With the growth of technology, it has become extremely important for companies to take advantage of various software to improve business processes. This has necessitated companies to license different software to meet their technological needs. The software tends to be very expensive, and it is important for both the licensor and the licensee to protect their investments. As such, escrow services have been very critical for software developers because the help protect the interests of both parties. With source code escrow, the developer is able to store the source code with a third party. 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. 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 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 is very important for the licensee since the software may be a key part of their business and this cushions then from possible losses. 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. 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.
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. 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. The use and transfer of the source code is clearly discussed under the escrow agreement.
Besides just storing the source code, escrow agent helps verify the availability of 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. When the licensee will be using the software for an activity that is vital to the company or has a direct impact on the revenue, it is important to use source code escrow services. If the cost of acquiring the software is very high, the licensee is also advised to make sure that they use an escrow agent.