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A company offers a downloadable product on their website. The product has been in development for years and there have been many versions released. The company has a set of terms and conditions that apply to the software.

If at some point the company decides to change the terms of conditions, do the updated terms and conditions apply to all versions of the software, or versions released after the change? If the user does not download the new version of the software, can they perform actions that may not be legal under the new terms and conditions, but are legal under the ones that were in effect when they downloaded the software?

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Not necessarily

If the terms allow for unilateral revisions (most do) and if you are explicitly informed of the change (e.g. by email) and if you consent to the change (e.g. by continuing to use the software) then the new terms apply to you.

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These T&Cs could be part of a contract about purchasing and using some software. In that case you agreed to and accepted the contract when you purchased the software. Those T&Cs stay intact. On the other hand, the company can change their T&Cs at any time, and anyone buying the software after the change has to accept new T&Cs. So you could buy two copies of the identical software a week apart with different T&Cs.

But often the software is used to access a service. And you don’t pay for the software, but for using the service. Then the T&Cs for using the software might change at any time.

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