Diese Präsentation wurde erfolgreich gemeldet.
Wir verwenden Ihre LinkedIn Profilangaben und Informationen zu Ihren Aktivitäten, um Anzeigen zu personalisieren und Ihnen relevantere Inhalte anzuzeigen. Sie können Ihre Anzeigeneinstellungen jederzeit ändern.

Software Contract and Liability

6.374 Aufrufe

Veröffentlicht am

A lossless summary of Frank Bott book, Professional Issues in IT, chapter 12 "Software Contract and Liability".

Contents:
1. Contract
2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems
3. Consultancy and Contract Hire
4. Time and Materials
5. Outsourcing
6. License Agreements
7. Liability for Defective Software
8. Health and Safety

Veröffentlicht in: Business, Technologie
  • I also order from www.HelpWriting.net
       Antworten 
    Sind Sie sicher, dass Sie …  Ja  Nein
    Ihre Nachricht erscheint hier
  • I have done a couple of papers through ⇒⇒⇒WRITE-MY-PAPER.net ⇐⇐⇐ they have always been great! They are always in touch with you to let you know the status of paper and always meet the deadline!
       Antworten 
    Sind Sie sicher, dass Sie …  Ja  Nein
    Ihre Nachricht erscheint hier
  • Did you try ⇒ www.WritePaper.info ⇐?. They know how to do an amazing essay, research papers or dissertations.
       Antworten 
    Sind Sie sicher, dass Sie …  Ja  Nein
    Ihre Nachricht erscheint hier
  • Great information about writing! If you ever need any help with proofreading, editing or research check out Writer’s Help. They are a great resource for personal, educational or business writing needs. The website is ⇒ www.HelpWriting.net ⇐
       Antworten 
    Sind Sie sicher, dass Sie …  Ja  Nein
    Ihre Nachricht erscheint hier
  • You are welcome to visit our brilliant writing company in order to get rid of your academic writing problems once and for all! ⇒ www.HelpWriting.net ⇐
       Antworten 
    Sind Sie sicher, dass Sie …  Ja  Nein
    Ihre Nachricht erscheint hier

