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Copyright Exhaustion Rationales and Used Software: A Law and Economics Approach to Oracle v. UsedSoft

  1. Antoni Rubí Puig


This article aims to provide courts and policymakers with an analytical framework that, building upon the traditional rationales of IP exhaustion doctrine, identifies factors which advocate for a modulation or flexibilization of the role of exhaustion in copyright law. Factors include (i) the personal features of acquirers of copies of copyrighted works, distinguishing between consumers and commercial users; (ii) whether post-sale restrictions have been adequately communicated to acquirers and have been agreed in the contract or license; (iii) the degree of complexity of the acquired goods and their prospects of productive uses and interoperability; (iv) the role of other exclusive rights in providing rightholders with indirect control over uses of the copies in the aftermarket; (v) the impact of post-sale restraints in preventing opportunism in long-term contracts and in reducing deadweight losses created by IP pricing; and (vi) the temporal scope of post-sale restraints. After setting out this analytical framework, the ECJ Judgement in Oracle v. UsedSoft is discussed.




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JIPITEC – Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-Commerce Law
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