Companies that host their software solution and offer customers access to a hosted subscription-based software solution are typically not licensing their software; they offer a service and access to use their software platform. A SaaS software agreement is a services contract, not a license agreement. A SaaS agreement is fundamentally different than a software license agreement. SaaS Agreements and Software License Agreements differ fundamentally in their nature and responsibilities. SaaS Agreements focus on providing software as a service over the Internet and usually operate on a subscription model, requiring ongoing payments for continued access. In this setup, the provider takes on the responsibilities of data storage, security, updates, and maintenance. Customization options are generally limited in SaaS solutions.
Software License Agreements grant users the rights to install and use software on their systems, often for a one-time purchase fee. In this case, users are responsible for the software’s installation, maintenance, and data storage, and they usually have greater freedom to customize and integrate the software into their existing systems. The key differences lie in the contract, payment structure, allocation of responsibilities, and customization options. While SaaS is essentially a service contract with recurring payments and provider-handled maintenance, software licenses are more like property contracts that often involve a one-time fee and place more responsibility on the user.
Our lawyers publish articles addressing the most common questions about software as service contracts and other issues facing SaaS businesses. Here are some common issues, with many others on our blog in the SaaS category.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a cloud computing service that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. It’s like renting a fully-equipped workshop for building software instead of buying and managing all the tools and materials yourself.
SaaS (Software as a Service) is like renting a fully furnished apartment. You get everything you need (furniture, utilities, etc.) and live there. You don’t worry about maintenance or any underlying issues. In the tech world, you’re using a complete application hosted on the cloud. Examples include Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, and Dropbox.
Our SaaS lawyers can assist your software business across a range of issues. We curate an engagement to fit your needs and budget. We then work at your direction in place of or to supplement your legal department. This may range from a part-time or project-based external attorney to a secondment role whereby we place an attorney at your company’s offices. Whatever legal support you need, we can provide it all while you only pay for the resources and services you need when you need them.