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The Almighty Buck

PearPC Trying to Sue CherryOS 690

Varg Vikernes writes "PearPC developers are taking in donations to sue Maui X-Stream, the developers of the MAC emulator software CherryOS. There have been allegations that CherryOS is nothing more than PearPC code, which is open-source, but with a GUI attached to it. One of the PearPC developers tried to get in contact with someone from Maui X-Stream, but eventually were told to "speak with an Attorney" about the allegations. "
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PearPC Trying to Sue CherryOS

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  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:32PM (#12089392)
    It might be worthwhile mentioning that CherryOS (PearPC) is not a "MAC" (sic) emulator, but rather a general PowerPC architecture and motherboard emulator. PearPC presents itself as such. However, CherryOS markets and specifically targets itself at Mac OS X. Unfortunately, Apple's Mac OS X license agreement [] specifically states it can only be installed on an Apple-branded computer. Aside from the PearPC issues, CherryOS is a commercial product actively encouraging its users to break Apple's Mac OS X license agreement. And yes, this license agreement is binding: that's why no one makes clones. (And no, Apple "ROMs" are no longer required. Haven't been for ages.)

    Funnily enough, Maui X-Stream president Jim Kartes said:

    We are building an emulator like they are that uses Mac language. PearPC uses Mac language and next thing you know, they say we are using their code. This is a totally different architecture.

    This comment makes no sense. "PearPC uses Mac language" has no meaning, and is, if anything, indicative of the fact that this company does not fundamentally understand the operation of innards of their product, which isn't surprising, since they didn't create it. PearPC is essentially a PowerPC motherboard emulator, which emulates a PowerPC processor, and various necessary elements of a PowerPC motherboard. I think what Kartes is trying to claim is that because PearPC and CherryOS do the same thing, it's no surprise that they'd appear similar. This claim is absurd, because the evidence is overwhelming that CherryOS is using PearPC as the emulation engine. CherryOS is essentially a graphical wrapper for PearPC, which does nothing more than pass instructions to PearPC and execute PearPC within itself. It tries to conceal, rather poorly, that PearPC is what's running underneath. Aside from the proof of very unique shared strings and symbols above, CherryOS also shares PearPC's featureset, or lack thereof in the case of support for sound and networking, and even PearPC's specific bugs. In sum, any claim that CherryOS and PearPC would share unique strings, variable names, and symbols simply because they're both emulators is ridiculous. Also, saying "Mac language" is really irrelevant because, aside from not making sense, PearPC (and CherryOS) doesn't have anything to do with the Mac or "Mac language". It's a *PowerPC* emulator. The fact that a Mac operating system runs on it is incidental; PearPC (and CherryOS) doesn't contain or use anything that could be referred to as "Mac language".

    eWeek has a general overview of the situation:,1759,1775386, p []

    Below is a comprehensive collection of evidence, which runs the gamut from CherryOS including original PearPC graphics, extremely unique strings and error messages, debug code from PearPC, the same unique MAC address as PearPC's default network adapter (of which there are approximately 184884258895036416 different combinations), shared specific functionality, including bugs, and so on, not to mention code from other GPL projects: yos-pearpc.html [] 0501.html [] 0503.html [] 0504.html [] 0507.html []
    • A. This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time.

      well put a Apple sticker on it and then it's ok :)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:37PM (#12089444)
      What the heck kind of first post is that?! Informative, explained what the whole FA was about, loads of links. I'm shocked!
    • by Ford Prefect ( 8777 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:43PM (#12089522) Homepage
      From the EULA:
      2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions.

      A. This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time.

      Is this why they included a bunch of Apple stickers with my iBook?

      I now have an Apple-branded lavatory, amongst other things (the aforementioned loo also claims to be 'designed for Windows 98', but that's another story). So will I legally be allowed to install Mac OS X on it? Okay, it may be stretching the definition of 'computer' a little, but it's no worse in terms of Turing-completeness than your average offering from Dell... ;-)
    • License agreement (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wiredlogic ( 135348 )
      And yes, this license agreement is binding

      So Apple has a signed contract from all of the customers who bought OS X off the shelf in a retail outlet? Unless you can provide an example of existing precedent, EULAs are still non-binding.

