Apple Wins Key Legal Ruling Against Clone Maker Psystar

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Date: Monday, November 16th, 2009, 04:03
Category: Legal

The lesson for the day: If you didn’t develop or actually license an operating system, you can’t sell computers with that operating system on it. Late last week, clone Mac maker Psystar discovered this in a court decision in the company’s ongoing legal battle with Apple. According to AppleInsider, judge William Alsup ruled this week in a summary judgment that Psystar infringed on copyrights owned by Apple in order to place Mac OS X on unauthorized computers built and sold by the Florida corporation. In addition, Psystar was found to be in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by circumventing Apple’s protection barrier that prevents installation of its operating system on third-party hardware.

“Psystar infringed Apple’s exclusive right to create derivative works of Mac OS X,” the ruling reads. “Specifically, it made three modifications: (1) replacing the Mac OS X bootloader with a different bootloader to enable an unauthorized copy of Mac OS X to run on Psystar’s computers; (2) disabling and removing Apple kernel extension files; and (3) adding non-Apple kernel extensions.”

Alsup also denied Psystar’s own motion for summary judgment, in which the company attempted to prove that Apple engaged in copyright misuse. The judge ruled that Apple’s End User License Agreement only attempts to control use of Apple’s own software, which is within its rights.

The summary judgment isn’t the final blow and a number of issues remain to be resolved. Apple has alleged that Psystar has also engaged in breach of contract, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition, among other activities.

Another hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 14, and trial between the two companies is due to start in January of 2010.

The decision came after both companies requested summary judgments, which turned into a positive for Apple and a significant defeat for Psystar.

The decision marks the latest of many setbacks for Psystar as it has attempted to defend itself from Apple’s suit. In September, a member of the Psystar defense team withdrew himself from the case. And in July, the Florida-based corporation brought on a new legal team after it emerged from bankruptcy.

The company, which sells machines with Snow Leopard, Apple’s latest operating system, preinstalled began to license its virtualization technology to third-party hardware vendors as of October. The Psystar OEM Licensing Program intends to allow Intel machines made by companies other than Apple to run Mac OS X 10.6.

Apple Releases Version 1.0.2 Firmware Update for Fifth-Generation iPod Nano

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Date: Monday, November 16th, 2009, 04:29
Category: iPod Nano, Software

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Late Friday, Apple released version 1.0.2 of its firmware for the company’s fifth generation iPod nano. The update, which can be located through iTunes, fixes audiobook playback to allow Normal, Slower, and Faster settings to work for audio podcasts.

Per Macworld UK, the update also resolves an issue where Genius Mixes were not working for anyone using the Nike + iPod Sport Kit add-on. Other fixes in the 1.0.2 nano update include one that allows the accessibility setting for Mono Audio to work and another involving a bug where VoiceOver menu items were skipped when using the plus (+) and minus (-) volume buttons on the included headphones.

If you’ve tried the update and have any positive or negative feedback, let us know in the comments.