Commercial Licensing

Mark Wilcox mark at
Thu Jan 8 16:46:14 CET 2015

You might want to look at the standard license terms Apple applies to
apps on the App Stores:
It covers most of what you're asking except it offers no warranty at
all, rather than a limited one. It also covers some things you might not
have thought of, while being relatively short as licenses go.

> In the UK, AFAIK, there is no particular reason not to simply sell as
> an individual, always provided one can limit one’s liability through a
> contract.
You can always disclaim liability in the license agreement but that
doesn't guarantee a court won't decide you're liable anyway. Depending
on the nature of the software you're selling and the risk of potential
liability you perceive you might want to either use a limited company or
get some product liability insurance. For most software I wouldn't be
bothered though.


Mark Wilcox mark at

On Wed, Jan 7, 2015, at 04:04 AM, Graham Samuel wrote:
> Hi all - this may be naive, but I don’t recall a recent discussion on
> this list and I don’t know where to turn.
> The recent discussion on licensing centering round the GPL and the
> different editions of LC is interesting, but I rather want to extend
> it to get some advice about simple commercial licensing.
> All the software I’ve ever written for sale to date has been published
> by a separate publisher: I have retained the copyright and received
> royalties, so I have not worried overmuch about the terms and
> conditions which the ultimate users have to sign up to. That and the
> fact that my publishers are very very old friends, so there is a very
> high level of trust between us, means that my own contractual position
> has never worried me.
> Now however I’m looking at a different situation, which is publishing
> something on my own account. The ‘something’ is potentially a number
> of programs (OK, apps if you must) made with LC Commercial versions,
> for which I expect to be paid. I also have a situation where I am the
> developer, not the copyright owner, and where the copyright owner has
> the same sort of ambition to sell his product in the open market. We
> are both clueless about what kind of license agreement to include in
> our products. We could both be using the same contract (since I’m
> trying to advise him) except that I’m based in the UK (or at any rate
> the European Union) and he’s based in the US. In both cases, what is
> needed is as simple a contract as possible which provides a very
> limited warranty, bans unreasonable copying and denies all forms of
> consequential liability.
> It seems to me that there must be pro-forma contracts out there,
> applicable to sole traders (this is UK term, not sure what it would be
> in the US), but I don’t know how to find them. Furthermore I notice
> that several active contributors to this list sell the products
> through a company, and not as individuals. In the UK, AFAIK, there is
> no particular reason not to simply sell as an individual, always
> provided one can limit one’s liability through a contract. In the US,
> it may be different.
> Is anyone out there willing to discuss this and maybe discuss the
> steps they went through, the decisions they made, and how they got the
> wording of their license terms?
> TIA for any further info
> Graham
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