License for sale?

No No No,
That it violates the McNeel EULA does not mean that it is not legal. The McNeel EULA is not the law. In EU it is legal and user agreements or contracts can not overrule the law. Software developers like to have it different but they can not overrule legislation. In this case whereby there is a difference between the law and a user agreement, the law prevails.

Great, would be really helpful if you could provide a link to the EU Law that applies.

Just did a quick check as I did not wanted to spend to much time on finding the “hard core text” but her some links. When you buy you own it.

Indeed, that looked really interesting, so I went to the original legislation, “DIRECTIVE 2009/24/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 April 2009 on the legal protection of computer programs”.

And Article 4, Clause 2, Restricted Acts, does indeed say, “The first sale in the Community of a copy of a program by the rightholder or with his consent shall exhaust the distribution right within the Community of that copy, with the exception of the right to control further rental of the program or a copy thereof.” i.e. you can resell it.

But… Article 8, Continued application of other legal provisions, goes on to say "The provisions of this Directive shall be without prejudice to any other legal provisions such as those concerning patent rights, trade-marks, unfair competition, trade secrets, protection of semi-conductor products or the law of contract.

“Any contractual provisions contrary to Article 6 or to the exceptions provided for in Article 5(2) and (3) shall be null and void.”

Article 5(2) refers to backups, Article 5(3) refers to testing and study, Article 6 refers to decompilation. These are the only contractual areas which the Directive explicitly nullifies. Which means that if the EULA says that your copy of the software is only for use by an accredited student, then that contractual condition still applies. i.e. You can sell it to an accredited student but not to me.


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Hi Jeremy,

Being Dutch, I also took the Dutch version in addition to the English version. I am not a barrister though nor a lawyer but I am not sure whether to can follow yr explanation.

Currently I am the rightholder and I have the right to distribute it (Art 4.2) but may not just copy or rent it to others. (I may personal copies/backups art 5.2)

Selling the program to you, would make you the rightholder (and me the illegal user if I would continue using it).

It seems to work similar as with a book. I can buy it, I can sell the book but it has only one rightholder. He may make copies for personal use but may not distribute these copies to others.

Ebay is full of second hand computer games changing from one rightholder to the other without control of writers of the software. Is that illegal?

So if you want to buy my Rhino V5, drop me a mail.



Note simply that if one tries to sell an edu version “second-hand” the buyer will not be able to validate the license on the McNeel system; after 30 days it will stop working, so they will be throwing their money away. Same thing with a commercial license if the transfer of ownership and validation is not approved by McNeel.

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Hi @Helvetosaur,

It has been a while since I read the Directive, but from memory Mcneel would not be allowed (within the EU) to use the validation mechanism to prevent a second-hand buyer using the software, provided that the buyer met the EULA terms still applicable (e.g. a student edn is purchased by another bona-fide student). They can use it to stop a non-student from using a second-hand student edn.


EDU licenses are not transferable.
The special pricing is extended to a specific student or faculty member based on their status at the time of purchase.

EDU licenses can be upgraded to a COMMERCIAL license, and then the license can be sold/transferred.

You would have to look at any contract associated with the original sale to answer that…

And, sorry but I don’t want to buy your Rhino 5 - I already have a copy.


Good luck in enforcing that (write to your EU parliament rep :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:). You would also have to go after all the other software companies that have similar restrictions on “resale” of licenses.

And, if you did manage to succeed, you would simply force the companies involved to their change student edition distribution model, most likely resulting in increased restrictions on how/where/when the software can be used and possibly increased prices. I’m sure student Rhino users all over the world who are happy to have a full unrestricted commercial software package for 1/5th the full price would thank you for your efforts…

Hi Mitch,

I don’t have to, and have no wish to do so.

(But the EU does enforce it - this whole thing started when they enforced it against Oracle, who consequently could not stop the market in second-hand copies of their software.)

Please don’t paint me as the bad guy.

Personally, I don’t agree with the legislation (and the drafting process was reportedly distinctly iffy) but it exists and I do think we will get on better if we understand the law through careful reading rather than relying on simplistic magazine headlines, or sticking our heads in the sand (or snow maybe? :wink:).

Yes, a consequence of the legislation could be that companies like McNeel cease to sell some or all of their software in the EU. You know what to do:


Don’t have one… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I know very well who they are. But as we’re not in the EU, we have no representatives in the EU parliament and virtually no influence on EU legislative policy.

chicken parade

That’s a rather fowl comment…

@Helvetosaur actually a mostly referred to this

but yes it went a bit aside here.

Any agreement, EULA or otherwise, must be in line with legislation otherwise it is invalid. However, being in the right and getting yr right are to entirely different things (not sure if this proper English).