EU court says customers can resell used software

European Court of Justice rejects "software is licensed not sold" argument by Oracle.

Although not the final judgment, the German court where Oracle sued UsedSoft to stop them from reselling Oracle licenses asked the Court of Justice for help, so the ruling will almost certainly apply. The ruling applies both to software distributed on physical media such as CD-ROM and downloaded files.

Some take exception, like Steven Shaw on ZDNet saying "There's no such thing as used software," because bits don't degrade. But courts have long ruled the First Sale Doctrine means buyers can resell products. One of the few exceptions where original sellers still have some control is fine art, since the value of an early piece will increase as the artist becomes more famous. But software? Just like that used lawnmower on Craigslist.

Die, license agreement, die

EULAs are pernicious and should be regulated. There is absolutely no justice in their use.

b-ape on

if the reseller gives away all copies, then it's a genuine sale. If the seller "keeps a spare" [b][i]then[/i][/b] it's piracy.

Rick_R on

One wonders how this will affect e-book lending or resale. They commonly come with very restrictive licenses forbidding re-sale or lending, even if not DRMed up the kazoo.

John Brown (no body) on

It's a legal thing

Damn consumers and their rights.

Yhbv24 on

Maybe the bits don't degrade over time, but the usefulness of software may degrade over time as technology advance, so yes an older version can have a "second hand" value.

lepoete73 on

A license or contract cannot take away your legal rights. (Well, not in Europe, anyway)

A Non e-mouse on

The industry will fight back

What's the over-under on everyone following Adobe's lead and turning their product into a rental service with quickly expiring short-term licenses?

Fentras on

but that doesn't mean that the software company has to honor any upgrade or support that came with the original purchase.

William Farrel on

You have a right to sell your purchased Steam games, but steam doesn't have to make it easy for you.

Kia on

Who wins this argument in the US: customers, or more lawyers billing more hours for more cases?

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