Psystar claims it cracked Mac OS X on its own

dvdhsu

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Mar 28, 2008
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From Engadget.

Okay, so we're reading this puff piece in the Miami New Times about would-be Mac cloner Psystar, and while we're somewhat willing to dismiss author Tim Elfrink's various mischaracterizations of the law and what Psystar is actually doing as just laziness and / or ignorance, there's a quote here from Psystar founder Rudy Pedraza that simply leaps off the page:
Rudy scoffs at the idea he borrowed from the Hackintosh scene. "The first thing you have to do is unlearn everything you've read online about how to make this work," Rudy says, "because it's all wrong."



  1. "Robert cracked the code behind Apple Computer's elegant operating system, OS X." Yeah.
  2. "[Apple] filed a 35-page lawsuit in California claiming Psystar was selling "unauthorized" versions of OS X." Why is unauthorized in quotes? That's exactly what Apple claims.
  3. "As with Microsoft, which lost a multimillion-dollar antitrust decision in Europe in 2004, Apple is protecting an illegal monopoly, Psystar claims." Psystar has already lost this part of its case in California, and in the new Florida case Psystar only claims Apple has a monopoly on "premium personal computers," which pretty much invalidates the pricing argument and has driven the company to sell more expensive machines.
  4. "Robert says he found his own way around Apple's built-in security devices. The breakthrough meant that, among other things, the cheap machines were virtually immune to viruses and hackers." This is simply not true. OS X is vulnerable to hackers in its shipping form, and hacking EFI doesn't change that.
  5. "Psystar pays full price - $29 - for each copy of OS that it installs on its computers." $29 is the Snow Leopard upgrade price. The full price is $169 with iLife and iWork.
  6. "What's more, Apple holds that consumers who purchase an operating system don't actually own the software...It's a dubious-sounding arrangement that courts, at least so far, have upheld." It's not dubious to the courts, who've been upholding EULAs for over a decade across the country. (And striking some down, to be fair.)
  7. "Pretty much anyone with basic computer knowledge can make a cloned Mac for just the cost of a full tank of gas in an SUV." Actually, anyone can do this for free, without having to pay Psystar.

Now, don't get us wrong -- the personal story of Robert and Rudy Pedraza laid out in the article is moving stuff, but when the chips are down, we're picking the hacker and enthusiast community over a couple guys trying to make a buck selling unlicensed software, and that Hackintosh quote struck us as impossibly arrogant and extremely foolish. The OSx86 community is already wary of Psystar, and we're guessing no one's going to rush forward the next time these jokers need some help.
Oh dear. I need to get a Pystar now! No viruses, no worms, that beautiful case... and not breaking the EULA.

What thoughts do you guys have?
 

Guiyon

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2008
767
1
North Shore, MA
I find it hilarious that people attack Apple and side with Psystar regarding the breaking of Apple's license but throw a fit when they hear of Psystar potentially violating an open source license. You can't have it both ways...

As for the claims, they are pretty much what I've come to expect from Psystar given their antics between the 2nd filing in Florida and the whole Chapter 11 scheme. I like claims 1 and 4 the best; claim 1 is completely useless without some sort of context and, even then, most of what is behind OS X is available as open source and, surprise, has already been 'cracked' by the OSx86 community. The best part is that this statement directly contradicts what Rudy already said under oath. As for claim 4, unless they designed and implemented some sort of zero-impact, god-like hypervisor (in that case, ditch the Hackintosh bit and sell that!) it makes no sense.
 

dvdhsu

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Mar 28, 2008
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I find it hilarious that people attack Apple and side with Psystar regarding the breaking of Apple's license but throw a fit when Psystar violates an open source license. You can't have it both ways...
Ah, the Apple haters these days. :eek:

But making claims like that is just stupid.
 

apfhex

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2006
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Northern California
Ugh. I'm all for individuals doing what they want with the software they buy and making Hackintoshes, but what Psystar is doing is just slimy, and they should be stopped.
 

Byrnes3969

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2009
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Robert and Rudy Pedraza are the best!!

