What is li-x?
li-x is Europe’s first marketplace for used software licences.
What’s special about li-x?
Great prices: Buyers and sellers have direct acces to the used software market. Since there are no intermediaries, companies make more profit when selling and save more money when buying used software licences. li-x is the economic and legal proxy for purchasing and transferring software licences (proxy purchase).
Legal security: Prior to each sale, we validate the licences’ transferability. Only after the chain of title has been documented completely and all legal prerequisites have been met, we release the licences to the market.
Who are the employees of li-x?
Our team consists of licence specialists, highly motivated web developers, and dedicated support staff. The founder and CEO of li-x, Boris Vöge, has more than 10 years of experience in the used software trade and has assembled an international team.
What is being dealt on li-x?
Currently, our portfolio consists of volume licences from the software vendors Microsoft and Adobe, which have undergone a transferability check and whose history of origin has been thoroughly archived by us. We’ve devided those licences into three categories:
- Application software
- Operating systems
- Server solutions
Who can trade on li-x?
li-x can be utilized by companies, institutions, and public authorities. After registering for free, you can start trading immediately. Private persons cannot deal on li-x.
What is used software?
Used software is software which has been put in circulation with the consent of the software vendor, i.e. the vendor has directly distributed the software or the software has been sold by a software retailer.
Can used software be legally resold?
Yes. In July 2012, the European Court of Justice has made a principle decision, declaring the trade with used software as inherently legal.
According to the grounds for the judgement, „the exhaustion doctrine is valid from the first sale of a software product“. The exhaustion pertains to every single licence, making the splitting of volume licences possible, as confirmed by the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (Federal Court of Justice of Germany, 12/11/2014, file no. I ZR 8/13). The decision also applies to licences which have been transferred online. Buyers of used software are even entitled to download the software product again from the software vendor’s site. The ECJ justifies this decision as follows: „Moreover, the exhaustion of distribution rights applies to the creator’s or legal owner’s programme copy, too in latest and improved form“ (ECJ 07/03/2012, file no. C-128/11).
On July 17, 2013, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany, implemented the decision by the ECJ on a national level. In Germany, it is legal to remarket used software licences and to transfer all rights of usage for the software to the subsequent purchaser. Physical and noncorporeal program copies are treated equally (Federal Court of Justice of Germany, 07/17/2013, file no. I ZR 129/08).
What about volume licences, in particular?
Even the sale of volume licences is legally unproblematic, since „the ECJ’s decision also applies to volume licences and the process of splitting them into single licences.“ That was confirmed by the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt in December 2012 in a lawsuit between Adobe and a used software dealer (Higher Regional Court Frankfurt on the Main, 12/18/2012, file no. 11 U 68/11). This decision was confirmed by the Federal Court of Justice of Germany in December 2014 (Federal Court of Justice of Germany, 12/11/2014, file no. I ZR 8/13).
What is a volume licence?
If a company wants to use a programme on several computers, software vendors offer so-called volume licence agreements. With a volume licence agreement, a company purchases a specific quantity of licences for products from the software vendor. When purchasing great quantities of licences within the scope of a volume licence agreement, software vendors often hand out discounts.
Furthermore, licences from volume agreements contain additional rights of usage. The re-imaging right, for instance, allows for a central distribution of the software. The distribution can be managed from one server, instead of installing the product manually on every single computer. This way the company saves time and money whilst licence management is facilitated.
As opposed to individual licences, data media or user manuals are not included in the delivery of volume licences. Instead, the licences can be installed via download.
Licences from volume licence agreements may also be split up and resold individually.
What about updates and maintenance for used software?
Software vendors must not differentiate between regular and used software: Used software is to be treated exactly like new software. A product version which includes the right to be updated, retains that right even when the software is resold. According to the legal framework, software vendors are obliged to make free patches for error removal available to subsequent buyers, too.
How can I acquire maintenance?
Should you require maintenance for a certain software product, you can select ‘buy with maintenance contract’ as an option when real-time trading, in order to buy a product as well as its maintenance. The contract covering the licences is created under the resolutive condition that the software producer does not make an offer of maintenance, which the buyer would accept. Our support-team accompanies the implementation of a maintenance agreement.
How are the licences validated?
li-x generates a regulated market for used software licences. In order to sell software licences on li-x, the seller has to verify that the licences exist in the form stated and adhere to lix’s quality criteria as well as to European legal requirements. This examination (called clearing) will be performed for the seller by the li-x support team.
For clearing their licences, sellers have to upload the licence agreement, the receipt of purchase, and, if needed, the latest maintenance bill on li-x.com. If additional documents are required, our support team will request those documents. Furthermore, the seller has to transfer the reading rights for the relevant online portals of the software vendors to our support team.
After clearing has been successfully performed with a positive outcome, the licences are released to the market immediately.
What is a chain of title?
The chain of title keeps track of the footsteps of a software licence on the market. Starting with the initial owner, the chain of title documents all subsequent owners. The initial licence owner is listed by name. The numbers of the contract from which the licence originates, are displayed, in order to identify the licence unequivocally.
Based on the chain of title, the origin and the legality of the licences can easily be verified in case of a software audit.
Does the software vendor have to agree to the sale of used software?
No. Approval of software vendors is neither required for the purchase nor the sale of used software licences. Clauses stating the contrary in licence agreements are legally void.
Do I have to register my used licences with the software vendor?
Registering your licences is not required.
How are prices determined on li-x?
On li-x, buyers and sellers have two options when it comes to trading:
- 1. Accepting orders to sell or buy immediately (real-time trade)
- 2. Placing an order to sell or buy (exchange trade)
The prices on li-x are determined by supply and demand.
If a real-time trade doesn’t occur, there will be at least one matching a day for all buying and selling orders in order to estimate the day’s market price. The price is determined by the maximum tradeable amount of licences.
How does real-time trade work?
Real-time trade on li-x is similar to floor trading. A placed order for sale or purchase can be accepted immediately. The offered price will be directly accepted.
The complete or partial acceptance of an offer is possible. li-x is the trade partner for both buyers and sellers (proxy purchase) and meets all economic and legal requirements. In order for an accepted offer to become effective, the seller has to confirm the offer.
Who is my trade partner when buying or selling licences?
Both buyer and seller only have one trade partner: li-x GmbH. During the trade, a proxy purchase is made by li-x. Initially, the seller sells his/her licences to li-x. A second later, li-x sells the licences to the buyer. Both purchases are made at the same price.
For any questions regarding the economic and legal execution, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team.
Where do I find my product keys?
As soon as you have succesfully purchased your new licences, they will appear in your li-x account. You can find a complete list of your licences on the page ”My licences”. In order to obtain your product key, you will have to go to that list and click the blue plus-button in front of the licence. A grey box will appear showing origin and status of your licence. Now click on the button ”Details” on the right, which will take you to the page ”Licence details”. Here you can see the product keys you were looking for.