Every company needs software. And software becomes more expensive year after year. The manufacturers of standard software have had no competition up to now – and could therefore dictate their prices to their customers.
With a simple – but ingenious – business idea, aasoftware offers a real alternative to these monopolistic structures.
By buying and selling used licenses, companies can not just significantly reduce their software expenditure; at the same time, they are supporting the liberalisation of the market and clearly rejecting manufacturers' arbitrary pricing policies.
The trade in used licenses is based on a very simple principle: software requirements are constantly changing in companies - far more so than with many other products, for which a lively second-hand trade has been flourishing for many years. Companies have to continuously extend, upgrade and adapt their software inventory to take into account new circumstances.
usedSoft's business model is based on this cycle. We buy licenses from companies, which are no longer needed following restructuring, mergers and closures of companies, and sensibly use these "redundant" assets.
What does the law say about reselling used licenses?
One of the most important judgments concerning the sale of used licenses was rendered by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in 2012.
The CJEU judgment in Case C-128/11 UsedSoft GmbH v Oracle International Corp. says that “An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his ‘used’ licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet. The exclusive right of distribution of a copy of a computer program covered by such a licence is exhausted on its first sale.”
This means that the sale of ‘used’ and redundant software licences is legal. This judgement created a safe, legal framework for the whole European Union ensuring a fair and healthy competition on the European market.
The judgment also states that:
- The unlimited software licences can be traded freely. If you purchase an independent software licence, you can sell it under the same conditions.
- The distribution rights of the producer are exhausted upon the first sale of the software. Customers who bought a computer program on a free market are entitled to use the purchased software.
- Even if the resale of software is specifically forbidden by the license agreement, the right holder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy. The license agreement is subject to the European Law and points which are in conflict with the European Law are void (this applies mainly to the ‘OEM software’).
- There is no difference between the manners of distribution. Software can be distributed by CD/DVD (physical licenses) or online (digital licenses). The right holder cannot demand an appropriate remuneration for further resale of the software licence because the appropriate remuneration was obtained during the first sale.