Guess What, You Don't Own That Software You Bought
By David Kravets September 10, 2010
A federal appeals court said Friday that software makers can use shrink-wrap and click-wrap licenses to forbid the transfer or resale of their wares, an apparent gutting of the so-called first-sale doctrine.
The first-sale doctrine is an affirmative defense to copyright infringement that allows legitimate owners of copies of copyrighted works to resell those copies. That defense, the court said, is "unavailable to those who are only licensed to use their copies of copyrighted works." (.pdf)
The 3-0 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, if it stands, means copyright owners may prohibit the resale of their wares by inserting clauses in their sales agreements.
Vernor V. Autodesk Opinion