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Used Software Can Be Sold, Says EU Court of Justice

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the over-and-over-and-over dept.

Oracle 385

Sique writes "An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licenses allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet. The exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by such a license is exhausted on its first sale. This was decided [Tuesday] (PDF) by the Court of Justice of the European Union in a case of Used Soft GmbH v. Oracle International Corp.."

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385 comments

Happy Tuesday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526299)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Absolutely amazed by this decision (5, Insightful)

RoverDaddy (869116) | about 2 years ago | (#40526313)

This has enormous implications. I just wonder how many threats to 'take their ball and go home' will ensue, followed by threads of 'I'm getting my dad (the US government)'.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (4, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40526371)

What can the U.S. government do against the whole of the E.U.? I suppose this decision means I can sell my Microsoft Office 2010 license on ebay. Yay! I never use the software anyway. (I wonder if I can sell ebooks too? Or maybe just the whole amazon account; ebooks and all.)

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526535)

There is a lot of prior art. Today, in other news [slashdot.org] , first thread:

So if you do something that is not a crime in your own country, but is in another, yet you never set foot in that country, you can now be extradited? Wouldn't that fall under persecution grounds for asylum? Maybe I should check with the Equadorian Embassy...

Only so long as the crime is committed IN the country it is illegal in.

> Only so long as the country the alleged crime was committed in is the USA.

There. Fixed that for you.

I can see them easily adapt bilateral (LOL) agreements to cover sales of software.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526717)

What can the U.S. government do against the whole of the E.U.?

What CAN'T it do? According to libertarians around here, the US government is an evil regime that takes the worst parts of fascism and socialism, and it is totally out of control. When you're that evil, there's no limit on what you can't do to promote your evil agenda.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (0)

ZankerH (1401751) | about 2 years ago | (#40526865)

according to libertarians

There's your cue.

I wonder what happens with volume licenses? (5, Interesting)

shione (666388) | about 2 years ago | (#40526773)

1. buy laptop with a forced copy of windows
2. extract windows key
3. rplace windows with Linux
4. sell windows on ebay
5. ????
6. profit!

Interestingly, if you could get more than $3 from selling windows which you most probably could, it would beat begging the oem to refund you the windows price.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526835)

They can snipe offenders with drones. After all pirates are terrorists.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#40526471)

I wonder if this has any implications for game developers?

I've always though the tactic of enabling multiplayer (and nowadays even some single player) via a code that's become prevalent in just about every console game over the last year or two really stank of a complete breach of the precedent of the right to sell your content on second hand.

Similarly, I wonder if it has any implications for Valve, with whom you're forced to activate some games with to prevent resale?

I know a lot of people here will defend Valve etc., but really, computer software is about the only product I know of whereby you're artificially prevented from selling on in the same working manner you can consume it in second hand. Toasters, clothes, cars, music CDs, DVDs, books, plants, furniture, washing machines - just what other products are there other than games that have these artificially restrictions in place to prevent resale? Should they really be allowed to get away with it by simply claiming they're anti-piracy measures when we all know the pirates nearly always get their copies earlier precisely because they don't contain these measures?

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#40526571)

I've always though the tactic of enabling multiplayer (and nowadays even some single player) via a code that's become prevalent in just about every console game over the last year or two really stank of a complete breach of the precedent of the right to sell your content on second hand.

Assuming you mean online multiplayer, the developer/publisher provides the service that allows the multiplayer to happen. It's underhanded, true, but also understandable, as (usage of) the service is licensed separately to the game itself.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40526793)

I've always though the tactic of enabling multiplayer (and nowadays even some single player) via a code that's become prevalent in just about every console game over the last year or two really stank of a complete breach of the precedent of the right to sell your content on second hand.

Assuming you mean online multiplayer, the developer/publisher provides the service that allows the multiplayer to happen. It's underhanded, true, but also understandable, as (usage of) the service is licensed separately to the game itself.

Except that owners of the game are locked to the developer/publisher servers, making the ability to connect to them compulsory to using the product to its fullest.

If these publishers gave game purchasers the option to set up and connect to private servers, you might have a legit argument there.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40526805)

Oh, wait - Valve. Yea, they do that.

For some reason I keep thinking you're talking console games...

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#40526831)

"Assuming you mean online multiplayer, the developer/publisher provides the service that allows the multiplayer to happen. It's underhanded, true, but also understandable, as (usage of) the service is licensed separately to the game itself."

