The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is here and with it comes a new set of rules about personal data. One such rule states that "you must be able to change your mind about whether or not to share certain information". This means that if you're selling something online, you have to comply with GDPR. One way to do this is by making sure your customers can't download your product from another source. But what happens when someone buys an item from you but then wants to pass it onto somebody else later? Can they buy the same thing again?
If you want to know more about how GDPR affects ecommerce, we've got all the answers right here. You'll find out everything there is to know about who gets affected by the new regulations, why you should care, and exactly what changes are coming down the line.
In short, yes! Selling a software license gives you full ownership over the software, so long as you don't make any alterations to the underlying code. If you modify the program at all after buying it, you lose ownership rights. However, once you sell the license back to the customer, you become legally responsible for the software. For example, if you sold Windows 10 Home to a customer, you would retain ownership until the end of time, while the buyer could use the license however she wanted.
This isn't a simple issue though, because each country has its own laws around software licensing. There's no one-size fits all answer, and different jurisdictions will treat sales differently depending on their specific circumstances. So let's take a look at some of the most common scenarios where a person may need to determine how to deal with software licensing.
Yes, if the licence itself doesn't state otherwise. In other words, if you bought a copy of the software and received a key, you own the software without restrictions unless stated otherwise in the terms and conditions.
For instance, say you purchased a video game off Steam and used the key to activate the title. When you activated the game using the key, you became the owner of the game. As soon as you were done playing, you could transfer the licence to someone else by handing them the physical disc containing the game. This was perfectly fine under US law, which does allow people to re-sell licences.
However, in Europe, things aren't quite so straightforward. Although you technically owned the game, you couldn't transfer the licence to anyone else without first contacting Valve and obtaining permission. Once the game had been transferred to someone else, you'd still keep ownership of the game, although you wouldn't receive a royalty fee anymore.
No, you never really 'own' anything. Even if you buy a piece of paper saying “I hereby grant you access to my house”, you don't actually own the property yourself – it belongs to whoever owns the land underneath. Likewise, even if you pay $1 million dollars for a car, you also don't own it. It just sits somewhere. A licence is similar in nature.
It allows you to exercise certain permissions over a particular object, like owning a dog or driving a motor vehicle. Just like with real estate, you won't necessarily own whatever it is you've licensed. So if you paid thousands of pounds for a computer game, you probably don't own the game, regardless of whether you've activated the game and installed it.
Even if you did manage to acquire ownership of the game, you can only use the title for so much time before being forced into paying royalties every month. After you've played the game for a couple of years, you might decide to sell it back to the developer. At that point, you may well be unable to transfer the licence to anybody else, meaning that you'll have to pay royalties forever.
There's no definitive answer to this question, since each jurisdiction has its own laws regarding software licensing. Some countries prohibit the resale of goods, whereas others permit it. And those that permit it often require sellers to provide detailed instructions on how to prevent consumers from running away with copies of games they haven't yet paid for. Other countries simply forbid the practice.
So, the best advice is to contact both the seller themselves and local authorities to see what kind of policy they enforce.
As far as Microsoft goes, the company sells two distinct types of products. First up is Office 365 Personal, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook Mail & Calendar, Access Online, Publisher, and OneDrive cloud storage. These are available to individuals for £9.99 per year ($14). Then there are Business versions of these programs, which come bundled together with additional features including Exchange Server, Skype, SharePoint Online and Enterprise Mobility Suite. They cost between £24.99 and £499.00 per user (£299.95 for five users), plus tax. Both options include free trials.
Office 2019 Professional Plus costs around £500 per seat annually, while Ultimate costs around £900 per seat. Prices vary based upon volume discounts, and all plans include free updates for three years.
These prices seem steep, especially considering Microsoft charges £10 per year extra for support, but the benefits outweigh the price tag. With the exception of Office 2013, all versions of Microsoft Office contain all of the functionality required for work purposes, as well as advanced tools for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Additionally, they integrate seamlessly with third party applications through ActiveX controls, allowing you to connect easily with existing systems and open files created by other companies.
You can view our list of tips to help you avoid Microsoft scams, as well as check out our guide to avoiding fake reviews.
What is the EU ruling on the sale of software licences
You may think that you could just re-sell your licence as normal, but according to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this isn't possible.
"If I give my friend or relative my copy of the game, he will no longer be entitled to use it under copyright law", explains Professor Timo Sallinen, Head of Digital Law at PwC Finland. It seems the only way around this would be for him to sign up to the EULA which grants them the right to use the software forever, even after they've bought it back. However, this is against GDPR because it allows your customer to continue using the software after you cease providing support. In other words, you are effectively selling access rights without consent.
So how does this affect you? If you plan on selling software via ecommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay or Etsy, you'll need to make sure that you aren’t breaking any laws. You should also check out our guide to EU sales tax before setting sail into international waters.
Another option is to look at third party marketplaces where you don’t control every aspect of the transaction – like a marketplace designed specifically for sellers who want to sell their products through multiple channels.
This includes sites like Openbay, Gumtree Marketplace and Rakuten. Each one offers different benefits depending on your business model so you should take some time to research each platform before deciding on which one works best for you.
