Here you will find the most important legal and general information about the Circular IT Economy, trading with used software, software licenses and MRM Distribution. This information is updated continuously.
What does "used" software mean?
The only differences between “used” and new software are that the license of the “used” software already belonged to and was used by a previous owner. Since there is naturally no physical wear and tear on the goods in the case of software, questions about reliability of the good are basically irrelevant. The used version of a software is always just as good as the corresponding new product. When remarketing the software, the original owner passes on the license and the rights to use it to MRM.
What is secondary marketing or remarketing?
This refers to the resale of used investment items. This may involve the remarketing of physical items – for example, monitors, servers or other hardware – as well as software and the associated licenses.
Depending on the version, companies can save up to 70% on the purchase of used software, thus reducing their cost of IT. Depending on the version, companies can receive revenues of up to 40% of the initial value.
What does software license mean?
Possession of a software license gives the owner the right to install and use a particular software on a computer. A software license is required for any paid software used by the owner.
What are volume licenses?
A volume license is a licensing model for paid software that enables the purchase and use of multiple licenses, or multi-licensing. A volume license can be installed and used on multiple devices. The purchase also gives the owner the right to make copies of the software on their company’s devices. A classic example of this is Microsoft or Office volume licenses.
What is iPaaS and workflow automation?
An Integration Platform-as-a-Service or iPaaS is a cloud-based service that integrates data, applications, and processes. Workflows can thus be easily represented in the platform by connecting the applications using connectors that are used to query and transfer data, without the need for programming skills. MRM Distribution offers an out-of-the-box, white-label no/low-code solution for IT resellers through its partner Quickwork.
What is mislicensing?
Mislicensing exists when a company has too many or too few licenses. The use of different license models or software versions from Microsoft can lead to confusion in companies, which can result in mislicensing.
What is over-licensing?
Over-licensing is a form of mislicensing. In this case, the company owns more licenses than required. In order to contribute to license optimization, these can be sold to MRM, provided that the information on the initial purchase is properly documented and can be presented.
What is sublicensing?
Underlicensing is another form of mislicensing. In this case, a company has installed software on some computers for which no own license was purchased. To protect themselves legally and financially, companies can buy used software in order to equip these computers with their own licenses even more cheaply.
Is it legal to sell used software licenses?
Yes, if the sale is of used original software that was first placed on the market in the European Economic Area (EEA) or the EU with the consent of the author, the entire transaction is legally compliant. This was decided by the European Court of Justice in its ruling of July 3, 2012. In July 2013, the German Federal Court of Justice confirmed the legality of trading in used software licenses.
But what do the manufacturers say about it?
Legal compliance or not, many customers and partners can be quite skeptical, as the manufacturers usually do not proactively comment on this topic. Microsoft, for example, first took a stand on the permissibility of the sale and use of used software and the associated licenses in November 2015 in an official letter from the legal department.
Read the Microsoft LCA statement from November 2015 here.
At the end of March 2018, Microsoft issued another official letter to inform customers and partners, which is also intended to help distinguish illegal offers from numerous providers on the Internet from used software that can be traded legally.
Read the Microsoft LCA statement from March 2018 here.
In addition, as of June 1, 2021, Microsoft has rescinded the adjustment it made to its product terms for the sale of on-premises licenses from SA. This allows enterprise customers to now sell their licenses to MRM Distribution without losing the right to “from SA” offers.
What is the principle of exhaustion?
The initial distribution right for a product naturally always lies with the manufacturer of a product. This ensures that the author receives appropriate consideration for his or her value creation. Once the author has exercised the right, i.e., agreed to the sale and received the appropriate consideration, i.e., the sales price, this right is exhausted according to Section 69 c No. 3 Sentence 2 UrhG. This applies both in Germany and for the entire domestic market of the European Union or the European Economic Community (Community-wide exhaustion). Accordingly, the product in question is free for further distribution. This is explicitly the case “irrespective of any restriction on the content of the right of use granted,” as stated in the lead sentence of the BGH ruling of July 6, 2000. The right to lease, on the other hand, is not exhausted.
Does the manufacturer have to agree to the sale?
No. Under clearly defined conditions, the sale of standard software is thus legally compliant even without the manufacturer’s express consent. To ensure the legally effective transfer of rights of use, the sale of used software is subject to compliance with certain guidelines and legal requirements.
