Software, Internet, & Media Contracts San Diego
Software, Internet, & Media Contracts San Diego Summary
Transactions involving software, the internet, and multimedia businesses and technologies require contracts which anticipate the industry specific circumstances and difficulties of digital products. Agreements typically utilized include:
• Licenses for the use of software;
• Support and maintenance service contracts;
• Contracts for developing and publishing software;
• Software marketing and distribution agreements; and
• Contracts arranging for the purchase of hardware in conjunction with software.
• Internet advertising agreements;
• Provision of fulfillment services to website agreements;
• Agreements for the sale of products on website;
• E-Commerce payment services agreement;
• Website development and hosting agreements;
• Online marketing agreements;
• Website privacy policies; and
• Agreements for the purchase of an internet domain name.
• Development of interactive website content agreements;
• Website design consultant agreements;
• Agreements to develop interactive computer game;
• Agreements for development of interactive multimedia product;
• Terms of service for interactive website;
• Click through agreements for website plug-in software; and
• Website privacy policies.
Multimedia, Internet, & Software Contracts San Diego Details
Contracts for Developing and Publishing Software
Custom-designed software programs are often commissioned by businesses for a myriad of purposes like internal databases, device drivers, and data acquisition and analysis platforms. The commissioned software may be developed and published as a work-for-hire, be purchased outright, or be licensed from the software developer and/or publisher in exchange for royalties. Regardless of the acquisition type, contracts are required to secure intellectual property rights, establish upfront fees or royalties, and schedule the development milestones, quality control procedures, and other matters.
Software is typically licensed to end users and not sold. Software license agreements are by definition complex and extremely detailed in order to allow use of the software without stripping the software developer of its intellectual property rights in the software. As software is sold in stores or, increasingly by online download, it is not feasible for the parties to the licensing agreement (the developer and the end user) to formally sign a written licensing contract. Virtually all software licenses are executed by using “shrink wrap”, “tear open”, “blister pack”, or “clickware” software licenses. In this form of licensing, the agreement is placed upon the outside of the packaging or at the beginning of the download and through the act of opening the package or assenting to the agreement by clicking “I ACCEPT,” the terms and conditions of the contract become binding between the developer and end user.
Support and Maintenance Service Contracts
Services and maintenance of software, including software installation, software training and tutorials, telephone or online tech support, and similar services. These agreements may be bundled with software licensing agreements or offered as a separate agreement.
The sale of goods and services on the internet, known as “e-commerce”, has become a significant percentage of all commerce in the United States and worldwide. E-commerce has also created new business opportunities for small business by lowering starting costs and allowing small businesses to compete with larger, more established businesses. With the proliferation of e-commerce came new legal issues such as (1) jurisdictional issues for the resolution of disputes; (2) information privacy concerns; (3) online intellectual property rights; and (4) special laws and regulations governing the execution of contracts electronically and online in addition to those which exist in a traditional business transaction.
Similarly, online marketing and advertising on pay-per-click, pay-per-impression, and social media platforms also combines new laws and regulations with those existing for traditional marketing and advertising.
As internet, smart phone, and social media technologies evolve, so do the legal needs of those publishing, music, games, videos and other software applications. Not only are contracts between the developer or publisher and the end user important, but business plans must also include the contractual relationship of these parties with the intermediary services responsible for the distribution of these applications.