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Software licensing for small business


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#1 Shael   Members   -  Reputation: 277

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 04:23 PM

Hi

I have a small business operating out of Australia where I've mostly been doing contract work. I have a registered business with ABN. Recently I got a job to create a program for a business and am now wondering if there are any legal things I should be aware of - such as if I should be providing some kind of EULA upon installation or some other license. I notice in most installations there is some kind of license at least saying that the developers aren't liable should anything go wrong with their system, etc. Is there a common license I should be using to keep me out of trouble?

Thanks

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9690

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:07 PM

I'm not a lawyer. Just saying.
Your contract with the business covers your obligations and the client's obligations. You are responsible to the client. It's the client who's responsible to folks who use the program you create (it's their decision whether or not to have a EULA, and what it should say).
That's assuming the client is going to publish the program, share it with other parties unknown to you. If they're just going to use it themselves, then no separate EULA is needed - everything should be covered by your development contract.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 Shael   Members   -  Reputation: 277

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:17 PM

Hm. As the job is kind of small and the software is for their use only, I hadn't really bothered with a development contract as such. I just usually quote them, do the work, and then invoice them. Everything else is just verbal discussion on what is required. For jobs taking more than a couple days though, I should probably look into some kind of development contract. I just assumed with any software being released you had to have some kind disclaimer/warranty/eula type displayed at some point which they must "agree" on.

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9690

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:14 PM

I hadn't really bothered with a development contract as such.


Then I will have to bow out and let a lawyer take the conversation from here.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 Washu   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 5042

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:16 PM

Hm. As the job is kind of small and the software is for their use only, I hadn't really bothered with a development contract as such. I just usually quote them, do the work, and then invoice them. Everything else is just verbal discussion on what is required. For jobs taking more than a couple days though, I should probably look into some kind of development contract. I just assumed with any software being released you had to have some kind disclaimer/warranty/eula type displayed at some point which they must "agree" on.

IANAL However, as a software contractor who has done A LOT of contract work...

ALWAYS GET A CONTRACT. NO MATTER THE SIZE OF THE PROJECT.

I have never had a case where HAVING a contract hurt me. I've seen plenty of people get hurt by NOT having a contract though.

In time the project grows, the ignorance of its devs it shows, with many a convoluted function, it plunges into deep compunction, the price of failure is high, Washu's mirth is nigh.
ScapeCode - Blog | SlimDX


#6 Shael   Members   -  Reputation: 277

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:19 PM

Alright. Well from now on I'll use a development contract. I'm still not convinced that is all I need though. Might do some googlin' and see what turns up. Thanks guys.

#7 kdog77   Members   -  Reputation: 229

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:36 PM

Writing original code for a client and installing customized licensed software for a client are two separate things. Most "off the shelf" software comes with end user license agreements that disclaims warranties b/c the licensor has no idea how the customer will use it or if their hardware can support it. Depending on the nature of your work you may need to contact a local solicitor to help you devise a contract that covers the type of services you are performing for your clients. "Googling" software licenses that you think might apply could lead to disastrous results. Good luck!
Kevin Reilly
Email: kevin.reilly.law@gmail.com
Twitter: kreilly77




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