Software EULA Writing Time

With the software nearing completion (or at least nearing a potential commercial rollout) I now require an End User License Agreement to provide any potential users.

Where to Start:

When it comes to writing a license agreement, I wasn’t sure where to start exactly so I spent some time reading EULA’s provided by other software vendors (You know, those pages and pages of text most people skip over when installing software).
Needless to say this was a painful process.

Search Engines to the Rescue:

With a rough idea of what was required, the next step was to find additional resources to help clarify the details. This post on the Avangate website provided a useful overview, highlighting four of the most important parts of an End User License Agreement.

  1. Licensing
  2. Warranties
  3. Liability
  4. Laws

Preparing the EULA:

With additional research, I prepared a short list of items I would need to cover.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, however it appears to have highlighted the most important aspects that are relevant.

Licensing:

Need to establish the rights you want to grant the user.

  • Do users have intellectual rights over software, or is it simply licensed for use?
  • Do users have the right to on-sell their license?
  • Do users have the right to reverse-engineer, redistribute, copy, clone, modify or alter the software?
  • How many terminals/computers/users can benefit from the license?
  • How long may users use the software for?
  • Do users have the rights to updates?

Warranties:

The EULA should have a Disclaimer of Warranty.  One example might be to state even if the software is most likely to work on a user’s machine it may as well not, and it is not your fault.

Liability:

State the extent to which you can be held financially responsible for any mishaps.

Laws:

Define the jurisdiction of the license, and any governing laws related to the software and distribution of the software.

Draft EULA Complete:

Using the points outlined above I have completed a draft EULA related to annually licensed software.  I am in the process of getting additional feedback, and have approached a Lawyer to help ensure I have all the relevant points covered for developing software in New Zealand that I would like to license globally.

Sjones Limited EULA – Annual Software License – Draft 1 (PDF)

Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will have a final version complete and ready, at which point I will be able to complete an installation package of the Terian ID Software.

About Anthony Dowling

Founder Sjones Limited, focusing on developing ID and Security Card Solutions. Long time Delphi Developer. @AntDowling
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