When Is A License Not A License?
In a blow to the software licensing paradigm and intellectual property rights everywhere, the European Court of Justice said that it was OK to resell a software license once you are done with it. The case involved Oracle and a European company UsedSoft, which had made a nice business of reselling the licenses. The story is reported here at Dow Jones by Vanessa Mock.
It really boggles the mind that such a court could redefine intellectual property rights in such a fundamental way. Furthermore, I could understand, though not accept, it if this action came from North Korea or China where pirating is an open secret. But to have the European Court of Justice come up with such a boner leaves me just shaking my head.
It’s almost as if medieval law was resurrected and rather than indenturing people to the land, it now indentures technology companies, and probably many others who provide licenses rather than products, to slavery.
So, does Oracle in this case have an obligation to continue providing updates to the new owner of record? This is a story that will continue to evolve.