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Psystar banned from copying any version of OS X, helping others install it

Nilay Patel
12.16.09
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And it's all over, folks: The US District Court for the Northern District of California has just permanently forbidden wannbe Mac cloner Psystar from selling modified versions of OS X, providing any tools that enable users to bypass the OS X kernel encryption, and / or intentionally aiding anyone else from infringing Apple's OS X copyrights in any way. We knew this was coming following Apple's decisive victory against Psystar last month -- the only open questions were whether the court would include Snow Leopard and Psytar's Rebel EFI software in the ban, since the lawsuit was specifically about Leopard and Rebel EFI wasn't the subject of any proceedings. Both issues were predictably resolved in favor of Apple: the court specifically included Snow Leopard and any future versions of OS X in the scope of the injunction, and while Judge Alsup couldn't address Rebel EFI directly, he did expressly forbid Psystar from "manufacturing, importing, offering to the public, providing, or otherwise trafficking" in anything that circumvents Apple's OS X hardware locks -- which we'd say covers Rebel EFI's functionality pretty thoroughly. Psystar has until December 31 to comply, and the Judge Alsup isn't kidding around: "Defendant must immediately begin this process, and take the quickest path to compliance; thus, if compliance can be achieved within one hour after this order is filed, defendant shall reasonably see it done." Psystar can still appeal, obviously, but it's already got its own hefty legal bills and a $2.67m fine to pay to Apple, so we've got a feeling this one might have reached the end of the line.

P.S.- Amusingly, Judge Alsup appears to be pretty sick of Apple's shenanigans as well: in the section discussing Snow Leopard, he says Apple first tried to block any discovery of Snow Leopard before the OS was released, and then pushed to include the software in the case after it launched. That's why the Florida case over Snow Leopard wasn't merged into this case -- Alsup thought it was a "slick tactic" that "smacked of trying to 'have it both ways,' and offended [his] sense of fair play." Ouch.

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