Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Sep 2009 16:09 UTC
Legal A very simple question for you. How often have you resold software that you legally purchased? Often enough, right? Well, if it's up to Autodesk, the company behind AutoCAD, you will no longer be allowed to resell your software. Update: As it turns out, the matter has already been resolved: Autodesk lost. A win for all of us.
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 30th Sep 2009 16:15 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I’m glad that in the UK, this is already upheld and you have legal right of re-sale when it comes to software.

That said, it doesn’t stop American companies stamping on my rights with their activation and anti-piracy crap.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Moulinneuf on Wed 30th Sep 2009 16:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

You can resale software, but can you resale license ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 30th Sep 2009 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

You can! In the UK, you can sell (and purchase) just licences on their own. Companies sell their old volume licence keys for Windows / Office.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by daedalus8
by daedalus8 on Wed 30th Sep 2009 16:18 UTC
daedalus8
Member since:
2008-03-10

/me smacks DMCA and DRM with a very smelly and large trout right in the middle of the FACE!

Reply Score: 4

EULA and lawsuits
by ggeldenhuys on Wed 30th Sep 2009 16:50 UTC
ggeldenhuys
Member since:
2006-11-13

I hope all these companies like Autodesk, Apple etc loose there court cases for idiotic EULA's! I also include all those software companies that have one-to-one currency conversion from $'s to €'s or £'s! $2000 <> £2000 <> €2000!

In all other industries you are allowed to purchase a product and resell it if you don't have a need for it any more. Lets take an obvious example CARS!!! A car costing $6000 in USA doesn't cost £6000 in UK. Also imagine Ford tells us we are not allowed to resell our cars! That will kill a whole industry.

What makes software so different from other products! All you big companies, go sc**w yourself!

Reply Score: 1

RE: EULA and lawsuits
by Soulbender on Wed 30th Sep 2009 16:59 UTC in reply to "EULA and lawsuits"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Also imagine Ford tells us we are not allowed to resell our cars!


Don't you know? You're just licensing the right to drive it.

What makes software so different from other products!


It is special. As in special education.

Reply Score: 2

Deja vu all over again?
by elsewhere on Wed 30th Sep 2009 16:59 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

*spoiler alert*

Autodesk loses. Judge tosses the license/EULA argument, and rules under doctrine of first sale. If it looks like a product sale, and smells like a product sale, then it is a product sale.

This case was ruled on more than a year ago in Vernor's favor, and unless this signals an appeal to the ninth circuit court, of which there is no reference, this article is a wee bit stale.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Deja vu all over again?
by Kalessin on Wed 30th Sep 2009 17:18 UTC in reply to "Deja vu all over again?"
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

Well, the article itself is from today, so it's the article itself that's stale as opposed to osnews linking to an old article as if it were new. Still, this is indeed old news.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Deja vu all over again?
by tomcat on Wed 30th Sep 2009 18:40 UTC in reply to "Deja vu all over again?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Here's a scenario that bothers me. Let's say User A installs a copy of AutoCAD on his machine, and then turns around and sells the physical media to User B. User A continues to use the AutoCAD installed on his machine. User B installs AutoCAD, and likewise starts to use the software. This is a wrinkle that the judge doesn't seem to have considered. He's looking at this case purely as a sale of physical media.

But that's not what AutoDesk is concerned about. AutoDesk only benefits from the first sale. They don't get any profit from the second or third or fourth or ... Nth user, even though some subset of the users are still running their software. It's the reason why ISVs resort to DRM in order to prevent casual copying. But I don't think there's an easy answer to this question, and it isn't as simple as the judge is portrying here.

Edited 2009-09-30 18:41 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Deja vu all over again?
by anda_skoa on Wed 30th Sep 2009 19:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Deja vu all over again?"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

User A continues to use the AutoCAD installed on his machine. User B installs AutoCAD, and likewise starts to use the software. This is a wrinkle that the judge doesn't seem to have considered.


He doesn't have to.
First your scenario is not the situation he had to decide on and second the scenario includes an illegal act on behalf of User A, i.e. this has already been taken care of by law.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Deja vu all over again?
by tomcat on Wed 30th Sep 2009 19:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Deja vu all over again?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

He doesn't have to.


The fact that the judge narrowly scoped his decision is a reason why people have very little faith in the judicial system to solve real problems.

First your scenario is not the situation he had to decide on and second the scenario includes an illegal act on behalf of User A, i.e. this has already been taken care of by law.


