German company UberSoft found itself in some hot water after Oracle tried to block the company’s resale of used software licenses. Now the European Court of Justice has ruled in the case, deeming that used software licenses can be resold. The court said that once a copy of the software had been sold the company waives its “exclusive right of distribution.”
The court also said that when the software is sold, the company enters into an implied contract, with the customers allowed to use the software for an unlimited period of time. The key ruling is that other companies and customers are allowed to resell the software, so UberSoft looks to be in the clear. Having said that, the court also mentioned that once the software is resold, all copies have to be removed from the original customer’s computer.
It’s a problem that others have faced in the past as well. Developers and publishers get no income from a second hand sale, prompting the industry to move towards tighter DRM, online only software, and licenses locked to a single user. Blizzard’s games are a good example, with its latest release, Diablo III, requiring an active internet connection even for single-player in order to avoid piracy issues.
[via Boing Boing]