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IT-DAILY.NET: License to save

4. September 2017

Used software offers you the license to save. Five years after the landmark decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union to liberalise the used software trade, approval among companies is high. The reason these advantages and savings are nevertheless not completely exploited as well as what needs to considered, is explained in the online edition of the trade journal, IT-Management,, in today’s edition (4.9.2017).

The example of a medium-sized pharmaceutical company makes it clear which (unnecessary!) reservations still exist among IT managers with regard to used software. Not just when it comes to purchasing second-hand licenses. This also applies when software that is no longer used lies dormant as idle capital in the company. breaks down preconceptions in “The license to save”

Concerns that software publishers need to be involved in the sale – and negatively interpret this for their customers – are the most important reasons why companies prefer to refrain from selling surplus software rather than exchanging it for cash.

Time to do away with lies about used software that are circulating on the World Wide Web or that are being placed in the world by software publishers in order to unsettle IT purchasers! also provides facts regarding case law on trading in used software licenses:

  • As the highest judiciary power in the European Union, the Court of Justice of the European Union 2012 rules that trading used computer programs is legal.
  • In addition, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that software usage trading is permissible even if the software is downloaded online.
  • The landmark decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union was fully upheld on 17.07.2013 by the German Federal Supreme Court of Justice with respect to the underlying legal issues.
  • The decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union also applied to volume licenses and the splitting thereof, ruled the German Federal Supreme Court of Justice in December 2014 in another case (ref. I ZR 8/13)
  • In their ruling, the judges clearly stated that the principle of exhaustion applies to every initial sale of software.
  • In March 2016, the Procurement Chamber of the district government of Münster ruled that used software could no longer be excluded from tenders (ref. VK 1-2/16).

According to the article, if IT managers wish to sell the licenses for standard software, there is no reason to hesitate: The sale is legal, and software publishers do not need to be informed about the intended sale since the principle of exhaustion pertaining to copyrights applies. The publisher can only decide how it wishes to disseminate its software upon the initial purchase of a single reproduction of said software.

Getting through an audit safely with used software

The article goes into detail about the biggest concern of the IT manager at the aforementioned pharmaceutical company: “I am responsible for ensuring that our company is licensed in a manner that is manufacturer-compliant. If we failed an audit by the software publisher as a result of the purchase or sale of used licenses, the damage would likely exceed the profit.”

It is understandable that companies shy away from this risk, stated Björn Orth, Managing Director at VENDOSOFT GmbH, which specialises in trading in used software.  With a reputable partner, however, software audits cease to be so frightening – even if used licenses are being used.
“In the countless cases in which we assisted our clients during an audit, there has never been a single supplementary payment or complaint”, reported Orth.
VENDOSOFT assumes responsibility for negotiations with the legal departments at Microsoft and Adobe on behalf of its customers!

According to, no one would approach the giants in the industry with such confidence if they were not sure of their cause.
And we are, because all legal requirements for buying and selling used software are met or even exceeded.

With every software purchase, VENDOSOFT customers receive, among other things:

  • Bill of sale & invoice
  • Installation disks
  • Confirmation that the software was properly acquired by the original purchaser(s)
  • Confirmation from an auditing company concerning the de-installation of the licenses by the previous owners

Obtain detailed information about used software: PURCHASE and SELL

> Complete article online


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