A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday dealt an almost mortal blow (more on the “almost” after the jump) to former hackintosh vendor Psystar’s remaining chances of a comeback in its legal battle against Apple. Dismissing Psystar’s appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a 2009 district court decision to award Apple a permanent injunction against Psystar’s infringement of Mac OS X.
The company that discontinued its range of Mac clones earlier this month has now “voluntarily suspended the sale of our Rebel EFI software product.” It has temporarily discontinued Rebel EFI – a boot loader that helps install OS X on any generic PC – as it first wants the court's “clarification on the legality” of the software. “In the coming days, we will again be offering complete systems but at discounted prices as they will be bundled with your choice of Linux operating system,” the company announced on its website.
The company is trying hard to garner some much needed public support. From the face of it, Psystar wants to be seen as a champion of open computing. “It's your software, you should be able to use it where you want to,” Psystar wrote on its site. “If you purchase an off-the-shelf copy of OS X Snow Leopard, its your right to use that software.”
The dispute centers on Psystar’s installation of Apple’s OS X, version 10.5 (a.k.a. Leopard) on Intel-based computers manufactured by Psystar. Apple took exception to Psystar’s hackintosh and sued, with its complaint upheld by a Federal Court in San Francisco. The Court agreed not only to Apple’s claim of copyright infringement, but to Pystar’s violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for the unauthorized installation of OS X.
According to a motion Psystar filed with the Court Monday, Psystar states that it and Apple have reached a partial settlement, in which Psytar agrees to pay Apple damages for violating Apple’s copyright--an estimated $2.1 million. But, only after Psystar has exhausted all of its avenues for appeal. Psystar is hoping this will placate Apple and the Court enough that it can escape a permanent injunction Apple has requested that would shut Psystar down.
Psystar has also asked that it’s Rebel EFI utility be excluded from any injunction. Rebel EFI, which is sold separately, is used to load OS X onto its systems. With Rebel EFI buyers of Psystar’s desktops are able to install OS X themselves, rather than have it preloaded by Psystar, effectively allowing Psystar to remain in the hackintosh business.
Apple may have agreed to drop its copyright infringement claims against Psystar for the promise of a possible future payment. But it’s not clear that Apple is in agreement with Psystar’s continued sale of Rebel EFI, if Apple’s intent is to limit the hackintosh market. It would seem that the dust from this dispute has yet to settle.
Psystar had big plans, unfortunately, their plans were pretty much the only thing that fit that description. Now that Apple has effectively won its copyright infringement case against the company, not only is it all but sure to close, but it will likely have to pay a fine for each and every Hackintosh that went out the door.
Just how many machines is that you ask? Turns out even though the company planned to sell as many as 12 million units by 2011, they only managed to pump out around 768 Mac clones so far. Either the Psystar machines were far less popular than the company (and media) let on, or they are fudging the numbers to try and dodge some of the fine. The numbers were revealed as part of a court ordered release to be used against them at upcoming injunction proceedings. Even if Psystar does manage to pay the fine, they will still be a company without a product, not exactly an ideal situation.
It seems as though Apple has done a pretty good job of nipping these guys off in the bud before they had a chance to cost them any customers, but do you actually think the Hackintosh crowd will actually buy genuine Apple OEM goods now that the hammer has come down against Psystar? I also can't help but wonder how many of those 768 machines were sold to the press.
In what's turning out to be a game of cat and mouse, Apple last week disabled support for Intel's Atom processor through a Snow Leopard update, a tactic the Hackintosh community insisted would present only a temporary setback. They were right, thanks to a Russian hacker known as "teateam," who says he has restored support for Atom-based Hackintoshes running Snow Leopard 10.6.2.
"The problem originates in a revision to the kernel in 10.6.2. The changes Apple made to the latest mach_kernel removes support for [Atom] processors, leaving updated netbooks in a useless state," InsanelyMac member "blkhockypro19" explained in a forum post.
TeaTeam's hack appears to address the issue, though Jeff Porten of MacWorld warned that performing the crack is not something to be taken lightly.
