Psystar shifts course, says Apple abusing copyright

With its antitrust claims having been rejected, the clone maker is now asserting that Apple abuses its copyrights by restricting Mac OS X to Apple-labeled computers.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
2 min read
Psystar is now trying to argue Apple is abusing its copyrights in prohibiting the use of Mac OS X on non-Apple computers. Psystar

Having run into a roadblock in its attempt to fire back at Apple, Psystar is changing tactics.

Court filings this week (click here for PDF) indicate that Psystar is dropping its argument that Apple is violating antitrust laws--which Judge William Alsup has already rejected--in favor of a new argument that Apple is abusing its copyright on Mac OS X to stifle competition. The Mac clone maker is attempting to stay in business against long legal odds by trying to convince a court that Apple's licensing policies for Mac OS X are unfair and illegal.

From the filing:

Psystar alleges that by virtue of Apple's leveraging of copyrights in the context of Apple's EULA, spurious litigation via the DMCA, and various other anti- and unfair competitive conduct, there is no viable alternative to the purchase and use of Apple-Labeled Computer Hardware Systems for users who wish to use the Mac OS, for a prospective buyer of the Mac OS, or for a user of an older version of the Mac OS.

Psystar further argues that Apple includes code in Mac OS X that causes "kernel panic" if that operating system is installed on anything other than an Apple computer. The company knows this, of course, because it has to bypass those checks in order to get Mac OS running on the Open Computer.

The idea behind the new complaint is that other parties have successfully argued that copyright abuse can have the same effect as antitrust behavior even if the strict tests needed to assert antitrust conditions are not met. But as with Psystar's other legal claims, it could be a long shot.

Apple and Psystar will argue the merits of the new complaint on January 15 in San Francisco before Judge Alsup.