It's not "taken care of by the law". When was the last time you heard about prosecution of illegal use of software?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Deja vu all over again?
by anda_skoa on Wed 30th Sep 2009 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Deja vu all over again?"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07


The fact that the judge narrowly scoped his decision is a reason why people have very little faith in the judicial system to solve real problems.


I am not sure I understand what you mean.
The job of a judge is to decide the case at hand, not some hypothetical case.

It's not "taken care of by the law".

This might of course depend on the country. It is definitely taken care of by law here in Austria.

When was the last time you heard about prosecution of illegal use of software?


Well, I haven't heard about anyone being prosecuted for illegaly using a re-sold house by means of backup keys either, but this doesn't imply that it is in accordance with local laws.

You have to be aware of that somebody else is using your property without your consent in order to bring it to the attention of the authorities.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Deja vu all over again?
by kaiwai on Thu 1st Oct 2009 00:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Deja vu all over again?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Here's a scenario that bothers me. Let's say User A installs a copy of AutoCAD on his machine, and then turns around and sells the physical media to User B. User A continues to use the AutoCAD installed on his machine. User B installs AutoCAD, and likewise starts to use the software. This is a wrinkle that the judge doesn't seem to have considered. He's looking at this case purely as a sale of physical media.

But that's not what AutoDesk is concerned about. AutoDesk only benefits from the first sale. They don't get any profit from the second or third or fourth or ... Nth user, even though some subset of the users are still running their software. It's the reason why ISVs resort to DRM in order to prevent casual copying. But I don't think there's an easy answer to this question, and it isn't as simple as the judge is portrying here.


Easily solved by noting that any sale of software either has to explicitly state that it is either just the license, just the media or both. What you are talking about is piracy - an individual has one licence and entitled to install one copy per licence. If the seller continues to use the software after selling, and unless explicitly stated in the sale, the assumption is that the licence has been transferred and the seller has no right to continue using it.

Using Autodesk logic - no music cd's should be able to get sold either given you can easily copy a cd then sell it. You could say the same thing about DVD's as well - claiming they can't be resold. There are many things that would be impacted if they did allow Autodesk's position to stand.

Oh, and Autodesk should curl up in a corner and die; how long must Mac users wait for them to finally get off their ass and produce a Mac version of their software? if not for their clusterf--k treatment of customers that I despise them, its for their refusal to acknowledge Mac users demand for their product - are they hell bent on entrenching the Windows monopoly further through their refusal to port to Mac OS X?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Deja vu all over again?
by elsewhere on Thu 1st Oct 2009 04:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Deja vu all over again?"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Easily solved by noting that any sale of software either has to explicitly state that it is either just the license, just the media or both.


That's not really an easy solution, and is what lead to the problem in the first place.

Software manufacturers generally loathe existing copyright laws, because they offer protections to the people that purchase their software, impacting their business model in the same way that other content providers have had to deal with for the last century or so. They don't want to be classified in the same category as media providers, such as book publishers or record companies, because the law is established in most jurisdictions with legal precedents. If you buy a book or a music CD, you can resell it. It's an argument that was settled back in the days of printing presses and phonographs, and they hate that.

Software companies believe that they should be allowed to rent software under their own conditions with a one-time perpetual rental fee. They don't want their content protected under copyright law, they want it protected under contract law, and frankly, the big guys are lobbying the try and merge the two.

The problem is that when laws were established, and precedents set decades ago, the digital age was far beyond what anyone could anticipate. Software companies are providing creative works that fall under the pervue of copyright law, no matter how they try to slice it. There is absolutely nothing that fundamentally differentiates a collection of code comprising an application, from a collection of words that comprises a book, or a collection of sounds that comprise a musical work.

If software companies want to license software with restrictions that bypass any provisions of copyright law, such as fair use, then they should just start charging a monthly fee for it and see how well that flies in the market place. If they want to charge a one-time fee for perpetual use, yet try to apply restrictions that bypass consumer rights in a given jurisdiction, then they'll need to deal with it in the courts.

Allowing them to decide for themselves what the condition of sale should be is a bit ridiculous. Autodesk tried to do that, and the court shot them down. The nice thing about legal rights is that the law generally prevents you from forfeiting them, regardless of the amount of legalese companies may try to apply in license agreements. For example, the right of first doctrine (the underlying precedent in this particular case) was originally established in a case involving a publisher including text in a book the forbade customers from reselling it, something like 100 years ago. A few more decisions like this in various jurisdictions will hopefully help settle this question once and for all...