Does it? XBox Live costs me £40 a year and multiplayer on every single game I've played bar Battlefield 3 is peer to peer. I don't disagree with you if we're talking about something like WoW where there is significant server overhead, I don't even disagree with something like BF3, though ironically with BF3 not only have they introduced a subscription service, they've actually stopped providing 99.99% of their servers and instead charge people to run their own. I guess I can't fault them as it works, but certainly on consoles there's negligible expenditure on multiplayer costs - the bulk of it is paid for by Microsoft by way of the Live infrastructure rather than the games companies themselves.

It's frustrating too, because me and my girlfriend both enjoyed Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, we both have an XBox, and we both have a Live subscription, yet because of the activation code she can't play multiplayer whilst I'm playing a different game on my console without paying yet another £10 despite the fact we already paid for the game first hand.

Effectively we've reached a point now where you have to actually buy a copy of many games for every person in the house that wants to play multiplayer, rather than where you'd just need a copy per household previously. We're quick to criticise the music industry because they've been trying to make us rebuy content we've already paid for for years now, but we seem to have sleepwalked into allowing games companies to get away with exactly this.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (4, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#40526611)

Valve is in a great position regarding this. You can already gift games to other players; They just need to enable gifting of currently owned games and Bob's your mother's brother. Hell, it may occur that Steam gets more subscribers as games are gifted to people who aren't currently subscribed. Licenses held in escrow until someone creates an account to redeem them? PayPal does that with money already.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526877)

"gift" is a noun.
"give" is a verb.

Look it up.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#40526881)

That's absolutely the best way forward for consumers, but will they do it?

As I say I'm not convinced for one moment "activation" is about piracy. It's exactly the same thing the music industry has been dreaming of and trying to peddle for years - it's about trying to force people to always have to buy first hand, and to force households to rebuy the same content as many times as possible.

I sincerely hope I'm proven wrong, Valve will be deserving of a massive amount of kudos if they do this.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40526591)

Game developers already have a solution. Make the game require internet access with a single use code. You can sell the game but it is worthless without a new code.

Similarly you can be the next version of RandomApp Pro 2013 will require online activation tied to your email address and with no way to change or update it.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526755)

In that case the following logical step would be to sue companies who disallow transferring the code/account to another user. Never stop fighting for your rights.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 years ago | (#40526869)

The problem was moved from consumers to the companies and developers. I am sure that software developers can come up with some creative solutions if they want to. The sad thing is that most likely they will try not to comply with this new ruling, and will fight it until the bitter end, instead of just accepting it and solving the problems that they face now.

Totally agree that you should never stop fighting for your rights!

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526769)

Similarly you can be the next version of RandomApp Pro 2013 will require online activation tied to your email address and with no way to change or update it.

Judges tend to dislike when you try to "hack" around the law. Feel free to try but don't act surprised when you get fined.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (2)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#40526891)

"...cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licenses..."

I see the basis for a lawsuit contending single use code is an obstruction to the consumer's right to resale.

Re:Absolutely amazed by this decision (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 years ago | (#40526603)

I'm amazed, but also delighted. It shows that Big Business can still lose a case against Common Sense.

Just in time... (2)

bluescrn (2120492) | about 2 years ago | (#40526315)

Once Win8 is here and Win7 is withdrawn from sale... there'll be a good supply of pre-loved Win7 licenses!

Re:Just in time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526363)

Unlike Vista; those licenses only come pre-hated.

Re:Just in time... (5, Interesting)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 2 years ago | (#40526477)

Upgrades are a special case. When you upgrade "most" products, you don't get another license... the old one is extinguished the moment you activate the new one.

Also, did the court rule that consumers have the *right* to buy & sell used licenses, or merely that it doesn't constitute infringement? Big difference -- in case 1, the licensor must cooperate. In case 2, they can't sue you, but can use DRM to render the used license worthless.

Re:Just in time... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40526597)

Besides, almost all of those Win7 licenses will be OEM. Non-transferable.

Re:Just in time... (3, Interesting)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 2 years ago | (#40526673)

It depends on how it was worded. There are many rights that can not be given up or overwritten by contract. If that were the case non transferable would not be legal and MS would be compelled to allow it. I doubt this ruling went that far.

