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'Legal' advice needed on deployment

Hi everybody,

This might be slightly off topic.
I wrote an application which consists out of three programs: an
end-user-interface (EUI), a dealer's interface (DI) and a producer's
interface (PI). I general idea is the following: a producer of certain
products  buys my PI. With this program, he can create customised versions
of the DI and spread this among his dealers. The dealers use the DI to
create customised versions of the EUI and spread this among their
customers. So, my direct customer is the producer.
The problem is that I'm not sure how I should charge the producer: one way
is to ask a relatively high price for the PI and allow him to make as many
instances of the DI as he wants, without further charge and forbid him
(through a license-agreement of some sort) to charge his dealers for the
DI.
Another option is to sell the PI for a relatively low price, but charge an
additional sum for each instance of the DI he creates and allow the
producer to charge a reasonable amount to his dealers. But how can I know
how much instances of the DI he actually spreads ?

Since I'm still a student, my experience in this field is non-existing, so
I could really use your advice (also, if you can think of other ways to
deploy my app).

TIA,

        Niels.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Niels Vanspauwen
Student @ KULeuven
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Department of Computer Science

E-Mail: Niels.Vanspauwen!NSPM!Student.Kuleuven.Ac.Be
(Replace !NSPM! with @ to reply...)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Re:'Legal' advice needed on deployment


Niels,
  I would have thought you might want to do it the other way around in the
first case otherwise it might not seem to attractive.  If you charge him a
large amount for the PI then he would probably want to recoup some of his
cost by charging his dealers who may pass on some of the cost to their
customers.  

If you charge him a small amount to start for the PI and then another
amount for each DI he distributes to his dealers who could then recoup some
of their costs by charging their customers.  But, as you said, it will be
hard to know how many copies he's distributing.

One thing you might want to do is research the company and see how many
dealers and potential customers might end up using the program and base
your pricing on that.

I would prefer the first option since this would leave it up to him to
"sell it" to his dealers which would, of course, depend on how useful it is
for them in doing there business.  You could then base it on your actual
work (hourly rate * development time) and let it go at that hoping that
they will come back to you for any maintenance work (incorporation of
additional capabilities).  This would require that you retain the rights to
the source code.  Make sure you agree on a written specification up front
(i.e. what is it capable of doing) and offer a warrenty on that (i.e. 1
year) but additional work would be done at a predetermined rate.  This will
cover your {*word*82}(and his) in case there is a disagreement down the road.

Hope this helps!
--

Rodney E Geraghty
GERA-Tech
Ottawa, Canada
gera...@ibm.net

Niels Vanspauwen <niels.vanspauwen!NS...@student.kuleuven.ac.be> wrote in
article <01bd2757$aa87b3a0$257a3a86@Niels>...

Quote
> Hi everybody,

> This might be slightly off topic.
> I wrote an application which consists out of three programs: an
> end-user-interface (EUI), a dealer's interface (DI) and a producer's
> interface (PI). I general idea is the following: a producer of certain
> products  buys my PI. With this program, he can create customised
versions
> of the DI and spread this among his dealers. The dealers use the DI to
> create customised versions of the EUI and spread this among their
> customers. So, my direct customer is the producer.
> The problem is that I'm not sure how I should charge the producer: one
way
> is to ask a relatively high price for the PI and allow him to make as
many
> instances of the DI as he wants, without further charge and forbid him
> (through a license-agreement of some sort) to charge his dealers for the
> DI.
> Another option is to sell the PI for a relatively low price, but charge
an
> additional sum for each instance of the DI he creates and allow the
> producer to charge a reasonable amount to his dealers. But how can I know
> how much instances of the DI he actually spreads ?

> Since I'm still a student, my experience in this field is non-existing,
so
> I could really use your advice (also, if you can think of other ways to
> deploy my app).

> TIA,

>    Niels.

> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Niels Vanspauwen
> Student @ KULeuven
> Faculty of Civil Engineering
> Department of Computer Science

> E-Mail: Niels.Vanspauwen!NSPM!Student.Kuleuven.Ac.Be
> (Replace !NSPM! with @ to reply...)
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------

Re:'Legal' advice needed on deployment


How about designing your program with a built in "Limit" for each level. The
producer can make 100 copies of the dealer level product and each of those make
50 copies of the end user product. Maybe the numbers aren't right but you get
the idea. Then, charge for re-activation of the next quantity. The initial
quantity could cost more, since you are setting up the customer, with
subsequent "re-activations" costing somewhat less. When a producer
"re-activates" a dealer, he just sells him another of the dealer level program
packages.

Therefore, you set a limit and a known value for each level of the program. You
build in value (if there is demand for the program) because the producer knows
that the Dealer has to come back for more, and the Dealer knows his end user
gets a valuable product. You are really only selling the first level
(producer). You have to let him make a profit on the next level, but your price
can be determined by how much he/she can make.

There are several add-ons which might accomplish this type scheme, I think. You
might try Demo-It by Dan Bricklin, Demo Shield by InstallShield Software or
Turbopower's "On Guard". You can reach turbopower at www.turbopower.com.
Demo-It and Demo Shield should be available from most software houses.
Bill Burt, Jr.
BBur...@AOL.COM

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