The Tokyo High Court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that the selling of secondhand game software does not infringe on the copyright of game software manufacturers.

Presiding Judge Kazuaki Yamashita supported the ruling handed down by the Tokyo District Court and dismissed an appeal lodged by the software maker. He said the sale of used game software does not constitute an infringement of copyright.

Jyosho, a game software sales company based in the city of Kudamatsu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, was warned in August 1998 by Enix Co., a major game software manufacturer based in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, not to sell used game software.

Jyosho then filed a suit against Enix in October, claiming the maker does not have the right to control the distribution of secondhand game software on the pretext that it infringes the copyright, which is a right that can only be exercised in the case of copyrighted films.

The Tokyo District Court ruled in favor of the software seller, saying that the right of a copyright owner to regulate an item’s distribution only applies to movies and that game software does not fall into this category.

In a similar case brought before the Osaka District Court, the court ruled in favor of a Kobe-based software manufacturer and against a game software sales company in Okayama. A ruling in the appeal relating to this latter case at the Osaka High Court is expected Thursday.

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