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Now what s he on about The whole point of reading this book is getting ready to sell huge amounts of software, no This is a legal distinction, but an important one. You never sell your software. You sell someone the right to use it. As pointed out in the previous section, if you sell them the software, then you re transferring your rights to the buyer. Hopefully, one day you will sell your software. Once. For millions. But for the moment, you want to retain ownership and just grant others permission to use it. The right to use your software is outlined in a legal document called a license. You, the person granting the license, are the licensor. The person paying you for the privilege of using your software is the licensee. The licensee is permitted to use your software as long as they adhere to the conditions outlined in the license. You know about this because you have agreed to many End User License Agreements ( EULAs in the euphonious jargon of the computer business), each of which you have read thoroughly, being prudent enough not to ever agree to a document you haven t read. OK, you ve never read any of them, have you When installing a piece of software and the screen comes up asking whether you agree to the displayed license, you just click yes, don t you I know I do. Now might be a good time to get out those dime-store readers and actually read one of these masterpieces. If you have software-in-a-box, there s probably a printed copy of the EULA somewhere in the box or the manual. If you don t have one at the ready, you can read the sample software license in the Appendix. Have a cup of coffee handy. Usually, a license, like any legal agreement, needs to be signed by both parties. For software, the license is sometimes wrapped up with the software known as a shrink-wrap license and you don t get to read it until you open the box but before you break the shrink-wrap seal. There s a warning that says if you don t agree with the terms of the license that you should return the product. Not returning the product is regarded as acceptance of the terms of the license. Sometimes the license is presented to you as part of the installation process. This is called a click-wrap license. At that point you will be asked to click a control that indicates your acceptance or rejection of the terms of the license. Figure 5-1 shows an example of the installation screen for The Sleep Advisor. Notice that as long as No, I do not accept the terms in the license agreement is selected, the Next box is grayed out disabled; the user cannot proceed with the installation of the program until they select Yes, I accept the terms in the license agreement. Accepting the terms of the agreement implies that the user has scrolled down the document and read the terms, as unlikely as that may seem.
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Figure 5-1. Software License Acceptance screen
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So, as part of your process of converting your program into a product, you need to decide on the text of your license and how it s going to be presented. However you get your user to accept the terms of your license, you ll have to create one. Or have it written by a lawyer. Or cobble it together from other licenses like many of us have done. There are some fairly standard paragraphs you need to include. The license for E-Z-MRP granted by Beach Access Software in the Appendix is printed in the E-Z-MRP manual. The first couple of paragraphs cover the contents of the manual followed by the actual license agreement itself: No Warranty: Covers me in case I ve made some bonehead mistake in the documentation. Copyright Notice: Covers the contents of the manual. Trademarks: Notifies the reader of the trademark status of the product name. License Agreement: Dictates users must agree to abide by all the terms of the license to use the software. I agree to give them their money back in case they don t want to. License Grant: Where I actually give my OK. E-Z-MRP, like most commercial applications these days, can be run over a network, and it is anticipated that, because of the nature of the application, it will have multiple users. Beach Access Software grants a site license, discussed
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