Press Releases

BSA Urges European Court of Justice to Uphold Software Licensing Online

Brussels — 6 March, 2012

The Business Software Alliance welcomed today’s hearing in the Court of Justice of the European Union to solicit input on a case (Oracle v. usedSoft, C-128/11) which has significant implications for the digital economy and electronic commerce.

The court is examining the enforceability of licensing agreements for software acquired and downloaded over the Internet. Today, most commercial software is made available over the Internet subject to licensing agreements which spell out the rights and obligations of both the software vendor and the customer. Such licenses make the digital economy possible. 

German and other European courts have correctly held these licenses are fully enforceable.  The Court of Justice of the European Union should unequivocally affirm the German court’s ruling.

“For many years, European law has enabled Internet sales and distribution of software without obtrusive limitations on a vendor’s right to limit further online distribution of those works. This protection has resulted in the availability of many popular online services today’s consumers enjoy,” said Thomas Boué, director of government relations EMEA for BSA.

“This case has significant legal and economic importance.  A wrong decision, casting a shadow over the enforceability of licensing in online environments, would undermine development of the European digital economy, chill innovation, facilitate piracy, and damage new online and ‘cloud computing’ models for making content available. We urge the Court of Justice of the European Union to avoid the legal uncertainty and market disruption that would result from rewriting existing copyright rules.”

About BSA

The Business Software Alliance ( ) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of nearly 100 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

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About BSA

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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