      The reason there are no clones is because Apple won't sell OS X in a form that can be easily installed in a production environment. It would be uneconomical for a clone maker to buy boxes of OS X to get the install CDs and license documents.

      • Re:License agreement (Score:5, Informative)

        by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:59PM (#12089723)
        The reason there are no clones is because Apple won't sell OS X in a form that can be easily installed in a production environment. It would be uneconomical for a clone maker to buy boxes of OS X to get the install CDs and license documents.

        No. The reason there are no clones is because they'd get the living shit sued out of them, they'd have an injunction slapped against them halting all sales of their product, and they be out of business in months.

        And Mac OS X can be imaged and configured for distribution easily in a variety of ways. They wouldn't have to physically open each Mac OS X retail box to install on machines; Mac OS X install CDs are identical. They would make one image to deploy on all of their machines' hard drives; this is painfully simple and is done on an extremely widespread basis in enterprise and academic environments that have large Mac OS X deployments. If the license agreement really weren't an issue, they could just include a shrinkwrap copy of Mac OS X with each machine.

        The fact of the matter is that signatures are not required to have binding contracts (e.g., credit card receipts that you do not have to sign even when you're standing right there, electronic signing and filing of federal and state tax returns, etc.). So if you want to get on the "EULAs are not binding" kick, go for it.
        • Re:License agreement (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sparr0 ( 451780 )
          The downfall of EULAs is that the other party never verifies if you agreed to their terms. If you hand me a contract and I change it (like adding more vacation days to my employment contract) then give it back to you, common sense dictates that you look at the changes I made and decide whether or not you agree to them before you start doing business with me. With the majority of EULAs you can change whatever you want, "sign" (electronic signature in the form of an Accept button) the amended version, and t
        • by The Monster ( 227884 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @03:11PM (#12091484) Homepage
          The fact of the matter is that signatures are not required to have binding contracts.
          IANAL (But I watched The Paper Chase and learned this from Prof. Kingsfield))

          The elements of contract are:

          1. Offer
          2. Acceptance
          3. Consideration
          So, if I walk into a retailer and they offer OS X under terms that I am willing to accept, and I give them the amount of money (consideration) they asked for, when we have a contract. Any additional terms or conditions that the seller wishes to assert after I've agreed to the stated terms of the sale are completely unenforceable.
          So if you want to get on the "EULAs are not binding" kick, go for it.
          Suppose someone were to purchase a Chevy floormat from a dealer, then when they go to add Calvin urinating on the logo and put it in their Ford pickup, they find a GM EULA that says they can't use it that way. I can't imagine an attorney that would prosecute that one.
    • And yes, this license agreement is binding: that's why no one makes clones.

      I really doubt Apple has the right to restrict installation of their OS to their brand of computers. They sell it as a separate product, not as a part of the computer. Therefore, this action would most likely constitute illegal product tying under antitrust law if the market for Mac-compatible hardware is big enough. This is most likely the reason they refer to the computers using a strange phrase like "Apple-labeled" instead of
    • by fracai ( 796392 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:21PM (#12090031)
      straight from the horses mouth []
      the link even includes reference to the software used for the comparison.

      The test was conducted using UltraCompare, a standard tool for application comparison. The test used CherryOS 1.2 and PPC 0.4 Pre as the basis for comparison. The UltraCompare test works by running through every possible process of the application. The results show the matching number of bytes and gives a consensus on whether the core architectures of the two products are the Same, Similiar or Different. As you will see from the results below, CherryOS and PearPC are radically different products.

      apparently running "diff pearPC.exe cherryOS.exe" is all you need to do.
      ironically, the screenshot included on the page appears to me to be more evidence that they include similarities. something that, in the binary, is even more damning.

      and no, the UltraCompare site shows no evidence that it can "[run] through every process of the application"
    • The PearPC developers should have inserted a 'stolen from PearPC' [] logo into one of their virtual ROMs! ;-)
  • by RobPiano ( 471698 ) * on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:32PM (#12089393)
    As a GPL developer I understand that the GPL needs court cases to maintain validity. So I donated $15. Please consider doing the same.
    • Why does it need court cases?

