The European Court of Justice (ECJ) allows resale of software licences

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that resale of licences for second hand software is in general possible.

Online PR News – 08-December-2012 – 12/7/2012, Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen – Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that resale of licences for second hand software is in general possible.

Hence GRP Rainer lawyers and tax advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart conclude: The decision of the ECJ provides legal certainty for the resale of software licenses. According to the ECJ, the general permission of resale also applies, in particular, if the licenses in question have been downloaded from the Internet. In the opinion of the ECJ, it does not matter whether the software was supplied on a hard information bearer or downloaded from the Internet. In any case, it should be considered as a sale, because the software and the unlimited use license agreement are closely linked to each other. Downloading a copy from the Internet should be considered inexpedient, when the user obtains no right of use.

In regard to collective licensing ECJ has clarified, however, that these still cannot be divided. A splitting of the licenses would be practically impossible. Therefore, the Court's judgment should not be regarded as a complete success for the sellers of used software.

The European Court of Justice justifies its decision by the fact that the manufacturers target the financial revenue even at the moment of the initial sale. Should a resale be excluded, the manufacturers could earn several times from selling the same software. The latter, however, is not covered by the protection of intellectual property.

It is rather that the distribution right of the copyright holder exhausts with the sale of the software license. Therefore, the purchaser must be given the opportunity to resell the license. On the other hand, the exclusive right to make copies does not exhaust. In case of a subsequent sale no further copies are allowed.

Whoever is quicker with his ideas than others, has always the preference right. However, these ideas are often adopted by others and imitated. Due to spreading "piracy" and the infringement of copyright the protection of intellectual property is becoming more important today than ever before.

If there have already been violations of your brand or you have been reprimanded for a violation, you should contact a copyright lawyer. He can provide you a qualified and tailored advice and show you your legal options.


Contact Information
Michael Rainer
GRP Rainer LLP
GRP Rainer LLP Michael Rainer Hohenzollernring 21-23 Cologne Nordrhein-Westfalen 49221-2722750
Cologne Nordrhein-Westfalen, 50672