Yes, if you are content to use the CS6 version.
It's listed about 2/3 of the way down the page.
Note that in reality, you are not buying software. You don't own the software. In the case of the CS6 version (i.e., InDesign 8), you are buying a perpetual license to use the software.
Except, of course, for the fact that if you buy a perpetual license you
are allowed to sell it on to someone else when you don't need it any
more. In that sense, you own the specific license you've bought.
... for example, when you buy a book, you clearly don't own the
copyright to the book, meaning that just because you own a copy that
doesn't allow you to make more copies and sell them. That would be
copyright infringement. I think that's obvious to everybody.
On the other hand, the particular copy of the book that you've bought is
yours to do with as you like, including selling it on in the second-hand
market. And likewise, when you buy (as opposed to rent) software (such
as CS6), the particular license becomes yours to do with as you like,
including selling it on in the second-hand market. So it's not just that
you've bought a license to use the software, you've actually bought a
license, period, and that legally gives you some more rights, the most
important of which is, probably, that you can sell or give that license
to somebody else.
So the OP is right to be wanting to look for the purchase option, since
(apart from not having to pay a monthly rental fee) purchasing a license
does indeed give him some valuable options not available when renting.
CS6 is the last version you can purchase, and unless you really need the
new features of InDesign CC, I would recommend that. It seems more
stable and has been around for longer.
Technically you need Adobe's peermission to transfer the license, but if it is in fact transferable (some are not), I don't think they would deny it if you fill out the paperwork.
I think there's something called Right of First Ownership which legally
(and morally) Adobe cannot revoke. It means that when you buy something,
like a perpetual software "license", you have the right to do with it
what you want without Adobe's permission. (Again, this in no way implies
that you are allowed to make pirated copies of the software, which
remains their intellectual property. It just means that your particular
license is yours to do with as you wish, high-handed EULAs
notwithstanding.) I spent some time looking it up on the Internet some
months ago. There are legal precedents in the US and Europe supporting
this right, specifically with regard to selling second-hand software
The Adobe Academic license specifically prohibits transfer.
I've yet to hear of that being challenged.
Adobe software licenses are contracts, and you agree to the terms of the contract when you install. Part of that contract requires you to notify Adobe and fill out a transfer form, and to deliver the original media as well as all other versions in the upgrade chain, if any, to the transferee, as well as to remove the software from any devices of your own. I believe all of those requirements, as a matter of contract, would stand up in court, as I believe does the non-transferability of academic licensing.
Hi Peter, Bob,
It's the concept of "right of first sale" (Google "first-sale
doctrine"). I'll quote here some salient bits from the Wiki article of
The first-sale doctrine plays an important role in copyright and
trademark law by limiting certain rights of a copyright or trademark
owner. The doctrine enables the distribution chain of copyrighted
products, library lending, giving, video rentals and secondary markets
for copyrighted works (for example, enabling individuals to sell their
legally purchased books or CDs to others)...
The first-sale doctrine creates a basic exception to the copyright
holder's distribution right. Once the work is lawfully sold or even
transferred gratuitously, the copyright owner's interest in the material
object in which the copyrighted work is embodied is exhausted. The owner
of the material object can then dispose of it as he sees fit. Thus, one
who buys a copy of a book is entitled to resell it, rent it, give it
away, or destroy it. However, the owner of the copy of the book will not
be able to make new copies of the book because the first-sale doctrine
does not limit copyright owner's reproduction right. The rationale of
the doctrine is to prevent the copyright owner from restraining the free
alienability of goods. Without the doctrine, a possessor of a copy of a
copyrighted work would have to negotiate with the copyright owner every
time he wished to dispose of his copy. After the initial transfer of
ownership of a legal copy of a copyrighted work, the first-sale doctrine
exhausts copyright holder's right to control how ownership of that copy
can be disposed of. For this reason, this doctrine is also referred to
as "exhaustion rule."
The doctrine was first recognized by the Supreme Court of the United
States in 1908 (see Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus) and subsequently
codified in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 109. In the
Bobbs-Merrill case, the publisher, Bobbs-Merrill, had inserted a notice
in its books that any retail sale at a price under $1.00 would
constitute an infringement of its copyright. The defendants, who owned
Macy's department store, disregarded the notice and sold the books at a
lower price without Bobbs-Merrill's consent. The Supreme Court held that
the exclusive statutory right to "vend" applied only to the first sale
of the copyrighted work...
The elements of the first sale doctrine can be summarized as follows:
(1) the copy was lawfully made with the authorization of the copyright
owner; (2) ownership of the copy was initially transferred under the
copyright owner's authority; (3) the defendant is a lawful owner of the
copy in question; and (4) the defendant's use implicates the
distribution right only; not the reproduction or some other right given
to the copyright owner...
Some software and digital content publishers claim in their end-user
license agreements (EULA) that their software or content is licensed,
not sold, and thus the first sale doctrine does not apply to their
works. These publishers have had some success in contracting around
first sale doctrine through various clickwrap, shrink wrap, and other
license agreements. For example, if you buy MP3 songs from Amazon.com,
the MP3 files are merely licensed to you and hence you may not be able
to resell those MP3 files. However, MP3 songs bought through iTunes
Store may be characterized as "sales" because of Apple's language in its
EULA and hence they maybe resell-able, if other requirements of first
sale doctrine are met.
