Types Of Software Agreements

The term software agreement basically refers to software licenses and there are various types of software agreements. Software agreements allow the software developer (whether a company or a person) to distribute the software so that users in the market can make use of the software. There are primarily two types of software agreements- those that are referred to as proprietary software licenses and free and open-source software licenses. Both types of software agreements function different but the both of them are licenses that allow the developer to distribute software.

The proprietary software license is one of those types of software agreements where the publisher of the software allows copies of the software to be distributed though the ownership of these copies remains with the software publisher. Think of these types of software agreements as you would of copyrights- the book owner/writer has copyrights to the book so that no one else can print it, use its content or publish it as their own, right? Well, that’s how these types of software agreements work as well- the publisher has the rights to the software and to its copies and without his/her/it’s consent distribution of the software would be illegal and could be challenged in the court.

In these types of software agreements the end user needs to agree to use of the software in a particular way. Without the consent of the end user he may not use the product because he may use the software in other ways too and allowing him/her to use it could prove to be harmful or detrimental which is why the end user simply isn’t allowed to use the software. Hence, without his acceptance to follow the rules and conditions, the end user cannot use the software at all and the publisher has the right to do this because, after all, he has proprietary rights over the software.

The other types of software agreements are open-source software licenses. There are two types of software agreements where these are concerned- permissive licenses and copyleft licenses. In the former of the two types of software agreements there are minimal requirements upon the distribution of the software. In the latter types of software agreements it is ensured that any subsequent user gets the rights to the software. In this case the main aim is to preserve the freedom that users of the software have of using the software.

Redistribution in the latter types of software agreements is easy and it isn’t much of a problem either because of the fact that the end user would have the rights to the software and there minimal terms, conditions and restrictions over the redistribution of the software as well. In the former types of software agreements it is more difficult to do this because of the simple fact that the publisher of the product has rights over the software and wouldn’t allow the end user to use the software without acceptance of using it as per the terms and conditions state.