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Frequently Asked Questions

1. what is the legal situation regarding the over-the-counter saleability of a used software license?

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A used software license is basically free for sale.

2. How is the legal situation regarding the over-the-counter saleability of used software in the EU and Switzerland structured?

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Used software is available for purchase in the European Union. This also applies to Switzerland. Art. 12 II of the Swiss Federal Act on Copyright and Related Rights (URG) already states that with the consent of the author to the first sale of software, consent to the resale of the used software must also be seen. With a similar tenor, the Zug Cantonal Court ruled against the software company Adobe in its judgment of 4 May 2011 (Kantonsgericht Az. ES 2012, 822). This legal opinion is also undisputed in legal doctrine. Prof. Dr. Cyrill Rigamonti of the University of Bern explains in an article in a professional journal that the trade with used software is compatible with Swiss copyright law. (GRUR Int. 2009,14ff.)

3. What is the object of purchase when purchasing a used software license?

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The object of purchase is the right to use the software. Legally it is a legal purchase.

4. What about support and update services when purchasing used software licenses?

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There's no cutbacks to the initial purchase here. The buyer of used software licenses is also entitled to all services in connection with the software.

5. What about support and update services when purchasing used software licenses?

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There's no cutbacks to the initial purchase here. The buyer of used software licenses is also entitled to all services in connection with the software.

6. When buying a used software license, is a complete proof of the seller chain up to the author necessary?

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No, no proof is required. The free tradability of these licenses after the first sale makes further sales possible without proof. However, reputable sellers like us show the corresponding supply chain without any gaps. The background to this is that legal purchases are only effective if the corresponding sold rights actually exist. With a purchase from us you will not experience any "nasty" surprises, but acquire existing rights to the used software licenses effectively with a proven supply chain.

6. What is the legal situation regarding so-called volume agreements? May individual parts of these contracts be sold separately?

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Yes, it is legally permissible to resell parts of, for example, Microsoft volume license agreements used and individually. The prevailing legal opinion does not see any legal problems in this. The Munich Regional Court ruled on April 4, 2008 (Case No. 30 O 8684/07) that no further approval by Microsoft was required for the resale of individual used Microsoft software licenses under a volume license agreement. The district court legally recognized the parts of a volume license with a master CD as genuine individual licenses, and not only as reproduction rights, as Microsoft had presented it. Thus the judgement of the Munich Regional Court is in line with a judgement of the Hamburg Regional Court, which had already declared the sale of used software licenses from volume agreements lawful in 2006 (LG Hamburg Az. 315 O 343/06). The starting point for this decision is the time of copyright exhaustion, which the LG Hamburg considers to have already occurred with the first sale of the volume license. It is also decisive that Microsoft is not able to waive this copyright exhaustion as mandatory law through corresponding contractual conditions. However, the European Court of Justice has issued a ban on the splitting up of volume licenses for volume licenses of Oracle.

7. Is it mandatory to register a used software license with the manufacturer?

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No, there is no legal obligation to do so. Should other provisions be specified by the seller or manufacturer, these shall be ineffective due to the copyright exhaustion of the right of disposal and shall not have any binding legal effect.

8. Does the author/manufacturer have to give his explicit consent to the resale of used software licenses?

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No, no further permission to resell is required. With the first sale, the author's power of disposal over the software is exhausted, so that he may not impose any further conditions for resale. Corresponding contractual conditions, for example in the author's General Terms and Conditions (AGB), are legally ineffective and do not have any legal effect.

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