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Software First Sale Doctrine Slashed

Wired.com reports a ruling by a federal appeals court (Adobe Acrobat format) saying that first-sale doctrine is "unavailable to those who are only licensed to use their copies of copyrighted works," which makes it unlawful to resell software distributed under shrink-wrap and click-wrap licenses. As they explain: "The first-sale doctrine of 1909, in its current form, allows the 'owner of a particular copy' of a copyrighted work top sell or dispose of his copy without the copyright owner's authorization. 'The first sale doctrine does not apply to a person who possesses a copy of the copyrighted work without owning it, such as a licensee,' the court ruled." This case was an appeal of a case involving sales of AutoCAD on eBay, and it sounds likely that another appeal will follow. Thanks Aclesius via Slashdot.

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