Beta Software Terms and Conditions (Open Beta)
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These Beta Software Terms and Conditions (Open Beta) 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 open and public nature of the testing, the user is permitted to make unaltered copies of the software for installation on multiple computers and is not bound by obligations of confidentiality or non-disclosure.
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).
This set of terms and conditions have been designed for use in open beta tests. Specifically, these terms and conditions are designed to be included on a website and “accepted” immediately prior to the downloading of the beta software in question.
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 a more focussed “closed” beta test. In such cases, users are either invited to test the software or must apply to join the testing programme. The terms and conditions for such testing will place more obligations on the user. An alternative set of beta testing terms and conditions has been created to specifically govern closed 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 (Open Beta) contain the following clauses:
3. Licence and Use of Software
4. Disclaimer of Warranties and Liability
5. Beta Test Period
6. Software Updates
8. Reporting and Feedback
9. Data Protection
11. Relationship of Parties
14. Law and Jurisdiction
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