Court sides with Apple, those dudes at Psystar are hosed

Apple’s charges of copyright infringement and DMCA violation against Psystar have stuck and, friends, things ain’t pretty for the two brothers in Miami. The problem with Psystar’s approach wasn’t that they were crazy for trying it. It’s that the were selling a counterfeit unit.

Apple contends that Psystar has violated its distribution right by offering and selling Mac OS X on Psystar computers to the public. Psystar admits that it has distributed Mac OS X (Chung Exh. 17 at 4).

But Psystar responds that its conduct is protected by the Section 109 first-sale doctrine. Section 109 provides that “the owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord.” 17 U.S.C. 109. This provision is a limitation on the distribution right. It applies only to an owner of a copy.

Groklaw puts it best when it writes:

I know. They’ll say, but, but, but … what if they hadn’t used the master and just used each copy, then would it work? Sons, why do you think Psystar used the master copy? Because it’s a business, and in a business, efficiency is money. That’s why businesses set themselves up, to make money. The whole world is not with you on a holy war to destroy EULAs and the GPL. Even this rinkydink business wanted to make money. Theoreticals belong on message boards, not in business and definitely not in courtrooms, and even on message boards, everyone told you for years that this wouldn’t work out if someone tried it. It’s been tried. It didn’t work out.

Shine on, you crazy Psystar diamonds. I guess I’ll never get support for the janky Hackintosh we bought.

Thanks, Alex