Psystar, Miami Computer Company Fighting Apple, Loses In Appeals Court

Categories: News
Photo by C. Stiles
Robert Pedraza
Two years ago, a tiny, Doral-based computer firm called Psystar challenged Apple with a legal question its two 20-something founders believed had never really been answered in court: Can Steve Jobs legally force consumers to use Apple operating systems only on Apple hardware?

Psystar just got its answer in the Court of Appeals: Apple can do whatever the hell it wants!

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal ruled against the heart of Psystar's argument: that copyright law shouldn't give computer makers like Apple the right to legally tie together their software and their hardware.

Two Miami brothers, Rudy and Robert Pedraza, had founded Psystar on the idea of subverting Apple's rules. The pair legally bought copies of Apple OS, then loaded it onto cheaper, PC-model desktops and laptops they called "Open Computers."

(You can read New Times' profile of the brothers here.)

That's verboten, though, says the appeals court, which ruled that Apple can legally tie its software to its machines.

"[Apple's OS] was intended ... to be used on the computer it was designed to operate," the court writes. "It did not prevent others from developing their own computer or operating systems."

Kiwi Camara, the Houston-based attorney representing the Pedraza brothers, says they intend to appeal the ruling -- either to the full body of Ninth Circuit judges or to the Supreme Court.

"It's exactly the kind of case the Supreme Court should consider," Camara tells Riptide.

Psystar has been effectively shut down since December 2009 as it fights in court. The Pedrazas are developing other ventures in the meantime, Camara says.

Here's the appeals court ruling in full:


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Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

Your use of Apple-branded hardware and software products is based on the software license and other terms and conditions in effect for the product at the time of purchase. You will be asked to agree to the terms of the applicable agreement at the time that you obtain or install the software or setup the hardware product. You may review the agreements for Apple’s currently shipping products,

 Psystar has more than one licensing issue with the Open Computer: the company didn't get permission from developers working on the OSx86 Project to sell their work.

Hardware and Software companies don't like you to use their stuff in ways they aren't prepared to support. They build terms in the EULA to try and force this, and when that doesn't work, they take a more hands-on technical approach.


Apple doesn't care for the most part, that is until the computer company starts to sell & compete against Apple computer products.

Sir Sausage
Sir Sausage

Apple as a whole is composed of smug, elitist dickbags.  I hope these guys win the appeal.

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