Does Your Software License Take Into Account Open Source Code?

A common software license mistake is to claim that the licensor owns all of the rights to the code.

In fact, it’s often the case that a software application has both custom code and “borrowed” code that’s subject to open source licensing.

What this means is that an application may include code owned by two, three, or more parties…and each has separate licensing terms and conditions that apply.

If you’re a software developer, be sure that neither your dev contract nor the software license you give your client promises more than you have the legal right to give.

Similarly, if you’re a client who has paid for software to be developed, be sure to get the developer to identify which open source licenses apply to parts of the application. Understand your rights and responsibilities under the license issued by the developer for custom code and those granted per open source licensing.

An experienced software lawyer can craft language for your software development agreements and software licenses that are designed to protect you. Plus he can answer your questions about your legal rights under these documents.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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