Uh-oh, it looks like wannabe Mac clone maker Psystar has more than one licensing issue with the Open Computer: the company didn't get permission from developers working on the OSx86 Project to sell their work. Netkas, who developed the EFI emulator Psystar is using, posted up a blog entry yesterday calling Psystar "liars" and has re-released his code under a license that specifically forbids commercial usage. We chatted briefly with Netkas and he told us that not only did Psystar take his code without permission, it's using other code from the project like the NVInject graphics patch developed by Gotoh, and that he contacted Psystar when he learned about the Open Computer with no results. We also talked to several other members of the OSx86 scene who believe that Apple is tolerant of (and even subtly assisting) their efforts, and are worried that the Psystar flap might end that relationship and bring the hammer down -- after all, there's no Psystar without OSx86.
Interestingly, when we called Psystar to get comments on all of this, Rudy Pedraza, the president, first wanted to know if we could make Netkas call him, then denied using the EFI emulator, then repeatedly asked us for Netkas's phone number (in Russia!) so he could talk to him directly, and then finally promised to call us back. Yeah, he never called back. That's a lot of uncertainty around a pair of machines that haven't shipped from a company with two different addresses that's been in business for less than a year -- and Apple hasn't even gotten involved yet. At this point we're going to say that if you really want a hackintosh, you're likely better off rolling up your sleeves and building one yourself -- you'll probably have it done well before this whole mess gets sorted out.
Read - Netkas blog posting Read - The Guardian "So exactly who or what is Psystar?" Read - Psystar listing at the Florida State Department website