Cisco Systems/OSELLSUE

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OSELLSUE Violation

Makes nonsensical claims that reselling hardware with OS loaded is illegal

Status: Current — The violation is standing.

Cisco, at times, makes dubious claims about the resale of hardware with embedded software being illegal. The premise of their argument tends to be that by reselling the hardware, the "licence" for the software terminates, as it is nontransferrable.

The problem with this argument is that it presupposes that a "licence" is required to use a piece of software you lawfully own in the first place. In the United States, 17 USC 117 clearly indicates that this is not true. There is no valid cause of action under copyright law against someone who simply excercises use of a copy of a piece of software they lawfully own.

Even if such resale constituted a breach of contract, that dispute would be between the parties to that contract; the manufacturer and the seller, not the buyer.