Software has become an integral part of the construction world and its use is only growing. There are hundreds of software providers for project management systems, estimating, schedule tracking, BIM, accounting, project portal, dropbox, cloud service providers, the list goes on and on.
Typically, users of software are handed a lengthy agreement and asked to click their consent to the terms. We have all seen this type of agreement; anyone with a cell phone has likely absentmindedly agreed, with a click, to each software update. The writing is small. The lines are spaced close together. It goes on for page, after page, after page. The only distinguishing feature is occasionally the words are in all CAPS which feels bad-mannered and impolite. Frankly, the first paragraph, if one gets that far, is enough to cure all insomniac tendencies one may have in a matter of seconds. These agreements are typically called End User License Agreements (EULA) and are the terms the user of a software program agrees to abide by in using the software.
There is a lot of important information hidden in all that small writing, such as: where a dispute is litigated (not always your home state); non-assignment without consent (i.e. if the software division or your company is purchased by another, you are required to update the terms of the agreement); indemnification; payment terms; termination; confidential information; etc. That said, I believe there are the big four to be aware of: 1) scope of license; 2) support, aka updates/modifications; 3) security; and 4) limitation of liability. This article and the three to follow will expand on these four concepts. First, understanding the scope of your license and usage rights.
PART 1 – SCOPE OF LICENSE
Licenses come in all shapes and sizes. The license can…