Alsup dismissed Psystar’s antitrust claim against Apple, ruling that the company is not a monopoly.

This isn’t over yet, though. The actual trial is scheduled to begin on January 11, 2010.

Apple Wins Court Victory Over Mac Clone Maker Psystar [PC World]

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