IT Law: Are Your Software Agreements Enforceable?

A lot of software and websites contain “shrinkwrap” agreements. This means that use of the software or opening the product equates to accepting the associated terms and conditions.

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Are shrinkwrap agreements enforceable?

Yes, they can be.

Clicking “I agree” is generally acceptance as to the contract terms. This may not be the case if the terms are objectionable on grounds that apply to contracts in general. If something is not lawful in a contract, it will likely not be lawful in a shrinkwrap contract either.

This can be very concerning – especially for business owners who utilize software for their business.

These agreements can contain terms that are contrary to other agreements.

If employees are downloading software, they may be binding businesses to agreements unknown to owners.

How do you protect your business from shrinkwrap agreements?

First, make sure you know what software and websites are being utilized at your business.

Have policies and procedures surrounding allowable downloads and make sure employees are trained on what is acceptable.

If you come across a software with a shrinkwrap agreement, treat it like you would any other contract. Have your lawyer review the agreement before using the software or website.

We help our small and midsize corporate clients by acting as their external general counsel. We review and negotiate shrinkwrap agreements of all sizes.

Don’t just assume you have to agree to all of the prepackaged terms without trying to negotiate!

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Do you need help with your policies and procedures or negotiating contracts with third-party vendors?  We can help. To contact us about your legal needs:  CLICK HERE.

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