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100 % legal security: used software from Software Broker - Software Broker
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100 % legal security: used software from Software Broker

You will receive only original software with seamless documentation

 

Ensuring the security of our products and therefore the security of our customers is the top priority at Software Broker. We trade exclusively in original products and guarantee our customers a seamless chain of ownership for every product purchased from us. Every purchase is checked in advance by an experienced lawyer who is familiar with IT topics to ensure there are no legal issues.

You do not take any legal risks with us

 

We enter a contract with each customer to fulfil all legal obligations. Together with this contract, you receive seamless documentation of the chain of ownership and the full license version history. We are happy to provide further documentation upon request, such as:

Expert legal opinion on the use of second-hand software

Certificate of D & O insurance for unforeseen risks with coverage of up to 10 million euros

Further information on used software sales

Prerequisites for buying and selling used software

 

Buying and selling used software has been legal since a 2012 ruling of the European Court of Justice. However, there are some prerequisites:

The software is no longer in use by the previous owner

The previous owner has fully uninstalled the software

The software must originate from a country within the European Economic Area

The software was brought into circulation in the EU legally and based on a valid contract

The previous owner has purchased the license legally

The vendor has received adequate payment for their product according to the market

The software license is valid for an unlimited period

For volume licenses, a statement of deletion from the original owner is required

The entire chain of ownership can be proven

Legal background

In December of 2014, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled that the exhaustion of the distribution right applies to software licenses. It thereby ultimately confirmed a ruling made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2012: Software vendors can no longer prohibit the re-sale of their products if these were purchased legally and with their consent. Upon purchasing the license, the second acquirer becomes the legal owner of the used software and is entitled to sell it again – including any update rights.

The ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) from July 3rd, 2012

 

On July 3rd, 2012, the European Court of Justice ruled that in principle, used software can be sold legally. It argued that the exhaustion of distribution rights applies if the manufacturer issues software copies on physical media such as DVDs or CD-ROMs, but also if they are distributed in an intangible form via download from a website along with the purchase of unlimited period usage rights. If used software is updated via the internet, the right to updates also extends to the subsequent acquirer. According to the ECJ ruling, the original acquirer is not allowed o keep any copies of the software in case of a sale. Should the original license contract include a provision to prohibit further transfer, this provision is void, according to the ECJ.

The ruling of the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) from July 17th. 2013

 

As expected, the BGH fully confirmed the ECJ ruling form July 3rd, 2012. Therefore, the sale of used software is generally legal (excerpt):

“Re-sale of software copies downloaded from the copyright owner’s website does not require the subsequent acquirer to receive a physical medium containing the “used up” copy of the computer program; it shall suffice if the subsequent acquirer downloads a copy of the program from the copyright owner’s website.”

The BGH ruling from December 11th, 2014

 

In December of 2014, the BGH ruled that it is permissible to split up volume licenses. This means: If the initial acquirer has purchased a license that allows several users to use the software, the subsequent acquirer can only claim exhaustion of the distribution right for that copy if the initial acquirer has rendered it unusable. However, if the initial acquirer has purchased a license that allows several copies of the software to be used, the subsequent acquirer can claim exhaustion of the distribution right for a number of those copies if the initial acquirer has rendered that number of copies unusable.

The decision of the Münster Procurement Chamber from March 4th, 2016

 

Here, it was once again confirmed that purchasers have nothing to fear from the manufacturer (Microsoft) regarding the purchase and use of used software. According to the Münster Procurement Chamber, actions for injunction or damages regarding the use of software under second-hand licenses are no longer objectively comprehensible based on the supreme court rulings of the ECJ and BGH. In addition, the BGH elaborated that there was no evidence of financial loss on the part of Microsoft.
Used licenses do not differ from the original licenses, and used software cannot be discerned from new software. Both the ECJ ruling and the decisions of the BGH are final.