A used software license is basically freely available in Switzerland and the EU. Swiss courts as well as the European Court of Justice have already passed judgements which confirm this.

There are also no contractual obstacles, as long as the resale of the standard software is not prohibited or limited in the license agreement between the software provider and the first purchaser. In addition, contractual obstacles are only effective between the author and the first purchaser, which means that you, as the later purchaser of the product keys or software licenses, can use them without hesitation.

Used software is generally freely available for sale in Switzerland and the European Union.

Art. 12 para. 2 of the Swiss Federal Act on Copyright and Related Rights ("URG") already clarifies that a computer program sold by the author can be resold and used (so-called principle of exhaustion). This means that with or after the sale of work copy (this includes software), the author has lost his right to decide on its further distribution.

Based on this principle, the cantonal court of Zug has confirmed in its judgement of May 4, 2011 against the software company Adobe (cantonal court ref. ES 2012, 822) that the trade with used software licenses is basically allowed under Swiss law.

The EU courts came to the same conclusion. In particular, the Regional Court of Munich ruled in its ruling of April 4, 2008 in Case 30 O 8684/07 that no further consent from Microsoft was required for the resale of individual used Microsoft software licenses under a volume license agreement. This decision was later confirmed by the German Federal Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. In 2014, for example, the German Federal Supreme Court held, with reference to a ruling by the European Court of Justice, that trade in used software is largely unrestricted and that such software is therefore generally available for over-the-counter sale.

In order for the author's distribution right to be exhausted, it is generally necessary in particular that:

  • The software was originally brought into circulation in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland by sale with the consent of the author;
  • The author has granted this license against payment of an appropriate fee;
  • The author has granted the first purchaser a right to use the copy permanently;
  • Improvements and updates (so-called updates) which the software downloaded by the subsequent purchaser has, in comparison to the software downloaded by the first purchaser, are covered by a maintenance agreement concluded between the author and the first purchaser;
  • The first purchaser has rendered the copy of the software installed on his computer unusable (e.g. by permanently deleting it); and
  • The seller has also informed the customer that the purchase of a product key does not yet constitute a license for lawful use of the program. The license is formed from the respective installation and the acceptance of the terms of use as a result.

keys.discount sells product keys that enable software to be used. This means that the product key only enables the download for installation. The conditions for the use of a software or the license result from the terms of use to be accepted during the download and installation of the software.

There are no compromises to the initial purchase. The buyer of used software licenses is also entitled to all services in connection with the software.

No, no verification is necessary.

When purchasing with us you will not experience any unpleasant surprises, you will acquire existing rights to the used software licenses effectively.

The principle of over-the-counter (OTC) salability also applies to volume licenses as well as to single volume licenses for the purpose of separate resale - as long as the agreed maximum number of users will be respected.

Prerequisite for the lawful resale of the used license is in any case that the first purchaser no longer needs the software to the extent of the resale and deletes the program copies existing on a computer to the corresponding extent.

This is also protected accordingly in European case law. In particular, the Regional Court of Munich decided in its ruling of April 4, 2008 on Case No. 30 O 8684/07 that no further consent from Microsoft was required for the resale of individual used Microsoft software licenses from a volume license agreement.

The Regional Court of Hamburg, which had already declared the sale of used software licenses from volume agreements to be lawful in 2006, came to the same conclusion (RC Hamburg Az. 315 O 343/06).

No, there is no legal obligation to do so.

If the seller or manufacturer has different contractual regulations, keys.discount will take care of the correct procedure.

No, generally, no further consent is required for resale. With the first sale, the author or manufacturer’s power of disposal over this copy of the software is exhausted, so that he may not impose any further conditions for resale.

Used software licenses may be sold within the EU, the EEA and Switzerland. For other countries, a corresponding legal clarification is to be made in each case.

The term "used software" justifiably leads to questions and confusion, as used software is often associated with an existing wear and tear. As with other products, software becomes used software if it has already been used.

However, software has the advantage that it is usually not subject to wear and tear. The installation and use do not cause wear and tear in the actual sense, but rather let the software become used software by definition. Therefore, a used software should be of the same high quality as a software that was purchased directly from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer. Worse work results or worn components are not be feared when it comes to software. This is a good possibility for companies to optimize their own license costs for the software needed in their company by purchasing used software licenses.

Usually these are licenses from companies that, for various reasons, sell unused or no longer needed software licenses. This may be due to consolidation or mergers. Also, system changes or faulty planning within a company can result in the release of used software licenses. Or when a company ceases its business activities and the licenses are sold in a liquidation sale.

You will receive a delivery note on which the license key and the transfer of rights to the seller are noted. You will also receive the link to the download available in our shop.

Under "My orders" you can also find the link to our download center. This is a .rar file, which you have to unpack after the download, then start the "setup" file and start the installation process.

How and where do I enter the license key? On your PC, click the "Windows Button" Control Panel Programs and Features. Your program should be there. Change it with the right mouse button or enter the product key. If this is not the case, you can make changes with the right mouse button or enter the product key directly.

Yes, several customers of keys.discount have been successfully audited by the software author or manufacturer, which did not question the legality of the resale according to the procedure of keys.discount.

Please contact us at welcome@keys.discount if you need more information about audits.

keys.discount has already provided reference customers for several customers regarding the sale of product keys.

On request of existing and new customers keys.discount is willing to establish contact to such a reference customer. Please contact us directly at welcome@keys.discount, if you want us to put you in contact with a reference customer.

If you have a question that is not answered in these FAQs, you can contact us by e-mail at  welcome@keys.discount.

4.16.1. What does ESD mean?

ESD means "Electronic Software Distribution" or "Electronic Software Download" and thus stands for the distribution of software and games via the Internet. Thus, when buying digital products there is no shipping of physical data carriers or key-cards. Instead, you download and install your program or game directly from a server.

4.16.2 What are the benefits of ESD

The benefits of ESD are:

  • Unlimited availability;
  • Central storage location of your license keys on our portal;
  • Available 24 h a day; and
  • No delivery time (e-mail dispatch within one hour after order completion).

4.16.3 How does ESD work?

To download your program or game from the server, you must proceed as follows:

  • Step 1 - Complete the order: Place the desired item in the online shopping cart as usual and complete the order process. After completing the order, you will receive a confirmation by e-mail.
  • Step 2 - Confirmation email: Shortly after receiving the confirmation email you will receive a second email. In it you will find the product key. Next to the product key there is a copy button. Press the copy button and copy the product key.
  • Step 3 - Activate software: Download the required software from the download center. Install the software. Paste the required product key from the clipboard and finish the installation.