The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes new obligations on data processors as well as controllers. As a software company selling hosted or SaaS (software as a service) solutions, there are things you need to think about now, to ensure you comply with GDPR. [Read more…]
With less than 5 months until GDPR comes into force, all businesses should be well on the road to getting their preparations underway for the new data protection regime. But if you’ve not yet started, don’t panic: there is still time.
There have been a lot of headlines and hysteria about the new upper limits on fines that can be imposed under GDPR. However, enforcement will remain the responsibility of each member state which means the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will continue to deal with enforcement in the UK. [Read more…]
In an age where the internet and Google are so prevalent, having an online presence for your business has never been more important – but does your business own its website?
Indeed, most businesses whether big or small will have some sort of website – from simple “information-only” websites to more sophisticated e-commerce websites capable of processing high volumes of various transactions. [Read more…]
Whether you are purchasing or providing software it is essential that you understand the key elements of software licence agreements. Here, our IT and Telecoms Specialists offer some useful guidelines.
What is the software?
The software licence should detail what the software is and in what form it will be delivered. For example, it is important to know whether the suppliers are providing ‘Source code’ or ‘Object code’ software. This (and the terms of the licence) will determine whether the licensee of the software can easily develop the software themselves (Source code) – which is usually only the case for bespoke software – or whether they will need the supplier to maintain and develop the software (object source) which is usually the case. Alternatively, the software may be hosted by the supplier in a SaaS (software as a service) environment.To avoid future disputes, the licence should set out exactly which version of the software is being provided together with the extent to which the licence covers future versions. [Read more…]
BHW Solicitors has been confirmed as one of a handful of top law firms in the East Midlands for its Corporate and Commercial, Commercial Property and IT and Telecoms work in the 2016 edition of the Legal 500, which was published in September. [Read more…]
Background – The need for software licence management
With software licensing and maintenance comprising almost one third of overall IT budgets on average, software is a key company asset. However, while there is increasing awareness of the risks associated with unmanaged software assets, the same level of importance is not always assigned to the management and optimisation of software licensing. Set out below are BHW’s top 10 tips for organisations when obtaining and using software licensing agreements.
In any development arrangement between a customer and a software developer for bespoke software, it’s vital that you deal properly with software testing and acceptance.
In the absence of a paid-for support service, most developers offer only a limited warranty period after acceptance so customers should ensure that they are not deemed to have accepted any software release until they have had the opportunity to test it and sign it off. Customers should resist any provision that assumes acceptance just because they’ve allowed a given number of days to go past without reporting any issues.
On the other hand, if you’re a developer, you should ensure your customers cannot unreasonably delay acceptance. If you’ve agreed that acceptance doesn’t happen until they’ve tested and signed off the release, then you should agree a backstop date to ensure they don’t prevaricate.
If you’re engaging a software house or independent contractor to produce software for you, you might think that you will own all the intellectual property in the software once it’s produced. After all, it’s your idea, you’ll probably contribute a lot to the design and specification process and (crucially) you’ll be paying for it.
Unfortunately, copyright law isn’t that helpful.
BHW Solicitors are delighted to announce that another two members of the firm have been ranked as “Leaders in their Field” in the Chambers and Partners UK 2015 guide which is due to be published in October 2014.
Beverley Merrell, a Partner in the Commercial Property Department, has been ranked as a “Leader in her Field” for Real Estate following an extremely busy and successful year in the Commercial Property Department.
Matt Worsnop is an Associate Solicitor in the Corporate & Commercial Department and has been ranked as a “Leader in his Field” for Information Technology. Before joining BHW, Matt spent 15 years working in the software development industry and Matt is the only IT “Leader” based in the East Midlands.
Beverley and Matt join Ed Nurse, Head of the Corporate & Commercial Department who has retained his ranking as a “Leader in his Field” for Corporate/M&A following another very successful year.
Beverley, Matt and Ed all trained and qualified at BHW, an accolade which speaks for itself.
Chambers UK publishes its world leading guide to the legal profession annually and has a reputation for in-depth, objective research. A large team of researchers work alongside the editors to identify and rank the world’s best lawyers and law firms based on client interviews and independent recommendations.
Carrying out software development without a contract leaves both customer and supplier exposed to the risk of software disputes.
Matt Worsnop of BHW Solicitors in Leicester writes about an all-too familiar scenario.
You’ve just won a major contract to deliver bespoke software development – great! The customer needs the new system urgently and requires you to hit some challenging milestones – not so great but you’re confident you can re-assign developers off another less-urgent project and still meet the deadlines.
Then the customer mentions that, because of the aggressive schedule, there’s just not going to be time to negotiate a detailed written contract. “We’ll just sit down and work out roughly what you need to deliver for each milestone and sort out the detail as we go” says the customer. This makes you a little nervous but the customer has a good reputation, it’s a big contract and you don’t want to let it go. Reluctantly you agree.