Author: Donna Chesteen, Esq.
Software as a Service, or SaaS, as it is more commonly known, is a method for delivering software through an internet browser. The user simply types in a URL and then enters a username and password to access the program. This delivery model is very different from a licensing scheme where the user downloads the software from the internet or goes to Best Buy® and buys it off the shelf before installing it onto her own personal computer or company server. There are many benefits to SaaS, such as access from any internet-enabled device, scalability to many users, and automatic upgrades, but along with these conveniences comes a unique set of liability and content ownership issues. Most of the issues stem from the fact that because the software is not installed on the user’s own server, it is not within the user’s direct control.
The three main issues associated with a SaaS solution are: (i) data breach; (ii) the ownership of user-generated content; and (iii) availability of the software (or software uptime).
As you can see, the issues that come along with the benefits of a SaaS solution can be quite complicated and complex. If you are a SaaS provider or a SaaS user and want to get SaaS-y, contact me. I can help.