Just my 2+ c....

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Deja vu all over again?
by WereCatf on Thu 1st Oct 2009 05:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Deja vu all over again?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Here's a scenario that bothers me. Let's say User A installs a copy of AutoCAD on his machine, and then turns around and sells the physical media to User B. User A continues to use the AutoCAD installed on his machine. User B installs AutoCAD, and likewise starts to use the software. This is a wrinkle that the judge doesn't seem to have considered. He's looking at this case purely as a sale of physical media.

I have no idea how it is there in the US, but here in Finland it is seen as a copyright infringement if you keep copies of the software while still selling the original media away. You are allowed to sell the media but you must either include all backup copies or destroy them, including any installed copies.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Calipso
by Calipso on Wed 30th Sep 2009 16:59 UTC
Calipso
Member since:
2007-03-13

In the comment section of the linked article, someone posted this link.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2008/05/court-smacks-autode...

Seems like this is old news and the dude won

Reply Score: 1

Apple-Psystar is different though.
by NathanHill on Wed 30th Sep 2009 17:06 UTC
NathanHill
Member since:
2006-10-06

Cause, Apple would lose if Psystar was just buying copies of Leopard and selling them to customers. Weird business model too, unless you got some kind of bulk deal. Or if Apple tried to stop Psystar from selling used Macs with system disks and all.

The Apple-Psystar is already much more complicated, involving hardware, third party software used to install Leopard, copyright/trademark questions, modification to software, and so on. I just don't see the similarity.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Cause, Apple would lose if Psystar was just buying copies of Leopard and selling them to customers. Weird business model too, unless you got some kind of bulk deal. Or if Apple tried to stop Psystar from selling used Macs with system disks and all.

The Apple-Psystar is already much more complicated, involving hardware, third party software used to install Leopard, copyright/trademark questions, modification to software, and so on. I just don't see the similarity.


Nothing ever stopped Pystar from selling computers with compatible EFI firmware (obviously without any Apple trademarks or decompiled/reverse engineered code) that coincidentally happened to be compatible with Mac OS X but were pre-loaded with Windows or Linux. It would be the easiest way to get around the whole issue without running into any problems.

The people who run Pystar are just plain dumb - as dumb as those who went and bought EFI-X only to find out it was an over priced thumb drive with open source components. I want to see Apple's feet put to the fire but those who go about it need to be smart instead of attempting to take on the IT giant head first.

If they did the above we'd be talking about the latest Pystar laptop running Snow Leopard instead of a law suite that could easily have been avoided.

Reply Score: 2

Ridiculous
by BigDaddy on Wed 30th Sep 2009 17:29 UTC
BigDaddy
Member since:
2006-08-10

This is a good example of free (as in freedom) software and media being a better choice for many people. Since I dumped Windows about 3 years ago, I have found that I prefer the open source software over proprietary even if the open source is "not as good" as the commercial equivalent. It is worth it to me knowing that I have the liberty to do whatever I want with the software.

I can't program at all, so source code is meaningless to me. I can't stand most media personalities, so I go for free music as well. You can still get big name musicians free if they have a policy in place to let people record their concerts. (Gov't Mule/Warren Haynes is a good example) I also have found that I haven't "pirated" any software since I left Windows. If I lost a game disc before, I would download it and use my serial. Nowadays, I just download the game again with no guilt. Same thing with Windows. I used to lose that damn disc constantly and was always needing to reinstall for something stupid I had done. Now I am constantly downloading distro's because I can try out as many versions as I want.

Back to the story though, I didn't bother RTFA, but if he was selling a program he didn't use anymore, I can understand wanting to get some money out of it. I do the same thing with old video games and board games. The entire idea of licensing is stupid in my opinion.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ridiculous
by nt_jerkface on Wed 30th Sep 2009 18:02 UTC in reply to "Ridiculous"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

There is no foss equivalent to AutoCAD. None.

You said that you can't program which is true for not only the vast majority of the public but also foss advocates.

Industry specific software can be very difficult and boring to write which means there will *never* be enough foss software to replace commercial software. The incentive and talented pool of developers required simply does not exist.

Some of the most popular open source projects like OpenOffice are short on volunteer developers so it is incredibly naive to think that functional equivalents of industry specific software like AutoCAD will by produced by foss advocates.