Cheers to Rudy and Robert!

It's about time someone from the Mac "community" tried to find cheaper alternatives to the high priced - low tech hardware that Apple offers!

All you Apple apologists take note of Apple's obscene profits and ask yourself where's the $399 mac?
 

dvdhsu

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Cheers to Rudy and Robert!

It's about time someone from the Mac "community" tried to find cheaper alternatives to the high priced - low tech hardware that Apple offers!

All you Apple apologists take note of Apple's obscene profits and ask yourself where's the $399 mac?
From what I can see, they're doing this for profit, not for the joy of hacking, or making Macs for less.
What they're doing here is illegal, and they're losing cases left and right, even in the most liberal state.

Yay for MacBytes!
 

MacDSmith2

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Oct 1, 2009
118
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All you Apple apologists take note of Apple's obscene profits and ask yourself where's the $399 mac?
There is nothing obscene about a public company making a profit. Ever hear of DEC? Data General? Commodore? Atari? TI? Processor Technology? MITS? Pertec? Do any of these companies make computers anymore? Apple is the ONLY company to survive the birth of the personal computer and live to make a buck in 2009 in an industry they created. More power to them!
 

samh004

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2004
2,211
85
Australia
Cheers to Rudy and Robert!

It's about time someone from the Mac "community" tried to find cheaper alternatives to the high priced - low tech hardware that Apple offers!

All you Apple apologists take note of Apple's obscene profits and ask yourself where's the $399 mac?
It's not coming, because Apple doesn't want to sell anything that cheap, and if you don't want to pay for their premium offerings no one is forcing you to!

By your same reasoning, look at how much Microsoft makes, they sell their OS and Office products for far too much money, should we force them to sell them at a cheaper price? It's not exactly the same, but you get my drift.
 

harperjones99

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2009
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It's not coming, because Apple doesn't want to sell anything that cheap, and if you don't want to pay for their premium offerings no one is forcing you to!

By your same reasoning, look at how much Microsoft makes, they sell their OS and Office products for far too much money, should we force them to sell them at a cheaper price? It's not exactly the same, but you get my drift.
But they DO sell cheap stuff...they just charge twice as much for it. If Apple was as "premium" as you claim in anything other than price they wouldn't have so many customers fighting service issues over and over.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
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"Psystar pays full price - $29 - for each copy of OS that it installs on its computers." $29 is the Snow Leopard upgrade price. The full price is $169 with iLife and iWork.
Thats just as false. The Mac Box Set is just a different license bundle that still has the same upgrade provisions that Snow Leopard has - it just covers Tiger instead of Leopard (And the only legal way you can get Tiger on Intel is with a Mac). The bindle pack also covers 2 other products. The SLA for SL is the exact same weather you get it in the Mac Box set or not. All of this is direct from Apple - there is no “full price” since every version of OSX requires a Mac as part of the license.
 

dvdhsu

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Thats just as false. The Mac Box Set is just a different license bundle that still has the same upgrade provisions that Snow Leopard has - it just covers Tiger instead of Leopard (And the only legal way you can get Tiger on Intel is with a Mac). The bindle pack also covers 2 other products. The SLA for SL is the exact same weather you get it in the Mac Box set or not. All of this is direct from Apple - there is no “full price” since every version of OSX requires a Mac as part of the license.
Yeah, you have a point there. There isn't a full license available for Mac OS X, because you have to upgrade to install. The software can only be used on Apple branded computers, which then means that the computer must've had some version of Mac OS on it. Therefore, simply installing OS X doesn't work. It violates the EULA.
 

netkas

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2007
1,121
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lol at claims 1/4.

I was first to release a driver(with sources) which emulates apple's security device (SMC with osk0/osk1 keys).

So, anyone else dont need to be very smart to copy it.
 

ajbrehm

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2002
341
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Zurich, Switzerland
I find it hilarious that people attack Apple and side with Psystar regarding the breaking of Apple's license but throw a fit when they hear of Psystar potentially violating an open source license. You can't have it both ways...
You are confusing the licence with copyright.