In the case UsedSoft v Oracle, the European Court of Justice ruled that
the sale of a software product, either through a physical support or
download, constituted a transfer of ownership in EU law, thus the first
sale doctrine applies; the ruling thereby breaks the "licensed, not
sold" legal theory, but leaves open numerous questions.
And the test case in Europe is this:
Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy –
tangible or intangible – and at the same time concludes, in return form
payment of a fee, a licence agreement granting the customer the right to
use that copy for an unlimited period, that rightholder sells the copy
to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right. Such
a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy.
Therefore, *even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer,
the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy.*
So, best of luck fighting Adobe's lawyers if you choose to sell your
"license." You may have a better chance of success in the EU than the US.
This is not about copyright, and the software is not transferred to the user. It's a matter of contract law, and the contract specifically says you receive only a license to use the software, not any rights in the software itself.
In some ways it's analogous to leasing a car (except that the lease is in perpetuity rather than a fixed term). You can't give the car to someone else without the lessor's permission.
If you read the info I posted, and follow up with the link I posted,
you'll see that some courts of law consider a "license in perpetuity" to
be a regular sale, and hence subject to the First Sale Doctrine.
Thankfully, the law of the land does sometimes protect consumers against
sharp business practices and invalid, manipulative contractual clauses.
As a UK citizen I'm glad the EU Court, at least, sees things my way!
@Ariel – just from the SPIEGEL today (translation by Google):
Defeat in court: SAP may not forbid trade with used software
SAP customers will be able to resell software without the written consent of the manufacturer. That decided the regional court Hamburg. Appropriate clauses in contracts of the Group were ineffective.
I think it may still be a bit muddled. If the program must be activated when installed in order to work, and if the software manufacturer controls whether activation happens, then the courts would need to compell the manufacturer to activate the software for the second owner. This is different from the manufacturer having to go out of their way to find second owners to deny them use. The manufacturers just have to sit back and not authorize when the second owner tries. This isn't, by the way, what happens at Adobe, as far as I can see. They do allow transfer of the license if you go through the procedure, but if they didn't, it might take more than a law to change that unless there was a way to enforce the law.
@Laubender: Interesting, thanks for bringing this. I read the rest of
the article in Ginglish (Google English), and I see that they quote the
court case I mentioned.
So it's good for us customers to see that this is the direction European
courts are taking. If I buy something in perpetuity I should be able to
do with it what as I like. Otherwise the software companies sound like
children: I'm selling it to you, but it's still mine!
@Migintosh: If the software companies make it impossible to actually do
this, then that's a whole different saga. But right now, in Europe, it
would seem that an Adobe customer is legally (and morally) allowed to
deactivate his software, pass his serial number on to someone else who
has bought it from him, stop using the software, and you've got a legal
sale on your hands. Filling in all Adobe's "License Transfer" paperwork
is unnecessary. So the eBay market opens up again, and that's a very
Now, I wonder what the Courts will rule in the case the Bob mentioned:
say I buy something from Adobe at educational license prices. It would
now appear that the doctrine of first sale applies to me. May I sell my
license on to someone who is not eligible for educational pricing? I
think so, because, again, once Adobe has sold me that license, they've
got to get their claws off it. It's mine to do with as I like. Just like
a book, a drill, or a CD. Of course, if Adobe finds out that an
educational customer is "abusing" (in their eyes) his entitlement, they
can decide that they no longer want to sell him any more licenses.
I hope the US courts catch up soon.
@Migintosh: If the software companies make it impossible to actually do
this, then that's a whole different saga.
A whole different saga, indeed. I don't use a whole lot of different programs, but many require you to activate via their website. One company told me that once they have determined that you are a valid customer, they send an invisible file to your computer that acts as a key to unlock your program. Without the key, the software won't work. So, whether or not the sale is considered legal by a government, the second user wouldn't be able to use the software unless the company actively gives them the key. Maybe they can be made to do this, but some companies have gone out of business, so there is no one there to be made to do anything, and the second user is on his own with dead software. If I wanted to sell you my old Samsung TV, Samsung can't stop us, and neither can Adobe, but you wouldn't be very happy if you bought a program that you couldn't use because the Adobe doesn't recognize you as the owner. But as we have established, Adobe software can be transferred, and paperwork isn't just a formality.
I agree with everything you've said, except that last bit: "Adobe
software can be transferred, and paperwork isn't just a formality." It
seems that the software can be transferred, and the paperwork IS just a
Not really. Once you install the software that I resell to you, it won't work unless I do the paperwork. Adobe won't let you activate something that is already registered to me, so unless I tell Adobe (and they agree) that the license is yours and not mine any longer, you will have nothing but a useless disk.
I understood that you can simply deactivate your account from within
InDesign and then reactivate it on another computer. I guess that means
that you need to give someone your Adobe account details, though.
Deactivation is part of it, but not all of it. If you got a new computer and wanted to sell or junk your old one, you would need to deactivate it on the old one first, before you could activate it on the new one. When Adobe's server sees you are trying to activate on a new computer, it makes you enter information that identifies you. There are also limits on how many computers can be activated at once, so if your computer dies before you can deactivate it, you probably have to call Adobe and talk to a person to have them reset their server in order to make internet activation work on the new machine.
If you've bought content from iTunes, it's probably not very different, but I kind of doubt that I could buy a stranger's iTunes purchases the way I could buy a stranger's Photoshop.