Why Escrow Services are a Necessity
With the growth of technology, it has become extremely important for companies to take advantage of various software to improve business processes. This then means that companies have to license software from various developers. Because of the prohibitive cost of developing application software, licensors and licensees want to ensure that they protect their investments. 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. Indeed, the source code escrow is a very important part of vendor agreement, and both the licensor and licensee have the right to initiate it.
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. Doing this also guarantees that any business using a particular software is cushioned against possible losses that arise from poor software maintenance. 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. The escrow agreement ensure that the licensee has the right to the source code in case the developer fails to fulfill his obligations as per the escrow agreement.
Besides protecting the rights of the licensee, the escrow agreement is key to protecting the intellectual property of the developer. The software industry has so many people who lack the creativity to create something new which discourages the developers from sharing their source code with the licensee. The software escrow agreement has various terms and conditions that bind both the developer and the licensee. 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. 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. The escrow services also verify that the software is working as it should which is also very important. 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.