"You'll need to roll up your Terminal sleeves for a few simple steps here," said Porten. "And, of course, replace the kernel of your operating system -- the fundamental code that underlies everything else in Mac OS X -- with a file you've downloaded from the Internet."
Not only that, but it's only a matter of time until Apple releases another update that, in all likelihood, breaks support again. Apple hasn't been sympathetic to the Hackinstosh community, and even went so far as to serve Wired.com a cease and desist order after the tech site posted a video with instructions on how to hack a netbook to run Mac OS X.
Rumors of an Atom ban turned out to be true, as the Hackintosh community found out with the latest update to Apple's Snow Leopard OS.
"Well, looks like I was right, again," Hackintosh guru StellaRola wrote in a blog post. "The netbook forums are now blowing up with problems of [Snow Leopard] 10.6.2 instant rebooting their Atom-based netbooks. My sources tell me that every time a netbook users installs 10.6.2 an Apple employee gets their wings."
While the ban presents a temporary setback, StellaRola reiterated that "this is OSx86 after all," and predicted that a modded kernel is likely just around the kernel.
In the meantime, a user on the MyDellMini forum claims to have found a workaround that entails running 10.6.2 with a 10.6.1 kernel. The process involved booting from a backup, mounting the 10.6.2 partition, and punching in a few commands, all of which you can read here.
Psystar once again flips Apple the bird by confirming it will support Mac OS X Snow Leopard on all new Mac clones. Furthermore, the company said it had developed "new virtualization technologies" to better integrate with the newly released OS like "never before."
At the same time, Psystar issued a warning to its customers not to install Snow Leopard until the OEM had a chance to work out any kinks and ensure a no-fuss upgrade.
"We ask you not to attempt to install the new OS X as it may cause harm to your computer, resulting in a possible re-installation of Leopard OS 10.5 and a loss of data," Pystar wrote in a blog post. "As with all previous software updates to the OS, Psystar meticulously tests and retests all software updates to confirm their compatibility with older Psystar machines."
As could be expected, Apple is none too happy about Psystar's continued defiance and has asked a California judge to order a 30 day "re-opening of discovery" to give Aple time to obtain Psystar's modified Snow Leopard source code.
OS X is out there. You’ve seen it in coffee shops, on TV, in the laps of hipsters at the local taqueria. There‘s no shame in wondering what all the fuss is about. Hell, it’s healthy to mix it up a little bit. If only the idea of sending Steve Jobs and the rest of Apple, Inc. thousands of your hard-earned dollars didn’t send you into a cold sweat that only a game of Left4Dead can cure. Still, OS X is the subject of many glowing reviews. Even hardcore PC users are singing its praises. If you have the itch to try out OS X, but you’re not down with shelling out the cash for a new Mac, we have one word for you: Hackintosh.
When Apple announced the move to Intel processors for its computer lineup, the search was on for a practical way to install OS X on non-Apple hardware. Over the years, the best way to achieve this feat was to patch a retail version of the OS X install from Apple. Users would scour the Internet for the patches—always hoping that what they downloaded was indeed the correct patch, and not some virus or trojan horse ready to wreck havoc on their PCs.
But these days the quest for OS X needn’t be so perilous. Read on to see how an inventive little USB device can let you easily dual boot OS X on non-Apple hardware, using a legitimate copy of OS X.
Wired’s Brian Chen was smacked with a cease-and-desist not long ago for his video depicting how to turn your netbook into a hackintosh.
The video, which gave an exact step-by-step tutorial about how to put OS X onto a netbook, (with trips to The Pirate Bay included) has since been taken down off of Wired’s Tech Lab. However, you can still check it out over at Gizmodo, who’s sticking it to the man hasn’t run them into any evident danger as of yet.
Apple’s exact complaint about the video hasn’t been printed anywhere, so that is something that we might not ever get to find out, but what we do know is that the video is mighty thorough! And it only clocks in at about four minutes, so why not watch it?