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EU Court Rules Second Hand Software Licences Are Legal

judgecorp (778838) writes | more than 2 years ago

Oracle 1

judgecorp writes "The European Court of Justice has ruled that selling on second-hand software licences is legal. Oracle had tried to ban German company UsedSoft from reselling its users' licences, but the court found in UsedSoft's favour, in a case which could affect all companies selling software in Europe."
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An Excellent Ruling (1)

redlemming (2676941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40541397)

If my understanding of this ruling is correct, this means that at least one court has decided that re-sale of software should be handled in a manner similar to the re-sale of books.

That is an excellent idea, and the way such things should be handled in any rational legal system.

As a class within society, legal professionals are in a position of ethical conflict of interest with respect to the scope of contract law. After all, much of the work that legal professionals do is ultimately contract related. The broader the scope of contract law, the greater the demand for the services of legal professionals.

There is also an ethics issue that results from having two sets of laws (copyright and/or other intellectual property law, plus contract law) that the consumer must understand to know what they can or can not do with the software they purchase, instead of just one body of law.

The greater the complexity of a legal system, the greater the demand for the services of legal professionals. It can be argued that legal professionals are acting unethically when they permit unnecessary complexity to be part of any legal system.

The basic concept of software or "shrink-wrap" licenses has always been ethically and legally suspect, as a result of these conflicts of interest.

Assuming we allow "shrink-wrap" licenses in the first place (something that could only legitimately be done after careful consideration of the ethics issues, and an issue that ultimately needs to be decided by people that are NOT making their living from the practice of law), then it makes a great deal of sense to limit what can be done with these licenses.

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