Wired has a new article saying that an appeals court has ruled that the first sale doctrine of copyright (that says that people can sell or give away copyrighted products once they have purchased it without permission from the original maker) does not apply to licensed copyrighted software. It comes as the company Autodesk has said that a man selling unused copies of AutoCAD that his company purchased many years before was not legally allowed to do so.
What does this mean? I can't sell a copy of Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Office to you even if I've never used it (and in this case, I will be giving you the only copy I have as opposed to making another copy and giving that to you). The Wired article also discusses the implications for library books as well. Although the argument against the ruling with reference to its effects on books is valid, I'm not sure how relevant it will remain as eBooks already function as licensed software.
What's scary, though, is that the court has said that if issues come up with regard to books, Congress can modify copyright law appropriately to remedy any dilemmas. Given that the publishing industry has a huge influence on Congress's view of copyrights, I'm sure this can only go downhill.
Also, I fear for the safety of the fair use provision, as now companies can say that fair use constitutes unlicensed use of software (or other products). This doesn't look too good.