"Do not throw your money out of the window" and "Save up to 50% on the autocad software purchase" - such advertising attracts with cheap offers for the purchase of "used software". That such offers also hold great risks, shows a recent judgment of the district court of Frankfurt am Main, with a buyer of allegedly used autodesk software, among other things Payment of damages and deletion of the installed software. In addition, the buyer must bear the entire costs of the lawsuit.
But what to do if you want to buy used software? First of all, it should be clear what licenses (rights of use) should be specifically acquired. Rights of use to software are granted within the framework of very different license agreements, which also provide for a different scope of the specific rights of use. For example, a distinction must be made between licenses for so-called stand-alone software, in which the software may be installed on the computer of the respective user and so-called client-server licenses, in which the user can access the software via the server , as well as between single-user and multi-user licenses. Only the license agreement of the first purchaser can provide information about what concrete rights of use one might receive "second-hand". Accordingly, the district court has stated in its current judgment: "Decisive are the specific license conditions in a particular case."
In addition, the judgment once again makes it very clear: The effective acquisition of a used license requires a complete chain of acquisition from the first purchaser to the last customer. "The ruling gives potential customers of used autocad software clear requirements: they need the original license agreement of the first purchaser as well as all documents that detail the transfer to the various purchasers to you in detail," said Caroline Schmidt of FPS lawyers & notaries who represented the plaintiff software producer in the court proceedings. "Only when these documents are available, it can be checked whether at all an effective acquisition of" used licenses "exists," said the lawyer. "The verdict also makes it clear that anyone who does not hand over these documents and still install the software violates the copyright and trademark rights of the manufacturer and faces the risk of claims for damages."