SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Wednesday sided with Apple Inc. in a copyright suit against a small computer maker that installed the Mac OS X operating system on the machines it sold.

Upholding U.S. District Judge William Alsup, the unanimous three-judge panel in Apple v. Psystar, 10-15113, rejected Psystar Corp.’s “copyright misuse” defense challenging Apple’s Software License Agreement. Psystar argued that the licensing agreement was unenforceable because it required Mac OS X users to run the software exclusively on Apple machines. Psystar said the Copyright Act only protects Apple against unauthorized copying and distribution of the operating software and not use once it’s purchased.

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