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Thursday, December 01, 2005


John Hanson

Is there any information out there on whether the CLRA applies to software?

Software is not a tangible good, and it is licensed, and not sold, so it seems that the CLRA wouldn't be appropriate for pursuing unfair competition by software vendors.


You raise an interesting question that I don't think the appellate courts have ever addressed. The CLRA applies primarily to transactions involving the "sale or lease" of "goods or services." Civil Code section 1761(a) defines "goods" as "tangible chattels bought or leased for use primarily for personal, family or household purposes ...." I would want to talk to a computer expert about whether software is really intangible. I also wonder whether it would make a difference if you bought the software by going to Best Buy and purchasing a CD-ROM, or if you bought it online and simply downloaded it onto your computer. If anyone has any ideas about this, please post a comment.

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