Author: Donna Chesteen, Esq.
You got that, right? When you are using a mobile app, you are “signing” a contract with the app provider.
· User requirements. The section usually states that you are of legal age to enter into a legal agreement. That age is 18 in most jurisdictions. You are also agreeing that you are not in a country where use of the app would be considered illegal and that you are not in a country that is subject to a US embargo or designated as a “terrorist-supporting” country. In addition, you cannot be listed on any government list of prohibited or restricted parties.
· Your content. This section usually contain information about the kinds of content that are appropriate including agreeing that you are not infringing anyone else’ intellectual property rights with what you are posting to the app.
· Prohibitions. This section talks about the things you are not allowed to do with the app or uses that are prohibited. Many of these prohibitions have to do with protection of the provider’s IP rights (example: you aren’t allowed to reverse engineer or use other techniques to try to steal the provider’s trade secrets). The other most common prohibition has to do with using the app to defame or harass others. Many apps also prohibit the posting of sexually explicit content or content that encourages others to commit violent acts or crimes.
· IP ownership. This section explicitly states that the provider has the IP rights in the app or that the provider has a license to use the IP that is contained in the app. You are also agreeing that you understand your use of the app gives you no ownership rights in the app.
· Warranty disclaimers and limitations of liability. This section describes the things that the provider does not warrant (example: the app may not work for the purposes you need it for) and how the provider’s liability is limited if the app somehow causes some kind of harm to you that is not disclaimed by the warranty disclaimers.