Re:Just in time... (1)

somarilnos (2532726) | about 2 years ago | (#40526687)

It's worth noting, in the ruling attached, that the license that was ruled on was non-transferable as well.

"The licence agreement gives the customer a non-transferable user right for an unlimited period, exclusively for his internal business purposes."

Re:Just in time... (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 2 years ago | (#40526747)

This isn't true for Germany (and the rest of the EU AFAIK).
Courts over here have ruled years ago that taking OEM software licenses out of a bundle and selling them separately is legal.
Microsoft was not amused, but have (kind of) learnt to live with it.

Re:Just in time... (4, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#40526629)

The core ruling can be found at the end of Page 1:

Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy – tangible or intangible
– and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a licence agreement
granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that rightholder
sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right. Such a
transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy.

So the Court ruled that the buyer of any non-expiring software license (consumer or not) has the ownership of the copy and is untrestricted in his right to sell the copy.

Re:Just in time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526655)

from the judgment linked in the sumary (PDF)

"Moreover, the exhaustion of the distribution right extends to the copy of the computer program sold as corrected and updated"

this seems to suggest that upgrades are NOT a special case...

"even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy."

i would think this would prohibit the use of DRM to prevent a resale as it could be seen as opposing the resale of the copy...

Re:Just in time... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 2 years ago | (#40526661)

RE: "they can't sue you, but can use DRM to render the used license worthless"

i am sure somebody will make a key gen & spoof tool and gently break the "call home to the mothership" feature and/or third party windows update so microsoft never even sees the second-hand licensed winders OSs & office

Re:Just in time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526679)

Here is the entire decision :

An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his ‘used’ licences allowing the
use of his programs downloaded from the internet
The exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by such a licence is
exhausted on its first sale
Oracle develops and distributes, in particular by downloading from the internet, computer programs
functioning as ‘client-server software’. The customer downloads a copy of the program directly onto
his computer from Oracle’s website. The user right for such a program, which is granted by a
licence agreement, includes the right to store a copy of the program permanently on a server and
to allow up to 25 users to access it by downloading it to the main memory of their work-station
computers. The licence agreement gives the customer a non-transferable user right for an
unlimited period, exclusively for his internal business purposes. On the basis of a maintenance
agreement, updated versions of the software (updates) and programs for correcting faults
(patches) can also be downloaded from Oracle’s website.
UsedSoft is a German undertaking which markets licences acquired from customers of Oracle.
Customers of UsedSoft who are not yet in possession of the software download it directly from
Oracle’s website after acquiring a ‘used’ licence. Customers who already have that software can
purchase a further licence or part of a licence for additional users. In that case they download the
software to the main memory of the work stations of those other users.
Oracle brought proceedings against UsedSoft in the German courts, seeking an order for it to
cease those practices. The Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, Germany), which has to
rule on the dispute as court of final instance, made a reference to the Court of Justice for it to
interpret, in this context, the directive on the legal protection of computer programs.
Under that directive, the first sale in the EU of a copy of a computer program by the copyright
holder or with his consent exhausts the right of distribution of that copy in the EU. A rightholder
who has marketed a copy in the territory of a Member State of the EU thus loses the right to rely on
his monopoly of exploitation in order to oppose the resale of that copy. In the present case, Oracle
claims that the principle of exhaustion laid down by the directive does not apply to user licences for
computer programs downloaded from the internet.
By its judgment delivered today, the Court explains that the principle of exhaustion of the
distribution right applies not only where the copyright holder markets copies of his
software on a material medium (CD-ROM or DVD) but also where he distributes them by
means of downloads from his website.
Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy – tangible or intangible
– and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a licence agreement
granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that rightholder
sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right. Such a
transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy. Therefore, even if the licence
agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of
that copy.
The Court observes in particular that limiting the application of the principle of the exhaustion of the
distribution right solely to copies of computer programs that are sold on a material medium would
allow the copyright holder to control the resale of copies downloaded from the internet and to
demand further remuneration on the occasion of each new sale, even though the first sale of the
copy had already enabled the rightholder to obtain appropriate remuneration. Such a restriction of
the resale of copies of computer programs downloaded from the internet would go beyond what is
necessary to safeguard the specific subject-matter of the intellectual property concerned.
Moreover, the exhaustion of the distribution right extends to the copy of the computer
program sold as corrected and updated by the copyright holder. Even if the maintenance
agreement is for a limited period, the functionalities corrected, altered or added on the basis of
such an agreement form an integral part of the copy originally downloaded and can be used by the
customer for an unlimited period.
The Court points out, however, that if the licence acquired by the first acquirer relates to a greater
number of users than he needs, that acquirer is not authorised by the effect of the exhaustion of
the distribution right to divide the licence and resell only part of it.
Furthermore, the Court states that an original acquirer of a tangible or intangible copy of a
computer program for which the copyright holder’s right of distribution is exhausted must make
the copy downloaded onto his own computer unusable at the time of resale. If he continued
to use it, he would infringe the copyright holder’s exclusive right of reproduction of his computer
program. In contrast to the exclusive right of distribution, the exclusive right of reproduction is not
exhausted by the first sale. However, the directive authorises any reproduction that is necessary
for the use of the computer program by the lawful acquirer in accordance with its intended purpose.
Such reproduction may not be prohibited by contract.
In this context, the Court’s answer is that any subsequent acquirer of a copy for which the
copyright holder’s distribution right is exhausted constitutes such a lawful acquirer. He can
therefore download onto his computer the copy sold to him by the first acquirer. Such a download
must be regarded as a reproduction of a computer program that is necessary to enable the new
acquirer to use the program in accordance with its intended purpose.
Therefore the new acquirer of the user licence, such as a customer of UsedSoft, may, as a
lawful acquirer of the corrected and updated copy of the computer program concerned,
download that copy from the copyright holder’s website.

