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I'm thinking of selling my software online, so via my website, and also via bidding sites such as eBay.

Legally, is there any documentation I need to provide or get them to accept such as terms and conditions?

If the user has to accept Terms and Conditions for example, then how do I ensure that on a site like eBay? Would just providing the Terms and Conditions PDF to them be adequate?

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    How is this bound to freelancing??? – Peter MV Jan 2 '14 at 20:38
  • Unless it is specifically off-topic in the (very sparsely worded) Help Center, selling licenses to own software is very similar to selling own services. – Martin F Jan 12 '14 at 21:42
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You are not REQUIRED to state terms and conditions except that in the case with Ebay, you must state your refund policy.

Generally, terms and conditions are there to protect you from getting sued. You typically see this labelled as "License Agreement" in software installers. As long as it's in your installer, I think (I'm not an attorney) you'd be covered.

Here's an example of what I'm describing

The Java runtime license agreement, for example, reads "Don't use this for controlling nuclear sites or aircraft!!! If you do, we've warned you!" because eventually some idiot will.

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I don't think I'd make it into a PDF, as people can skim through it, or you have to hope they have the PDF reader installed. What about systems that don't have the Admin privileges to install Adobe?

The point is, it's gotta be easy. Obviously, you have some terms you want your users to abide by, but you'll need some way of controlling that THAT is how it is being used. Personally, I'd set it up to "call home" when it's run, download the EULA, and force them to accept it there. When it's accepted, I get a notification at home that it's been read at x:xx time, by a user at IP address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx. If it stays on my server, and the app knows not to launch without it, I get that confirmation (unless they are dirty, filthy pirates who crack everything).

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I can make a suggestion that use an encryption logic in the start of your software. once installation is complete for the user to use, a licence key should be asked for. That can be procured when they contact you and pay you as per need. Make the encryption logic good enough so that it becomes user deployment specific only. thus better control.

Edit:

Workflow encryption system is as follows:

Build a Licence Verification system in your application. This system will flag the rest of the system if the application is licensed or not. So in case you have a web based application which has DB access, you would need to build a flag system, so that in case some one who has not bought the license would not be able to access the application.

A very Good example should be like the Microsoft software in which you always need a licence or activation key to use the product.

And you can provide the Licence Key when the buyer mails you and then you can verify the same.

  • Hi Vineet, welcome to Freelancing.SE. I'm having a hard time understanding your answer the way it's currently written; could you edit it to include more information (i.e. the full workflow you suggest the user does for accessing the program, what the encryption logic is, etc)? – Canadian Luke REINSTATE MONICA Jan 2 '14 at 16:53

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