Psystar still doesn’t get it, as they enter the T-shirt business

Tue, Dec 29, 2009

Legal, News

Poor old and reliable Psystar. They just don’t know when to say when, and either out of stupidity or bad advice from their legal counsel, they continue to posture up in an attempt to take on Apple. Not too long ago, Judge Alsup issued a broad permanent injunction which not only precludes Psystar from selling machines with pre-installed copies of OS X, but also prevents them from selling their Rebel EFI software.

For the time being, Psystar has complied with the Court order and removed all OS X related products from their homepage. In its place, however, is a pathetically written note wherein Psystar seeks to reaffirm its dedication to stealing, uhh.. i mean selling, OS X on its own hardware. The sad part is that the point of view taken by Psystar in the note indicates that they either paid ZERO attention to any of the court proceedings over the past few months or that they wilfully chose to ignore them so that they could live in wonderful world of ignorant bliss.

Our patience has been tested but our resolve is unwavering. Psystar’s vision of bringing the Mac OS to generic PC hardware is and always will be unyielding…

We respectfully disagree with courts notion that we are “hardcore copyright infringers”. Psystar has never, and will never, condone software piracy. It’s your software, you should be able to use it where you want to. If you purchase an off-the-shelf copy of OS X Snow Leopard, its your right to use that software. A publisher cannot forbid you from reading a book in the bathroom or listening to a music disc while riding your bicycle. There should be no difference in the software realm, no matter how much money Apple or anyone else throws at it. That is the real issue here and what we have always been fighting for.

Hardcore copyright infringers? Psystar?! Surely you jest.

But as for Psystar’s assertion that you can do whatever you want with the software you purchase, it’s misleading to say the least. Sure, you can purchase OS X and put it onto any machine you want. You can use it as a coaster, as a frisbee, or even wear it as a hat. What you can’t do, however, is modify the software, as Psystar does, and sell it as if it were the original.

As an example, let’s say you buy a copy of Twilight from Borders but think the ending is a bit bland. So you decide to rip out the last 20 pages and replace them with your own verbiage. Is that kosher? Sure, you can do with it what you please. But if instead of changing one copy, let’s say that you buy 1,000 copies and make the same changes to all of them, and then try and sell the changed books as if they were the originals to the public at large for a cheaper price. And let’s say you even come up with a snazzy tagline, something like, oh I don’t know, “It’s not Twilight, it’s better!” Is that okay? In short, no.  And the law is pretty clear on this.

So to put things in a way maybe Psystar’s money-grubbing founders can understand, a publisher obviously can’t stop you from reading a book in the bathroom, but they sure as hell can stop you from modifying their books and selling them as if they were the originals on the Internet.

The real issue, despite what Psystar would like to believe, is that their entire business model is predicated on copying OS X and re-selling it. Returning to the book example above, the law doesn’t allow consumers to purchase a book, copy it with a copying machine, bind em up, and then re-sell them to the masses.

The sad thing is that this was explained to Psystar by the Court in exhaustive detail a number of times over the past few months. So, again, either Psystar is completely oblivious to what the hell is going on, or they’ve chosen to turn a blind eye and continue the charade that they’re some sort of open software crusaders sticking it to a big and bad and evil corporation.

But having been rebuffed in their efforts to copy OS X, Psystar has moved into the realm of clothing.

“Although Rebel EFI may be temporarily unavailable for purchase on the Psystar online store, those who purchase a t-shirt or donate over twenty dollars will receive one free copy of Rebel EFI once the court has ruled in our favor on this issue.”

Wow. What a deal! 20 bucks and I get a t-shirt and the promise of downloadable software that I’ll most likely never get to download.  Sold!

The shirt reads “I sued Psystar” on the front and reads, “and all I got was a lousy injunction.” Clever.



7 Comments For This Post

  1. dczar Says:

    This is a thinly disguised and veiled attempt to generate some cash. Not much, but some.

  2. HammerofTruth Says:

    What’s next a charity car wash to help pay their legal fees? Personally, I’m waiting for their bake sale. I hear that the Pedraza brothers make a mean rice krispy treat.

  3. jj Says:

    Would they send me a t-shirt if i copied a $20 bill and sent it to them?

  4. Reginald W Says:

    Ummmm… If they BUY 1000 copies and rip out the last 20 pages, the publisher gets paid and likely could care less that the person is selling it for less. The author may care and complain, but the author is already paid by the publisher (or should be). The author would then sue, or the publisher might on behalf of the author for claiming it as “new” work when it clearly is not.

    However, if the person COPIES/SELF PUBLISHES/WHATEVER the “new” book with the new ending, then that is theft as neither the author nor the publisher were paid for anything other than the original copy that was purchased.

    There is a difference in this as you explain further in your piece.

    As to the T-shirt, eh… cute indeed, but not interested in it or Psychostar.

  5. Dobe Says:

    Maybe when it comes to a paid for hammer, modified, and sold as a “super hammer” for less.

    Not the product created by rare individual talents, intellectual abilities, or ingenuity, that is a testimony to your name, reputation and trademark!
    I am an artist, even if, I do make money on any particular artwork, just try to modify it as seen fit, adopt it in your own work and sell it or make it public without my permission-
    I dear you!

  6. James Katt Says:

    Actually, copying a $20 bill is ILLEGAL. Even Xeroxing it is ILLEGAL. Using it would be a quick way for the U.S. Secret Service to get on your butt and send you to prison. This is one absolute copyright by the U.S. Government.

    It would be better to send Psystar a $20 Monopoly Game Bill and see if they will send you a T-Shirt.

  7. Joe Says:

    “It would be better to send Psystar a $20 Monopoly Game Bill and see if they will send you a T-Shirt.”

    Great idea. After all, when you buy the monopoly game, you can do whatever you want with it. If you want to pretend that it’s real money, Psystar has no right to disagree.

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