Man gets Microsoft VeRO notice overturned

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Normally the receipt of a VeRO notice spells the end of selling a product on eBay, but not for one man. Having listed a copy of Windows 7, due for release on 22nd October, on eBay as soon as the VeRO notice arrived he fired off an email to Microsoft.

Microsoft had sent out “Windows 7 Party packs” as part of their launch, but they were never intended for resale. Not accepting this he pointed out that there was no difference between the promotional copies and those that would be sold at retail quoting first sale doctrine and saying “You CANNOT restrict someone from reselling something that they legally obtained from you”

Microsoft immediately caved in saying “We have contacted eBay and notified them that Microsoft does not object to the reinstatement of your auction pending its further review of this matter.”

Whilst this is quite an obscure case and I have a certain amount of sympathy for Microsoft for not wanting their software sold ahead of launch, it’s heartening to see large companies starting to accept that they cannot restrict the sale of items that you obtain legitimately. In Europe eBay are petitioning the EU Parliament to end restrictive trade practices and personally I welcome every event which speeds that processs up, both in the UK and across the world. The internet has no geographical and very few political boundaries, and that’s how it should stay.


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