Software Contract and Liability

  1. 1. Software Contract and Liability A lossless summary by Mohamad Sani 1
  2. 2. Reference Ch. 12 Software Contract and Liability Professional Issues in Information Technology Frank Bott ISBN 9781906124489 2005 BCS Learning & Development Limited 2
  3. 3. Outline 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems a. Products b. Deliverables c. Rights Ownership d. Confidentiality e. Payment Terms f. Payments for Delays & Changes g. Penalty Clauses h. Client Obligations i. Working Standards j. Progress Meetings k. Project Managers l. Acceptance Procedure m. Warranty and Maintenance n. Inflation o. Indemnity p. Termination q. Arbitration r. Applicable Law 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire a. Contract Hire b. Consultancy 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 3
  4. 4. Contract • A contract is an agreement between two or more persons (the parties to the contract) that can be enforced in a court of law. – The parties may be legal or natural persons. • No specific form – In particular, in England and Wales need not be written down. • What is essential: 1. All the parties must intend to make a contract. 2. All the parties must be competent to make a contract. • Old enough and sufficiently sound mind to understand what they are doing 3. There must be a consideration. • Each party must be receiving something and providing something. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 4
  5. 5. Contract Law • Largely based on common law. • The existing contract law perfectly adequate to handle contracts for the supply of computers, software and associated services. • However, the coming of the internet and e- commerce has created a need for new provisions to deal with such matters as: – Electronic signatures – Which county’s laws should govern transactions when the parties to the transaction are in different countries? 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 5
  6. 6. Fixed Price Contracts For Bespoke Systems • Tailor-made or bespoke systems: an organization buys a system configured specifically to meet its needs. • Typically consist of 3 parts: 1. Agreement 1. States who the parties are 2. Says anything that have been said or agreed before 3. Signed by the parties 2. Standard terms and conditions 3. Schedules or annexes • Used on fairly large contracts – Many small-scale projects are carried out satisfactory using much simpler contracts, often no more than an exchange of letters. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 6
  7. 7. What is to be produced • Contract necessarily states what is to be produced. • Usually two level of reference: – Standard terms and conditions refer to an annex – The annex then refers to the requirement specification in a separate document *IMPORTANT: the reference to the requirement specification identifies that document uniquely, normally quoting a date and issue number. • Contract should provide a procedure for requirement specification changes, including: – A method of calculating payment for the changes – Variation of the level of anticipated performance (optional) – Variation of the method of acceptance testing 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 7
  8. 8. What is to be delivered Non exhaustive list of possibilities: 1. Source code 2. Command files For building the executable from the source 3. Documentation Of the design and the code 4. Manuals • Reference manuals • Training manuals • Operations manuals 5. Software tool to help maintaining the code 6. Training • For user • For client’s maintenance staff 7. Test data and test results 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 8
  9. 9. Rights Ownership • Stating what legal rights are being passed from the developer to the client is important. • Ownership in physical items will usually passed. – E.g. books, documents, disks • More than that, software is protectable by intellectual rights: – Copyright – Design rights – Confidentiality – Trademarks Contract should state who is to own these rights. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 9
  10. 10. Confidentiality • The two parties may acquire confidential information about each other when a bespoke software is being developed. – Client may have to pass its business operations – Developer may not want the client to divulge to others about its operations • In this case, the contract should state the non- disclosure agreement. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 10
  11. 11. Payment Terms • The standard terms and conditions will specify the payment conditions, e.g.: Payment shall become due within 30 days of invoice issue date. If payment is delayed by more than that, the company shall have the right, at its discretion, to terminate the contract or to apply a surcharge at an interest rate of 2% above the bank base lending rate. • In practice, such clauses are brought into effect in extreme case, since using them is likely to destroy the goodwill between developer and client on which the success of the project depends. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 11
  12. 12. Payment Terms • An annex usually specifies a pattern of payments, e.g.: – An initial payment of 15% becomes due on signature of the contract – 65% at various stages during the development – 25% on acceptance of the software – The final 10% at the end of the warranty period • Such pattern has advantages for the developer in that it reduces: – The financial risk – Possible cash flow difficulties 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 12
  13. 13. Payment Terms • If the client does not accept the stage payment pattern, the developer is likely to demand a premium to cover the increased risk and the costs of financing the development. • In negotiating the payment pattern, – The developer will usually seek to have the stage payments becoming due on fixed calendar dates. – While the client will try to have them tied to the achievement of specific project milestones. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 13
  14. 14. Payments for Delays and Changes • Frequently, progress of the development is delayed because the client does not meet obligations on time. • The developer will be expected its best to rearrange activities to avoid wasting effort, but it is not always possible. • Therefore, the contract should make provision for payments to compensate for: – The wasted effort when the client fails to meet its obligation on time – Extra work when changes are requested 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 14
  15. 15. Calculating Payments for Delays and Changes • The contract must specify the process these extra payments are calculated. • Typically, an annex will include daily charging rates for each grade of staff employed on the the contract. • The amount of extra effort to be paid for will be agreed at progress meetings. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 15
  16. 16. Penalty Clauses • When delay caused by the developer. • Normal mechanism: the sum payable to the developer is reduced by a specified amount for each week that acceptance of the product is delayed, up to certain maximum. – E.g. contract value $1 million. Penalty $5,000 per week up to maximum $100,000 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 16
  17. 17. Penalty Clauses • Delays in delivering software are common, it might be expected software contract would normally include such a penalty clause. Paradoxically, such provision is rare because: 1. Developers are very reluctant to accept penalty clauses. Anything stronger than the example quoted above is likely to lead to reputable developers refusing to bid. 2. If the contract is to include penalty clauses, the bid price is likely to be increased by at least ½ the max value of the penalty. 3. If the software is seriously late and penalties approach their maximum, there is little incentive for the developer to complete the work since they will already have received in stage payments as much as they are going to get. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 17