      Seems the only people who claim it's never been tested in court are its proponents. Most legal opinions, including that of the IBM, and Microsoft, seem quite convinced that the GPL is valid.
    • I'll consider donating if/when PearPC transfer the copyright to the FSF, and the FSF gets to handle the talks/litigation.

      (I'm working on the assumption, based on where they are, that they haven't bothered)

      • Why should he give his code to another company, even if it is one you trust, to get fair representation? FSF may not deal with this, but another organization interested in preserving the "sanctity" of the GPL might without any demand for the copyright of the code.
        • That's just the thing, if the FSF isn't involved, then how can I be convinced that there will be fair representation? Why should I trust this to some lawyer who's never even heard of the GPL, when I know the FSF has got Eben Moglen on staff for the very purpose of handling these sorts of things?

          New information might change my stance, of course.

  • Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Avyakata ( 825132 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:33PM (#12089401) Homepage Journal
    Obligatory corny fruit joke:

    There's not a valid suit's like comparing apples to oranges!

  • by LiNKz ( 257629 ) * on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:33PM (#12089402) Homepage Journal
    I justed donated.

    I'd like to see the GPL tested over this a bit more. It just adds one more opinion in future events.

    That and this guy blatenly misuses GPL'd code repeatedly and then has the audacity to tell the world that he wrote it all.
  • GPL test. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by torpor ( 458 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [musibi]> on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:34PM (#12089409) Homepage Journal
    yeah, this is gonna be a test of the GPL. EFF, step forward. epic battle of intellectual property the way we define it, against the way they define it. americans, put away your guns.

    coders, continue prepping releases. the point of open source is that things never get stale. if cherryOS is a ripoff today, ain't nothin' stoppin' PearOS from doing another point release in upgrade, and surfing their stupid PR blunder into fame...
  • Grrrrr.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by White Roses ( 211207 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:35PM (#12089416)
    It's not a MAC emulator. It's a Mac emulator. CherryOS and PearPC don't allow you to emulate the Media Access Control.

    That annoys me so much I could strangle a manatee in the nude.

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:36PM (#12089432)
    Because, that would be different.
  • by TheJOsh!(tm) ( 584211 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:37PM (#12089441) Homepage
    that's one disfunctional fruit salad...
  • by ShatteredDream ( 636520 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:38PM (#12089457) Homepage
    You give more and more power to companies to "defend their IP" and you end up having the little guy run over like this. When CherryOS originally came out it was booting verbatim like PearPC and now you have this. They stole the PearPC developers' code and now costly litigation will probably be necessary. On top of that, where is the liability for those who may have funded the company responsible here?

    There was a case recently where a small American company got royally screwed over by Toshiba too. Toshiba took the technology that was being developed for flash memory and practically gave it to San Disk. Does the government itself go tooth and nail after the big company? Of course not because "we can't punish the entire company for a few men's actions..."

    Since most of the innovation comes from small time companies and individuals, those are the ones that the government should be putting the most effort into protecting from theft of their hard work. That means better protection from big companies using IP to crush them so they can rape and pillage the innovations of the smaller companies.
  • Go for the gonads (Score:3, Informative)

    by FidelCatsro ( 861135 ) <fidelcatsro@gmai ... m minus math_god> on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:39PM (#12089468) Journal
    Time and Time again The pearPC team has shown evidence of the inclusion of their GPL licensed code in the code of CherryOS , What has CherryOS done,,Well they have stuck two middle fingers up and said "prove it" .
    The reason we use the GPL for our(as in gpl users, im not on the pearpc team) code is that we strongly belive in the principles of copyleft , keeping the code free .
    I can't 100% say that the PearPC team are right on this , though all the evidence i have seen has supported my belife that they are.
    The GPL needs legal victorys , and it needs the defense of its spirit to remain valid .
    I shall donate my 10 as soon as i can as i understand how agrevating it can be to have others claim your hard work as their own .

