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. Most application software are very expensive, and both the licensor and the licensee want to protect their technology. For this reason, software vendors use escrow services to protect their interests as well as those of the licensee. A software escrow service involves using a third party to store the source code of a particular application software. The escrow agent is the third party in this case, and he is supposed to impartial so as to ensure the rights of both the licensor and the licensee are guaranteed. Source code escrow is very important and can be initiated by either buyer or the seller of the software application.
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. 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. Escrow services are very important because they protect the businesses from the bankruptcy of the developer by ensuring that the source code is available for updates and routine maintenance. 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.
On the other hand, source code escrow is also beneficial to the software developer since it protects their intellectual property rights. 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. Source code escrow is anchored on various terms and condition which bind both parties. There are also numerous obligations for both parties. Failure to fulfill these obligations there are serious consequences. The source code escrow agreement outlines possible use or transfer of the source code which is key in protecting the rights of both parties.
Apart from storing the source code, the escrow agent has to authenticate the source code. It is also the role of the escrow service to ensure that the software is in good shape and that it offers optimal performance to the licensee. It is always advisable for a licensee to use escrow services if the software supports a vital function of the organization or has a direct impact on the revenue. If the cost of acquiring the software is very high, the licensee is also advised to make sure that they use an escrow agent.