What You Need to Know about Software Support and Maintenance Agreements?

What You Need to Know about Software Support and Maintenance Agreements?

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by Amelia Scott — 1 month ago in Development 3 min. read
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The technical support template varies greatly depending on the legislation of the countries, the policies of the customer and the developer, and the type of software. You need to understand software support and maintenance in advance before signing the contract.

Key points

Let’s take a look at the key rights that license buyers have.

Right to use

Commercial licenses impose a number of restrictions on the use of the software by individuals or legal entities. In particular, for each workstation, as a rule, it is necessary to have a separate legal copy of the software.


Such restrictions can be set both for a certain number of users and for the number of users who can simultaneously work with the licensed software. You can find out more about our development policy at diceus.com.

Copyright

Distribution of binary source code to end users for sale removes the need for ongoing monitoring of possible copyright infringement. Closed source does not allow competitors to build their business on the investment of the original software developers.

In fact, all commercial licenses prohibit users from copying programs, except for cases when you need to make one archive or backup copy.

The right to modify

Although the doctrine of “fair use” gives users fairly broad rights to modify the original software, commercial licenses do not provide such rights. As a rule, users are not allowed to fix, modify, improve the licensed software without the participation of its developer.
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Distribution rights

In most cases, by default, the user of a non-commercial licensed program is given the so-called “first sale” right. Commercial licenses usually prohibit any subsequent distribution or resale of the software. True, in practice, this right is quite difficult to control when it comes to individuals.

Agreement conditions

Next, we will describe the main terms that are the subject of commercial software licensing agreements.

Pre-contractual issues

The process of determining the licensor’s capabilities and the licensee’s needs usually begins with requests for proposals (RFP) or a request for information (RFI). However, the beginning of this process may be the announcement by the licensor of their standard licensing terms for the use of the software.

With a large volume of the transaction, it is preferable for the buyer to prepare a draft license agreement himself and offer to take it as a basis in the future.

As a minimum, the licensee should include in the request for proposals the most important terms for it, which should be included in the final version of the license agreement. Sometimes licensees start negotiating with several software vendors at the same time in order to choose the best option in terms of their production needs and the price of the software product.
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Property issues

The licensee should pay special attention to who owns the software, who owns the original rights to it, who is its authorized copyright holder in a given territory. This owner can be either a natural person or a legal entity who will act as a licensor. The licensee should receive a guarantee from him in the event of claims from third parties about infringement of rights to the results of the use of intellectual property associated with the software.

In addition to this, it is also important to have a guarantee that provides the licensee with the ability to recover damages in case of fair claims of third parties with respect to intellectual property in the licensed software.


This is necessary because such protective documents for intellectual property as patents are largely limited by the action of national jurisdictions, while copyright in accordance with the Berne Convention is protected in the territory of many countries that are parties to this international agreement.

License scope

When purchasing software, be sure to pay attention to the license validity period. It is unlimited or limited to a certain time. It is also important to clarify other issues. Are you the only one who can use it, or do third parties have such a right? What license do you need so that all programmers involved in a particular project can use the software you need.

Amelia Scott

Amelia is a content manager of The Next Tech. She also includes the characteristics of her log in a fun way so readers will know what to expect from her work.

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