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Buying used software + licenses

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
This is way off the head-fi mark, but there may be some legal minds here. Do software license agreements allow for users to sell their master copies and licenses to another party? For instance, lets say I have Microsoft Windows 98, along with my original disk and software license certificate (it came with an old notebook that I no longer use). Can I legally sell my Windows 98 disk and license to another party?

What about if I agree to destroy all existing copies of the software before the sale? (i.e. degauss the hard drive where that licensed copy is installed) I even put it in writing...

I realize that there are most likely different software licenses on a company to company basis (i.e. Microsoft's license is different from say Adobe's); however, I'm just hoping that someone out there in the Head-Fi crowd might know off hand.
post #2 of 7
I did a search for the Win98 license agreement. It has a section on permanent transfers. The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes, provided that you transfer all materials, including the legal documents and stuff, and retain absolutely nothing of the original product (which means wiping every trace of your Win98 installation off the computer).
post #3 of 7
Yes, with one caveat: if you "upgraded" from that copy, you technically can't sell it to someone else.

What I mean is this: if your computer came with Windows 98, or you bought it, then you *upgraded* to Windows 2000 using a special "upgrade" price, you cannot legally sell the copy of Windows 98, as your license for 2000 is dependent on having a license for 98. On the other hand, if you purchased a full retail version of Windows 2000, then you can do whatever you want with your copy of 98.

In your case, however, where the computer it came with is not being used, you're fine.
post #4 of 7
dhwilkin is right. I often read these agreements especially since I can get software from M$ at reseller employee prices or at university at educational prices and I'm always interested what are the limitations. So, provided you transfer everything and keep nothing, it's ok - unless you had a "not for resale" version (unless you work for m$ or one of their resellers, you don't).

I know some games where you are explicitly prohibited from reselling, but they are minority.
post #5 of 7
The licenses usually differ for different kinds of software and also for different editions. For example OEM software (the one you buy pre-installed on computer) can be sold only with the hardware. So you cannot buy new Compaq with preinstalled Windows OEM version and then sell Windows separately. Normal "boxed" version of Windows can be sold IIRC.
Contrary to this, some software like games (and each game has it different) cannot be sold at all, simply when you buy it and play it through you are supposed to get all the value already and therefore should not spoil the market for the distributors .
To be sure the best is to read the enclosed agreement.
post #6 of 7
Majority of games can be re-sold, and I make damn sure I bring them for consignment once I'm done. In fact, the ability to resell makes a large chunk of the total value. The game that can't be re-sold is worth much less and should be priced accordingly, and the fact should be clearly visible on the box. License agreement in the box is invalid anyway since you generally cannot return opened software even if you don't agree to license.
post #7 of 7
Risa, good point about OEM versions. Also, "academic" versions generally cannot be resold.
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