A website development agreement is defined as a legally binding agreement between the client having a principal place of business and the developer. The parties’ intending to enter into the agreement exchange views relating to the basic concept of the client’s website and accordingly the developer prepares a draft of the website functionality and appearance. Where the service includes the development of a computer program such contracts are to be treated as contracts for the sale of goods.
- Website Development Agreement enables the client to hold ownership and copyright of the website and avoid the time-consuming process of suits relating to intellectual property issues.
- Liability issues arising between the website developer, the website owner, and the third party can also be avoided by entering into a website development agreement.
- If the client enters into a website development agreement with the website developer, then at the stage of making the payments for the services rendered by the developer, the developer cannot take advantage of the client.
- The terms and conditions mentioned in the website development agreement are binding on the parties to the agreement, thus resulting in securing the interest of the parties.
- It is a valid evidence which can be produced in the court of law if any proceeding is commenced or brought against the parties relating to the website development.
- With the help of website development agreement clients’ current needs relating to technological changes because of the dynamic environment can be taken care of.
MANDATORY INCLUSIONS & CLAUSES OF WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT:
- The developer should provide a draft relating to the website design, development etc. i.e. statement of work to the client and details of which should be included in the agreement,
- Parties to the agreement are to be identified properly and the details regarding them should be entered correctly, also in case of a presence of the third party in the agreement, his/ her details should also be included in the agreement,
- Details of website functionality, its delivery dates, mode of payment, the amount payable, late payment charges etc. should be explicitly specified in the agreement,
- The agreement should mandatorily specify that it is a work for hire agreement, and the rights relating to intellectual property or any other proprietary development during the product development vests with the client. So that the license of the website is held in the client's name,
- The termination and notice period should be specified,
- The developer must give warranties relating to the website that the work product will not knowingly amount to the violation of any law or regulation, also he will use commercially reasonable methods to develop the website, and
- The client also gives warranties that his property will not knowingly violate the law.
WAYS & REASONS FOR TERMINATION OF THE AGREEMENT:
- By Consent: Parties can terminate the agreement by valid consent in accordance with the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
- By Breach of Agreement: In case if any of the parties to the agreement breaches any of the clause mentioned in the agreement within the time period of the agreement being valid then the other party or parties as the case may have the option to terminate the agreement.
- By Law: If the website so designed by the developer is against the provision of the law or is against the security, peace or sovereignty of the nation, then by operation of law the agreement can be terminated.