Category Archives: Software

Update on Resale of Software

Since 2012 Reselling Software has been started by a number of brokers. Though little has been done to reassure owners of surplus software licenses and shelfware that, yes, indeed, licenses can be marketed and sold on. The European Court has restated the legality of the resale of software in Europe in its latest judgment: even where the license agreements signed up to by the licensee declared that the software was non-assignable and only for that particular licensee’s internal business purposes. But the court confirmed that the principle does not extend to software transferred on back-up discs.

Software vendors do not have not been very active in mentioning the resale option to customers. On the other side they cannot be too dismissive: they are constrained by competition (anti-trust) laws in seeking to inhibit the market in indirect ways. This can include discriminating against their customers, refusing support or seeking higher prices from those using pre-owned software. The jeopardy for them is a finding of abuse, damages and fines of up to 10% of their group’s global turnover.

An interesting perspective on support for secondary software being a potential growth market: Support costs on software generally exceed, over time, the initial license fees paid. This means that, if there were a new user of redundant software, there is the possibility of extending the vendor’s customer base and increasing, rather than damaging, its income.

Link to full article by Robin fry

Have you explored the secondary software market?

By Martin Thompson

Has your organization explored the secondary software market? Buying and selling used software can free up much needed IT budgets and reduce compliance and audit headaches.

Software is an asset and should be treated and managed as such, like other business assets (in certain conditions).

Click the link below for access to a comprehensive whitepaper on the risks and opportunities with secondary software.

The paper has been compiled by CIGREF, a network for large companies in France and SOFTCORNER, a marketplace for secondary software and FIE supporter.

Thank you to CIGREF and SOFTCORNER for sharing their paper.


John Deere restrictive practices hinder maintenance for Farmers

John Deere and General Motors want to eviscerate the notion of ownership. Sure, we pay for their vehicles. But we don’t own them. Not according to their corporate lawyers, anyway.

In spectacular display of market manipulation, John Deere—the world’s largest agricultural machinery maker- told the US Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors. Computer code is so embedded within modern tractors; farmers receive “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”  It’s John Deere’s tractor, folks. You’re just driving it. Or in modern software parlance ; “Tractor as a service”.

We live in a digital age, and even the physical goods we buy are complex. Copyright is impacting more people than ever before because the line between hardware and software, physical and digital has blurred. Due to the restrictive practices of manufacturers such as John Deere, farmers are now depending on the external service capabilities of original suppliers, with mechanics to be flown in at, high costs while equipment is left unavailable for days.  As opposed to, for example, fixing the tractor using a tractor mechanic in the same town.


Once we buy an object — software is also an object — we should own it. We should be able to open it, to lift the hood, unlock it, modify it, repair it or have it maintained by a third party of our choice … without asking for permission from the manufacturer.

Over the last two decades, manufacturers have used the Copyright Law to argue that buyers do not own the software underpinning the products they buy—things like smartphones, computer equipment, coffeemakers, cars, and, yes, even tractors.

Product makers don’t like other people messing with their stuff, so some manufacturers place digital locks over software. Breaking the lock, making the copy, and changing something to match your needs could be construed as a violation of copyright law.

And that’s how manufacturers turn tinkerers into “pirates”— even if said “pirates” aren’t circulating illegal copies of anything.

John Deere may be out of touch, but it’s not alone. Other corporations, including trade groups representing and nearly every major automaker.  It’s worth noting Tesla Motors didn’t join automakers in this argument, even though its cars rely heavily on proprietary software.

Owners need access to repair information, replacement parts, apply security updates, maximum control to make required adjustments and freedom to decide who touches their equipment for maintenance and repair.

Free ICT Europe exists to support the owners of all ICT equipment. So let us step up to make it clear in the industry that we need a change from owner controlled ICT.

Mission-critical moving to the cloud?

In his blog called “Is the Cloud all huff and puff? IBM and Oracle certainly hope so!“, John O’Shea shares his views on the question: Is the cloud purely for nice-to-have niche or new applications, but not for legacy, mission-critical functions?

How do you look at the Strategy of these Giants with running business models and shareholders expectations? Please follow the analysis of John here!