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…
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Oregon’s case law regarding implied home warranties have long floated derelict, lacking the clarity needed for effective consumer protection and simultaneously subjecting developers to uncertain liability.  Now 40 years since Oregon’s adoption of implied warranties, recent decisions from other states focus our attention on the lack of evolution and refinement here in Oregon.

Warranties and Implied Warranties Generally

The term “warranty” describes a right of correction or repair associated with the purchase of a specific item.  Warranties are typically written, describing the scope of the protection, the time period, and the logistics of making a claim.  Common examples are folded-paper inserts found in consumer purchases such as toasters and televisions, the language of which is remarkable for uselessness and indecipherability.  However, most consumers do not realize that the law provides warranties not found in any fine print: so-called “implied warranties.”  Implied warranties for consumer goods are found within the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) adopted throughout the United States.  These UCC implied warranties are almost perfectly uniform in language and interpretation, which makes them fairly predictable for both consumers and manufacturers.

Home Warranties Specifically

Implied warranties in home purchases are far less uniform and less predictable. 
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