Re:Just in time... (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | about 2 years ago | (#40526555)

You'd likely have to buy a full Win 8 though. Otherwise Microsoft has nothing stopping them from saying "Well, this is an addition to Win 7. You no longer own Win 7, so this addition license is no longer valid. You can just buy a new Win 7 license for this to work with."

Diablo 3 refunds? (3, Interesting)

Rooked_One (591287) | about 2 years ago | (#40526317)

I hope so... I know it won't happen in the US.... Which actually says a lot. As Americans we are used to getting what we paid for. If something sucks, we're entitled to our money back.

Re:Diablo 3 refunds? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526351)

Got my Diablo 3 refunded from Amazon... now I have the game and the money :)

Re:Diablo 3 refunds? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40526385)

Just try getting your money back for software after you've opened the package, installed it and concluded it's not with the money.

According to DRM you won't have the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526739)

After all, installing the game is no longer enough: you need a valid account.

Account shut down? No game is retained.

DRMd copy protections mean that you give back the disk and no longer have the game.

But not even they believe it works.

Re:Diablo 3 refunds? (5, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 2 years ago | (#40526389)

I hope so... I know it won't happen in the US.... Which actually says a lot. As Americans we are used to getting what we paid for. If something sucks, we're entitled to our money back.

No refunds in the US, but you can still sell it. I've made a separate Bliz account for each of their recent products and sold the account when I'm done with it. For their two most recent games, "done" came two days after purchase.

Re:Diablo 3 refunds? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40526867)

I've made a separate Bliz account for each of their recent products and sold the account when I'm done with it.

Clever :)

Re:Diablo 3 refunds? (1)

neokushan (932374) | about 2 years ago | (#40526399)

I don't see why this would affect refunds of licenses? It's seems to deal more with the transfer of licenses to another party. What I'd like to know is how this affects digital distribution like app stores, steam, xbox live and so on. That is, IF it affects them. I have a huge collection of games on steam and XBLA that I don't play much these days.. I'd love to be able to ebay them.

Re:Diablo 3 refunds? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40526599)

>>> If something sucks, we're entitled to our money back.

Exactly.
This applies to DVDs and CDs too. I refuse to buy either if I can't later return them for refund or store credit, when the content sucks.

   

Re:Diablo 3 refunds? (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 2 years ago | (#40526721)

Why? You can secretly love the movie, but pretend it "sucks" (what defines sucks, btw?) and take it back. Free rental isn't a good business model for anyone.

You can't watch a movie, then go back to the ticket counter for a refund because you didn't like it. You CAN, however, if the sound cut out half way through, or the audience unduly interfered with your ability to watch the movie. You can't get your money back for a football game that sucked. Entertainment follows completely different rules when it comes to consume r ights. Was the game played in its entirety, without undue distraction or delays? Then what's the problem? Oh, your team didn't win (you didn't like the book, you hated the movie, you don't like the singers voice)? That's a shame. You still got the product that was promised as part of the contract between you and the content provider when you purchased the "ticket".

