A decision from the US 9th District Court of Appeals could effectively put an end to the sale of used video games and effectively neuter the first sale doctrine.
First reported on the Threat Level blog at Wired.com, in Vernor v. Autodesk, the court ruled 3-0 in favor of Autodesk's claim that Timothy Vernor couldn't sell copies of used software, Autodesk's Release 14 of AutoCAD, on eBay. Vernor had purchased at least four copies of the software from the licence holder, which was required by Autodesk's licence agreement to dispose of the software.
In the opinion, Judge Consuelo M. Callahan said that "Because Vernor did not purchase the Release 14 copies from an owner, he may not invoke the first sale doctrine." We asked Electronic Software Association (ESA) Senior Director of Communications Dan Hewitt and a GameStop representative what this decision means for the video game industry (GameStop is the largest retail seller of used software in the US). Both were unavailable for comment.
You may read Callahan's opinion here.
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