May individual used software licenses from volume contracts be traded?
Yes, individual software licenses from volume licensing agreements may be resold second-hand. In a decision by the Munich I Regional Court on November 28, 2007 (Case No. 30 O 8684/07), the court found “that the sale or disposal of individual Microsoft software licenses that had previously been issued under volume licensing agreements is, in principle, effectively possible even without Microsoft’s consent.
Is it ensured that the MRM deals exclusively with original software?
Software is an important asset for companies as long as it performs fully in the productive environment and consistently contributes to the business strategy. By contrast, obsolete software reduces productivity, paralyses business processes or, if unused, no longer contributes to value creation.
Selling software that is no longer needed frees up tied-up capital that can be reinvested in new, agile IT, whether in on-premise, cloud or hybrid scenarios.
Yes, MRM Distribution offers only verified licenses with legally valid licensing and all necessary documentation regarding the initial purchaser, destruction statement, and all other required documents to comply with manufacturer and regulatory requirements.
Audit-proof: With every delivery of used software you receive from MRM a complete documentation in the form of:
- Delivery bill & invoice
- Confirmation of proper purchase by the first purchaser
- Confirmation of complete uninstallation and rendering unusable at the initial purchaser
- Official document for the legally compliant transfer of rights of use
- Installation disk
How do I become a partner at MRM Distribution?
Are you an IT consultancy, system house or wholesaler?
Please fill out the registration form here.
If your registration is successful, you will receive a confirmation e-mail shortly. After a successful internal check, we will activate your access to the MRM ordering portal.
What are the opportunities to partner with the MRM?
There are different models for partnerships with MRM: You can work with us as a distribution partner or service provider. Or you can benefit from our co-op marketing offer. Are you interested in a cooperation?Find out all the details about the various cooperation options.
What are the benefits of partnering with MRM for me and my company
Eine Kooperation mit der MRM bietet diverse Vorteile für Sie als Partner, aber auch für Ihre Kunden. Eine Übersicht aller Benefits finden Sie auf unseren Partnerseiten.
A cooperation with MRM offers various advantages for you as a partner, but also for your customers. You can find an overview of all benefits on our partner pages.
Do I have to be an MRM partner to sell my customers' old software to MRM?
No, you can also refer your clients’ or customers’ licenses to us without a partnership.
Nevertheless, there are some advantages that come with a partnership. These include: a wide range of products, high margins and fair pricing. You can find more information about a sales partnership with MRM on our partner pages.
As an insolvency administrator, what do I need to consider when selling software to MRM for a client?
Selling software that is no longer needed can increase the potential of the company rescue and thus contribute positively to the insolvency plan. As an insolvency consultant, you can provide this important food for thought to the company’s IT officers. Initially, you can independently check whether the company has any obvious unused software. However, for a thorough review, it is worthwhile if the affected company, on your advice, then contacts MRM directly. This way we can conduct a comprehensive inventory and exploit the full potential by purchasing the unused software.
How does the process work if I am an intermediary?
As an intermediary, you should educate your clients or customers on how they can benefit from selling their no longer used used software and roughly inform them about the software purchase process. If the client is interested, you can then contact MRM to discuss the next steps.
In which countries am I allowed to sell used software as a partner?
According to the ruling of the European Court of Justice of July 3, 2012, trade in used software is permitted in all countries of the EU, or the European Economic Area (EEA).
Why is it worthwhile for me to sell used software to my customers?
The advantages include high margins, a convenient procurement process, as MRM maintains standard distribution structures with its partners, and much more. You can find more information on our service page.
I have never sold used software before. Do I get marketing support?
Yes. MRM Distribution offers partner marketing and supports you in presenting the topic to your customers. We support newsletter content, provide white-labeled information flyers, sales briefings and guides, or participate financially in your events or online campaigns directed at end customers. You can find all the information you need, as well as your contact person, on our Co-Op Marketing page.
What are the reasons to sell my software to MRM?
The following are reasons to sell your software to MRM: From…
…commercial perspective: Software is an important asset for companies. Therefore, licenses should be used well within the existing framework and sold in case of surplus. Our non-binding inventory reveals your license situation and prevents over-licensing.
