The Miami company selling a generic PC that runs Mac OS X says it will fight Apple in the courts — but it’s reasoning seems flawed.
Psystar says it has ported OS X to run on a $400 machine called the OpenMac — in violation of the OS X’s shrinkwrap license, which restricts the software from being installed on any non-Apple branded machine.
But a spokesman for Psystar told InformationWeek that Apple’s shrinkwrap license for OS X violates U.S. antitrust law.
“What if Microsoft said you could only install Windows on Dell computers?” said the spokesman, identified only as Robert.
He continued: “What if Honda said that, after you buy their car, you could only drive it on the roads they said you could?”
But the spokesman seems to be confusing monopoly with abuse of monopoly. Having a monopoly is not illegal — abusing that monopoly is.
And although there’s no definitive court ruling on the enforceability of shrinkwrap EULA licenses (End-User License Agreements), Apple will likely sue under the more sweeping Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which criminalizes the circumvention of copyright controls.
Apple has encrypted core segments of OS X — including portions of the Finder and Dock — in an overt anti-piracy effort, according to eWeek. Security researcher Bruce Schneier, said companies are using the DMCA as an anti-piracy measure, but also to prevent reverse engineering. Any attempt to break the encrypted code is in violation of the DMCA.
Psystar’s OpenMac claims to be a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo machine with 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, integrated Intel graphics, a DVD burner and four USB Ports. Most of the components can be upgraded.