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Psystar starts licensing Apple's Mac OS X to OEMs

Tired of being sued alone
Tue Oct 06 2009, 15:48

NOT CONTENT with antangonising Apple all alone, cheeky Mac cloning company Psystar is trying to gather allies to its cause by offering to certify other non-Apple hardware as OS X compliant.

As if the Florida-based company had not done enough to put Apple's dogs of law into a rabid frenzy of legal activity, Psystar has announced that it will "begin certifying manufacturer's hardware to allow the licensing of Psystar's new virtualisation technology, effectively making their systems Mac OSX compatible."

If that doesn't make Cupertino Company's lawyers collectively spit out their morning non-fat soya moccaccino with wheatgrass sprinkles, we don't know what will.

But Psystar seems all but impervious to Apple's legal badgering. Every attempt Jobs' Mob has made to get Psystar to cease and desist in its nefarious activities has fallen on deaf ears, and the men in grey suits seem to all the world to have quietly resigned themselves to a future in which any old Tom Dick or Harry can ride roughshod over the company's cast iron EULAs.

So has Apple given up on its attempt to protect its precious OS from the grubby council house kids in the playground, or is this merely the calm before the storm? Some think Apple doesn't have a leg to stand on as Psystar uses the US First Sale doctrine to break copyright protection for software, threatening to destroy the General Public License (GPL) as collateral damage in the process.

Others will tell you that Apple has quietly backed off from the all-too-public flurry of legal arguments being batted to and fro, in order to prepare a case that will blow Psystar out of the water once and for all, rendering it very, very dead.

Perhaps this is why Psystar is putting out a call to arms to other OEMs to join it in the battle against the Cupertino Cabal and its insistence on controlling who uses its operating system and on what hardware. And with Snow Leopard offering a leaner, meaner, and altogether snappier version of Mac OS X, who knows what hardware it will run on? Full fat Mac OS X on a $300 netbook anyone? Yes please!

"Psystar's virtualisation technology, specifically engineered for Snow Leopard, allows for seamless operation of OSX on generic Intel hardware and would be offered on all Psystar Certified machines," the company says, further fanning the flames.

And in an effort to seem all magnanimous, it continues, "In an effort to spread the Snow Leopard experience to an ever-expanding number of people, the licensing initiative will allow manufacturers to have their hardware Psystar Certified and have their computers pre loaded with our unique technology including the Darwin Universal Boot Loader (DUBL)."

Once a device has beeen footled about with in a process which Psystar insists adds no engineering costs, punters can buy Snow Leopard off the shelf or through standard channels and then install it exactly as if the computer was one of Apple's own expensive and desireable machines.

Psystar says it is offering this service in order to offer users freedom of choice, but we can't help but think that this could be a last ditch defence before Apple's big push destroys the plucky little company so comprehensively that its machines will become collector's items.

Any OEM with enough balls to join Psystar in its suicidal last stand should be applauded and pitied in the same measure. We suspect they may be dragged down by a sinking ship, yet we can but hope. µ


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