Contrary to report, Psystar not shutting down, lawyer says

Although Mac clone maker Psystar has turned off the lights at its Web site, the firm is not shutting down permanently, the company’s lawyer said Friday.

Contrary to a report on Thursday by the Dow Jones Newswire, Psystar is not shutting down permanently, said K.A.D. Camara, of the Houston, Texas firm Camara & Sibley LLP.Camara represents Psystar in a lawsuit the company filed in a Miami federal court last August that accuses Apple of violating several antitrust laws.

The Dow Jones story quoted Eugene Action, a Fresno, Calif. lawyer who represented Psystar in the lawsuit Apple filed with a San Francisco federal court in 2008. “They will not be in business,” Action said, adding that Psystar President Rudy Pedraza would be “shutting things down immediately” by firing the company’s eight employees.

However, Camara told Computerworld by e-mail, “Regrettably, Mr. Action was misquoted in an early story that seems to have been picked up elsewhere,” he said. “Psystar does not intend to shut down permanently.”

Camara did not elaborate on what form Psystar would take in the future, or when it might return to the Web.

Action did not reply on Friday to a request for clarification of the remarks that Camara said had been misquoted.

Action said the Psystar shut-down was prompted by the injunction U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup awarded Apple on Tuesday. The injunction barred Psystar from selling computers with Apple’s Mac OS X.

Alsup gave Psystar until midnight, Dec. 31, 2009, to comply with the injunction, and warned the company against dragging it feet. “Defendant must immediately begin this process, and take the quickest path to compliance,” Alsup said in the order.

Earlier this month, Psystar halted sales of Intel-based clones pre-loaded with Snow Leopard , and agreed to pay Apple approximately $2.7 million if it loses appeals it plans to file with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.At that time, Camara said that although Psystar was dropping its Mac OS X-loaded machines, it would continue to sell PCs with other operating systems, including Windows, and would also sell its $50 Rebel EFI software . Rebel EFI lets owners of generic PCs install and run Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system.

By continuing to market Rebel EFI, Psystar was effectively shifting the responsibility of installing Mac OS X to customers. Psystar would sell Rebel EFI to customers, who would have to obtain a copy of Snow Leopard, then use Rebel EFI to install and run the operating system on a Psystar system.

Psystar and Apple have been tangling in court since July 2008, when Apple sued the clone maker over copyright and software licensing violations. Psystar first started selling Intel machines with Mac OS X pre-installed in April 2008.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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