    Please no trolls about how the GPL allows this , The gpl allows comerical software based on the license however it makes dammed sure that you release the changes and keep the code free
  • In all respect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TCM ( 130219 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:39PM (#12089474)
    I'm totally with the developer here, but look at this:

    Notice, if you're paying attention, even if they comply with the GPL now, they're still in violation of my copyright.

    He tries to revoke the license just for them retroactively. I don't think that is possible, is it?
    • Re:In all respect (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:46PM (#12089568) Homepage Journal
      He tries to revoke the license just for them retroactively. I don't think that is possible, is it?

      You can't violate the terms of the license, come into compliance when called on it and pretend as if nothing has happened. That's not how the law works. It's akin to shoplifting and then offering to pay when caught.

    • Re:In all respect (Score:5, Informative)

      by gnuadam ( 612852 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:49PM (#12089607) Journal
      Not retroactively, the GPL has a provision that says if you violate it, it permanently terminates the license. Since they violated the license, it's terminated. They have no valid license to distribute PearPC at all now. Even if they belatedly decided to comply with the terms of the GPL. It's too late.
    • Re:In all respect (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JimDabell ( 42870 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:07PM (#12089840) Homepage

      He tries to revoke the license just for them retroactively.

      No he isn't doing that. The copying rights for PearPC that the CherryOS people obtained through the GPL license were terminated under section 4 of the GPL:

      4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

      This came up once before when Stallman told everybody that the KDE developers needed to ask forgiveness in order to use GPLed code (after Trolltech GPLed Qt in an attempt to solve the licensing issue). The KDE developers' response was "no, we just need to download another copy to get a new license". The termination of rights is clearly valid, but whether you can obtain new ones simply by downloading the GPLed software again or not is probably a grey area that would need to be addressed by a court.

  • by northcat ( 827059 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:41PM (#12089500) Journal
    ...take a look at this []. [In Internet time it's kinda old, March 16.]
  • ...will someone please post TFA?
  • Honestly, even if they are just slapping an interface on PearPC and selling it, isn't that legal?

    I mean, aren't they really just charging for their GUI and packaging PearPC with it?

    Isn't that within the restrictions of the GPL?
  • by telstar ( 236404 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:48PM (#12089593)
    Where's PacMan when you need him?
  • by rogabean ( 741411 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:50PM (#12089621)
    PearPC has been a very big deal to me for a long time. What Arben and MauiX are doing is wrong. Funny thing is they had a chance to step to the plate. A commercial app based off PearPC was never out of the question. They just chose to go about it the wrong way. The community backing PearPC would have (most anyway) supported someone packaging a commercial app derived from PearPC as long as they followed the GPL it was released under. Instead this company has chosen to lie and attempt to hide the facts. It's a fight they can't win, but they are for whatever reason determined to do so.

    So if you are a PearPC supporter... I would suggest lending any help you can...

    and if not... then as a supporter of the GPL any help you can is needed as well.

  • allegations (Score:3, Informative)

    by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @12:51PM (#12089634)
    allegations!? Bullshit! They ripped of code and there's no argument about it, so can we please stop debating this and nail them to a wall, thank you.

  • by aspx ( 808539 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:00PM (#12089741)

    "Trying" to sue?

    Sue, or sue not. There is no try.

  • Bugger (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mstyne ( 133363 ) <`gro.yeknomahpla' `ta' `ekim'> on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:06PM (#12089833) Homepage Journal
    I hope you chickenfuckers /.'ing the site are actually donating, because you're preventing me from doing so.
  • Silly (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Deliveranc3 ( 629997 ) <deliverance AT level4 DOT org> on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:06PM (#12089839) Journal
    Don't sue them wait till they make money THEN SUE THEM!

    Since it's a blatant copy you should be able to get 100% of profits and force them to take it off the market.

