3 min article

Academic, beta, and OEM software policy

To make sure our members know they're only buying or selling authorized goods, and not infringing on others' intellectual property rights, certain types of software either can't be sold on eBay, or can only be sold by certain types of sellers.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who can list academic software on eBay?

Educational resellers and educational institutions can list academic copies of software as long as they're authorized to do so. Students and faculty members may be eligible to list their own personal copy of a copyrighted software, but they should check with their school or provider first.

Can I sell OEM software?

OEM software is software that was initially sold together with a piece of hardware (such as a computer, or hard drive). We don't allow OEM software to be sold separately from the original hardware because the manufacturer probably didn't intend it to be sold that way or authorize its resale.

Read our full policy

Academic, beta, and OEM software policy overview

Certain types of software-including academic, beta, and OEM software-aren't allowed on eBay, or certain restrictions apply when listing them, as described below.

Make sure your listings and products follow these guidelines. If they don't, they may be removed, and you may be subject to a range of other actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

What are the guidelines?

Academic software

Academic software is sold at significantly discounted prices to students, faculty members, and educational institutions. You aren't allowed to list academic copies of software on eBay unless you are authorized to do so as an educational reseller, an educational institution, a student, or a faculty member.

Sellers who want to find out if they are allowed to resell their academic software should start by checking whether the software maker has a VeRO Program Participant page. Sellers can also try to contact the software maker directly.

Under copyright laws, the owner of a copy of a copyrighted work is generally allowed to resell the particular copy they own. If a seller's copy of the software is subject to a license agreement-as is the case with most software-the seller should review the license and consult with their attorney to determine whether they can resell the item.

Sellers authorized to sell academic software should state so in their listing and product.

Allowed Allowed
  • If you're an authorized educational reseller of that software company
 
Restricted Allowed in some situations
  • You might be able to list your item if you are a student or a faculty member. You need to check with your school or the software company for more information
  • If a seller's copy of the software is subject to a license agreement-as is the case with most software-the seller should review the license and consult with their attorney to determine whether they can resell the item
 

Beta software

Beta software can't be listed on eBay. These are early copies of software distributed by software developers strictly for the purpose of evaluation and troubleshooting.

 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • Beta software, including test, prototype, and evaluation software
  • Beta keys, including beta cards and access codes
  • Previously redeemed or activated beta codes
  • Digitally-delivered beta codes
 

OEM software

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM), bundled, or recovery software, is included with the purchase of new computer hardware. It is eBay policy that sellers can't list these types of software unless they are selling it with the original hardware.

To comply with eBay policy, OEM software must accompany the necessary hardware as described above, and the hardware must be specific and clearly stated in the listing and product.

 
Restricted Allowed in some situations
  • OEM, bundled, or recovery software may be listed only if it is included along with the original hardware, such as the motherboard, hard drive, or computer sold with the OEM software
  • Utility software and drivers bundled with peripheral devices, such as a printer or scanner, may be listed only if it is included along with the original peripheral device.
 
Not allowed Not allowed
  • OEM, bundled, or recovery software being listed as a stand-alone item
 

Additional information

For more information, see the following sources:

Why does eBay have this policy?

eBay is always looking for ways to improve the buyer and seller experience. We urge our members to comply with all government laws and regulations. This policy helps protect buyers from purchasing unauthorized merchandise, and it helps intellectual property rights owners protect their rights.

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