A prohibition in a software license agreement against the use of automated tools to download support materials related to the software is not a misuse of copyright, a district court found. The court ruled in a copyright infringement action brought by the licensor against a third-party support provider that allegedly used a licensee's log-in credentials to access the licensor's database in order to download software and support materials. The third-party provider alleged that the contract prohibition against the use of automated tools, coupled with the technical design of the Web site which "makes it impossible for the licensees to identify all of the materials to which they are entitled," effectively required licensees to use the licensor's costly after-market support services. The court concluded that the restrictions were "well within" the licensor's statutory copyright right to control the reproduction and distribution of its copyrighted works.
Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini St., Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116249 (D. Nev. Oct. 29, 2010) Download PDF