Distributing copies of any software without permission to do so is a violation of copyright law. But Psystar have permission to distribute copies of Mac OS X. They bought copies, they only distribute those copies. I can buy a book and give it to you. It's not a crime.

Psystar might not have permission to distribute open source software. Contrary to what many people assume open source software is not public domain software and does not come with a built-in right to multiply and distribute. ONLY accepting the open source licence gives anybody the right to make copies of the software and distribute them.

It is perfectly legal to buy a copy of any software and sell it to somebody else without ever accepting the licence. You don't need to accept a licence to distribute the one copy you legally bought.

But it is not legal to distribute copies you made of any software that is not in the public domain without accepting the licence that would allow you to do such, whether that licence is an Apple-style EULA or the GNU GPL.

So it is entirely possible that Psystar can legally distribute (the copies they bought of) Mac OS but not open source software (which they made their own copies of without accepting the licence that would allow them to do that).
 

balamw

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Aug 16, 2005
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It is perfectly legal to buy a copy of any software and sell it to somebody else without ever accepting the licence. You don't need to accept a licence to distribute the one copy you legally bought.
As long as you keep it in the unopened box, sure. However my understanding is that Psystar machines come with OS X preinstalled. Preinstallation involves copying the copyrighted bits from some DVD to the HDD, and in principle you need to have accepted the license to do that. Just as you point out you need to do for the open source software. As you pointed out copyrights and licenses are different, but they are related and sometimes interdependent.

I'd be more inclined to accepting your position if Psystar shipped you a box of bits, instructions and a separate box with OS X in it for you to install.

So, I'm with djgamble and apfhex if you want a Hackintosh, feel free to do your homework and DIY.

B
 

kingtj

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Oct 23, 2003
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re: common image?

I can't say for certain, but I imagine they install from a common image. That's what almost all computer manufacturers do. Doesn't make a difference though, legally-speaking. If Psystar is installing from a common image, they have to hold a license that permits them to do it. Otherwise, each system they image is in violation. (Even Microsoft has a special type of license they sell to large system builders for Windows, allowing them to distribute versions of Windows with the computers that don't prompt the end user to enter a CD key during the installation. They use a default key they were assigned and they check the system BIOS to verify it's being installed on the right model of machine. That's why you can use a "Dell Reinstallation CD" of Windows XP, install it on any Dell machine, and it goes right on through without prompting you for a CD key. But if you try to use that same disc to install XP on a Toshiba or an Acer or something, you'll be prompted to enter a valid CD key. A key you use from some retail copy of XP or even from a sticker on the side of one of those machines, intended for use as the key with THEIR corresponding re-install CD, won't work.)


Do they install a common image on each machine and include a Leopard box with the machine, or do they open each and every copy of Leopard and install it individually on each machine?

Rocketman
 

balamw

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Aug 16, 2005
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New England
Do they install a common image on each machine and include a Leopard box with the machine, or do they open each and every copy of Leopard and install it individually on each machine?
Who knows besides Psystar. EDIT: kingtj beat me to it.

The license gives you certain rights to make copies, but making infinite copies from one DVD is even further outside the license than opening every box.

http://images.apple.com/legal/sla/docs/macosx106.pdf

A. Single Use License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, unless you have purchased a Family Pack or Upgrade license for the Apple Software, you are granted a limited non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-branded computer, or to enable others to do so. This License does not allow the Apple Software to exist on more than one computer at a time, and you may not make the Apple Software available over a network where it could be used by multiple computers at the same time.
It's in pretty clear language.

B
 

Byrnes3969

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2009
64
0
Apple ONLY caters to the richest customers

Case in point: The cheapest POS Apple sells is the Mac mini, $599.

BUT - if you want to upgrade the memory you HAVE to have it done by a genius at the store OR buy from the Apple factory in China otherwise you void your warranty. What the heck is that?

Apple even re-engineered the damn thing to make it HARDER for people to do-it-themselves.

The Apple TV? Don't even get me started. Who remembers when Apple released the update that broke Boxee?

