A landmark hearing involving an online music seller could have implications for grey-market resellers, and could directly benefit authorised VARs.
Last month CDwow backed down in its fight with the British Phonographic Industry, and agreed to stop sourcing products for UK sale from outside the European Union (EU).
The CDs sold by CDwow were genuine but had been imported without the copyright holder's permission, a process known as grey importing.
Although a ruling was never made, this hearing could prove a landmark case as it implies that copyright holders will have the same rights as trademark holders.
A ruling was made on trademarks two years ago when Levi stopped Tesco selling grey-market goods.
Copyright holders, such as software companies, will now feel more confident in asserting their rights, said Peter Willis, competition partner at law firm Taylor Wessing.
"Where copyright holders are explicit that they will not authorise re-exporting their goods to Europe, they can obtain orders to seize the goods, and claim for damages," he said.
This is good for resellers under threat from price-cutting by grey marketers and for end users, said Steve Hedegaard, sales director at public-sector reseller Civica.
"In our experience end-users end up with problems that cost more than the savings they get in the first place."
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