"There's no question I'm investing a lot of money," he says.

The immense cost of fighting Apple in court has led to conspiracy theories on the web that Mac rivals such as IBM and Microsoft secretly fund Psystar. Not true, Rudy says. "I'm the secret funder. It's just me."

But Psystar has no plans to fold. From the firm's tiny headquarters, tucked next to a T-shirt-filled warehouse and the Koen Pack Company in a bland industrial complex off NW 107th Avenue in Doral, Rudy and less than a dozen other employees still churn out new computers.

Robert Pedraza hacked into Apple's operating system on a whim before his brother talked him into selling the computers online.
C. Stiles
Robert Pedraza hacked into Apple's operating system on a whim before his brother talked him into selling the computers online.
Copycats around the world, including Rashantha De Silva's Quo Computer in Los Angeles, are selling Mac clones and betting that Psystar will prevail in court.
Ted Soqui
Copycats around the world, including Rashantha De Silva's Quo Computer in Los Angeles, are selling Mac clones and betting that Psystar will prevail in court.

Last month, when Apple released its Snow Leopard operating system, Psystar responded the very next day with Snow Leopard-enabled clones.

The defiant move came a little more than a month after Psystar filed its own lawsuit against Apple, an antitrust claim in U.S. District Court in Miami arguing that Apple, in essence, runs an illegal monopoly.

The case argues that because Apple sells a unique, "premium computer," it shouldn't be allowed to corner the market on its operating system by requiring purchases of the company's hardware. "By tying its operating system to Apple-branded hardware, Apple restrains trade in personal computers that run Mac OS X, collects monopoly rents on its Macintoshes, and monopolizes the market for 'premium computers,'" the company argues.

It's a position that echoes the massive decision against Microsoft in Europe in 2004, when a court found the software giant broke competition rules by tying the Windows operating system to its media player. Microsoft was forced to allow rival programs and pay $794 million in damages.

"There are some genuine issues in that argument," says Ury Fischer, an intellectual property lawyer with Coral Gables' Lott & Friedland. "Apple clearly doesn't have a monopoly in the computer world, but they do have a defined niche. The question is if they abuse that position."

Apple hasn't yet responded to the Florida suit. But the brothers won their first real legal victory this past September, when the judge presiding over Apple's suit in California refused Apple's motion to combine the two cases.

If Apple and the blogosphere expected Psystar to fold, they've been sorely disappointed.

Instead, just last month, Psystar slapped the computer giant again. The Pedraza brothers began selling software that allows users to install Mac OS on their own PCs.

Pretty much anyone with basic computer knowledge can make a cloned Mac for just the cost of a full tank of gas in an SUV. "It's important to question authority and buck the system," Rudy says by way of explanation.

He and his brother have given the software an apt name: Rebel.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
 
Miami Concert Tickets
Loading...