While there are many ways to legally sell digital goods online, we recommend checking out these top 10 websites for selling digital content safely and securely.
The recent ruling by the EU's General Court on whether or not it was illegal for someone to buy and then re-sell a copy of Microsoft Windows 7 (or any other computer program) has been met with mixed opinions. However, there are some important points that need to be considered before anyone decides to go down this route.
In short, if you decide to sell your own copies of programs like Windows 7 or Office 2013 as opposed to buying them at full price from official retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy, you may find yourself breaking some laws. That said, most people will probably still choose to do so rather than paying hundreds of pounds every year for something they can easily obtain for free.
If you're thinking about selling your own versions of these products, here’s what you should know first...
It is perfectly fine to sell copies of Windows 7, but only if you have bought those licenses directly from Microsoft themselves – otherwise you could end up being sued into oblivion. This is because Microsoft holds the rights to all their software and when they give out licenses, they must ensure that they cannot be used outside of company networks without permission. This means that unless you purchase your copy through a retailer who also sells legitimate licences, you are likely to face issues later on. You might even run into trouble if your customers ask why they aren't receiving updates after purchasing your version of the product.
As far as Office goes, things are more complicated. While Microsoft does allow its users to make personal use copies of Office 2013, they don't actually grant any sort of licence to distribute those copies further. Instead, you will need to pay an additional fee each time you want to use one of its products again.
No matter which way you slice it, selling your own copies of software that you've paid for is always going to be frowned upon by law enforcement agencies. It simply isn’t possible to transfer ownership over a licensed item once it has been purchased online – especially now that the EU's General Court has ruled against the practice.
For example, imagine you purchased a copy of Photoshop CS6 from Adobe when it launched back in 2014 and you had no intention of ever using it again. After a few months, you come across a deal where you can pick up a brand new PSD file for just £10. You feel tempted to bite the bullet and take advantage of the offer, but hold off until you check with a lawyer first.
Unfortunately for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a second hand version of Photoshop. In fact, it would save you money. However, since you haven’t legally obtained the right to redistribute it, you could potentially end up facing charges under the Copyright Act. As we mentioned earlier, you cannot pass on the licence itself, meaning that you'll never be able to use the software again unless you pay another person a small amount to cover the cost of the original purchase.
That being said, there are plenty of companies offering cheap deals on older software titles. If this sounds appealing to you, keep reading below to discover exactly how you can start making serious cash!
When you’re looking to purchase a software license, you’re usually presented with two options. Either you can buy direct from the manufacturer, or you can buy your license through a third party seller. Whichever option you opt for, it doesn’t really matter too much – it’s ultimately the responsibility of whoever created the product to enforce the terms and conditions.
So let’s say you’ve decided to try and sell your own PC games instead of playing them illegally. What happens next depends entirely on how you went about obtaining the title. If you download it straight from Steam or GOG, chances are high that Valve or Green Man Gaming won’t mind at all. On the other hand, if you were lucky enough to stumble onto a cracked version of a popular game, you may have ended up violating the publisher's T&C’s. Even though you didn’t intend to, you could very well be liable for damages.
To put it simply, whenever you create a work of art, you automatically gain “ownership” over that creation. Whether you write a novel, paint a picture, compose music, build an app or design a website, you retain complete control over whatever you produce. But while nobody else can claim ownership over your creations, you can certainly trade away your shares in exchange for money.
Nowadays, many programmers prefer to release their code publicly. They believe that doing so gives others access to their hard work and encourages creativity amongst fellow developers. When you share your source files freely, however, you relinquish certain privileges. For instance, you lose the ability to charge money for your project and you can’t prevent others from distributing it on their websites.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid posting anything related to copyrighted material on public forums or social media platforms. Doing so puts you in breach of intellectual property law and opens you up to potential lawsuits.
While software piracy remains rampant around the world, it’s easy to see why people continue to turn to grey market alternatives. So long as you remain honest with yourself and follow the rules set forth by the platform you’re working with, it shouldn’t cause you too many problems.
What is an EULA and what does it mean for your business
An End User Licence Agreement (EULA), also known as a Software License Agreement, is the legally binding agreement between two parties involved in either buying/selling or using a piece of software.
It is usually found within the box containing a piece of software but can also appear on a CD or DVD accompanying the product. It will state who owns the rights to use the software, how many times it may be used, and often contains terms such as 'activation' or 'keygen'. This means that when a user activates the software they must enter a key which allows them to continue using it after activation. Without entering the correct code, the software cannot run. If the user wants to transfer the ownership of the software from one person to another then they should contact the company providing the software so that they know their details.
These agreements vary slightly depending upon where you live in the world however most countries follow similar laws regarding the legalities of selling copies of programs. In fact, if you have ever bought something online and had problems with shipping, delivery or payment, chances are the seller has sent you a contract along with the goods. These contracts are sometimes referred to as eLicense Agreements due to their similarity to EULAs.
In Europe, there are four main types of EULAS. They are all very different in nature and cover different aspects including whether or not they allow unlimited usage, whether or not they permit copying, and if they require that the customer pay royalties to the provider every time they install the software.