Sorry about all you G5 owners who can't upgrade to Snow Leopard. Just buy a new Quad for a couple more thousand.

All you Apple zealots keep cheering when they make another Billion. Go Psystar! Go!
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
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Plymouth, MN
Yeah, you have a point there. There isn't a full license available for Mac OS X, because you have to upgrade to install. The software can only be used on Apple branded computers, which then means that the computer must've had some version of Mac OS on it. Therefore, simply installing OS X doesn't work. It violates the EULA.
That's the important thing to point out and explains why you can install from an erased hard drive. The licensing terms do not specify that OSX has to be preinstalled before you can update - it just specifies installation on Apple branded hardware. Thus, possessing a Mac in of itself fulfills the licensing requirements. Your simply upgrading from whatever operating system the restore discs license you to. THe mac is the key point in both the system requirements and the license - you possess the hardware, it is presumed that you posses the right to install the software. They go hand in hand.

Lots of upgrade discs (expectantly those from MS) will install full copies from discs specifically marked as upgrades when you have nothing installed (like a prior version of Office), you just have to priove you own a prior version (like inserting a prior version disc). Apple's proof is that it's hardware checks that Apple Branded hardware is designed to pass.

Other evidence that they are upgrade media is that retail discs are not future proof - If I buy a SL disc now and buy a new mac next year, that disc I bought at retail may not work on that new disc - they are intended for older macs that you would be upgrading to.
 

atari1356

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2004
1,586
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Case in point: The cheapest POS Apple sells is the Mac mini, $599.

BUT - if you want to upgrade the memory you HAVE to have it done by a genius at the store OR buy from the Apple factory in China otherwise you void your warranty. What the heck is that?

All you Apple zealots keep cheering when they make another Billion. Go Psystar! Go!
The cheapest POS Psystar makes is also $599... and that doesn't include wireless networking, Firewire or Bluetooth which the Mini does.

... but, yes, it would be nice if the Mini were more easily upgradeable.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,040
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Plymouth, MN
Case in point: The cheapest POS Apple sells is the Mac mini, $599.
That's their right
BUT - if you want to upgrade the memory you HAVE to have it done by a genius at the store OR buy from the Apple factory in China otherwise you void your warranty. What the heck is that?
You can do it yourself - plus I can find no evidence that opeing up your Mac Mini voids your warranty in any way - obviously if you damage your hardware while doing a repair your screwed, but that SOP. I can find no evidence that opening up your Mac Mini (Which is very doable by the way) will void your warranty.

Apple even re-engineered the damn thing to make it HARDER for people to do-it-themselves.
Ifixit's guide is 13 steps and they don't look that hard. Anyways, it's irrelevant to begin with - there is nothing illegal or wrong about creating things that are difficult to replace - manufactures do that all the time. The Mac is not marketed as a tinkeres device that is expandable.
The Apple TV? Don't even get me started. Who remembers when Apple released the update that broke Boxee?
Apple never published a SDK and you are surprised that a hack broke?

Sorry about all you G5 owners who can't upgrade to Snow Leopard. Just buy a new Quad for a couple more thousand.
Oh come on! Any modern mac is capable of running Snow Leopard. Even the minis are way better than the G5's. And Apple never promised eternal updates either. Anybody buying a PPC Mac after the Intel transition bought into it knowing that their architecture was not going to be maintained forever. Apple made it clear that they were focused on the intel platform. Get over it.
 

packgrad2000

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2007
114
0
BUT - if you want to upgrade the memory you HAVE to have it done by a genius at the store OR buy from the Apple factory in China otherwise you void your warranty. What the heck is that?
That is not true. You can upgrade hard drives, memory, etc. even if they're not "user replaceable" parts in any Mac and it will not void your warranty. I've combed through the warranty info on my MBP (which I upgraded the HD on, even though it's not "user" replaceable) and can find no such claim. If you break something on your Mac in doing the upgrade, I'm sure you'll have a hard time getting that fixed under warranty, but that's not Apple's fault!