As of yesterday the notorious Mac Clone manufacturer Psystar has released a commercial software called Rebel EFI. Rebel EFI prepares a normal PC to allow for the installation of Mac OS.
After downloading Rebel EFI,
[..] users simply insert a retail copy of the Snow Leopard DVD, follow the installation procedures and then install the application. The application automatically detects connected devices and downloads the appropriate drivers.
Rebel EFI features Psystar’s DUBL (Darwin Universal Boot Loader) and a Safe Update mode, that prevents users from installing updates that could break their systems. The Safe Update mode only installs Psystar approved updates.
In contrast to the EFI-X manufacturers, Psystar in the past has released several drivers for free to the OSX86 scene. The advantage of Rebel EFI in contrast to solutions like the Chameleon boot is that is already comes with an automized hardware detection and a bunch of downloadable hardware drivers. Chameleon on the other hand is available free of charge and a lot more powerful for users in the know. So decide for yourself which product fits your needs the best.
A single license for Rebel EFI costs about 50US$ and can be ordered here.
As of yesterday the Miami based company Psystar, which is still in legal trouble with Apple, announced to license their virtualization technology to third party manufacturers.
Computers preloaded with Psystar’s DUBL (Darwin Universal Boot Loader) would allow to make
“systems Mac OS X compatible. Psystar’s virtualization technology, specifically engineered for Snow Leopard, allows for seamless operation of the Mac OS on generic Intel Hardware and would be offered on all Psystar Certified machines.”
What might sound like a conspiracy book by John Grisham is reality. Apple obviously believes that another company or even companies are secretly backing up Psystar. Groklaw.net explains that this might be an explanation why a major law firm took this case. Apple’s lawyers wrote:
(..) Apple will seek leave to amend this complaint to show the unknown John Doe Defendants’ true names and capacities when they are ascertained.(..)
Apple seeks revenge and these new claims read badly for Psystar. Apple even added claims for DMCA violation. So the main question is: Is Psystar about to go down, or do they have aces in their sleeves? You may find the whole article on Growlaw.net.
Unimpressed by this current development Psystar is continuing to sell their MacClones…
After Psystar countersued Apple a month ago for anticompetitetive business practices (read here). Apple’s attorneys now respond on 23 pages. Apple’s argumentation in short: Psystar violates Apple’s license agreement when putting Mac OS X on Psystar’s OEM computers.
In the paper Apple tries to circumvent the whole monopoly issue by argueing that there is no specific Mac OS X market, but an Apple Computer market. And since there is no specific market for the sole operating system, Apple is no monopolist. Rather than having a Mac OS X operating system market, there is a market for computers and in this market Apple Computers compete with other computers. Apple sums up that Psystars charges need to be rejected, because Apple as a company cannot be forced to help their competitors and thus weakening their own market position.
You may read the whole argumentation here at ZDNET. They released the whole 23 pages as a PDF.
This whole topic remains fascinating. From a technical point of view we would not follow Apple’s argumentation here, because of a simple fact. Mac OS X is heavily based on lots of open source parts from the Linux and GNU worlds. And the Mac OS X’s kernel Darwin was and still is available for x86 based PCs aswell. This might mean by releasing the kernel as a stand alone version, they implicitly admit that the operating system is only artificially bound to the hardware. You may find more some technical notes in our recent article here (see VII. Modify startup script) and on the wiki of the Chaos Communication Congress 2007.
Psystar will file sues on the basis of two U.S. american laws to prevent monopolies and cartels (see Sherman Antitrust Act and Clayton Antitrust Act). Tying MacOS X to Apple labeled hardware only is “an anticompetitive restrain of trade”, said Colby Springer. Psystar wants the District Court from Northern California to rule Apple’s End-User-License-Agreement for MacOS X invalid.
The “Apple vs. Psystar” lawsuit seems to become very interesting. Psystar now hired attorneys at Carr & Farrell. Carr & Farrell were Burst.com’s attorneys and won the 2006 case “Burst.com vs. Apple“. Let’s see how they perform here.
Open Tech inc. – a previously unknown company is in the starting blocks to provide Intel based computers that are able to run MacOS X. We hackintoshed seniors may be irritated by such an announcement since almost any Intel based computer is able to run MacOS X, nowadays.
In contrast to Psystar, who is currently being sued by Apple for copyright violation, Open Tech inc. will not pre-install MacOS X on their computers. As there is currently no more information available, stay tuned for more news…
Eventually Apple sues Psystar for having broken license terms and having committed copyright infringement of MacOS X 10.5 Leopard and Leopard Server. Psystar offers PCs pre-installed with MacOS X Leopard. As reported in german media heise.de Apple claims these points:
Psystar may have broken Apple’s license terms that allow installing MacOS X Leopard only on “Apple-labeled computers”. Apple says this means “Apple manufactured hardware”.The debate about what an “Apple-labeled computer” exactly is, is as old as tutorials that deal with installing MacOS X Tiger and Leopard on white box PCs. People in forums were joking about putting an original Apple sticker on your PC case may fit the necessity of the notion “Apple-labeled computer”. Obviously this is not enuff and Apple’s guerilla strategy comes to an end when other companies begin to develop business model out of their work. This will be a major topic and we are quite curious how Apple will explain the notion “Apple-labeled computer”.
Psystar may have violated Apple’s copyrights by providing modified MacOS X updates for their “Open Computer” customers.
Psystar may have damaged Apple’s brand, because of Psystar’s support for MacOS X being poor.
Apple’s lawsuit comprises of 35 pages and was issued shortly after Psystar began distributing a modified version of the Mac OS X 10.5.4 update. An online version of it can be viewed here.
As denoted yesterday, the Psystar topic seems to be a little fishy. First: obviously they use the EFI v8 emulation developed by Netkas. For comprehensible reasons Netkas is not amused about Psystar and decided to edit his EULA to bar commercial use of PC EFI – well… we don’t expect Psystar to respect Netkas’ EULA, but not Apple’s EULA?! Psystar just don’t respect any EULA – quite simple. In the end, they don’t seem to care anyway – no matter if it’s Netkas’ EULAs or Apple’s EULAs. We all know Netkas can’t be bribed, but nevertheless Psystar should think about helping the community in return…
The second thing fishy is, Psystar had three different postal address in the last four days. Yes, three addresses. Users living in Miami could not locate the company under even one of these. There are rumors, that this company doesnot exist at all and is hoax. ‘Tune in tomorrow for the next episode of “Where Will The Little Green Mac Clone Be Next?”‘ (Guardian). And in the meantime: Apple just doesn’t react at all to the whole story…
Informationweek interviewed a Psystar representative about their strategy of selling Mac Clones (see our recent articles). In short: Psystar says, the EULA (end user license agreement) – especially the parts where Apple restricts the use of OS X Leopard on Apple manufactured hardware – is in violation of U.S. monopoly laws.
Golem berichtet, dass Psystar sich offenbar mit Apple anlegen will. Die Mac Nachbauten, die Psystar anbietet (wir berichteten hier) verstoßen der Perspektive von Psystar nach auch mit vorinstalliertem OS X Leopard nicht gegen US Gesetze. Das Gegenteil sei der Fall, denn das EULA (end user license agreement) von Apple, die die Installation von OS X Leopard auf Geräten untersagt, die nicht mit dem Apple Logo ausgestattet sind, verstoße gegen US Kartellgesetze. Es bleibt spannend.