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PhD ceremony Mr. E.D.C. Neppelenbroek: Softwarebetrekkingen. De auteur, de verkrijger en hun vermogensrechtelijke positie jegens derden

When:Th 27-06-2013 at 16:15
Where:Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

PhD ceremony: Mr. E.D.C. Neppelenbroek, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Softwarebetrekkingen. De auteur, de verkrijger en hun vermogensrechtelijke positie jegens derden

Promotor(s): prof. F.M.J. Verstijlen, prof. A.A. Quaedvlieg

Faculty: Law

The legal position of the software user is hotly debated, in The Netherlands as well as abroad. The acquisition of a copy of a computer programme cannot be as easily regarded as the transfer of a movable thing (roerende zaak) like, for example, a painting. After the introduction of the European Software Directive, the ‘lawful acquirer’ of software at least needs a copyright licence regarding the immaterial work in order to legally use the software. The ownership of the copy is made irrelevant as well as the traditionally existing legal independence of the owner of the copy. In Dutch law, the dependency of the licence is shown when the software vendor becomes bankrupt. Then, the question arises whether a bankruptcy trustee (curator) has to respect the granted software licences. The copyright dimension of software acquisition also influences qualification questions in contract law. In Evert Neppelenbroek’s thesis is shown how the perpetual licensing of a standard software product can be called a sale in Dutch law. Also the contractual arrangements surrounding software distribution through a reseller are critically analysed. The discussion about the legal position of the software user was rekindled because of the judgement of the EU Court of Justice in re Usedsoft v. Oracle. In the concluding remarks an analysis is made about how this European decision fits in with the defended theory about the place of software in Dutch private law.

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