What's the law on re-selling software

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by lloyd709, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. lloyd709 macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2008
    I've always wondered whether I can legally buy and sell my software on ebay!

    A couple of different example situations:

    Can I legally sell my copy/licence of photoshop?

    Can I legally sell a piece of software I purchased from the App Store.

    Are the laws that govern these issues the same for for different countries?
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Photo shop with disk and licence providing you've removed it from your machine yes.

    App Store is a big no!
  3. lloyd709 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2008
    Why should there be a difference? Clearly I can see that it's practically very difficult to sell you software purchased from the App Store (if not impossible) but from a legal point of view why should there be a difference?
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    It the license. You don't "buy" software outright, like you do with a coffee mug for example. You purchase the right to use the software, with conditions. Those conditions are listed in the license. I haven't read the licenses for the App Store, so I can't comment on what it does and doesn't allow you to do... but if you go to the app store and look for license (Terms and Conditions?) you will see what you may and may not do. Though virtually no one reads them, we have all agreed to abide by the conditions... you can't buy software from the MAS without agreeing to the license.
  5. lloyd709 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2008
    I did a google search on it and came up with this:


    (Court of Justice of the European Union Press Release No 94/12 Luxembourg, 3 July 2012 - in case the link doesn't work for anyone)

    It seems that in Europe anyway, regardless of what they put in the licence agreement, if you buy a software licence for unlimited period of use, whether you buy an actual DVD or download the software, you are legally entitled to sell it!!!
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Well, that is interesting. Thanks. Of course that particular judgement only applies in that jurisdiction. I wonder if anyone has had any luck getting Apple to transfer licences between machines.
  7. lloyd709 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2008
    As you say, very interesting! My gut feeling was along the lines of what you originally said.

    Apple are selling some quite expensive software via their App store now which would be worth re-selling if you weren't using it. I'm surprised this hasn't already blown up in the industry media (at least I haven't seen it). It's got to soon though!
  8. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    There's been a lawsuit in Germany around Steam, but I don't know whether there has been an outcome yet.
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    At least in the US the first sale doctrine protection for digital media is off to a rocky start.

    First-Sale Doctrine Does Not Apply To Resale of Legally Downloaded Music Tracks

    Overall Europe seems to be more consumer friendly when it comes to laws/regulations that the US.

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