People wanted an AutoCAD clone 10 years ago. The foss community hasn't provided one and there is no reason to believe that one will be produced in the next 10 years.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by BigDaddy on Wed 30th Sep 2009 19:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
BigDaddy Member since:
2006-08-10

There is no foss equivalent to AutoCAD. None.

I didn't even look that hard:
http://www.gcad3d.org/gCAD3D_en.htm#Home

I know nothing of AutoCAD nor this gCAD, so I cannot speak to the quality of either, but there is an alternative.

Heck, here are some more:
http://brlcad.org/
http://archimedes.incubadora.fapesp.br/portal
Industry specific software can be very difficult and boring to write which means there will *never* be enough foss software to replace commercial software. The incentive and talented pool of developers required simply does not exist.

I understand that, and I completely agree with you. My previous comment really is from a personal user POV, so I guess it really doesn't translate well into the professional POV.
Some of the most popular open source projects like OpenOffice are short on volunteer developers so it is incredibly naive to think that functional equivalents of industry specific software like AutoCAD will by produced by foss advocates.

Might as well say it would be naive to have a commercial quality operating systems produced by foss advocates. But we have those, right?
People wanted an AutoCAD clone 10 years ago. The foss community hasn't provided one and there is no reason to believe that one will be produced in the next 10 years.

Then it sounds to me as though they don't want it bad enough or they are perfectly happy with what they have now.

I don't mean to sound argumentative or come across as hostile with anyone one this, just want to keep it conversational. But I did originally say "many people" not everyone. In this case here, AutoCAD is going to be one of those programs where open source is not going to cut it for most people. But for *most* people and *most* programs, I think they could get by with a open source alternative.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Ridiculous
by kenji on Thu 1st Oct 2009 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ridiculous"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

I know nothing of AutoCAD nor this gCAD, so I cannot speak to the quality of either, but there is an alternative.

Not even close to equivalent. I am a daily AutoCAD user. I don't think that the FOSS community will be able to create anything equivalent unless one of the commercial CAD software companies open sources their product (similar to what happened with blender).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Ridiculous
by dagw on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ridiculous"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

I didn't even look that hard:

Perhaps next time you should try looking slightly harder. The software you link cannot in any real way be compared to AutoCAD, other than that they both have the letters C,A and D in their name.

The second problem with AutoCAD is that it is a de facto industry standard much like MS Office. So no solution will really be able to seriously compete unless it can read files created in AutoCad and use AutoCad plug-ins. Two problems which are very harder to solve, and not just for technical reasons.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by BigDaddy on Wed 30th Sep 2009 19:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
BigDaddy Member since:
2006-08-10

Wow, I just read your website. I can see that any conversation we would have would be pointless. Lets just say we disagree and move on.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by anda_skoa on Wed 30th Sep 2009 19:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

The incentive and talented pool of developers required simply does not exist.


I wouldn't be so sure about that.
Developers who are FOSS advocates usually have at least the same level of education and skill as developers who prefer proprietary licences.
As for incentives, being professional engineers they would probably do it for the same incentives as the engineers preferring proprietary licences, e.g. money.


Some of the most popular open source projects like OpenOffice are short on volunteer developers so it is incredibly naive to think that functional equivalents of industry specific software like AutoCAD will by produced by foss advocates.


While CAD is certainly a different problem domain than office software, it would be suprising if people with skills for one of these are more likely to prefer FOSS licences than ones with skills for the other.

Actually I would guess that there are more developers interested in working on engineering related software than "productivity" related, independent of which kind of licences they prefer to put code under.


People wanted an AutoCAD clone 10 years ago. The foss community hasn't provided one and there is no reason to believe that one will be produced in the next 10 years.


You seem to be mixing different concepts, i.e. licencing and development model.

It is most likely impossible to do something like AutoCAD based solely on volunteer community based work, but indepenent of which kind of licence the community would choose to use.

Another company would probably do it just like AutoDesk, assuming they would be in the same situation as AutoDesk had been back when they started or enough funding to compensate for AutoDesk's head start.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ridiculous
by abcxyz on Thu 1st Oct 2009 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Ridiculous"
abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

I think you really should presume innocence until proved guilty. At least that should be the case for most of the "western" culture countries.

Banning resale of legitimate copies just in case seems to make as much sense as saying, with this SW, you have to wear this camera equipped hat and we'll be watching to make sure you do not kick your dog or do anything else that could be illegal.

If you sold a disc and still ran your copy, you can get tried just as if you downloaded without purchase (or we could have mandatory spying SW to watch our activity, some might use their inet connection to something bad).

