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Re: [upcoming] The European Court of Justice on 'Software' First Sale

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: [upcoming] The European Court of Justice on 'Software' First Sale
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 19:07:25 -0000

European Court of Justice to rule on software licence trading

Judgment in Oracle vs usedSoft case to determine legality

By Jennifer Baker | IDG News Service | Published 15:17, 28 February 11

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has been asked to decide whether the
trading of "used" software licences is legal.
The German Federal Court of Justice referred the question to the ECJ
following a legal battle between Oracle and usedSoft, a company that
buys and sells used software. Oracle launched the case after usedSoft
offered "pre-used" Oracle software licences online in October 2005.

Oracle says that its licence agreements with its customers contain
provisions to the effect that the software can't be used by a third

However usedSoft argues that it acquired a notarized statement from the
original licensee that he was the lawful holder of the licences, that he
no longer used the licensed programs and that he had paid the purchase
price in full. usedSoft’s customers who acquired a "used" licence
downloaded the software from Oracle’s website.
The German Regional Court originally ruled in favour of Oracle, but
following usedSoft’s appeal, the federal court decided to refer the
matter to the ECJ. The European court will consider how directive
2009/24/EC on the legal protection of computer programs should be
applied in this case. This will also set a precedent for trading of used
software licences throughout the European Union.
The ruling should also clarify the legal status of individuals who have
purchased used licences. usedSoft welcomed the decision to involve the
European Court of Justice.
“Ultimately, the resale of downloaded software is based on European
regulations which must also be clarified for all of Europe," said
usedSoft managing director Peter Schneider. "We regard this to be an
important stepping stone victory on the way to truly free trade on the
software market."
The ECJ may take up to two years to rule on the case. Oracle said it
would not comment on the case.

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