The legal situation is clear: used software licenses may be resold - regardless of whether they were purchased as data carriers or online as downloads.

Trading in used software is permitted.

This was the final ruling of the German Federal Court of Justice in December 2014, confirming in the last instance what the European Court of Justice had already decided in 2012: the exhaustion principle of the Copyright Act also applies to software. A manufacturer can no longer prohibit the further distribution of its product as soon as it has been placed on the market for the first time with its consent - without any ifs and buts, as long as certain requirements are met.

In plain language, this means that once a license has been purchased, the purchaser is the legal owner of the software copy and may accordingly resell it - including the update and downgrade rights originally included. It is irrelevant whether the software was originally purchased on a data carrier or as a download.

If software manufacturers write anything else in their license terms or contracts, these clauses are simply invalid. And copyright?

This remains unaffected and is still the sole property of the developer. This is understandable, a good thing, and has little to do with second-hand software trading. After all, this is not about copying or "piracy", but about making products that are no longer needed usable.

For this reason, buyers and sellers are also subject to certain documentation obligations, for example regarding the origin and further use of the software.

This is because the basic prerequisite for legal trading is always that the previous owner no longer uses the software himself, i.e. that he has completely uninstalled it. At Soft & Cloud, clearly defined processes certified by TÜVIT ensure a legally compliant license transfer - including a license management portal that makes administration easier for you and offers additional transparency.