A U.S. Court of Appeals overturns a lower court decision addressing the issue of the copyright’s first sale doctrine in the computer software industry (Vernor / Autodesk)

Vernor v. Autodesk: Copyright, Software Upgrades and Secondary Markets* Earlier today, the Ninth Circuit decided an important case about the scope of the first sale doctrine in copyright as applied to computer software. In Vernor v. Autodesk, the court concluded that the documents in question created a license rather than a sale of the underlying software with the consequence that copyright’s first-sale doctrine did not apply. Early commentary—at least of the 140 character kind on Twitter—is largely critical. The case is one of statutory interpretation and, for the Ninth Circuit, figuring out what some of its earlier software cases had said. The case raises some broad issues regarding copyright and secondary markets, but there is a narrower issue regarding software upgrades embedded in

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  • University of Chicago - Law School

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Randal C. Picker, A U.S. Court of Appeals overturns a lower court decision addressing the issue of the copyright’s first sale doctrine in the computer software industry (Vernor / Autodesk), 10 September 2010, e-Competitions September 2010, Art. N° 38935

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