How far can you go with reselling used software licenses?

Peter Wesche December 22, 2012

The ongoing debate with respect to used software disposal has received some more clarifications at court shortly before the 2012 Christmas break.

To make it clear, the whole issue only concerns licenses bought within the European Union legality, and if the license comprise perpetual rights!

Here are the Dos and Don’ts:

  • If the use of single licenses can be removed from your system/device/frontend so that you cannot use it any longer under the same licensed access, you are free to resell the license regardless of prior restriction imposed on you by the license contract. This right is irrespective of the delivery, if boxed or downloaded.
  • Licenses bought at a metric of multipacks, like in 3-user pack, package of 10 CALs or similar, you may only resell such packs in the same metric and cannot split into smaller units.
  • After buying multiple licenses under a volume license agreement, these can also be resold as single licenses even if operated under one authorization number, once you de-install the same and want to dispose off. However, you may not act as a regular reseller and exploit the volume license agreement under false intentions.
  • Licenses hosted via a client/server installation but not used in full license level, are currently not sanctioned for resale by the current court rulings. If you try to resell such license to remove shelf ware, you might have to go to court if the vendor induces an injunction. As an alternative, it is recommended to reach a compensation agreement with the vendor for such shelf ware.

If you need to know more about the details and sentences, do not hesitate to contact us! We can review your individual set-up and provide you with guidance, including the legal services by experienced lawyers.


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