Worms in the Apple

Two rebels take on America's most beloved computer company.

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 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 in 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 after the company struck back, 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 X 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.

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