Software law ad 2024









Several areas of law affect the creation and commercialisation of software. This self-paced online course explores those areas of the law that are most applicable, and will attempt to give guidelines on how to deal with common legal issues that arise in relation to software. Starting from intellectual property law, the course then covers various other topics such as open source software, escrow, and the practicalities of common agreements. The course is presented by an attorney who is a former software developer and has specialised in ICT law for some years.

Sign up at any time and work at your own pace to learn more about the legal issues surrounding software!

Course objectives

When you have completed this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe intellectual property, and copyright in particular, as it applies to software in South Africa
  • Understand the legal principles of licensing and assignment of software
  • Deal with important aspects of software licensing and development agreements, including escrow and maintenance of software
  • Understand the essentials of exchange control as it applies to software

Course outline

The course will provide a background in relevant intellectual property law before delving into practical application of the law:

  • Essential intellectual property law
  • Works subject to copyright
  • Copyright ownership of software
  • Independent contractors vs employees
  • Infringement and remedies
  • Adaptations and reverse engineering
  • Open source software
  • Assignment vs licensing
  • Software licensing agreements - important concepts
  • Escrow
  • Support and maintenance
  • Software development agreements - important concepts
  • Exchange control and software - "export" of software

Who will benefit from this course?

This course is aimed at anyone involved in the commercialisation of software, including in-house legal advisors, IT managers, software developers and anyone else seeks a practical understanding of the area.


Andrew Marshall is an attorney and director at Dingley Marshall Inc. During his misspent youth he studied software development and spent several happy (though cold and wet) years as a software developer in London. On his return he completed a master's degree in ICT law at UCT and has specialised in ICT law ever since, with a special interest in software development. He has some 12 years' experience in the field. He also spent some time as a contract manager with Accenture, where he gained experience in running complex ICT service agreements.


The course is self-paced, so you can register at any time and work through the material at your own schedule. The course has an estimated learning time of four hours.

Your access to the course will be valid for 12 months after you have paid for your registration, so you have 12 months in which to complete the course.

How much?

R2,400 per participant


A certificate of participation from UCT will be awarded to students who complete the course.

How to sign up

Complete and submit the registration form. You will then be given the payment information. 

Download the course brochure for more information.