Are You Using The Right Software Contract To Distribute Your App?

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software licensing agreementWhether you’ve paid for an app to be developed or you’re a software developer who created one, it’s important to protect what you own by using the right software contracts when selling your application…or when giving it away if it’s a free app.

Why Borrowing A Software Agreement Is A Bad Idea

Unfortunately, some software application owners make the mistake of “borrowing” the wrong type of software agreement that they find online. More often than not, the contract isn’t designed to protect their rights. And, in fact, they’re probably creating a legal nightmare of intellectual property rights that could end up as an expensive lawsuit at any time.

Software Ownership

Although there are other important issues, the most essential one is who owns what.

For example, you probably don’t want to use a software agreement that gives all rights to the end user. That means you’d own nothing after selling/giving away the first copy of the application!

And it wouldn’t work well to try to have a reseller receive only an end user license.

Open Source Code And Your Rights

Yes, software intellectual property rights are a complex issue. And they get more complicated if the application uses a combination of custom and open source code. Because you can’t sell or give away more rights than you have in the first place.

Do you know exactly what rights you’ve got to your software application? Or what rights you’re granting others when distributing the software to them?

Perhaps it’s time to get the right software agreement(s) in place to protect what you own. And clean up any messes that have already been made before you end up in court over it.

How To Get Help

Do you need a new software agreement? Or help with an existing one? Set up a phone consultation with Software Lawyer Mike Young.

Does Your Software Development Agreement Let You Recycle Code?

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custom software development agreement

If you’re a developer, one of the most important rights you’ll want to have in your software development agreement is the ability to recycle code for other clients’ projects.

And, if you’re not clear about how owns what, chances are each client will think they own the code and you can’t use it again for others or even your own clients.

Now an experienced software lawyer can craft a software development agreement that makes it clear what you own, what the client owns, what’s licensed, and the terms of the license granted.

Of course, the development agreement will also cover other important ownership issues, such as the parties’ rights to open source code used in the project.

If you need help putting together an app development contract that protects your legal rights, schedule a phone consultation with Software Lawyer Mike Young.

How Should You Pay For Software Development?

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If you’re planning to pay for a software developer to create an app for you, how should you pay for it?

This is an important question because structuring the development contract the wrong way can cost you a fortune without even getting the app you paid for.

Ideally, the software development agreement should provide that you pay a fixed price for at least the minimum viable product (MVP) version. And that fixed price is split out into multiple payments made as certain milestones are achieved during the dev process.

It’s dangerous to pay for app development on a time and materials basis if there are no caps, deadlines, milestones, or other restrictions on the developer. In essence, you’re trusting someone to not overcharge you and to actually deliver as promised. And by the time you discover the developer is incompetent, inexperienced, or corrupt, you’ve paid out a lot with little or nothing in return.

Sometimes it makes sense to take a hybrid approach. For example, a fixed price for the MVP version of the app to be developed. And then certain improvements done on a time and materials basis.

Regardless of which method you pick, never pay all or most of a software developer’s fee up front. Chances are you’ll never get the app and there won’t be a refund either.

An experienced software lawyer can prepare an app development contract that’s designed to protect you from these and other dangers (loss of code ownership, your developer competing against you, etc.).

What if the developer insists on using his contract? Have a software attorney review it before you sign so that issues can be resolved now rather than cleaning up an expensive mess later.

What Type Of Software Development Agreement Do You Need?

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Not all software development agreements are the same.

For example, some app dev contracts favor the client. Others favor the developer. This is particularly important with respect to ownership rights and licensing.

And a development contract that’s designed for a single project doesn’t really fit a situation where there’s an ongoing relationship between the client and developer covering multiple projects over a period of time.

Of course, there’s the issues of support, maintenance, and updated versions of the software. Are they included or excluded as part of the agreement?

Naturally, an experienced software lawyer like Attorney Mike Young can help you get a software development agreement that’s right for your business whether you’re a software developer or the client paying for app development.

Software Agreement: Can You Be Sued For Using An Old Software Version?

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software agreement licenseUsers of Adobe’s Creative Cloud were apparently told this spring that they couldn’t use older versions of the software. To do so, would violate the end user license agreements they agreed to when purchasing a license to use this software-as-a-service (SaaS).

If Adobe is correct, that leaves the users with two options:

(1) stop using the older version of Creative Cloud; or

(2) upgrading to a new SaaS version.

Of course, when one upgrades software to a newer version, there may be an upgrade fee for the new license.

When you sell or buy a software application license, it’s important to understand what’s being sold (and what’s excluded) from the transaction. Be sure to read the fine print of the application’s license agreement.

If it’s your app that’s being developed or sold, a good software attorney can prepare a software agreement that’s right for you. If you need help, schedule a phone consultation with Software Lawyer Mike Young.