Re:Diablo 3 refunds? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40526887)

Why? You can secretly love the movie, but pretend it "sucks" (what defines sucks, btw?) and take it back. Free rental isn't a good business model for anyone.

You can't watch a movie, then go back to the ticket counter for a refund because you didn't like it. You CAN, however, if the sound cut out half way through, or the audience unduly interfered with your ability to watch the movie. You can't get your money back for a football game that sucked. Entertainment follows completely different rules when it comes to consume r ights. Was the game played in its entirety, without undue distraction or delays? Then what's the problem? Oh, your team didn't win (you didn't like the book, you hated the movie, you don't like the singers voice)? That's a shame. You still got the product that was promised as part of the contract between you and the content provider when you purchased the "ticket".

Strawman: One-time event tickets != durable goods.

Re:Diablo 3 refunds? (2)

niado (1650369) | about 2 years ago | (#40526823)

>>> If something sucks, we're entitled to our money back.

Exactly. This applies to DVDs and CDs too. I refuse to buy either if I can't later return them for refund or store credit, when the content sucks.

I disagree. If something is defective, the consumer should have the right to exchange it for a non-defective product. If the product functions properly (and the seller was not using deceptive trade practices), but the purchaser just doesn't really like it, it would be unethical to return the product in many cases. Many vendors allow the return of products for any reason or no reason, as a customer courtesy, and many jurisdictions have laws governing this, but claiming that this behavior is a "right" is a little off the mark.

Well of Course (5, Insightful)

jasper160 (2642717) | about 2 years ago | (#40526319)

Why not? I can re-sell my car, books, records, and cassettes. Software should be no different.

Re:Well of Course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526365)

The argument is naturally is that you own the book but you are only licensed to use the software.
Still this ruling will annoy a lot of US Companies.

They should look at this as an opportunity to sell support for pre-owned software. They'd have to be careful not to charge more than for 1st use customers of the EU Court might get interested in handing out a large fine.(MS, we are looking at you!)

Re:Well of Course (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 years ago | (#40526465)

The argument is naturally is that you own the book but you are only licensed to use the software. Still this ruling will annoy a lot of US Companies.

That argument is bullshit and always has been. It's nice to see a court (albeit European) finally recognize it for once!

Re:Well of Course (3, Informative)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 years ago | (#40526951)

You missunderstand what the court here "recognizes". As most EU court articels posted on /. are missleading anyway.
A software copy can and always could eb resold. However: the law was ambigous regarding software that was bought via a download. So Oracle claimed that software that was bought and downlaoded from their website would not be allowed to be resold.
The EU court clarified: it does not matter whether the software was bought on CD/DVD or via the internet.
Hence: no surprising ruling, as the basic matter is defined by law anyway.

Re:Well of Course (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 2 years ago | (#40526779)

They will just licence software on an hourly basis
Say, a $60 game with 120 hours playtime, or an OS charged at 10c/hour of usage

Re:Well of Course (4, Insightful)

w.hamra1987 (1193987) | about 2 years ago | (#40526397)

well... because software is not a physical object like cars, books and records... you can not "own" it in the sense of ownership you do to physical object... but wait... all the stupid *intellectual property* laws enforced in the last few decades... claimed IP can be owned like physical property... hmm... someone is struggling with basic logic in the capitalism and mass theft department...

Re:Well of Course (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40526565)

It's typical whiney super-corporations wanting it both ways. They don't care if they have hypocritical reasoning as long as they get what they want.

Re:Well of Course (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40526609)

Imagine if books came wrapped in an EULA that said you own a license to the story and cannot resell it. That would never be stood for, unless it is an eBook.

Re:Well of Course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526699)

Imagine if books came wrapped in an EULA that said you own a license to the story and cannot resell it. That would never be stood for, unless it is an eBook.

They do come with exactly that kind of "license". You are not allowed to reprint the story, the license is bound to that one specific physical copy and transfers with the physical copy.

Re:Well of Course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526809)

They do not. You own a book. You can do whatever you choose with it, within the law.
Now there is a set of laws that govern distributing other copies of that work, as well as preparing and distributing derivative works.
Those other laws don't mean you own a "license" instead of a book.

Re:Well of Course (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#40526697)

the sw is installed on a machine. how about a car company saying you can't resell the engines chip sw?

