Copyright -- was PC-DOS 3.3

Eric J Korpela korpela at
Tue Dec 13 12:28:58 CST 2005

On 12/12/05, Chuck Guzis <cclist at> wrote:
> On 12/13/2005 at 12:24 AM 9000 VAX wrote:
> >One question. I often can find old abandoned PC's. Most of them are
> >with software. Am I authorized to use  the software I found? One step
> >further, could I copy them to my own PC and use them? Examples are MKS
> >tool kit, MS C 6.0, several versions of DOS, Qedit, PC tools. I admit
> >that I am not bothered by this issue. I am just curious about the
> >'main stream' opinion.
> I suppose that would depend on the EULA, wouldn't it?  Some permit
> transfer
> of license with or without charge, others don't.

In the US, the doctrine of first sale states that whether the EULA allows
transfer or not, the item may be transfered.  (Of course this likely means
that since the transferee did not agree to the EULA, the EULA doesn't bind
the transferee.  I don't know whether this has been tested in court.)

Of course, the doctrine of first sale can be read to only allow sale of the
original copy, not the copy on the hard disk.  This may or may not depend
upon whether the original copy still exists.  (Again I don't know whether
this has been tested, either.)

But regardless of what the EULA says, you can resell or give away the
original media, so long any you destroy any copies you may have.

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