Court Says Reselling Software Is Okay

from the good-news dept

Last year, we wrote about a case filed by an eBay seller against Autodesk, claiming the company unfairly prevented him from reselling used copies of Autodesk software that he had legally purchased. Basically, every time the guy listed Autodesk software, the company would send a DMCA takedown to eBay who would take it down. Each time, the guy would send a counter claim, which Autodesk would ignore, allowing the software to go back on the site. However, with so many takedown notices, eBay banned his account for abuse -- even though he successfully responded to each claim as being false. For that, he sued Autodesk. Autodesk moved to have the court dismiss the case claiming that the seller had no right of first sale because the software was "licensed" rather than sold. If that sounds like weak semantics, you've got a point... and it appears the court agrees with you. In denying Autodesk's request to dismiss the case, the court indicates that, even though the case law covering this issue often varies, it believes that the software has been sold, not licensed, and therefore the right of first sale does exist on Autodesk's software. The case should now proceed if Autodesk doesn't quickly show up with an offer to settle the case quietly (which it might). Assuming the case does go forward, it's going to be worth watching closely, as it will have important ramifications for the right to resell software you purchased.

Filed Under: auctions, autocad, dmca, right of first sale
Companies: autodesk, ebay


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  1. identicon
    Rekrul, 22 May 2008 @ 7:34pm

    I use it and it works very well. You purchase your game online, download it and its managed and updated by the Steam client software on your PC pretty much flawlessly, eliminating the hassle of patch maintenance for multiple games.

    But I can't sell my games. At all.

    You also can't re-install them if Valve should happen to go belly-up, or get bought by another company who decides to not support activation of older games.

    Can you even burn the games/patches you download to CD/DVD so that you don't have to re-download them if you later want to re-install them?

    I could personally care less.

    How much less could you care? And doesn't that mean that you do care now, since you could care less?

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