Apple Triumphs in Key Copyright Ruling in San Francisco Lawsuit


Robert Pedraza                      By C. Stiles

In our cover story last week, Worms in the Apple, writer Tim Elfrink detailed the saga of the Rudy and Robert Pedraza, a couple of rogue computer programming brothers who hacked Apple's OS X and retooled it for use on cheaper PCs.

Elfrink wrote about how legal experts believed that the Pedraza brothers had a chance to prevail in San Francisco's Northern District Court, where Apple is suing them for copyright infringement. As of late last week, when U.S. District Judge William Alsup handed down a summary judgment in favor of Apple, that chance isn't looking so fat.

"Psystar infringed Apple's exclusive rights to create derivative works of Mac OS X," Alsup wrote, "by replacing original files in Mac OS X with unauthorized software files."

Alsup has yet to rule on Apple's claim that Psystar violated contract law when it broke a click-through agreement on OS X, and issues over unfair competition, trademark infringement, and trademark dilution have yet to be resolved.

The summary judgment is not a pretty one for the Pedraza's, but reportedly, the brothers plan to continue their battle in the Court of Appeals.

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