…future-oriented and sustainable view: You can reinvest the additional budget, for example, in cloud services or hybrid landscapes and thus sustainably refinance the future of your IT infrastructure.
…legally compliant view: You can deal with the issue with a clear conscience, because the sale of used software licenses is legal.
What are the disadvantages of buying used software compared to buying new?
None. Since software does not age, consume or wear out as a result of use, the full scope of performance of the original product is available. The performance increases of potential successor versions, which are usually hardly noticeable for standard users, are usually easily dispensable, especially since all updates regularly provided by the manufacturers would be installed. The MRM partners analyze and advise on this point very carefully.
In short: For enterprise customers, purchasing used software from our partners is a cost-effective alternative to buying new, with potential savings of up to 70%.
Is used software still updateable?
Yes. Secondary purchasers of software that entitles them to updates can also continue to obtain updates from the software manufacturer without restriction.
How can I recognize a reputable dealer?
Look for the following signs:
- You will be provided with a personal contact right from the start.
- The retailer demonstrates many years of expertise and communicates its values openly and transparently.
- Important questions on general, technical and legal matters are answered competently both on the website and in a personal conversation.
- Other important indicators: certificates, partnerships with manufacturing companies (e.g. Microsoft) and other well-known companies.
How is it ensured that the licenses are genuine?
MRM buys and sells of course only original software. The licenses offered for purchase are carefully checked by MRM. As a seller of used software you have to provide us with the corresponding software and contract data. These provide information about whether the licenses are genuine and are therefore the basis of the inventory.
As a private customer, may I also sell software to MRM?
No. MRM Distribution exclusively buys software from commercial use, which exclusively flows back into the enterprise IT market via registered trading partners. MRM Distribution’s vision is to open up the commercial IT market and gain official sales partners to trade in used software. MRM establishes together with its registered partners the familiar sales structures of the new software business also in the trade with used software.
What do I have to consider if I want to sell used software?
Software license sales are usually quick and easy. You can fully rely on MRM for this. You simply supply us with the software data and ensure that the software or any backup copies are no longer to be found on the servers in your company after the sale.
How does the software purchase process work at MRM?
The sale of software licenses to MRM takes place in three steps:
After you have contacted us with the information about your idle licenses, the first step is a consultation, during which we determine the value of your software and prepare an offer. After the subsequent verification of your licenses, the last step is the payment. This takes place within 14 days – without commission and installment payment.
What documents and information do I need to have ready for the sale?
In order to finalize the purchase later, we need the following documents from you:
- License agreements
- MLS (Microsoft Licensing Statement) if available
- Proof of purchase (invoices, CPS = Customer Price Sheet)
- Excerpts from the VLSC (Snips) showing the licensee, license agreements and products.
- Keys (MAK and KMS) for the products to be sold including the downgrade keys for the two previous versions (e.g. when selling Office 2019 we need the keys for the 2019, 2016 and 2013 versions)
- Important: the possible activations must be at least as high as the number of licenses you sell to us.
- If necessary, iso files (after consultation with us; if we already have the iso, this point is omitted)
As soon as we have checked all the necessary documents and found them to be sufficient, send us the signed destruction declaration and your invoice, which we will transfer to the account you specify within 14 days.
Does MRM have awards and certificates?
Yes. We have received IT-Business’ Distri Award for Refurbishing and Remarketing every year since 2018. In April 2022, MRM also received the TÜV IT Trustee Process quality seal.
Who is behind MRM?
Behind MRM is a motivated, friendly team under the leadership of Managing Director Christian Bedel. Since 2017, we have been the first German distribution for the Circular IT Economy and today supply more than 4,700 registered IT resellers with used software, refurbished hardware and IT services with the aim of continually optimizing the business benefits of companies and partners through our services.
Why should I choose MRM?
You are safe with us: In addition to legally compliant business transactions, the attributes reliability and trust are part of our service mentality. That’s why our initial inventory of your license values is completely non-binding and risk-free for you.
We provide expert advice: Our certified licensing specialists have more than 25 years of experience in software reselling and IT remarketing.
Best of all, one of these specialists will guide you through the entire software acquisition process.
We are fair: We are aware of the asset value of your software licenses. That’s why we pay you a fair and market-driven price.
We are future-oriented: The team shows full commitment when it comes to showing a path to a profitable and technically top-equipped future for your client.