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Extending ‘First-Sale’ Doctrine to Software Would Harm Consumers, BSA Testifies

WASHINGTON, DC — June 2, 2014

BSA | The Software Alliance today urged the US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet to oppose any extension of the “first-sale” doctrine to copies of software distributed under licensing agreements, because licensing allows flexibility for evolving software delivery models and provides substantial benefits to consumers.

“We urge this Committee to reject any proposal to extend the first-sale doctrine to copies of software acquired under a licensing agreement or otherwise to convert the first-sale doctrine into a ‘first-license’ doctrine,” said BSA Counselor Emery Simon in testimony before the Subcommittee for a hearing on First Sale under Title 17. “We believe such an extension would undermine the licensing models that our business and individual customers depend on today, upsetting long-standing business practices and leading to substantial confusion among consumers about the rights and quality associated with ‘secondhand’ software, resulting in unintended and harmful consequences.”

Click here to download Simon’s testimony in its entirety.

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BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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