Apple has won a long-standing legal battle against clone-Mac builder Psystar, with an appeals court upholding a sales ban and agreeing that the firm had violated Apple’s copyrights. The injunction had been granted back in December 2009, blocking Psystar from loading copies of OS X onto generic PC hardware and selling its cut-price Mac alternative. However, despite Apple’s request for secrecy, the appeals court refused to seal the case records documenting the trial.
That could well go further in revealing who – if anyone – Psystar’s mysterious backers were. At one point, Apple alleged that it believed the company was being used as a type of front, by a potentially high-profile rival who wanted to see the Cupertino firm’s OS X restrictions lifted. The identity of that backer is yet to be revealed, and Apple hasn’t made public any suspicions it may have.
“Psystar’s principal argument on appeal is that the district court should have held that the license agreement is an unlawful attempt to extend copyright protection to products that are not copyrightable. The heart of Psystar’s argument is that the Copyright Act affords Apple protection only against unauthorized copying and distribution of the operating software, but not on its use once it is purchased. Thus, because Psystar purchased unopened copies of Mac OS X and included these copies when it sold its computers, Psystar argues the Copyright Act is inapplicable and its alterations permissible” Appeals Court text
The judge agreed with Apple that Psystar infringed its “exclusive reproduction right, distribution right, and right to create derivative works” as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for modifying OS X to run on non-Apple hardware. The full text of the Appeals Court’s findings is here [pdf link].