Oracle loses court fight over software resale rules
A European court has ruled that it's permissible to resell software licenses even if the package has been downloaded directly from the Internet. It sided with a German firm in its legal battle with US giant Oracle.
The European Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that used software licenses may generally be resold by individuals or companies. The Luxembourg-based court thus sided with the German firm UsedSoft in a protracted legal battle with US software giant Oracle.
The ruling made it clear that trade in used software was permissible even if the software had not been shipped on a physical medium such as a CD or DVD, but had been digitally downloaded from the Internet.
One of my old companies got in trouble from the Adobe licencing police for not having the boxes / physical media for for their legally purchased software products with unique licences and had to repurchase a whole bunch of stuff again. Hopefully this ruling will help out companies who get into a similar position?
There are probably further implications of this ruling I've not considered.
European Courts Rule In Favor Of Consumers Reselling Downloaded Games
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… 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.
To be honest it's a bit legalese for my liking, but the implications are significant. I one read on Reddit about a guy who created a new steam account for every game he purchased so that he could resell the game when he was done. Fiddly? Yes? But money saving? Immensely!
With the physically game resale market under attack by one-use licensable content, the ability to transfer such licenses should keep it going for sometime, even if the physical media part of the channel goes away.
The next challenge, seeing if these laws effect the US markets where many of these development houses are based and how much they will cry bloody murder over this.