Complex contracts

The European Court of Justice ruled regarding rights covering downloaded software and the legitimacy of its resale. It was decided that the right to distribute a copy of a downloaded computer program, which had been obtained with the permission of the rights-holder, was exhausted if the acquirer had also been granted the right to use the copy for consideration for an unlimited period of time. The copyright-holder could not object to resale of a copy for which its distribution right was exhausted. Therefore a second acquirer of that copy and any subsequent acquirer were lawful acquirers and could resell it. While an acquirer is entitled to sell media containing “used” software, the permission to make copies for sale will be dependent on the terms of the licence.

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