Copyright Alert: I Bought It; I Own It—Or Do I?

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On September 10, 2010, the Ninth Circuit issued a much-awaited ruling on appeal in Vernor v. Autodesk, addressing whether software purchasers are owners or licensees of the copies of the software in their possession. (9th Cir. No. 09-35969.) The court held that “a software user is a licensee rather than an owner of a copy of the software where the copyright owner (1) specifies that the user is granted a license; (2) significantly restricts the user’s ability to transfer the software; and (3) imposes notable use restrictions.”

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