I purchased this board from Digi-Key for $27.97.

Later, I noticed on the ST website that there is a license agreement for the board. (To be clear, I did not agree to the license when I purchased the board from Digi-Key, not even in a click-through fashion.)

What disturbs me about the license is that it seems to apply not only to the software/firmware, but to the physical board itself. And it states that:

STMicroelectronics (“ST”) grants You the right to use the enclosed Evaluation Board offering limited features only to evaluate and test ST products solely for Your evaluation and testing purposes in a research and development setting.

It's not clear that my use would be "evaluation and testing," since I intend to actually do something useful/practical with it. (i. e. I am a maker and intend to incorporate it into a project I'm building.)

Furthermore, the license says that the board may not be resold. Although I'm not really intending to resell it, I would generally consider something I bought to be fair game to eBay when I'm done with it and don't need it anymore. How does this restriction fit with the Doctrine of First Sale?

I intend to use open source software on the board, to the extent possible. Though there are possibly some bits of the firmware (maybe the bootloader, for example) which are closed-source and cannot be replaced. Does the existence of this firmware on the board mean that ST Microelectronics can control what the board as a whole is used for?

As a hypothetical, could the manufacturer of a washing machine include a "license agreement" which prohibits selling the washing machine to someone else when you don't need it anymore? (And if the answer is "no", what makes it different than my situation?)


The agreement linked in the question seems to be or to purport to be, for a non-final, non-production version of the board. I have seen such agreements used, both for hardware and software, used when beta-test versions of products are being distributed to those who agree to do such testing, often in exchange for a reduced price on the final product, or an early look. I have also seen similar language used when an evaluation version of a product is provided free, or at a much reduced price. In such a use, it would be a reasonable contract, it seem to me, and I see no reason why if it were agreed to by both parties in such a situation, it would not be binding. Often such agreements also include a non-disclosure aspect, but this one does not seem to do so.

I cannot see how such an agreement could be made applicable automatically, without both parties having chosen to agree to it, and indicated this by signing, clicking, or in some other positive way. I doubt that it could be made automatically applicable, on an "by using this product you agree" basis.

I don't know of any physical consumer product, or appliance, sold with such an agreement in ordinary commerce. I am not sure what would happen if a manufacturer wanted to require all purchasers to sign such an agreement. I don't know if it would be binding.

I would think that the purchaser's rights under the First Sale doctrice, could be modified by a valid contract agreed to by the purchaser. I do not think that they could simply be revoked by a contract of adhesion, which the purchaser had no choice to decline before making the purchase.

As the OP says this was not signed or agreed to in any way, I can't see how it binds the OP.

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