The European Court of Justice, in UsedSoft GmbH v Oracle International Corp., recently ruled that it is not a copyright violation for purchasers to resell legally obtained and downloaded software. This continues a recent trend in Europe of limiting copyright protection for software.
In the European case, Oracle is selling software that purchasers can download directly from Oracle’s website. UsedSoft sells used software licenses obtained from Oracle purchasers. The used licenses allow purchasers to download the Oracle software from Oracle’s website.
Under EU law, the first sale of a copy of a computer program exhausts the copyright holder’s right to control distribution of that copy. Oracle argued that the law should apply only to software that is sold on physical media.
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