The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Dinosaur
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Drop Zone
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Personal Computer

SaaS On A EULA? Get Some New Pants!

SaaS on a EULA? Get Some New Pants!

A good contract is like a good pair of pants. When the pants fit right and look good, you wear them all the time and hardly notice them. But if they’re too tight, you won’t buy them and if they’re too loose they fall down and leave you exposed. And if they’re just wrong – like trying to pair hockey pants with a suit coat – nobody knows what to do with you.

As more and more software companies deliver SaaS instead of software CDs, why do I still see so many EULAs? They aren’t quite as bad as hockey pants with a suit, but I’d say they approach wearing hockey pants for skiing. Yes, they’re warm and in the winter sports category but they leave a lot of bare leg and have way too much unnecessary padding.

First let’s talk about the fundamental differences between licensed software and SaaS. One is a right to take a copy of some technology to your home or office, install it on your computer and use it all by yourself (or with the other users in your company). Your data stays with you. The other is a service provided by a vendor which allows you to input and review data that is processed somewhere else. No software is delivered. No copies of technology are made for the users. But your data is processed and stored outside of your computer.

So, one is a license – a right to get a copy and use IP – and the other is a service – that processes and stores information. They really are different pants even if software is involved in both.

The legal community has done a good job of drilling the importance of protecting IP into software developers. Yes, intellectual property rights are what make that wonderful technology valuable. Tie them up tight in your license agreement, use license keys and other mechanisms to control users and audit them to make sure they aren’t proliferating without paying.

But do you know the best way to protect IP? Don’t share it. Don’t let anyone see it or get a copy. In other words, use it to deliver a service: SaaS. No license is required when IP isn’t shared (There go the huge pads on the hockey pants). And granting a license for IP that isn’t delivered could result in the unintended requirement to deliver it (Those pants fall right down around the ankles).

The legal community hasn’t done a good job of advising SaaS users of the risks of losing control of their data and the means to process it themselves. SaaS customers under a EULA don’t get any assurances about how the vendor will protect their data (Those hockey pants are too short for the slopes). They don’t know what kind of backup procedures the provider has or how to get their data back in a meaningful format. Because the contract won’t address data issues at all, it doesn’t even say that the client owns its data (Get me some ski pants!).

In summary, my last pants analogy: if you’re selling SaaS with a EULA, get some new pants.

By Cindy Wolf

Cindy Wolf

Cindy Wolf is a Colorado lawyer with more than 25 years experience representing large and small domestic and multinational companies. Her expertise is in helping companies enter the cloud safely, either as providers or users. She also practices in the areas of corporate law and commercial contracting, with an emphasis on international issues. She can be reached at cindy@cindywolf.com.

(*Note - This publication is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. There is no implicit guarantee that this information is correct, complete, or up to date. This publication is not intended to and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the author...)

Latest posts by Cindy Wolf (see all)

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Recent

The E-Learning Market – Cloud Computing Adoption

The E-Learning Market – Cloud Computing Adoption

The E-Learning Market  We’ve talked a fair bit about e-Learning and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) technologies here on CloudTweaks over the past number of years. The industry is expected to continue to grow at a brisk pace as more and more firms and educational institutions start to adopt cloud based services.  Docebo has an excellent…

Big Data, Business Intelligence And The Programming Language “R”

Big Data, Business Intelligence And The Programming Language “R”

Why Your Next Business Intelligence Hire Will Use R As anyone working in the field knows, business intelligence is an evolving landscape. New technologies, combined with a rapidly expanding marketplace, are disrupting legacy solutions and established platforms. Despite such growth, however, there have been a few constants, such as the R programming language. As other…

Beyond Gaming: Three Practical Applications For Oculus Rift

Beyond Gaming: Three Practical Applications For Oculus Rift

Three Practical Applications For Oculus Rift  Since the announcement of the Oculus Rift in 2012 gamers and game developers alike have been frenzied trying to both get their hands on the unit or build their own proprietary VR machine. The VR gold rush has since lead to the announcement of Project Morpheus from Sony and…

Popular

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services Business Intelligence (BI) services have recently seen an explosion of innovation and choices for business owners and entrepreneurs. So many choices, in fact, that many companies aren’t sure which business intelligence company to use. To help offer you a solution, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Business Intelligence companies…

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations Everyone knows what the cloud is, but does everybody know where the cloud is? We try to answer that as we look at some of the most unusual data centre locations in the world. Under the Eyes of a Deity Deep beneath the famous Uspenski Cathedral in the…

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the Internet and PC.…

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing Despite the rapid growth of cloud computing, the cloud still commands a small portion of overall enterprise IT spending. Estimates I’ve seen put the percentage between 5% and 10% of the slightly more than $2 trillion (not including telco) spent worldwide in 2014 on enterprise IT. Yet growth projections…

Forrester Releases Its “15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020” Report

Forrester Releases Its “15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020” Report

15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020 The cloud, big data, the internet of things, and wearable technology have all featured heavily in Forrester’s latest list of fifteen technologies to watch before 2020. It is becoming a reality for businesses that they need to adapt and change to an increasingly technologically-minded customer base. Traditional marketing…

Sponsored Posts

Skin Based Technology – The Intelligent Tattoo

Skin Based Technology – The Intelligent Tattoo

The Intelligent Tattoo I’ve got you under my skin: the rise of the intelligent tattoo As the Internet of Everything expands its reach to embrace many new areas of life, the race continues to develop more robust and accessible tools. Wearables are being whittled down from clunky watches to smart clothes and wrist bands, but…

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Branded Content Programs

Advertising