In a landmark decision, the European Court of Justice dealt a major blow to Oracle on Tuesday, ruling that the software maker cannot block the resale of its software online. More information about the news @ http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d54ff9e6-c515-11e1-b6fd-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1zo4cMsO3
What does this mean for other software makers like SAP or Microsoft?
I am truly surprised by the ruling. This does not answer many questions like
- How does the vendor keep track of who is the current user of the software?
- What happens to the Support fee?
- How can you track if a customer has made copies of the software?
- What happens in a case where you one wants to re-sell only the excess license that they have? What about the support fee (which usually is a % of the license cost that the customer has paid)?
- Does this mean that people can also re-sell e-books or music that they bought from iTunes? What happens if I have already listened to a piece of music and now want to re-sell the music.
In my opinion, a judgement like this has the potential to disrupt entire industries. I think, comparing digital products with physical products and basing your decision on this, is not right.
Now, only time will tell if this decision is up-held in the German court of law (which looks likely) and if other courts in the US (where this is not allowed by law) as well. If this happens, then this has the potential to disrupt the business models of these large software conglomerates. A new order will be created with new leaders emerging.
Interesting to keep a watch on this!
What do you think about this decision? Do you agree or disagree?