Legal Issues Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Pre-owned Licenses but Were Afraid to Ask.
Today: Acquisition in good faith

2. December 2019 – Katrin Luther

In ancient Roman law, there was a quite simple and straightforward legal principle. In Latin, it states that "Nemo plus iuris transferre potest quam ipse habet", which, as scholars of the old language can easily conclude, means, "No-one can transfer more rights than they themselves have". By this rule, the ancient Romans categorically excluded a legal covenant that is not unknown in our modern legal systems, that of "acquisition in good faith".

So if in Rome of the olden days someone else than the rightful owner sold an item its owner could nevertheless claim his or her right to this item. The unfortunate acquirer, on the other hand, was left out in the cold.

We´re not in Rome, but ...

Other than in those days, today a purchaser of goods sold by someone else than the actual entitled party is in a slightly better position. If he or she can assume bona fide, that is, in good faith, that the vendor of the goods is also their rightful owner chances are better than in Roman times they will be allowed to keep their recent acquisition. The unauthorized seller will not be so very pleased by the prospect of having to deal with immediate and thoroughly justified claims of compensation.

There is a caveat, however: When buying pre-owned software licenses, purchasers might not succeed with invoking the aforementioned legal appearance. When undergoing an audition, they need to produce significantly more tangible arguments proving without doubt that the purchase complied with all relevant legal standards and they had satisfied their obligation to exercise due care when checking adherence to those standards.

Why you should rely on a specialist

The documentation that qualifies to prove legally compliant transfer of licenses properly and without doubt is more complex than you might think. Producing a simple sales receipt will not suffice by far. To avoid unpleasant surprises in the course of an audit prospective and actual buyers of pre-owned software are well advised so rely on the services of a specialized partner for the process of transferring such licenses.

Relicense is such a partner. Drawing from our expertise and years of experience we can ensure that purchasers of pre-owned software will not run the risk of legal uncertainties of any kind. And to put it in the words of the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca, our customers can rest assured that we will do what we can to help them realize a well-known quote of his: Effugere non potes necessitates, potes vincere .

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