    Though Evil I don't understand why they should be taking donations from nice stupid people, rather than taking the money from people who buy open source software, questionably nice stupid people.

    I mean aren't lawsuits supposed to MAKE MONEY?

    Let people invest in the lawsuit :P Percentage or returns based on percentage of lawyer fees, and tell that guy to GO FOR THE THROAT!
    • Re:Silly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nsayer ( 86181 ) <> on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:40PM (#12090265) Homepage
      I mean aren't lawsuits supposed to MAKE MONEY?

      No, and this is partly what is wrong with America today.

      Lawsuits are not about profit. They are about redressing wrongs. If someone hoses you over, the law says that you are entitled to be restored to the state you would be in if you were not hosed.

      Punitive damages go a step further and (as the name implies) punish the wrongdoer for hosing you over. I believe this is where many folks get confused and think that lawsuits are all about making money (other than for lawyers). If punitive damages were paid into the U.S. Treasury (or state equivalent), it would fix a lot of ambulance-chasing that goes on today (of course, actual damages are still payable to the plaintif - they go to redress the tort that brought the parties to court in the first place).

  • by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <.paperfrog. .at.> on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:12PM (#12089913) Homepage Journal
    ... Pear sues Cherry over Apple emulation. Film at Eleven.
  • Annoying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:13PM (#12089917) Journal

    "MAC", in all capitals, stands for Media Access Control, and is the hardware address of your Ethernet card.

    "Mac" is short for "Macintosh", which is the computer made by Apple.

    Call me a stickler but I believe there is just as good a reason for this convention to be enforced as there is for the difference between "KB","Kb","kb", and "kB" to be enforced. Reply if you really need me to elaborate further.
  • by WhiteWolf666 ( 145211 ) <> on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:16PM (#12089985) Homepage Journal
    We got similar advise once. One of our supposed 'distribution partners' tried to license a product of ours, under their own name.

    They walked away from the deal, started selling a different product under that name, but claimed our performance numbers (this was a fire supression chemical), and even quoted our test results, for a totally dissimilar product!

    One of our legal staff advised us, "It's going to be a terrible pain to sue them. Rather, continue selling your products, use the same marketing literature, and 'copy-cat' them right back. Force them to sue you, if they dare."

    The PearPC community should do this to CherryOS. Create a gui, that matches CherryOS exactly.

    Release it as CherryOS Plus. Even use the same name. If they have the balls to take you to court, lots of interesting things will have to be revealed in discovery.

    It'll cost you the same amount in lawyer fees, but it'll cost them much more. (Easier to defend, especially in a GPL question, where discovery will reveal the code).
    • Bad advice (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @02:06PM (#12090594)
      I'm not sure what your lawyer was smoking but you don't cure copyright infringment by committing it yourself. You just allow the other side to remove their damages from what you would have been awarded and opened yourself up to other counterclaims and nasty defenses like "unclean hands" which could result in you being unable to pursue the case.

      It's much better to take the high road and get a good lawyer. Hopefully one will be willing to do it pro-bono or at least on contingency. Their donations should be able to cover court filing fees and document duplication costs (well, I hope). Maybe the FSF or the OSDN could assist them with the GPL aspects.
  • Sue? Why? (Score:3, Funny)

    by catdevnull ( 531283 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:48PM (#12090343)
    Cherry OS pretty much sucks right now--it'll probably die on the vine anyway. Save your legal fee money and make PearPC a better product.

    I tried installing CherryOS on several machines--following the instructions, etc. I got kernel panics from MacOS X on all of them right out of the starting gate.

    Maybe they should be called "Lemon OS" (or has Microsoft patented that one, too?)
    • Re:Sue? Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tgeller ( 10260 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @02:06PM (#12090593) Homepage
      Cherry OS pretty much sucks right now--it'll probably die on the vine anyway.

      People buy things because of their belief they'll satisfy a want. There are plenty of people who want to run Mac OS X on their PC. They'll do a search for such a product, and come up with one "hit": CherryOS.

