April 16th 2008
By Mike Flaminio
PC EFI v8, the software used to load Leopard on PsyStar's OpenComputer, was created by Netkas and he says that the upstart Florida company causing all the ruckus is using his work without permission and against the terms of the app's license.
"That guy's said they sell computers with efi v8 emulator," says Netkas. "They forgot to mention [the] author of [the] emulator, so it looks like they made efi v8. So, this is violation of my authorship rights on pc efi v8."
Netkas quotes the PC EFI v8 license to further bolster his claim:
Redistribution and use in binary form for direct or indirect commercial purposes, with or without modification, is stricktly forbidden.
That's pretty clear--permission wasn't asked or given, proper attribution hasn't been given and the license bars commercial use.
However, given PsyStar's public contempt for Apple's Leopard EULA, which bars loadings the OS on third-party hardware, it seems rather unlikely that the Mac clone "maker" will respect Netkas' intentions or his license either.
Further, according to lawyers IGM quoted yesterday (Wired), legal avenues of recourse don't give Netkas, assuming he has the inclination and money to hire a lawyer, much power to stop Psystar.
...Ted Man, echos the point in saying, "Generally speaking, these user agreements are much weaker than other forms of litigation ... Companies make them as broad as possible, but there's no way to basically enforce them. It's a scare tactic, a way to say, hey, we're reserving all these rights."
So, is that it? Can PsyStar run roughshod over Apple and Netkas' rights with impunity?
As IGM reported yesterday, Apple could likely keep PsyStar tied up in court for years, which alone might prove fatal for the small company. Also, Apple likely has technical ways of blocking PsyStar at the OS level.
Given his (likely) lack of resources and the fundamental purpose of his software, perhaps Netkas' best and only recourse is stop making PC EFI...
What's your take?