When it comes to technology, most people seldom think of the legal situation and rights behind their piece of software. It is a different case, however, if this software is something you highly depend on, such as for work. If it was to stop working or fail to meet your requirements then serious problems could ensue.
Yet this is where it helps to understand the legal side of software, not just the technical side. As modern technology becomes more and more integrated into how we live and work, this is something that is only going to become more important. As such, here is a brief look at the ‘Software as a Service’ model and how to use escrow services to protect yourself.
Software as a Service
Also known as ‘SaaS’ for short, Software as a Service is a standard business model used by a lot of modern software. Simply put, this is where you don’t own the software as personal property but instead lease a copy. In other words, you don’t have the product itself, such as the source code, just the end result.
This is where licence agreements, also known as an end user agreement, come into effect. Your licence allows you to use the technology but not access the code of anything else behind it. Whilst this sounds disadvantageous at first, it does mean that it’s not your responsibility if the product doesn’t work as it should. The software provider has a duty to keep it in working order.
Of course, there may be situations where the company fails to provide an adequate service or fix an inherent problem in the software, which could delay your work or other needs for the product. Even if this doesn’t occur, it helps to have some form of protection in case it should.
This is where modern software escrow services come in. These are specially tailored to act as neutral, third parties that look after the software. In any disputes, they can help reach a legal decision and, if necessary, give you the software if you’re legally entitled to it.
Should it ever come to that, you get the access you need but, more importantly, it’s a sign of trust that shows the software provider is serious about upholding their end of the agreement.