From AECNews comes this interesting article about AutoDesk Inc (makers of AutoCAD) who invoked the holy Digital Millennium Copyright Act to have copies of AutoCAD removed from sale on the popular auction site eBay.
he law [DMCA] passed in 1998 was designed to give intellectual property rights owners a way to have content removed from the internet that violates copyright law. An example would be a television show uploaded to YouTube without permission from the production company. The right to sell an item that has been legally purchased is protected under copyright law. The first sale doctrine allows an individual to transfer ( i.e. sell, giveaway etc.) a lawfully made copy of an item without permission once it has been obtained. The doctrine has been part of US law since the Supreme Court recognized it in 1908 and covers everything from books and DVDs to clothing and automobiles.Autodesk is using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to have legal copies of their software removed from eBay so they can sell more new copies. The latest version of AutoCAD software is around $4,000 a copy. Autodesk’s lawyer, Andrew S. Mackay states "AutoCAD software is licensed, not sold and that license is not transferable." AutoCAD software is available for purchase at most major software retailers. There is no indication your purchase would be different from any other until you get it home and open the box. There is a piece of paper tucked inside that says it is a licensing agreement with the statement "by opening the sealed software packet(s), you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this license agreement". This is called a "shrink wrap" contract. It cannot be read until you open the package which according to the contract constitutes agreement. US courts have not held a "shrink wrap " contract to be valid. Furthermore the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is only intended to enforce copyright violations, not breach of contract.