Autodesk's legal department must've spent a sleepless night as word came out late yesterday evening from Europe that used software can be sold privately. As my European CAD friend Dietmar Rudolph explained it to me:
You will have seen comments on the EU ruling on used software which in fact says that a software company's rights to distribution of a license ends with the first sale. Once sold (no matter which way), the licensee is allowed to resell the software even if the EULA says differently.
- When we are legally free to buy and sell software, Autodesk makes no revenue from this secondary market.
- When we buy and sell among ourselves, we set a free-market price that is much lower than the fixed price set by Autodesk.
- Lowered demand for software supplied from Autodesk could force it to lower its list price to compete with the open market.
So, today is a good day in Europe for design firms with surplus licenses of CAD and other software, and for firms looking to make their business more efficient in these tough economic times through lowered software pricing.
When Autodesk speaks of bringing democracy to the design world, I have a feeling on this July 4 that they didn't mean to include democratic software pricing -- pricing determined by the people.
Link to the court's decision on InfoCuria.