How is Psystar the bad guys?

By Reven

July 04 2009

I really can't see why folks consider Psystar the bad guys. It seems to me that
copyright is out of control, and they stood up to one of the most unfair license
terms I have ever seen. I really don't understand how people think Apple is on
the side of the angels here.

I'm not being facetious, I really don't understand and would appreciate an
explanation.

---
Ex Turbo Modestum

06:30 PM EDT


How is Psystar the bad guys?

By PJ

July 04 2009

I will ask you two questions, and then depending on your
answer, I will try to explain:

1. do you think a company has the right to license its code with proprietary
terms?

2. do you think it matters if a law prohibits something, even if you disagree
with the law?

07:10 PM EDT


How is Psystar the bad guys?

By bprice

July 04 2009

I really can't see why folks consider Psystar the bad guys. It seems to me that copyright is out of control, and they stood up to one of the most unfair license terms I have ever seen. I really don't understand how people think Apple is on the side of the angels here.

Reven--

You seem to be conflating two different ideas, copyright and licensing.

No, I don't see Apple as on the side of the Angels--Anaheim and Cupertino aren't that close together <. [sorry, but I just couldn't resist that.]

The side of the angels would be, in my view, populated by FUD-fighters, teachers (real ones, probably uncertificated), and other explainers. I can see PJ over there, from here. I'm working to get there, too, as are most of us.

---
--Bill. NAL: question the answers, especially mine.

10:23 PM EDT


How is Psystar the bad guys?

By _Arthur

July 05 2009

I think Psystar chose a much more interesting cause of action, "Copyright
Abuse".

And many of us have a vested interrest in seeing EULAs be declared void and
unenforceable.

That said, I'm very happy with my Mac, and I wouldn't trade it for Psystar crud,

ever.

12:30 AM EDT


How is Psystar the bad guys?

By Reven

July 05 2009

1) Do I feel a company has the right to license under proprietary terms - yes,
certainly, however I see limitations to this. I'll come back to this.

2) Well, this is a loaded question - obviously if I don't agree with the law,
then I would believe it to be a bad law which should be changed. If you're
asking is it ok to continue to do something a law prohibits, even if I don't
agree with the law, then no, it is not ok to do it. I do believe in the rule of
law, even for laws I do not support. Again, this has its limits, but I don't
see those sorts of limits being reached in this case.

To continue on with the first point, I believe in proprietary rights. That's
the history of copyright - protecting for authors and publishers the rights of
what they publish so no one else can publish them. Extend this to software, and
I am fully in support of this. Software theft is wrong, plain and simple.

In this case, however, I see less of a protection of the author than using
copyright as a blunt object to force people into purchasing certain hardware.
In this case, the limitations are not on who can publish the work, but on who
can use the work, and that is a dangerous, dangerous precedent.

We're not talking about CPU-count licenses, or database connection limits, or
whatnot. License terms like this are valid limitations based on the fact that
copying an electronic work is so easy. You have to make some concessions to
technology to bring copyright into the modern age. Not every aspect of modern
copyright challenges can be likened back to a book. However, what we're talking
about in Apple's license here is not a limitation on how the work is propagated,
it's a limitation on who can use the work. This is dangerous, and something
copyright law needs to have its greasy mitts removed from.

You can use this work if you own this computer, but not if you own that? Take
it back to the roots of copyright, what copyright was intended to do. Liken it
to any other art. You can read this book if you wear this brand of eyewear, but
not that brand? This music is licensed such that it may only be performed on
Sony equipment? Terms like this, even if legal, would be untenable to the
public at large. The PR would be disastrous. And yet here is Apple doing the
same thing, and people consider them to be justified? How about you can look at
this painting if you are white, but not if you are black. Have I touched a
nerve yet? Perhaps that last example is a little extreme, but once you establish
that copyright can restrict who can enjoy art, and in what ways they can enjoy
art, then where are the limits?

Copyright terms are out of control, and there needs to be legislation that
limits what a license can do. Because if not, then terms will continue to
become more onerous, and each one accepted chips away at public resistance until
the public doesn't remember any more the rights we used to enjoy.

---
Ex Turbo Modestum

04:08 PM EDT


How is Psystar the bad guys?

By PJ

July 05 2009

OK. Thank you for clarifying. It helps me to know what parts need more effort
on my part.

First, EULAs aren't part of copyright law. What Apple has put in its terms
doesn't change copyright law at all. EULAs generally take away rights you would
otherwise have under copyright law. You don't have to accept the terms, but if
you don't, Apple doesn't have to sell you anything at all.

Second, Apple is a hardware company. It makes its money from the hardware, not
the software. If it had to price out the software according to its worth stand
alone, it would be more like Vista prices, at least, I'd think.

What Psystar is doing, then, is undermining the hardware sales, which is where
Apple makes its profit. Even Psystar can't make a profit, according to what it
told the bankruptcy court, using the cheaper hardware. So why is it going into
this exact business? Some might wonder if the point isn't just to harm Apple.

If Psystar were to prevail, there would no doubt be years of endless technical
glitches and issues for tech support, trying to make the software work on
hardware it wasn't created to work well on. That would also be damaging to
Apple's brand, which is that it just works. Who might want that to happen?

And Apple's prices would have to go up to pay for it all, including having to
offer cheaper hardware itself to compete, which would also damage its
reputation.

Who might that benefit? Short term, have you read about the short selling of
Apple stock? Think it might have something to do with all this?

See any similarity to the SCO saga?

Meanwhile, if that clause restricting use of the software to Apple hardware is
declared void, what have you gained that you didn't have before? Seriously.
What?

And keep in mind that the hardware is yours. You can put Linux on it, for
example, if you feel like it. The EULA doesn't prohibit that. It's the software
which you got at a cheap price only because you agreed not to use it on any
other hardware, which Apple wants to control so it can remain in business and so
it can control the experience the user has. If you own an Apple, you know that
it is a superior user experience to anything Microsoft offers or ever will
offer. It really does just work.

04:41 PM EDT


How is Psystar the bad guys?

By PJ

July 05 2009

EULAs will never be declared void and unusable. That
fight was lost years ago. All Psystar can accomplish
would be to find a certain clause void.

So if your dream is to get rid of EULAs, you are
... well, dreaming.

Too much case law stands in the way. And if your
definition of EULA includes any and all copyright
licenses, you are threatening to kill the GPL,
which might just be part of the Psystar plot, you
know.

So think more deeply please, with more law in your
noggin.

11:46 AM EDT


How is Psystar the bad guys?

By Anonymous

July 12 2009

Don't be so defeatist, PJ:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_license_agreement#Enforceability

EULAs are evil, and their enforceability has been mixed thus far. We need to
try to either get some case law declaring their invalidity or some really bad
case law motivating legislators to do away with them. Psytar is both fighting
an anti-EULA court battle and drawing attention to the EULA issue, and I
wholeheartedly support them -- though I realistically think they'll probably
eventually end up settling, and that makes me sad. I don't know why you feel
they deserve your venom -- maybe you're just an Apple fangirl ;)

---linuxrocks123

08:36 PM EDT


How is Psystar the bad guys?

By PJ

July 12 2009

You are dreaming.

Or a real cynic.

09:51 PM EDT


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