I just wanted to clarify the point on dividing licences and how this ruling relates to other software vendors. For transparency purposes, my business created the first second-hand Microsoft Volume software (Discount-Licensing.com) back in 2004.
This ruling specifically refers to an Oracle â€˜licenceâ€™ blocks (of 25 CALs) i.e.: a company that purchased 100 blocks (2500) CALs can sell off those 100 blocks to 100 different customers but it cannot break down the individual licence blocks e.g.: a â€˜licenceâ€™ block cannot be broken down into 5 x 5 user licences. Similarly, with Microsoft Volume LAâ€™s (Select / Enterprise), such LAâ€™s can also be broken down to licence level e.g.: an LA containing 1000 x Office 2010 PRO can be broken down and sold off in smaller quantities but you cannot break down at the individual Office 2010 PRO licence level and then sell off as individual components (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access etc). Another Microsoft product example would be the Windows SBS CALs, which could be purchased in licence blocks of 5 or 20 â€“ a company may purchase a 2 licences, 1 containing 20 CALs + the other containing 5 CALs â€“ if the ECJ ruling is applied here, you cannot break down the licence block of 20 and sell off to two different customers in smaller quantities such as 10 + 10 CALs but you can sell the 2 licence blocks to 2 different customers.
In any case, this court ruling puts a long awaited dent in the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) tactics employed by the software vendors. However, worth noting that Usedsoft’s use of a Notary (in part, to hide where the licences came from) was deemed illegal by the German courts and Usedsoft is now also going through insolvency proceedings. There are other secondary software licence suppliers whom adopt more transparent business models that do not rely on the Exhaustion Principle.