The most recent decision by the European Union's highest court regarding the sale and use of software is an important development. It has confirmed that it is perfectly acceptable for individuals or businesses to resell their own products, provided they are not doing so commercially (i.e. with profit). This applies to both physical and digital versions of software.
For example, if you have bought a copy of Photoshop CS6 on your PC then you can re-sell this licence onto other computers without any problem, but selling a physical DVD containing Windows 10 Home would be illegal under EU law. This ruling was made back in February 2016 but only came into force today.
However, when purchasing licences for commercial purposes such as MSDN subscriptions and enterprise software packages like Oracle Database 11g Express Edition or SAP Business One there will still need to follow these rules.
In short, what this means is that you can now legally sell copies of software that you've purchased yourself. Of course, if you're using them in order to make money then you'll need to comply with all relevant laws about copyright infringement etc. But otherwise, you should find no problems whatsoever in selling either physical or virtual copies of software.
Microsoft may well take some time to fully implement this change across its entire range of products – so don't expect every single piece of software out there to suddenly become more widely available online. However, once implemented the rule changes could represent a major shift for many companies who had previously been relying on third party sellers rather than themselves.
While we wait for Microsoft to catch up, here's everything you need to know about selling your own software licenses...
Yes! You can sell a Microsoft software license at a price set by the vendor. If you purchase a retail version of Windows 7 Ultimate or 8 Pro then you are entitled to resell those licenses too. There is no restriction on the number of times you can do this. In fact, Microsoft states that "multiple sales" are allowed within the same year.
You cannot however resell individual components of the operating system like the Media Center application or Media Player Classic. Also, if you buy a volume license or OEM version of Windows you must retain ownership of the hardware in which it runs. For instance, if you buy a full version of Windows 7 Professional installed on a machine called'mypc1' then you must keep hold of this particular PC. If you decide to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro later then you can’t just move ‘mypc2’ over to run the newer OS because you wouldn’t actually own the hardware anymore.
No! Once you receive the license code then it becomes yours alone. That means you can install it on multiple machines and even give it away to friends, family members etc., but you cannot pass it along to someone else unless they pay you directly to do so.
If you want to share your game keys or movie vouchers with others then you can always create a simple account on sites such as GameFly where people can send you gifts instead.
Similarly, if you want to offer access to your personal cloud storage accounts (from Dropbox and Google Drive) then you can simply sign up with providers such as Backblaze or Spideroak who allow non-subscribers to download files via web links. As long as you control the content inside the private folder nobody else will ever see anything.
Once you've activated the installation media on your original device then any further installations require your unique serial number/license key to be entered again. To avoid having to type this information each time, you might consider writing down your license details somewhere safe. A USB drive, paper printout or similar works best. Alternatively, you could try creating a small program which prompts you for the data before running the installer.
Another option is to write down the data permanently onto a sticker which you stick to your monitor or screen. Then whenever you boot up your computer you can read off the license info from wherever you put it.
Note that there are certain circumstances where a company can prevent you from transferring your license between devices. These include situations where the second device is part of a networked environment and the first device is not connected to the internet.
If you already own a valid license for Microsoft Office then you can easily transfer it to a new computer. Just head over to office.com/setup and select the language & region closest to your current location. After entering your email address and clicking Next you'll be able to locate the correct license file and click Install Now.
Alternatively, if you'd prefer to go old school then you can also connect your existing CD/DVD to your computer via a USB port, browse the contents and choose the appropriate.msu file. When prompted to enter your password, press Enter twice to complete the process.
Of course, if you haven't yet bought a license for Microsoft Office then you'll need to contact the manufacturer directly. They will provide instructions on how to obtain a free trial version, after which you can activate it on your new computer.
There are several ways to acquire your desired software package. First of all, you can visit the official website of the provider and view the list of products available for sale. Sometimes vendors will publish lists of their stock levels on social networks, although this doesn't necessarily indicate whether or not they'll accept preorders.
A good way to tell if something is going to arrive soon is to check the release date listed against the availability dates shown above. If the two match then you can probably expect the item to show up shortly. If you spot a particularly desirable title then you should definitely place your preorder right away.
As mentioned earlier, you can sometimes save a lot of hassle by buying gift cards. Many retailers offer voucher codes, allowing you to pick items up virtually instantly and avoiding the stress of waiting around for days while trying to arrange shipping. Some gift card websites even let you search through thousands of offers quickly.
Finally, if none of these options appeal then you should think carefully about how much you really need the software anyway. Most applications can be downloaded for free nowadays, meaning that anyone can play games or watch movies without paying a cent. Even high end graphics programs such as Adobe Premiere Elements 13 cost nothing.
Do note though that some titles remain restricted to paid subscribers due to licensing issues. In these cases you can often find alternative solutions which work just as effectively. For instance, you could convert a video clip into MP3 format, upload it to YouTube and embed the audio track in your blog post. Or perhaps turn some images into animated GIFs and add captions to boost engagement.
If you're looking for inspiration then our collection of 100 awesome things to do with photos shows plenty of creative possibilities. We also recommend checking out our article on how to hack Facebook profiles for fun.
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