Re:Well of Course (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40526405)

It should be even more resellable. Your software hasn't been degraded by your having used it.

Re:Well of Course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526493)

Well... it will be outdated, unsupported, no more security updates, vendor refuses to give you support unless you buy a license on your name and probably some things I forget.

Re:Well of Course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526507)

Software usually licensed, in which case the first sale doctrine does not apply (since 2010)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernor_v._Autodesk,_Inc.

Re:Well of Course (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40526581)

Then it is not "property."

When property is sold right of first sale applies. It's not "property," you better make up a new term.

Re:Well of Course (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#40526849)

English evolves, man. You can't stop it. You can rarely make up a new term and purposely have people use it. More likely you'll just have to accept that people will use the same word for two slightly different things.

Re:Well of Course (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 2 years ago | (#40526751)

Because software doesnt "wear out"

So what about the stores? (1)

Snaller (147050) | about 2 years ago | (#40526329)

All the stores without exception say you can not get your money back if you have opened the shink wrap.

I wonder if this ruling affect that.

Re:So what about the stores? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526361)

How does this apply in any way what you described?
Stores can't forbid you to resell something you opened to someone else...

Re:So what about the stores? (4, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 years ago | (#40526369)

What does that have to do with it? This ruling is about people being allowed to sell software copies they own to other people, not forcing stores to buy those copies.

Re:So what about the stores? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526481)

That is true, and it does not mean a thing about refunds directly.

However publishers in the EU now have to decide "Do we want used copies of our software out there, now that it's been deemed legal to resell them. Or will we remove our refusal/ban on refunds."

Additionally it means even if a store is still not allowed to accept refunds, there's not a lick the publishers can do if they buy, and later resell, the now used copies of the software.

I expect this judgement of common sense to be quickly lobbied into oblivion in the near future.

Re:So what about the stores? (5, Informative)

imagined.by (2589739) | about 2 years ago | (#40526381)

In Europe, or at least in Germany, this never was really the case. Simple reason: You can only read the license agreement AFTER you open the box, which makes everything in the EULA null and void. Common sense if you ask me.

Not really surprising really.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526343)

I won't even ask why these enlightened decisions always come from the EU.
Where the fuck is the US ?
So the enlightenment is back in Europe while the dark ages are in full throttle in the US.
Interesting century we're living in.

Re:Not really surprising really.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526355)

Who gives a shit the queers in the US do?

Re:Not really surprising really.... (1)

richy freeway (623503) | about 2 years ago | (#40526403)

Richard O'Dwyer does.

Re:Not really surprising really.... (-1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40526455)

Hold on pardner. I think you've forgotten the EU's currency is on the verge of breaking-up. Even if it manages to hold together, their economy is likely to fall into the "dark ages" before ours. Two of the EU states have already lost their democratic-elected leaders... replaced by banker puppets through EU dictate.

Re:Not really surprising really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526547)

Wow, even by clueless American Slashdotter standards, that reply is really astoundingly misinformed!

Re:Not really surprising really.... (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40526703)

Okay Anon. Coward. Do you think this British representative in EU Parliament is also a "clueless american"?
- "Nigel Farage: puppet governments in Greece & Italy"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5mjIuGObtM [youtube.com]
Transcript:
"Here we are on the edge of a financial and social disaster and in the room today we have the four men who are supposed to be responsible. And yet we have listened to the dullest most, technocratic speeches I've ever heard.

"You are all in denial. By any objective measure the euro is a failure. And who exactly is responsible, who is in charge out of all you lot? The answer is none of you because none of you have been elected; none of you have any democratic legitimacy for the roles you currently hold within this crisis.

"And into this vacuum, albeit reluctantly, has stepped Angela Merkel. And we are now living in a German-dominated Europe - something that the European project was actually supposed to stop. Something that those who went before us actually paid a heavy price in blood to prevent. I don't want to live in a German-dominated Europe and nor do the citizens of Europe.

"But you guys have played a role, because when Mr Papandreou got up and used the word 'referendum' you ousted him. Or Mr Rehn, you described it as 'a breach of confidence', and your friends here got together like a pack of hyenas, rounded on Papandreou, had him removed and replaced by a puppet Government. That was an absolutely disgusting spectacle that was.

"And not satisfied with that, you decided that Berlesconi had to go. So he was removed and replaced by Mr Monti, a former European Commissioner, a fellow architect of this Euro disaster and a man who wasn't even a member of parliament.

