2 years on Verner gets judgement against Autodesk

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Two years ago Timothy Vernor took Autodesk to court in the US, for using VeRO to remove 2nd hand copies of Autodesk’s Autocad software that he was selling on eBay.

Autodesk claimed that their software was licensed and never sold, and so their customers don’t have the right to re-sell the product. Vernor countered that owners of any product including software should have the right to resell the product when they no longer need it.

A Washington court has agreed that regardless of the Autodesk licensing agreement that they actually do “sell” the software and so users can resell when they no longer require it. One of the arguments was “What if the user keeps a copy of the software (or doesn’t uninstall it) and then sells the disk, but equally with other products you could copy a CD or DVD and then sell the original. Just because some users make illegally keep a copy it should not prevent legitimate users from uninstalling the software and reselling it.

The case will be appealed, and it’s likely to be several more years before a final verdict is made, but currently the ruling is on the side of free trade and the ability for you to sell items you own, including software.



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