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In papers filed with a San Francisco federal court last week, Psystar Corp. repeated its argument that Apple has abused copyright laws by tying the Mac operating system to Apple hardware. The filing came in response to an Apple motion asking U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup, who tossed out Psystar's original antitrust allegations against Apple last November, to also throw out the Florida company's revamped countersuit.
"Apple contends that because Psystar is 'distributing computers with Apple's copyrighted software loaded on them' that 'Apple is within its rights in asserting copyright infringement'," the company says in papers filed Jan. 7. "Apple's assertion that Psystar cannot distribute computers with Apple software (and that a purchaser could not use the same) would run roughshod over 17 U.S.C.," Psystar added, referring to the section of U.S. law that pertains to copyright.
Computerworld says that Psystar claims that it has purchased some copies of Mac OS X directly from Apple and installs the operating system on its hardware.
"Psystar distributes computers with legitimately purchased copies of Mac OS loaded thereon," the company said. "Many of those copies [were] directly obtained from Apple. While Psystar complies with Section 117(b) of the Copyright Act, Apple attempts to usurp those limitations by telling Psystar and its customers that Apple -- and Apple alone -- will say 'whether, how or by whom its software is ... distributed or used.' "
Last month the clone maker said Apple "is prohibited from bringing action against Psystar for the alleged infringement of one or more of the plaintiff's copyrights for failure to register said copyrights with the copyright office as required." Psystar also claimed that Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 ("Leopard") operating system contains undocumented code designed to render inoperable personal computers that aren't running on Apple-approved hardware.
Also in December Apple added new charges to the federal lawsuit it filed nearly five months ago against a Florida clone maker, claiming that Psystar broke antipiracy defenses that lock Mac OS X to its own hardware.
Apple also said others besides Psystar were involved, but it didn't spell out who. In a filing dated Nov. 26, Apple amended its original suit of July after it had "discovered additional information." Among the additions is a new accusation -- that Psystar violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by dodging copy-protection technologies Apple uses to protect Mac OS X, notes Computerworld.
Psystar has claimed in the past that Apple has violated Sherman antitrust rules and other U.S. laws. Psystar claims in court documents filed in U.S. District Court for San Francisco that Apple â€œhas engaged in certain anticompetitive behavior and/or other actions that are in violation of the public policy underlying the federal copyright laws.â€
In response, Apple said the defendant, Psystar, â€œis knowingly infringing Appleâ€™s copyrights and trademarks, and inducing others to do the same.â€ Psystar makes and sells personal computers that use, without permission, Appleâ€™s proprietary operating system software.