  18. 18. Penalty Clauses • Regardless of penalty, every delay eats into developer’s profit margin. As a result, suppliers are strongly motivated to produce the software on time and delay is usually the result of genuine technical difficulties or incompetence rather than lack of motivation. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 18
  19. 19. Client Obligations • Non-exhaustive list of possibilities: Client Provides: 1. Documentation of the client’s activities or environment in which the system will run 2. Access to appropriate members of staff 3. Machine facilities for development and testing 4. Accommodation, telephone and secretarial facilities for the company’s staff when working on the client’s premises 5. Data communications facilities to the site 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 19
  20. 20. Client Obligations • The Standard Terms and Conditions normally state a list of specific obligations. – The dates at which they will be required is given in an annex. – Also state that failure to meet these obligations may render the client liable for delay payments. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 20
  21. 21. Working Standards • The developer is likely to have company standards or methods of working. More sophisticated clients may have their own procedures and may require that these be adhered to. • The contract must specify which is to apply. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 21
  22. 22. Progress Meetings • Regular progress meetings are essential to the successful completion of a fixed price contract. • It is advisable that the Standard Terms and Conditions require them to be held. • The minutes of meetings, duly approved and signed, should have contractual significance in that they constitute evidence that milestones have been reached and the other agreements that might be raised. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 22
  23. 23. Project Managers • Each party needs to know who, of the other party’s staff, has day-to-day responsibility for the work and what the limits of that person’s authority are. • The Standard Terms and Conditions should require each party to nominate, in writing, a project manager. – The project managers must have at least the authority necessary to fulfill the obligations that the contract places on them. • It is important that the limits of their financial authority are explicitly stated. – The extend to which they can authorize changes to the cost of the contract. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 23
  24. 24. Acceptance Procedure • Acceptance procedure are critical in any fixed price contract. – They provide the criteria by which successful completion of the contract is judged. • The client should provide a fixed set of acceptance tests and expected results. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 24
  25. 25. Acceptance Procedure • Extra tests cannot be added once the test set has been handed over. – To ensure that the acceptance procedure can be completed in reasonable time • The contract should also includes: – Who shall be present when the tests are carried out – What happens if the tests are not completed successfully 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 25
  26. 26. Warranty and Maintenance • Once the product has been accepted, it is common to offer a warranty period, typically 90 days. • Any errors found within this period will be corrected free of charge. – This clause is subject to negotiation. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 26
  27. 27. Warranty and Maintenance • After the warranty period, maintenance can be available on request. • Since such maintenance is likely to involve enhancement rather than simply faults correction: – The resources required are unpredictable, the client usually does not know what enhancements will be required in, say, two years’ time. – A fixed price will not appropriate. – Usually be charged on a time and materials basis. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 27
  28. 28. Inflation • In lengthy projects, the developer will wish to ensure protection against the effects of unpredictable inflation. • It is customary to include a clause which allows charges to be increased in accordance with the rise in costs. • The clause should state how often (e.g. once or twice a year) charges can be increased and how the effect on the overall price is to be calculated. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 28
  29. 29. Indemnity • It could happen: – As a result of the client’s instructions, the developer led unwittingly to infringe the intellectual property rights of a third party. – The developer provides a system which infringes such rights through carelessness or dishonesty, e.g. using proprietary software as a component of the system delivered. • For this reason, advisable to include a clause under which each party indemnifies the other for liability arising from its own faults in this respect. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 29
  30. 30. Termination of Contract • There are many reasons to necessarily terminate a contract before it has been completed. – It is not uncommon. • It is essential that the contract make provision for terminating the work in an amicable manner. • Usually means that the developer is to be paid for all the work carried out up to the point where the contract is terminated, together with some compensation for the time needed to redeploy staff on other revenue earning work. • The question of ownership of the work so far carried out must also be addressed. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 30
  31. 31. Arbitration • Court action is expensive. Contract often contain a clause saying that, in the event of a dispute that they cannot solve themselves, the party agree to accept the decision of an independent arbitrator. • In computer-related contracts, it is usually stated that the arbitrator is to be appointed either by the President of the BCS or IEE. – Both bodies maintain a lists of qualified arbitrators • Usually state that if arbitration is required, it will comply with the Arbitration Act 1996. – This act lays down set of rules that cover many eventualities. – Reference to it avoids the need to spell these out in detail. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 31
  32. 32. Applicable Law Where the developer and the client in different legal jurisdictions or performance of the contract involves more than one jurisdiction, it is necessary to state which laws the contract is to be interpreted. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 32
  33. 33. Contract Hire • Contract hire (body shopping): an arrangement in which the developer agrees to supply the client with a certain number of staff at agreed daily or hourly charge rates. • Client takes responsibility for managing the staff. • The contract is usually fairly simple. – Payment is on the basis of a fixed rate for each day worked. – The rate depends on the experience and qualification. • Ownership of intellectual property rights still must be addressed. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 33