In other words, interests of corporations are surely venerable, but I strongly disagree with the motion that individuals should be stripped of their right without proper trial just to make sure they do not wrong the poor corporate entities (or... well, probably not too many around w/ SW, but individual copyright holders alike).

Reply Score: 1

DREVILl30564
Member since:
2008-04-18

I acquired a large quantity of unopened Dell OS restore disk sets about a year or so ago. they all were for Optiplex workstations where the company had bought downgrade rights to XP Pro then used their corporate volume license media instead of the dell restore disk when they deployed the workstations. I listed the disk sets on ebay and made sure that I advised that these were only to be used as a replacement disk for a properly licensed Dell computer that had the correct Dell branded Windows XP Professional COA License sticker on their system, and that the disks did not come with a serial number and that they wouldn't work on a non dell system.

after about 3 separate reports from microsoft to ebay that caused my auctions to be delisted. I was mad as hell about the issue but couldn't get them to stop yanking my auctions. Ebay even went so far as to inform me that if I listed them again they would suspend my user account....

I still have these disks somewhere in storage, I wonder if this is something where this law could be put into effect.

Reply Score: 1

kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

You could try to sell at a flea market (ie out of the back of a van) or through a local internet classified ad site (ie craigslist).

You may even have some luck selling them to a computer repair shop or unscrupulous local computer builder.

Don't let the microsoft 'man' get you down.

Reply Score: 1

/sigh - here we go again
by mrhasbean on Wed 30th Sep 2009 22:38 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

If AutoDesk's license forbad the resale of the license it would be contrary to the whole tiered wholesale / retail model, so it is a clause they could never hold water. In other words, you would only ever be able to buy the license directly from them because anyone reselling it - ie. resellers - would be breeching the terms of the license. Or is that bit a little too hard for people to understand?

What you are again trying to misrepresent is what the "Apple fanatics" believe is the product you are purchasing, which is the LICENSE. I happen to agree that you should be able to resell software licences that you buy, as you can resell any other product you purchase. You bought the license fair and square, so you can do with that license whatever you please. Sell it, gift it, use it for toilet paper for all I care. That is NOT the issue in the Pystar case and you very well know it - but again you choose to twist words and meanings to your own end.

The issue in the Pystar case is that there is a restriction in that license that is not in any way contrary to accepted distribution models, that was imposed by the company who spent their time and money developing the product, that Pystar is openly and defiantly breeching. Pystar, like everyone else, can choose whether they like the terms of the license and therefore use the product, or not like the terms and return the product for a refund. They, however, choose to not like the terms of the license but still use the product. They can resell copies they have purchased all they please, there is no court anywhere that will ever uphold anything other than that because it challenges the whole tiered wholesale / retail model. If they don't like that license and believe they have legal grounds to challenge it, by all means challenge it, but in the mean time they should not be breeching it because until it has been challenged and deemed to be illegal it should stand.

It is those who hold on to their childish belief that it is their right to override the rights of others who have the problem here, not the "Apple fanatics"...

Reply Score: 2

If it was Adobe
by Phloptical on Wed 30th Sep 2009 22:52 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

I'll bet they would have won. Adobe's legal team is second only to the RIAA, and the Mafia's.

Reply Score: 2

OSNews article couldn't be more wrong
by gavin.mccord on Thu 1st Oct 2009 06:21 UTC
gavin.mccord
Member since:
2005-09-07

This case isn't over. The judge ruled against Adobe's summary judgment/dismissal motion.

It now goes to a proper hearing/trial.

Reply Score: 1

the issue I think is upgrades
by alcibiades on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 08:23 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

I think the issue here is upgrades. You cannot retain and sell on (at least in the US) because S117 of Title 17 specifies that only copies essential to use may be made (which will include copies made in way of installation) and it forbids transfer of such copies without permission of the copyright holder AND it also prohibits transfer of the original without transferring all the copies made for any purpose.

So you cannot do an install and then sell the original, which should surprise no-one.

The issue in the present case (I think) is that the buyers bought an upgrade and then sold the original version. That is what Autodesk has lost on, and it will lead people to review how they do upgrades, technically, and how they price them. In effect, what is happening is that upgrades are being held to be new retail copies, and the act of installing is held to be a new install of that new copy, leaving you free to do whatever you want in way of resale of the old original version.

I'd be grateful for correction if this is mistaken.

Reply Score: 2