Benefits of Using Software Escrow Services
Many companies are now taking advantage of the improved technology to maximize the use of various software solutions. This then means that companies have to license software from various developers. Most application software are very expensive, and both the licensor and the licensee want to protect their technology. Software vendors use escrow agreements to protect both their interests and those of the licensee. A software escrow service involves using a third party to store the source code of a particular application software. This third party is known as the escrow agent and should be independent of both the licensor and the licensee. Either the buyer or software vendor can introduce the escrow agreement to protect their interests.
Software exists in two formats namely the object code format and the source code format. While the licensee gets the object code format, the escrow service providers remain with the source code format. Deposing the source code with the escrow agent ensure that the software is updated and maintained on a regular basis. This allows the business to cushion itself against losses that may arise from poorly maintained software. In the case of bankruptcy of the developer, the escrow agent makes sure that the software keeps running by providing the source code to the licensee. With escrow services failure to provide maintenance or support as per the agreement gives the escrow service the right to surrender the source code to the licensee.
Besides protecting the rights of the licensee, the escrow agreement is key to protecting the intellectual property of the developer. Due to the high number of software theft, developers are not comfortable with sharing their source code with the licensee. Both the developer and the licensee are bound by various terms and conditions clearly outlined in the escrow agreement. There are also numerous obligations for both parties. If any of the parties fails to observe these agreements, there are certain consequences. These consequences relate to the possible use and transfer of the source code which promotes the rights of both parties.
Apart from storing the source code, the escrow agent has to authenticate the source code. There is also the need to ensure that the software is working as it should and thus the escrow agent has to verify this. While it is advisable to always use escrow services, those licensees who use the software to support a vital function of the company have more to lose and they should make sure they protect their investments. Also, when the price of the software is very high, it is only best to protect the investment with the use of an escrow service.