"It's getting like an Agatha Christie novel, where we're trying to work out who is the next person that's going to be bumped off. The difference is, we know who the villains are. You should all be held accountable for what you've done. You should all be fired.

"And I have to say, Mr Van Rompuy. 18 months ago when we first met, I was wrong about you. I said you would be the quiet assassin of nation states' democracy, but not anymore, you are rather noisy about it aren't you. You, an unelected man, went to Italy and said, 'This is not the time for elections but the time for actions'. What in God's name gives you the right to say that to the Italian people."

Re:Not really surprising really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526827)

Okay Anon. Coward. Do you think this British representative in EU Parliament is also a "clueless american"?

And since when did the British start using the Euro currency? Of course that guy said that, it is good for Britain that the Euro loses value you smart ass!

Re:Not really surprising really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526715)

Nice troll !

Re:Not really surprising really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526735)

I think you've forgotten the EU's currency is on the verge of breaking-up.

Says who? American media? I'm getting tired about this anti-EU / pro-USA behavior on /.

Re:Not really surprising really.... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40526855)

>>>Says who? American media? I'm getting tired about this anti-EU / pro-USA behavior on /.

Oh look. Another person slagging off on the "dumb Americans" or "stupid USA" media. Europeans love to hate us Americans. Well here's a BRITISH man saying the exact same thing I just said, and not just any British man, but an esteemed member of the European Union's Parliament:

http://www.ukipmeps.org/articles_367_Nigel-Farage-Euro-Break-Up-Just-a-Question-of-How.html [ukipmeps.org]

Transcript:

"It's a great shame Mr Van Rompuy's not here because a month ago he told us the worst was over, we'd reached the turning point. He even told us that he'd solved the Euro crisis! Well, today we've got a more realistic Mr Barroso who says if we follow his policies and stick together we can solve this in the end! Sorry! No one believes you anymore, and actually, in the face of the rapidly deteriorating situation these comments look ridiculous.

In Spain mass unemployment gathers by the day and internal democracy in Spain is now under threat. In Italy where we were told Mr Monti would sort it all out, growth figures are falling and the bond spreads are worsening and now an IMF official has come out and said that it is obvious that at some point the Euro break-up will happen. ................ Mercifully, outside of this institution, economists the world over now say that it is inevitable that the Euro will break up. It is just a question of how. And I really hope that the IMF now decide to stop pouring good money after bad into these bailouts and I really do hope that not one penny piece more of British taxpayers' money goes into propping something up that should be allowed to die."

I believe the Euro MAY still survive.
But it won't be any fun.

Re:Not really surprising really.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526893)

He's not American, and probably not clueless but rather actively malicious. Anyone who decries the ousting of Berlusconi (a man more ruthlessly corrupt than anyone in the Bush administration ever was) in the name of democracy is so far beyond reasonable discourse that it's not funny. And remember, Britain does not have the Euro, and a major reason the current UK government was voted into power is their constant fear-mongering over the currency.

Meh, the entire quote smacks of typical wannabe Old-Boy Imperialism. "We won the war, but no matter how much we fuck over our own country the rest of Europe won't listen to us."

Re:Not really surprising really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526907)

STFU and go back inside home before someone from the bad neighborhoods shots you in the face

Re:Not really surprising really.... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40526615)

Not really.

The EU's currency is a mess and is breaking up. Many EU countries are implementing currency controls. Economically the EU is dead.

The EU gets some things right but a lot of things wrong. Like the new law put in effect that you have to display an annoying message if you use cookies. If you don't want cookies, disable them in your browser. An option that has existed since cookies were invented.

Re:Not really surprising really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526787)

The EU's currency is a mess and is breaking up. Many EU countries are implementing currency controls. Economically the EU is dead.

WRONG. Politically, the EU is a mess. The Economical trouble is just temporary and due to bad political lidership.

Re:Not really surprising really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526651)

I won't even ask why these enlightened decisions always come from the EU.
Where the fuck is the US ?
So the enlightenment is back in Europe while the dark ages are in full throttle in the US.
Interesting century we're living in.

Hasn't this pretty much been the case always? I mean we pretty much invented enlightenment [wikipedia.org] here.

Re:Not really surprising really.... (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40526741)

Hasn't this pretty much been the case always?

Well, there was that whole "Nazi" era in Germany.

