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What is Android End User Licence Agreement?

You’ve built a mobile App for Android (or you are in the process of getting it built) that is going to be (or is) available through the Google Play store or other App stores like Samsung, Amazon, Getjar, Slide Me, Huawei or Sony and you need to know what to do next.

This is what you need to know and what you need to do.

Given you own the copyright in your App you should put in place a App Licence Agreement that spells out how users can use your App.

This is where the Android End User Licence Agreement comes into play:

An Android End User Licence Agreement (EULA) is a legally binding agreement between an App owner and user of that App.

This agreement usually includes provisions related to terms for use of the App such as:

  1. What the App does
  2. What you can and can’t use the App for
  3. Fees for downloading and using the App
  4. Termination of the agreement
  5. Prohibitions on reverse engineering any part of the App
  6. Limitations of liability
  7. An indemnity provision
  8. And any other special conditions you may want.

In practice, it is common for App owners to use a clickwrap structure (i.e. by clicking the ‘I accept’ button users of the App agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the App) for the End User Licence Agreement.

Is a EULA mandatory?

As an App owner, you don’t have to create your own EULA when you submit your App to the Google Play Store or Amazon App Store to be published. If you don’t include your own EULA in your App, then the default rules included in ‘Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement’ and in the Google App polices will apply to the relationship between you and the user of your App.

Would we recommend that – nope!

Why – well simply because by using default terms you don’t have as much protection and control that you could have if you put in place your own agreement.

How is An App Licence Agreement different from App Terms of Use?

The first thing to say is that often these agreements include very similar terms and conditions.

However here are the main differences between these 2 types of agreement:

  • An App EULA largely relates to protection of your copyright on the App such as prohibiting users from copying your App, reverse-engineering or de-compiling your source code.
  • Terms of use, on the contrary, often include a licence agreement component but also cover a broader range of things. For instance how users can use your App and what behaviours they should avoid, how to create accounts, what obligations exist when using the app etc. Terms of use are a good idea where the App is web based as well as you will want more items covered in your web based app terms of use.

One common thing in both agreements is that both usually contain provisions related to warranty disclaimers and limitations of liability.

Why do I need an Android App End User Licence Agreement?

Here are some reasons why you should put in place an agreement of this type:

To limit your liability: If you don’t include EULA with your App, default rules set by Google will apply to your contractual relationship with users. Under these default rules, your liability for any losses or damages related to use of your App is not limited. With a EULA, you can clearly establish that you are not liable for any losses, damages or litigation expenses arising from the use of your App.

You can prevent unwanted use of your App: With EULA, you can prohibit reverse-engineering or decompiling of your code or acts such as spamming/hacking.

EULA can provide you the right to terminate the contract and erase the App without facing any legal liability.

What sort of clauses are included in an App Licence Agreement?

What kind of use is authorised?: You can include in your agreement that users can only use your App for personal uses and resale of your App or any kind of commercial use is prohibited. Prohibiting the user from reserve-engineering, decompiling or disassembling your code can also be inserted into your EULA.

Does user have the authority to modify the code?: If you don’t want your source code modified, you can strictly prohibit users from doing so. In fact, it is common in EULA to include a provision which allows App owner to terminate the contract if the code is modified.

Advertisements and promotions: – You can set out in the EULA that you are authorised to run advertisements on your service and you can send promotional offers and messages to the user.

Licencing fees: While some apps are free of charge, you may choose to require a licencing fee from your users. This fee may be on a monthly/yearly subscription basis or a fixed fee.

Indemnity clause: You can include an indemnification provision to protect yourself from any liability for any damages or losses arising from a user using your App, or the user’s inability to use your App.

Termination of contract: It is always good to make it clear how an agreement can be brought to an end and this is true for an App End User Licence Agreement.

Governing Law: Considering that you can access to different foreign markets on these App Stores, it is also smart to choose a governing law which will apply to any dispute between you and your users.

Got any questions? Please feel free to get in touch.

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