Rechtsgrundlage Software Lizenzen

Legal basis of used software

On this page you can find out more about the legal situation regarding the purchase or the sale of used software. However, if you feel unsure or have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us personally or by e-mail! We are looking forward to advising you!

Purchasing and selling used software is legal!

On 3 July 2012, the European Court of Justice judged (judgment in Case C-128/11) that

“An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his ‘used’ licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet.”
“(…) even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy.”

This judgment liberalises the market for used licences – also for licences downloaded from the Internet, such as Microsoft volume licences, Adobe licences or other. This was previously only possible for box products, which means software in physical form, such as in the form of a disc, because for these products the “principle of exhaustion” applies. According to this principle, the manufacturer’s right to prohibit a resale expires after the sale.

Until the judgment mentioned above, this principle did not apply to downloaded software. In all European countries, the copyright law is usually several hundreds of years old. Thus, it was not up to date regarding this topic. The European Court of Justice has correctly recognised that the software remains the same, whether as a download or as a physical product in the form of a disc. However, it is important that it is a perpetual, temporally unlimited licence. The judgment of the European Court of Justice legitimised the sale of software licences, which are downloaded from the Internet – and therefore an important gap in the law was filled.

Legal notices – Used software legally certain


Used Software, as it is offered by Software ReUse, is in the legal sense exhausted software. After the verification of the software and the legally compliant transmission of the licences, the software can be offered by us for downloading and you as a purchaser have the same rights as if you were buying new software. You therefore save up to 75% off the original price on the purchase.

The licences offered by us were purchased from other companies, which either do not need them anymore or change the software. Frequently it is a so-called volume licence. This licencing model means that the software is released for several workstations or computers. You as a purchaser of used software have no disadvantages in comparison with buying a new product and you are entitled to regular security updates and support. If you are interested, learn more about all facts regarding used software.


Along with the product key of the exhausted software, at Software ReUse you receive a detailed documentation on the arrangement of the rights regarding the intended use. We provide you with all information by which you will be able to prove the exhaustion in cases of doubt. This includes information on the previous purchaser and on whether he has made his copy unusable.

We communicate how the software was initially put into circulation, which remuneration the rights holder received, to what extent the rights holder granted a right of use and if updates are included. Thus, our software is in compliance with the requirements of the European Court of Justice (Judgment C-128/11) and also satisfies the conditions set by the German Federal Supreme Court of Justice (BGH).

    Inquiry form – Buy software

    We are looking for the following software licenses: (required)
    Please indicate the VERSIONS for which you would like to get a quotation (e.g. Office 2016 Professional Plus, SQL Server 2017 etc.), and the the required QUANTITY.

    We would like to sell the following licenses: (optionally)
    You have software licenses that are no longer in use? Please indicate the VERSION and QUANTITY.