(Review by Stuart Brown)
(Review by Jeroen)
(Review by Dan)
A web site or software development agreement is a crucial legal contract between a developer and a client. A good agreement addresses many issues, including the scope of work to be performed, ownership rights and many other topics. It legalizes the relations between parties, helps prevent misunderstanding and defines the obligations of each party.
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The web site development contract should specify exactly what will be developed and how it will be developed. The agreement enclosure usually contains the full description of the product that is going to be developed. The agreement body is drawn up in a standard way and contains the following clauses:
The definition section clarifies the meaning of the technological terms used in the contract. Some words might have multiple meanings, this section prevents the text ambiguity.
Appointment and Services
Both client and developer need to understand their obligations and the conditions for the agreement to be valid. This section describes the conditions and terms of the developer services under which the client should accept the appointment. It also states when client has to pay a compensation to developer.
Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights
This clause indicates who owns the materials created by developer: software product, documentation, etc. Client should obtain all the intellectual property rights, however, it is the norm in the technology industry that web site developer retains title to the program and licenses the software to the customer. It also protects the materials provided to developer by client (images, music, texts, etc.) to use on his web site.
Some information (data, know how, designs, marketing studies, costs, etc.) can be treated as trade secrets. The software and web site development agreement should state the period of time and conditions for such information to remain confident.
Term and Terminations
The agreement can be terminated in case either party fails to carry out the obligations. This clause addresses the conditions of termination and the procedure of returning materials as well the survival of certain rights and obligations.
Web site development leads to the publication of material in the Internet. The material published should not constitute an infringement on some third party intellectual property ownership rights. Indemnity ensures that neither client nor developer use such materials. The infringements of some third party rights most often include copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trade secret infringement or liability for unlawful disclosure.
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