Sell used software is legal

In the battle between a giant computer science and a small German company has won the reality of the child. In this latest edition of David against Goliath declined to the world of the players had the Oracle and UsedSoft, finished to the European Court of Justice for litigation in relation to an original praxis: the resale of software used. The judgment held that, contrary to what one might imagine, the transaction is entirely lawful. The software downloadable from the Internet can therefore be resold by the buyer to its customers, but for a different number of users than originally authorized by the license.

No difference, then, between physical media and online software packages. According to the college judging, when the UsedSoft has resold the licenses at a discounted price of operating systems Oracle “second hand” did not commit any act other than just copying from a CD or transferred to another computer software whose number of copies is already established. The concept is pretty clear (n a judgment of 90 articles in which it is easy, however, be lost.

The distribution rights of the copy of a computer program is exhausted if the holder of copyright, which has authorized, even if only for free, download a copy of a computer support via the Internet has also given, on payment a price to enabling the achievement of a remuneration corresponding to the economic value of the copy of which is owned, the right to use the copy itself, indefinitely.

In a nutshell, it means that the holder of a copyright exhausts the right to use the software by paying a license and upon transferring his client can use it for an unlimited period and in any manner it deems within the limits of the license same as if the holder, in a sense, it was him.

However, the Curia has placed two restrictions on the resale rights, applied to the case and that from now on will be the case: no partition software package to prevent the maximum number of copies, and, more importantly, the purchaser copy of the program for which it exhausts the distribution right is to ensure that the downloaded copy is unusable. That is, if it is the distributor of the software to be able to say when it runs out the use of the copy, it’s up to who sells it.

As you can see, the issue is quite complex and Europe is an economic culture with the U.S., where for some time the law says that copyright gives owners control over the samples of their products. For this reason UsedSoft, Germany, was inspired when it happens overseas: a brokerage company for employees of a company that uses software in-house regains licensing programs you no longer need to deploy them more effectively and putting them to fruition. A market of software downloaded which irritates the big companies, but in fact it harms no licenses already being purchased.

Oracle has not technically lost the case, because the final judgment will be for the German judge who asked the European Court an opinion, but the ruling from Luxembourg almost certainly will form the basis of the final judgment in Germany. Oracle, whose revenues come largely from contracts for maintenance, had tried to argue that not only sells software licenses. Having determined that the judge is an “artificial distinction” has in fact opened a new avenue of business in Europe.