      For every hundred people who find Maui-X's Web site this way -- and give them money based on the best information they have -- maybe one of them will also read Slashdot or some other forum where geeks say, "CherryOS sux0rs!"

      Don't kid yourself: Geekdom is a laughably insignificant factor in how consumer technology decisions are made. Geek influence correlates to the geekiness of the product.

      But the benefits CherryOS promises are NOT primarily geeky. Their tagline: "Experience Mac OS X on your PC". You don't need a CS degree to understand that.
  • by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <> on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @01:52PM (#12090407) Journal
    Apple to join in the mess and we can have a pretty nice fruit salad.

    Yes this post was ment to be pointless..... they cant all be serious

  • by Random BedHead Ed ( 602081 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @02:01PM (#12090526) Homepage Journal

    I just don't get it - who is advising Maui X-Stream? Why would the company be so dumb as to do this? Complying wouldn't hurt them at all - in fact, it could help them, and save them money as well.

    Consider: they could easily go the Apple route and built a proprietary GUI for Pear PC, while releasing their modified PearPC under the GPL and contributing their changes upstream to the original project. All this would require would be for them to post the source code for their modified PearPC on their site. Apple took this development approach with OS X (FreeBSD) and Safari (Konqueror). Probably as many people would buy CherryOS - no sales lost. But the PearPC developers would be pleased instead of litigious because they'd get development support from a company. And the company would be on friendly terms with the project, so they'd be able to work together to get the features they need for CherryOS implemented in the core project. Those features would be carried on in future versions of PearPC, ensuring that everyone has the same updates - in other words, it would be as if Maui X-Stream has more developers, without having to pay them. Money saved. Everyone happy.

    Whoever told the PearPC folks to "speak with an Attorney" should be given his or her pink slip. The company is throwing out an opportunity to save money on development, and at the same time it is steering toward a long lawsuit they'll likely lose. Where do I sign up to be their strategic consultant? I never would have thought it, but I guess I'm qualified.

  • by willfe ( 6537 ) <> on Wednesday March 30, 2005 @02:43PM (#12091058) Homepage

    The most striking piece of this article, for me, was the comment that when a PearOS developer tried to contact someone at the offending company's offices, they were just dismissed summarily with a "go talk to an attorney" response.

    In recent months I have dealt with someone who gave me two similar responses (not related to the GPL, but a bounced check). First he asked "well, since you've got my address, why don't you just come out here and arrest me?" Next in an online conversation he suggested I take his firm "I'll never honor that check" answer to the district attorney. Then, when he got the certified letter from me trying to resolve the problem without involving a court, he messaged me online inviting me to file the suit, even offering to give me a list of lawyers to consult.

    I'm amazed people still bluff like this -- he says "go on, then, sue me!" ... it's a no brainer to respond "um, okay, here's the suit" (I filed suit March 1, and take him to small claims April 11).

    This CherryOS thing is clear-cut. It's as much a no-brainer as a bounced check small claims case is. The people working at this company have to know this. There's no conceivable way every person at that company (particularly the legal team, if it exists :) could honestly believe they have a unique, new product. There's no conceivable way this guy I'm suing can "win" the case -- a bounced check is actionable by itself regardless of circumstance (not that there are any).

    There are only three possibilities in both these instances: 1) they're hoping we won't call their bluffs by actually filing suit, 2) they actually honestly think some magic loophole will save them, or 3) they really are as stupid as they seem.

    Actually, I suppose there's a fourth option: they never plan to pay a judgment when they lose. It's easy for me; sell the judgment to a collection agency for 70% of its value, move on (punitive damages will still make it worth the trouble and the cut). For PearOS, it might be harder. If they actually win a judgment, there could be an appeal process (probably will be), and by the time that's over with, even when PearOS emerges triumphant, there won't be money left in the defendant company (or it'll just file for bankruptcy) to take. Hurrah, justice is served, or something.

    I don't really know how to pick the most likely outcome here except, I suppose, to just wait and see.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.