Documentation, Modification, Updates, and Conversion

A licensing or development agreement should require vendors to deliver appropriate software documentation. This should include both application and user documentation.

A license or separate maintenance agreement should address the availability and cost of software updates and modifications. When drafting agreements, organizations should determine if a vendor provides access to source or object code. Regardless of whether vendors limit access to object code or provide access to source code, the permission and willing participation of the vendor may be necessary to make modifications to the software. Modifications to source code may void maintenance agreements.

When negotiating a software license, organizations should anticipate they might need to convert to a different software product in the future. The license should enable and facilitate conversions. The license should not restrict an organization's ability to convert data to a new format. If possible, organizations should negotiate terms that would enable another firm to access the software and assist them in the conversion without violating license restrictions.


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