Minnesota  |  Technology Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 6/14/11, 4:12 pm

I am freelance cartographer and I am interested in purchasing a software and data product. One of the clauses in the product's license agreement is as follows:

"Except as provided herein, Licensee shall not sell, rent, lease, sublicense, lend, assign, or time-share Software, Data, Web Services, or Documentation. Licensee shall not act as a service bureau or commercial application service provider (ASP) that allows third-party access to Software, Data, Web Services, and Documentation. Licensee shall not use Software, Data, Web Services, or Documentation for a site or service and operate the site or the service for a profit or generate revenue through direct or indirect methods (e.g., advertising or by charging for access to the site or service)."

If I have read this correctly, I cannot use the software or data to create maps for sale to third parties or maps that I display on my own commercial website. Yet this company is one of the principal software providers for professional cartographers like myself, and we are mostly in the business of selling the maps we create to others (who, in turn, often use them to generate revenue). Other parts of the license agreement allow for commercial use of the software and data in specific circumstances (proper source attribution, etc.). So is it possible that the "except as provided herein" clause at the beginning of the paragraph applies to the entire paragraph?

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