"Microsoft's ability to sell a whole new operating system with
every PC that ships, and to block the growth of a
secondary/secondhand OS market, has been checked slightly - in
Germany. A Berlin appeal court has ruled that Microsoft can't stop
dealers selling software it intends should ship only with new PCs
"...from what the court said when delivering its verdict, the
implications of the ruling seem rather wider. The court feels that
you can only exercise your rights of authorship once, which
presumably means that you can place restrictions on the
initial sale, but not on secondary sales. If that's the case it
possibly means it's legal for OEMs to sell on copies of Windows
they've already paid for (or even to sell licences, without
shrinkwrap), and it's certainly legal for you to sell your copy of
Windows after you've finished playing with it. In Germany."
"The fallout from this, even in Germany, is however
substantially muted by a cunning plan Microsoft prepared
earlier. How easy is it to buy a PC with an unlocked copy of
Windows on delivery media that you could physically sell, these
days? Microsoft has of course been going over to bios-locked
installations that will only run on a particular machine, and
protected medialess delivery where the code is on the hard
disk, and can't easily be shifted onto another machine either."
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