  34. 34. Consultancy • Consultant: an expert who are called in by an organization to assess some aspect of its operations or its strategy and to make proposals for improvements. – The end product is usually a report or other document • An up-market version of contract hire. • Usually undertaken for a fixed price. • The form of contract is very much simpler than fixed price contract – The value is small and neither side stands to lose a great deal. – When the consultant failed, not usually possible to demonstrate unequivocally that a report fails. • Client has to rely on the desire of the consultant to maintain reputation. In practice, this usually sufficient. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 34
  35. 35. Consultancy Important aspects of a consultancy contract: 1. Confidentiality • Consultant would learn a lot about the companies and can misuse this information for their own profit 2. Terms of reference • As a result of their initial investigations, the consultants may discover that they need to consider matters that were outside their original terms of reference, but the client may be unwilling to let it. • Important that the contract refers explicitly to the terms of reference of the consultancy team. • In practice, this is the commonest source of disagreement 3. Liability • Consultant will wish to limit their liability for any loss that the client suffers as a result of following their advice. • Client may not be happy with this. In some cases, they insist on verifying that the consultant has professional liability insurance. 4. Who has control over report 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 35
  36. 36. Time and Materials • Time and materials (cost plus): the supplier agrees to undertake the development in much the same was as in a fixed price contract, but payment is made on the basis of the costs incurred. – Labor charged in the same way as or contract hire. • Developer is not committed to complete the work. – Though a maximum payment may be fixed beyond which the project may be reviewed. • Many fixed price contract challenges still occur: – Ownership of rights, facilities provided by client, progress monitoring arrangement. – But some are don’t: delay payment, acceptance testing. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 36
  37. 37. Time and Materials • Why client should prefer time and materials contract? 1. Often the work to be carried out is not sufficiently well specified for any developer to offer a fixed price. • Part of the developer’s task will be to discover the requirements. 2. Developer always loads a fixed contract with contingency allowance • If all goes well developer makes extra profit, as a reward for risk taken. • Time and materials contract makes this risk and the possibility of extra profit (in the form of a lower cost) transferred to the client. 3. Avoid risk of having to pay excessive sums to have minor changes outside the specification. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 37
  38. 38. Outsourcing • Outsourcing (facilities management): commercial arrangement under which a company (the client) hands over the planning, management and operation of certain function to another company (the developer). • A company (the developer) that specializes in a particular area is likely to make a better job than an organization (the client) whose main area of expertise is elsewhere. • Rapid increase in the UK in the past 25 years. – Led by the Civil Service. • Great difficulty in retaining competent IT staff because civil service salaries were low in comparison with in the IT industry • Allowing gov’t to reduce the number of civil servants 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 38
  39. 39. Outsourcing • IT outsourcing contracts are complex and depend very much on individual circumstances. • Some points that need to be addressed: 1. How is performance to be monitored and managed 2. What happens if performance is unsatisfactory 3. Which assets are being transferred 4. Staff transfers 5. Audit rights 6. Contingency plan and disaster recovery 7. Intellectual property rights 8. Duration of agreement 9. Termination provision Number 1 and 2 are key elements in IT outsourcing and are often treated as a separate agreement known as a Service Level Agreement. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 39
  40. 40. License Agreements There are many different types of license agreement. A license may allow the licensee to: • use one copy of the software on his computer • run the the software on a server on his local area network and for it to be used by up to some agreed maximum number of users. • run as many copies of the software on computers at specified premises  site license. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 40
  41. 41. Important Concerns in License Agreements Several things that a software vendor may be concerned: • Making sure that it is not giving away any of its own rights in the software. • Limiting the extend the customer can use the software. – So that if the customer wants to use it more he must pay an additional license fee. • Ensuring a regular income from support activities. – E.g. annual maintenance charge, consultancy fee • Ensuring as far as possible it will not be liable for any defects in the software. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 41
  42. 42. Liability of Defective Software • Developer are very reluctant to give contractual commitment. – The Standard terms and conditions will contain a clause that tries to limit the developer liability if the software is defective. – Most contracts will limit the extent of any liability either to purchase price of the product or to some fixed figure. • The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 restricts the extend to which clauses in contract limiting liability. • But, it is not possible to limit the damages payable if a defect in the product causes death or injury. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 42
  43. 43. Using Consumer Sale Law • Consumer sale: – buyer must be a private person – Seller is acting in the course of a business – The goods must be a type ordinarily supplied for private use • In consumer sale, the requirements of Sale of Goods Act 1979 and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 cannot be excluded. – The most important requirement of the 1979 Act is that goods sold must be fit for the purpose for which such goods are commonly supplied. • E.g. printer must be capable of printing reliably and clearly at usable speed. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 43
  44. 44. Software in Goods Law? • Problem: software is intangible, it may not comes under the definition of “goods”. – It is not clear whether Sale of Goods Act 1979 applies to the sale of software. – It is generally thought that it does apply to the sale of retail software or software sold under wrapped license. – But it would not apply to bespoke software. • Then it comes under the 1982 Act, which only requires that “reasonable skill and care” has been used. • The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 again comes to the rescue. – It allows liability to be limited or excluded only to the extent that it is reasonable to do so. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 44
  45. 45. Health and Safety • “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.” (The Health and Safety Work Act 1974) • Particular concern to software engineers: Provision and maintenance of: – safe plant – safe systems of work – such information, instruction, training and supervision – safe working environment and adequate welfare arrangements 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 45
  46. 46. Health and Safety • The act also requires employers to ensure that their activities do not risk the general public health and safety. • Failure to comply with the act is a criminal offence. 1. Introduction 2. Fixed Price Contracts for Bespoke Systems 3. Consultancy and Contract Hire 4. Time and Materials 5. Outsourcing 6. License Agreements 7. Liability for Defective Software 8. Health and Safety 46

×