Beta Software Terms and Conditions (Closed Beta)
Please note that this document is currently awaiting an update for the
GDPR. In the meantime, new GDPR-ready
standard clauses for data protection and data processing
are available in our
GDPR & Data Protection Group.
This set of Beta Software Terms and Conditions (Closed Beta) have been
designed for use in closed beta tests. Specifically, these terms and
conditions are designed to be included on a website as part of the sign-up
process for a beta testing programme.
Testing is an essential part of the software development process. Whether
the software in question is a new version constructed from the ground up or
a simple patch or service pack, it must be tested on a range of different
computers in order to identify bugs, errors, flaws or shortcomings.
In-house testing is important, but cannot allow the developer to adequately
assess the software’s performance in the real world. This is where beta
testing comes in. Often beta testing is done in the form of an “open beta”.
Users will generally download the software for free, subject to terms and
conditions (and usually an in-built time limitation). Developers may prefer
to conduct a more focussed “closed” beta test. In such cases, users are
either invited to test the software or must apply to join the testing
These terms and conditions incorporate a basic software licence which
allows the user to use the software for testing and evaluation purposes for
a limited period of time. Due to the closed nature of the testing, the user
is not permitted to make copies of the software and is limited to a fixed
number of computers on which they may install the software. Furthermore the
user is bound by obligations of confidentiality and non-disclosure.
This template has been designed to protect the developer from potential
liability for data loss, damage to computers and similar factors. The user
is made aware in clear terms that the beta software is provided “as is” and
may put their computer at risk.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be
read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused
options should be removed from the document.
Developers may prefer to conduct an “open” beta test. In such cases, any
member of the public may download the software. The terms and conditions
for such testing may be less onerous in light of the fact that it may, in
practice, be more difficult to enforce strict terms in such a free and open
setting. An alternative set of beta testing terms and conditions has been
created to specifically govern open beta programmes. Beta Testing
Agreements are also available, designed for use in more specialised
(generally business or industry-oriented) beta programmes.
These Beta Software Terms and Conditions (Closed Beta) contain the
3. Eligibility and Enrolment
4. Licence and Use of Software
5. Disclaimer of Warranties and Liability
6. Beta Test Period
7. Software Updates
9. Reporting and Feedback
10. Data Protection
11. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure
15. Relationship of Parties
18. Law and Jurisdiction
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