Akron student sells unused software on eBay, gets sued,

From Paul Thurrott WinInfo Short Takes: Week of April 11:

My guess is that you’re going to hear a lot more about this case in the weeks ahead. The short version goes like this: Microsoft sued an Ohio college student last year for selling two pieces of unused Microsoft software on eBay. Microsoft has won numerous cases like this in the past by default (who wants to square off against Goliath?), but University of Akron student David Zamos decided to fight back. He won– or at least settled after Microsoft realized the danger–but there’s a lesson to be learned from this story. Zamos argued, quite effectively, that he couldn’t agree to Microsoft’s sales and licensing terms because the company wraps its End User License Agreement (EULA) inside the unopened software. I expect this bit of legal chicanery to be tested again in the future. In the meantime, this is a bellwether case that all Microsoft customers should be aware of. The “Cleveland Scene” ran the full, and interesting, story:


I’ve always wondered what would happen if I bought a name-brand box for the hardware and tried to sell of the pieces I didn’t want. What kind of obligations are you under for the physical parts of your purchase? Can you sell off the sound card? The CD drive? The manuals? How about the CDs for the software you don’t use, don’t start and don’t break the shrink-wrap on?

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.