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You are quite rightly asking yourself whether the purchase and sale of second-hand software is absolutely watertight from a legal point of view? The clear answer to this is: Yes. Legally, this fact is based on two court rulings of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), which we would like to explain to you in the following:

European Court of Justice legalises the sale of used software

The law is on your side, because in its ruling of 3 July 2012, the ECJ made it unmistakably clear that both the purchase and the sale of second-hand software is permitted as long as certain framework conditions are observed. In principle, the ruling states that trading in used software licences in "tangible or intangible form" is legal. Accordingly, it is permitted to purchase used software in the form of a CD or DVD (physical form) or as a download link (non-physical form). The buyer can dispose of the used licence permanently and freely and neither buyer nor seller have to ask the manufacturer whether he agrees to the resale. In addition, the software manufacturer may not demand renewed remuneration when the licence is resold. This is already fully completed with the initial sale.

An important legal framework condition for the resale and purchase of second-hand software is to ensure that the seller renders his software version unusable. He must delete it from his server and should he be in possession of a programme CD, then he must also prove that he has also destroyed it. This is to prevent the same licence from being used two or more times.

Federal Supreme Court: Trade in second-hand software licences is permitted in Germany

A corresponding ruling was made for Germany on 17 July 2013, which transposed the ECJ ruling into German law. It states that used software licences can also be sold and purchased in Germany. This creates a legally secure basis for software trade in Germany as well. Physical and non-physical copies of programmes are also treated equally here. In addition, the buyer is entitled to receive updates for his software at any time and without limitation.

Volume licences may be unbundled

Das Oberlandesgericht (OLG) in Frankfurt/Main bestätigt am 18. Dezember 2012 das Urteil des EuGH ebenfalls. Dabei geht es sogar noch einen Schritt weiter und betrachtet es als rechtens, dass Volumenverträge auch aufgespalten und als Einzellizenzen weiterverkauft werden können. Am 11. Dezember 2014 bestätigte das BHG dieses OLG-Urteil zum Thema Aufspaltung von Volumen-Lizenzen noch einmal. Wichtig dabei ist einzig der Sachverhalt, dass nicht mehr Nutzungsrechte weiterveräußert werden dürfen als die Summe der in einer Volumenlizenz enthaltenen Einzellizenzen ergibt.

An overview of the current legal situation: What is allowed?

  • Purchase and sale of individual licences.
  • Volume licences may be split.
  • Software may be resold in both tangible and intangible form.
  • Purchaser of used software has unlimited right to updates.

Nevertheless, the trade in second-hand software is bound to certain framework conditions.

  • The initial licence would be placed on the market with the knowledge and consent of the manufacturer.
  • The software sold is the property of the seller. It is not rental software.
  • The seller has rendered his version of the software unusable.
  • The chain of rights can be proven without any gaps.

How can I, as a buyer, check that these legal framework conditions are complied with?

We take over this check of the so-called chain of rights for you. If you purchase software from tralion, you can be sure that the chain of rights is fully documented and can withstand a audit by the manufacturer at any time.

How can I, as a purchaser, check individual licence from a volume package, how can I check that the number of individual of individual licences issued is correct?

This control is also in our hands. We at tralion ensure that the sum of the individual licences that are triggered from a volume contract correspond to those of the volume licence. match. In the interests of consumer protection, it is be ensured that the figures are correct. We at tralion guarantee this.

Do I receive appropriate certificates that ensure that the trade in used software at tralion at tralion is carried out in accordance with the applicable legislation?

When you purchase used software, you will receive a transfer certificate from us, which states that the software has been handed over to you and may now be used by you. be allowed to use it. At the same time, this document ensures that the seller has rendered his version of the software unusable. Furthermore Furthermore, you will receive a Certificate of Authenticity that guarantees the authenticity of the software, as well as a Proof of Ownership, which authenticates you as the rightful licence owner. Furthermore In addition, proof of ownership ensures complete documentation of the chain of rights.