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May 21, 2008


Patrick Dowden

Since AutoDesk lost the court case it seems logical that there is some responsibility to uphold the validity of the "used" license.

So, that leaves the question: if the court says that it is legal to re-sell an original copy of AutoCAD, what responsibility does AutoDesk have to allow the buyer of the used software to register their legally purchased copy? Upon installation AutoCAD software goes into demo mode then expires after 30 days if it is unregistered. So where does that leave the buyer of the used software when his 30 days is up? All versions of AutoCAD since 2006 require the online registration/blessing of AutoDesk.

But based on the court's decision, AutoCAD software is to be treated as a sale and not as a license, and therefore it is legal to sell a used copy (provided that it was properly uninstalled by the original user). Shouldn' t AutoDesk, in following
with the court order, be required to grant these registrations to allow these people who legally purchased a used copy to use their software past the 30 day demo mode?

R. Paul Waddington

Autodesk & Vernon chose to settle but for the industry I believe it would have been better to have seen the case run its course.

The outcome, as it stands, leaves Autodesk in the position of being able to ‘use’ its licence agreement; an alternative outcome could have spelt trouble for not just Autodesk but many other vendors as well.

As I have said before, my personal opinion is that the Autodesk’s Subscription and Licence terms and conditions are nothing more than a guide detailing how Autodesk wants its customers to behave in relation to the use of their products. Whether a user wishes to abide by those guideline is entirely a personal choice!

Having said that tho’ I do believe the average ‘honest’ user would/should abide by the ‘rules’ relating to copyright but could simply ignore every thing else and let Autodesk know that in exactly the same way I have, for similar/the same reasons.

As for Patrick’s question: well there would be those who would agree, Autodesk should register ‘legitimate second hand’ software; and there are some who would say no. The way I would answer this question tho’ is to say Autodesk already do. As much as it is believed Autodesk will not allow a ‘licences’ to be transferred, they do and have, a number of times, to my knowledge and I am sure there are many instances of which I am not aware. The trick; a person intending to ‘sell’ an Autodesk licence should ask Autodesk – for ‘permission’ to do so - first and have a ’legitimate’ reason.

For those who find themselves outside the ‘approval to sell/buy’ process, and needing to register the software; first ask, and if you need to, sharpen your negotiating skills and ‘stick to your guns’!

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