Re:Not really surprising really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526947)

Hasn't this pretty much been the case always?

Well, there was that whole "Nazi" era in Germany.

Your point being?

Re:Not really surprising really.... (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40526709)

You mean the U.S., whose Congress is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate America?

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526349)

Since this is copyright, I wonder what impact (if any) it will have on that French rule whereby every time a painting is sold the original painter gets a cut of the sale? It seems to be the same principle - copyright.

Re:Interesting (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about 2 years ago | (#40526391)

Depends, are you talking about the original painting, or just copies of it? I don't see why the original painter would get a cut of the sale of print copies of the original work.

Re:Interesting (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#40526539)

France has historically had different philosophical underpinning for their copyright law. While the British and American traditions are based on a pragmatic system intended to further creativity by loaning the author a portion of their freedom to encourage authorship, the French take a more author centric viewpoint, believing that the author has a natural right to the works they have authored.

The right in question is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droit_de_suite [wikipedia.org]

DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526419)

so basically DRM has to be transferable to new parties now...

awesome sauce. =)

this means i can sell all my old Steam/Impulse/Origin games now right?

(please don't let me be dreaming)

Donating for free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526439)

Suppose I buy an Oracle product, (not that I ever would), does this mean I own it? So other things I own I can give away for free. Can I do that with my Oracle software? Suppose since I own it I say, I don't care if you make copies of it and give those away too...

Re:Donating for free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526511)

You own the exact copy you bought and can sell/give it to somebody. But copyright is still in effect, you are not allowed to keep copies.

Re:Donating for free? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#40526551)

No, you own the particular copy of the work, but not the copyright to the work.

Re:Donating for free? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#40526665)

You are not buying an Oracle product. You are buying a license to copy and use the Oracle product. You can sell that license or give it away, but then you do not have the license, and you are not legally allowed to use the product, and you don't have another license to sell or give away again.

Re:Donating for free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526753)

The only problem is that now Orcale cannot know which user has obtained the license legally and which illegally

Bad new for autodesk (2)

shione (666388) | about 2 years ago | (#40526469)

Bad news for autodesk who are vehemently opposed to used copies of autocad being sold on places like fleabay. Between versions of autocad which autodesk releases new versions annually there isn't a massive difference in features but if you want it it will cost you one price only - full rrp or close thereof. That is because as soon as the new version comes out the old stock is recalled so the shops cannot discount the older version and second hand sellers are quickly shut down.

Autodesk will also only upgrade from versions that are not that old, so people cannot 'catch up' if they left it a while .

AutoDesk will be pissed (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#40526489)

They have fought tooth and nail to keep their "software as a revocable license" model so that they can continue to extort huge sums of money from the industries they service. I expect them to throw their resources at legislative change to "fix" this European problem.

Re:AutoDesk will be pissed (4, Interesting)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 2 years ago | (#40526649)

I expect them to throw their resources at legislative change to "fix" this European problem.

you're dead-on.

Oracle's press release [oracle.com] says:

We trust that this is not the end of the legal development, and that the EU Member States as well as the European Commission will be doing all they can to protect innovation and investment in Europe’s technology industry and to prevent business models which threaten both.

or - in short - WE HATE YOUR LAWS. CHANGE THEM.

How can developers now know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40526559)

How can developers now know which user is a legitimate user and which just got the activation key from some internet forum?

Re:How can developers now know (1)

shione (666388) | about 2 years ago | (#40526819)

The same way they stop (or dont stop) people installing onto multiple computers.

Developers have to contend with this issue already when people format their computers and need a new activation key.

While a nice ruling on the surface... (2)

somarilnos (2532726) | about 2 years ago | (#40526885)

...it will be interesting to see how software companies respond. I guarantee you that the ability to resell software will need to be accounted for by companies needing to make a profit in some way.

I get the feeling that this might eventually create more companies going with limited licensing - i.e. updates for one year from the date of purchase, things like that. Anti-virus companies will be all set, since they already do that. Games like World of Warcraft? They charge you monthly anyway, so they're not going to have to adapt.

Given how much software is sold now with unlimited license, something is going to have to give. Either prices for that license will go up, companies will go the route of, say, EA and just focus their efforts on producing new things they can sell rather than supporting their existing software, or there will be more limited term licenses.

All in all, as much as it sounds like on the surface, I don't think this is a positive thing for consumers in the long run.

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