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Academic, beta, and OEM software policy

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 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 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

  • If you're an authorized educational reseller of that software company.

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 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

  • 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

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.

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

  • OEM, bundled, or recovery software being listed as a stand-alone item

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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