EU court gives “second hand” resale rights for digital downloads

Some important news for ebooks from European Court of Justice

“The ECJ said that software owners exhaust their rights to control the sale of their copyrighted products when they first sell them within the EU, regardless of whether the sale concerns a physical product or one downloaded from the internet.”

This means that…

“Users of digitally downloaded software can sell it on secondhand, providing they deactivate or delete the original copy from their hard drive, the European Court of Justice has ruled.”

Since an ebook is software, these can also presumably be resold. Amazon authors who ticked “use DRM” when you uploaded a Kindle book will probably not have to worry about this, Because “cracking” the book in order to resell it would be illegal. If the book is out in the open, though, it looks like your EU buyers can now legally put it on a memory card and resell it. One time only. This may have implications for the more expensive types of books such as textbooks, perhaps especially in relation to medical and engineering students who sell off their textbooks at the end of the academic year. Users would not have to crack the DRM on these, they would just legally sell the entire device they used to read them, complete with their entire collection of texts.

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