Software Contracts: Buyers' Rights and Suppliers' Obligations
The purchase of software, whether on a disk or by download, is a vast and growing market, for both businesses and individuals. While the Consumer Rights Act clearly sets out the rights of consumers, there is no legislation setting out the rights of business buyers. This problem has been exacerbated by the recent landmark ruling of the Court of Appeal in the Computer Associates case as to whether software on a disk could count as goods or not.
These rights and obligations are all the more important as defects in even an inexpensive piece of software can lead to a huge amount of damage – especially for business buyers. This course will set out in detail how the rights of consumers and businesses differ, and determine what rights, if any, business buyers have.
The course will address:
How the Consumer Rights Act has given extended rights to purchases of software when made by private buyers
The extent to which suppliers to consumers can exclude or limit liability for defective software
How far the rights under the Sale of Goods Act as to goods of a proper quality extend to software contained on a disk
The absence of any statutory rights protecting business buyers, and whether the common law can make good such deficiencies
The nature of terms that can be written into a business contract
How to guard against being caught out by exceptionally onerous terms in a software contract
If a business buyer does have any rights, whether these can these be excluded or limited by the supplier and what effect, if any, the Unfair Contract Terms Act has
What happens, whether the buyer is a consumer or a business, if software is corrupt or contains a virus, and thus damages the recipient’s system
Rights to require the supplier to repair or replace defective software
To what extent a business buyer can spell out in the contract the sums payable if the software is defective