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SOURCE: Ideate Media LLC
Jeremy Aber, a software and SaaS attorney from Austin, Texas, sees a real and growing trend in the drafting of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) agreements, as they are being drafted not only plain English, but in a shorter and simpler manner.
(PRWEB) February 23, 2013
While technology agreements are moving from the paper to the online world, there is another trend that is actually more important and impactful. Jeremy Aber, a software and SaaS attorney from Austin, Texas, says “we are seeing a real and growing trend in the drafting of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) agreements, as they are being drafted not only plain English, but in a shorter and simpler manner. I know, it sounds a little crazy.”
Technology contracts don’t have a long history, but in the 1980s and 1990s most of these agreements were drafted in a one-sided manner (in the vendor’s favor). Most purchasers of technology did not care that much about them. They just signed them. However, Mr. Aber noted that things started to change in the late 1990s.
When Mr. Aber researched the state of software contracting in the late 1990s, he realized that IBM had the most advanced thinking on the future of IT contracts. Supposedly they hired a bunch of non-attorney consultants to help the IBM legal department draft simpler and plain English contracts, primarily for their customer facing agreements. If you think about it, as IBM has been writing and negotiating complex IT agreements the longest, it makes sense that they would look for ways to improve the process and try to shorten the sales cycle with better agreements.
The good news though, is that it looks like other companies are getting on the bandwagon, and a real trend is taking hold. Take a look at what IBM, Google, LinkedIn and Microsoft are doing.
Google Tries to Simplify their Online Policies
Linked In: Do’s and Don’t and Online Summary of Past Agreement Changes
Microsoft Embeds a FAQ in their EULA
However, many attorneys, especially from large law firms, would disagree with this trend in drafting, as they believe there is no change a foot. That makes sense, as from their perspective, longer and more complex agreements are better for them. According to Mr. Aber, this trend is emanating from the IT companies themselves and not their attorneys, so don’t expect your outside attorney to buy into this. If you want to know more about it, then take a look at some of the legal drafting experts that are leading the charge.
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