Software Licence Review

June 2012

Software - whether you are developing it, reselling it or using it – is serious business. The rules governing the ownership and use of it are of key importance. An individual piece of software represents a complex and valuable bundle of proprietary rights (sometimes owned by multiple parties) and a carefully prepared and comprehensive software licence agreement should be used to protect those rights.

In some cases, software may be simple off-the-shelf software – mass produced and sold to many thousands of users. At this end of the scale, a software licence will be largely generic in its terms and should also – as far as possible – be written in user-friendly terms. The software licence, often referred to as an End User Licence Agreement or “EULA” will set out in essential terms the licensor’s proprietary rights, what the end user may and may not do with the software, on how many computers the software can be installed at once and the various warranties and disclaimers provided by the licensor.

At the other end of the scale lies bespoke software. The software licence agreements for such software will contain the same elements as their more basic off-the-shelf brethren but will also contain other provisions governing key aspects of a software development contract such as development schedules, software specifications, cross-licensing, confidentiality and payment.

Simply-Docs offers a wide range of software licence agreement templates catering for both ends of the scale and points in between.

New and Updated Software Licence Templates

Many of our existing software licence templates have received comprehensive updates. In many cases, these updates have included the modernisation of the terms used in the documents. Certain documents now also benefit from new more comprehensive provisions protecting intellectual property and other proprietary rights. All documents have been updated with new standard or “boilerplate” clauses for greater consistency and quality.

A new variant of the Software Development and Licensing Agreement has been added which, unlike its long-established sibling, does not envisage the client providing any existing software to the developer.

Also joining our portfolio of software licences is an all-new Web Wrap Software Licence Agreement, designed for use at the point of purchase for downloadable software.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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