Benefits of Using Software Escrow Services
With the growth of technology, it has become extremely important for companies to take advantage of various software to improve business processes. As a result, companies have been licensing software from different developers. Most application software are very expensive, and both the licensor and the licensee want to protect their technology. As such, escrow services have been very critical for software developers because the help protect the interests of both parties. Software escrow involves depositing the source code of the particular application with a third party. 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 is available in two formats, that is, the object code format and source code format. While the licensee gets the object code format, the escrow service providers remain with the source code format. The benefit of doing this is that the licensee is guaranteed the continuity of the software maintenance. This is very important for the licensee since the software may be a key part of their business and this cushions then from possible losses. 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. Under the escrow agreement, the developer, has the responsibility to maintain and offer support to the licensee based on the agreed terms and if this is not fulfilled, the licensee has the right to acquire the source code.
Source code escrow also benefits the software developer by protecting their intellectual property rights. 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. Both the licensor and the licensee have various obligations which they are required to fulfill. When one of the parties fails to meet their obligations as stated in the agreement, various penalties apply. The source code escrow agreement outlines possible use or transfer of the source code which is key in protecting the rights of both parties.
Besides just storing the source code, escrow agent helps verify the availability of 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.
Reference: official source
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