What the CJEU’s UsedSoft decision means for software resales
The Court of Justice of the EU has ruled in favour of software resellers in a dispute between Oracle and UsedSoft. Flemming Moos and Marian Alexander Arning of Norton Rose explain what the decision means in practice
In its landmark
decisions on software resale in the UsedSoft case, the CJEU
provided valuable guidelines on how to organise the resale of
software in compliance with copyright law.
The Court considered it a "sale" of software
under the directive on the legal protection of computer
programs if a user downloads software from the manufacturer
within the EU on the basis of a licence agreement with the
copyright owner that permits the permanent use of that
software. As a consequence of that, the exclusive right of
distribution of the copyright owner is exhausted on first sale,
which means that a resale of electronically distributed
software is generally permissible. The Court also stated,
however, that a buyer may not split its licences. For
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