The long-running Psystar dispute may be settling down as the controversial PC-maker runs out of steam, but don’t think that’s the end of… the Clone Wars. (sorry)
German PC company HyperMegaNet UG has started selling its own line of cloned Apples. But good heavens, you say, aren’t they scared of Apple? Won’t they see the smoking ruins of Psystar and fear the same fate may be in store for them? Ah yes, but you forget: they’re German.
I don’t mean that in the sense that they’re industrious and methodical, but simply that they’re part of the European Union, where it’s possible that the law permits this piratical behavior. They certainly seem to think so. From their FAQ page:
7. Is the PearC legal?
Yes. According to european laws Apples EULA is void.
Well, it doesn’t get any more clear than that! They don’t cite any laws or explain themselves any further, but if the Pirate Bay’s legal defenses are any indication, things may indeed be rather different there. And if that is the case, I’m pretty surprised no one figured it out yet. Are other EULAs void? Is it just the portion of the EULA that prevents users from installing on non-Apple hardware? No doubt we’ll find out soon once the legal gears start a-turnin’.
As for the computers themselves, they appear to be as plain and functional as you’d expect any OEM machine to be. They’re expandable of course, with room on the inside for whatever you like. The “Starter” setup sports the basic stuff: a solid budget CPU and GPU, one hard drive up to 750GB, a DVD writer and lots of ports. Starts at ~$650.
The “Advanced” has some serious CPUs, decent GPUs, a Blu-Ray writer (or two if you like), and a second hard drive on which to install a second OS for dual-boot. In this case you can choose between OS X, Vista HP and Ultimate, and XP Pro (which costs more than HP, hilariously). It runs for more than the Starter, though final price depends entirely on your configuration. AppleTell suggests getting one “will most likely result in an unstable computer, operating system, and user experience due to the lack of true compatibility,” but that sounds like FUD to me.
This is a relatively new development, so we can speculate all we want. Any experts in international law feel like taking a crack at it?
Update: Looks like others have had their way with this story as well. HyperMegaNet says that “In Germany, EULAs are only legally binding when they are agreed to before the purchase of the software program.” Not exactly a bulletproof defense.