Used software licenses

Used software licenses (or already-marketed software licenses) are still the same software, which you may find in box or download from VLSC account. The only difference between new software licenses and already-marketed licenses is the price. It is exactly the same product, but you can save up to 80 % when you decide to buy the already used one.

How does used software work?

It’s easy. Even though there is a persistent rumor, supported by big software manufacturers, that the software licenses are not transferable, the opposite is true. As the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled: “The trade in used computer programs is declared to be lawful in principle.” Said in another words: If you buy an original software and you no longer need it, you can sell it without any further restrictions from the manufacturer.

Legal background

The legal basis which permits re-sale of software licenses, that have already been placed on the market, is determined by EU Directive 2009/24 / EC, Article 4. Paragraph 2, which stipulates that the first sale of the software licenses, the author’s right to control its further distribution is exhausted.

Based on the judgments of both national and supranational courts, specific rules and procedures have been established which, if they are respected, guarantee complete legal basis, security of the transaction and legal product usage rights for the new licensee.

  • The original acquirer must have obtained the software from the copyright owner or with his consent. 
  • The original acquirer must have bought the software within the EU or within the European Economic Area.
  • The original acquirer must make his own copies of the computer program unusable at the time of its resale.
  • Software licenses were fully bought by the original acquirer.
  • The licenses shall not bind any third party’s rights and have not been (or partially) sold.

These transfer principles are acknowledged by both software vendors (Microsoft opinion) and the professional community (AK HAVEL & Partners opinion).

Conditions of license transfers

In accordance with the standards mentioned above, all transfers of licenses through PREDNY SLM are accompanied by complete documentation, including Declaration of the first acquirers:

  • As proof of purchase of the original license by the original acquirer, for each transfer, we include not only all of its identification records and Microsoft Agreement Number, but also Master Agreement Number and Business Agreement Number and copy of initial agreement (if available).
  • As part of the transfer documentation, we also provide de-installation declaration of the original acquirer as evidence which confirms that the acquirer made his own copies of the computer program unusable upon resale.

Only complete software license documentation ensures trouble-free passage through software audit.

Beware of pick-pockets!

Unfortunately, there are lots of so called “Legal licenses brokers” on the market. But, when fulfilling the contract, they often only send product keys to customers, not the license.

The main difference between product key and license can be illustrated on the example of a car ownership. If you are given car keys, it doesn’t always mean, that the car is yours or that you can use it freely. You also need to have the papers and underlying documentation, otherwise, the police can stop you and give you a fine. The same principles are also applied to software licensing. Only if you have the complete documentation, you can be sure that you are the owner of the property.

Be sure to always ask for complete documentation, including the original contracts when the software was brought to the market for the first time (by copyright owner or with his consent). Otherwise you can fool yourself by these pick-pockets.

FAQ for license transfers

Is buying and selling used software licenses legal?
Yes, the trade in second hand software, that was first marketed in the EU or the European Economic Area with the consent of the originator (ie the manufacturer), is lawful. This was decided by the European Court of Justice in its judgment of 3.7.2012. In July 2013, the Federal Court of Justice confirmed the legality of the trade in used software licenses. All relevant judgments of the European Court of Justice and the Federal Court of Justice on the legitimate trade in used software licenses can be found.
Does the software manufacturer have to agree that the used software can be sold?
No. A consent of the respective manufacturer for the sale of used software licenses is not necessary according to judgment of the Federal High Court. The copyright of the manufacturer is therefore exhausted with the first sale of his software copies in the EU.
Is the purchase of used software compared to the new purchase in any way disadvantageous?
Software, unlike hardware, is not subject to any material wear. Therefore, used licenses are not functionally different from the new ones. The buyer thus incurred no disadvantages compared to the new acquisition. On the contrary: Many software versions, which are still used in companies, authorities, etc., are no longer available as new. Then the secondary market for software is the only way to get them. The purchase of used software via our company, is legally compliant and manufacturer-compliant. It represents an extremely cost-effective alternative to buying new computer programs – with savings of up to 80 %.
Can I use my VLSC account to store my new “used licenses”?
Unfortunately, you cannot. Only new licenses can be added to the VLSC account. That’s why we have developed our Software Trading Platform™ (STP). STP brings you the same features as VLSC does and, you can also re-transfer the licenses to the new owner or sell them back to us. Learn more about STP.
Can I also carry out updates on used software?
Yes. There is no difference to new software. Even as a second buyer, you can continue to perform updates to the respective manufacturer with an update-authorized second-hand software license.
In which countries may used software be sold?
According to the judgment of the European Court of Justice of July 3, 2012, the trade in used software is permitted in all the countries of the EU or the European Economic Area.
With volume licensing, I get data carriers, manuals, etc.
PREDNY SLM delivers your volume licenses including media and license folders. There are no additional costs for this.
What are the prerequisites for buying and selling used software?

Buying and selling used software has been legal since a 2012 ruling of the European Court of Justice. However, there are some prerequisites:

  • The software is no longer in use by the previous owner
  • The previous owner has fully uninstalled the software
  • The software must originate from a country within the European Economic Area
  • The software was brought into circulation in the EU legally and based on a valid contract
  • The previous owner has purchased the license legally
  • The vendor has received adequate payment for their product according to the market
  • The software license is valid for an unlimited period
  • For volume licenses, a statement of deletion from the original owner is required
  • The entire chain of ownership can be proven

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