Second-hand software - licence implications?

  Pineman100 18:19 26 Nov 2007

If I buy a software package from someone who no longer wants it, and uninstalls it from his computer, what are the licence implications?

Am I then the legitimate licencee, and can I register myself as such with the publisher?

Thanks for any advice.

  Totally-braindead 18:30 26 Nov 2007

I would have to say it depends on the Terms and Conditions of the software.

Personally I see nothing wrong with using second hand software. If the software was OEM then they are within their rights to stop you using it on a second PC even if its removed from the original one. It is meant to die with the original PC, of course this is mainly where Operating Systems concerned though you can get OEM copies of many other types of software, wasn't so long ago I bought an OEM copy of Nero the CD burning software.

But, even with OEM software, as long as you didn't register it it would work, of course you couldn't get the updates but it would work.

I have had bother registering some games that I bought second hand and to be honest with you I gave up and just never registered it. They either wouldn't believe it was removed from the original PC or refused point blank to register it in my name. The last one I had this bother with was Half Life 2 which has the Steam software on it to stop piracy. Now any game that has this software on it I don't buy its as simple as that.

  Pineman100 18:39 26 Nov 2007

You make an interesting point about OEM software. I had an OEM version of Nero on my last computer, but when I installed it on this one, it installed OK but simply wouldn't work, even though I didn't attempt to register it. I got an error report that said something like "Not licenced for this computer. Please contact Nero to purchase licence."

I assumed that it was somehow able to identify the specific machine.

  Woolwell 18:39 26 Nov 2007

I've bought MS Publisher and FrontPage second hand and had no real trouble registering them. You may need to ring MS to explain though.

  eedcam 18:42 26 Nov 2007

Is there a need to register will it give you any advantage other than future upgrade.

  roy 18:45 26 Nov 2007

If your copy of Nero originally came with a CD or DVD writer then it will most likely tied to a pc with that writer installed.

  Totally-braindead 18:46 26 Nov 2007

eedcam that really was my point about continueing to use the software anyway.

Don't know how Nero OEM did that Pineman as mine installed fine on another PC when I upgraded it. Mines Nero 6 and perhaps yours is a later edition and works differently.

  Pineman100 18:56 26 Nov 2007

Does anyone know if there is an "official" line on this matter, which is adopted by all software publishers?

Roy - that sounds like the most likely explanation, thanks.

  woodchip 18:57 26 Nov 2007

No but I would have no fear on loading it

  Totally-braindead 19:09 26 Nov 2007

Pineman100 I don't know of an official line on this at all. I seem to remember there was a debate on something along this line a couple of years ago and as far as I remember it came down to the T&C of the individual software.

As far as I'm concerned if you own the original software whether you bought it second hand or not I don't see how they could stop you using it. They could if it turned out to be still running on another PC block the original user but if you have the original disks I don't see how they could stop you using it.

I might be wrong if the T&C prohibit this but if so would that be legal? It might be thinking about it as when you buy a disk you don't own the software itself the same as you don't own the music when you buy the CD. What you own is the right to use the software or play the music.

I would be interested to see if there is a definate answer to this.

  Pineman100 18:01 27 Nov 2007

Thanks again, TBD.

Your argument seems sensible, and - as you say - I guess there may be variations between publishers.

Let's see whether anyone else with some expert knowledge posts.

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