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Legal framework

Judgments of the ECJ and BGH: Clear legal situation of software license trading

The purchase and sale of unused software licenses is legally compliant. Many companies are still unsure today due to a lack of clarification, although there has been validation from the highest authority for trading in used licenses for years:

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) as well as the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) have ruled that trading in used IT products is legal.

This has been regulated by the rulings of the European Court of Justice of July 3, 2012 (C-128/11) and the Federal Court of Justice of July 17, 2013 (I ZR 129/08). They define a clear framework for trading in used software licenses; the principle of copyright applies: software products – analogous to literary works – are fundamentally worthy of protection. However, once they have been purchased, no further consent from the author is required for further trade. Just as this is not the case when reselling a book. See also our FAQs on the Exhaustion principle.

For the customers of MRM Distribution it is important to know that all necessary certificates are handed over. As an experienced, trustworthy distributor, MRM Distribution itself guarantees the end customers of partners reliable audit security in order to meet the requirements of the legislator and the manufacturers 100%. This means: License sales via MRM are absolutely secured by a professionally performed risk and vulnerability analysis.

Conditions and opportunities

  • Original software put into first circulation in the EU economic area

  • Legal trading also with (split) volume licenses
  • Condition: Residue-free deletion of the software before sale

Current articles on the subject of the legal situation

Judgments of the ECJ and BGH: Clear legal situation of software license trading

In addition to underlicensing, overlicensing, i.e. the existence of many unused licenses, is particularly common in companies. Yet the safe sale of used software is so simple.

Here you will find further information from the manufacturer Microsoft on the legal trade with used software.

Our FAQ: Facts about the IT legal situation and much more

Transparency and a secure feeling when trading with software licenses is a matter close to MRM Distribution’s heart. Questions and answers create trust as well as legal certainty between business partners.