1. What is proprietary software?
Proprietary software (also known as closed software) is computer software that is privately owned and controlled by a company or individual. It is not freely available to the public to use. Unlike open software, to use proprietary software, you will usually need to purchase a licence, which gives you the right to use the proprietary software under certain rules set by the owner. Proprietary software often offers specialised features, such as support and a user-friendly interface. However, it lacks the transparency and flexibility of open-source software, as users are dependent on the company or individual who owns and maintains it for updates, improvements and bug-fixing.
Most of us use proprietary software every day. For instance, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are proprietary software owned by Microsoft. Additionally, Apple's iOS, the operating system found on iPhones, is another example of proprietary software owned by Apple.
2. What are the advantages of using proprietary software?
A key advantage of proprietary software is that it is typically supported by the software vendor or developer, who takes responsibility for its quality and performance. This often includes warranties and customer support, giving users confidence that the software will function as intended. The vendor also provides instructions for installation, configuration, and effective use of the software. They are also responsible for regular updates and bug fixes. While proprietary software usually requires a licensing fee, it is often more cost-effective compared to custom-built software alternatives.
3. What happens if someone uses proprietary software without the owner’s consent?
If someone copies, distributes or modifies proprietary software without the owner's consent, they will be infringing upon the owner's rights, including the copyright that exists in the proprietary software if it is original. It's important to note that unauthorised use of proprietary software is illegal. However, the specific legal implications and remedies can vary depending on the jurisdiction.
4. Does all proprietary software cost a fee?
No, not all proprietary software costs a fee. While many proprietary software products must be purchased for a particular price, there are also instances where proprietary software may be available for free. Although free proprietary software may have limited features or functionalities compared to the paid versions. Additional features or advanced features will then usually come at an extra fee to upgrade.
This model is commonly seen in the software industry, where software vendors offer a basic or “lite” version of their proprietary software for free to attract users, with the option to upgrade for enhanced functionalities.
5. How can Docue help you protect your proprietary software?
Finalised in minutes: Docue has comprehensive and customisable software licence agreement and SaaS agreement templates that can be finalised in a matter of minutes. It is designed to meet your specific needs and preferences, ensuring that your proprietary software is safeguarded.
Tailored to your business: With Docue, you have the flexibility to tailor the terms and conditions according to your requirements. You can specify the scope of the licence, usage restrictions, payment terms, and more. This level of customisation ensures that the agreement works in your favour and aligns with your business goals.
Legally compliant: Docue’s proprietary software agreement is compliant with English and Welsh laws, providing you with the legal protection you need. Our team of legal experts has carefully crafted the agreement to address relevant legal considerations, ensuring your rights and interests are protected.
Tags: proprietary software, closed software, closed-source software, commercial software, privately-owned software, licensed software, exclusive software, restricted software, vendor-controlled software, non-open source software
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