Electronic data processing and related transactions can raise a variety of legal problems. This is even more true as, for example, software and hardware often require both parties -user and vendor- to work on the same high level of technical knowledge with respect to any contract and project. Often enough this leads to a gap of understanding or errors in contracts that will often only be discovered when it is too late. Computer Law is an area of law that affects mainly the civil law, but also public law, especially criminal law may aply.
The legal consulting in computer law generally covers the areas of:
• Software and hardware purchase
• Contracts for individual software
• project contracts for software
• Cloud Computing
• Software distribution agreements
• Licensing of software
• Warranty and Guarantee
• Maintenance contracts
• Web-based applications
• Open Source Software (OSS)
• ASP contracts
• Copyright and Patent protection of software
• protection of databases
• Computer crime (for example, computer fraud)
• Data Security and Privacy
• Terms and Conditions
• Employees‘ Inventions
The already mentioned different level of knowledge of the Parties may mean that the purchaser of a software does not have the technical knowledge to find the right IT solution for their own needs. On the other hand the programmers often do not have the necessary know-how of the industry in which their customer operates.
There is also a bad habit in the industry that orders are issued only „on call“ and written contracts rarely are taken into account. If there will be controversy about the success of a project, it must be said that sometimes no one knows precisely anymore what was actually agreed upon. In this case, a written letter of the intent of the parties is absolutely necessary for both parties. The purchaser of a software based on the agreed scope, can only proof errors according to written specifications, that software is flawed and he may require rectification, price-reduction, cancellation or compensation. The programmer however for example can demonstrate, that the client has not fulfilled certain obligations to cooperate by a documentation or specifications and that he himself is not in delay with his performance.
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