Software licenses have become part of the background noise of technological advancements. You know you’re going to be asked to acquiesce to the terms and conditions of a provider’s license agreement. You know that most of it will be the provider setting the legal boundaries for your use of their software, and at the end of it, you will be left in no uncertain terms that you do not own the licensed software.

Everything, it seems, now has a license agreement, and it very rarely impacts on us. They are so common that unless something goes wrong, no-one really seems to pay much attention to them anymore, they have become unremarkable.

However, given that software underpins most businesses capabilities from everyday spread-sheets to complex IT systems, it is vital to know how to prevent software disagreements from bringing everything to an expensive, grinding halt. While carefully examining the license agreements from software is important, there are ways of making sure that the rights which they offer are guaranteed by a third party.

Turning to a software specialist

With this in mind, it can be worth investigating whether or not to use a group like Escrow Associates.

Using a software escrow service doesn’t affect the license agreement that will still come with software. What it does do is offer end users the chance to have software disputes settled without the need to go into complex and time-consuming legal proceedings.

An escrow service will take delivery of the relevant software from the provider and will place it in a secure account that they can monitor at all times. The software code that is placed into this account can only be accessed by the agency and can be checked to ensure its veracity. This is the most basic, but most useful, aspect of the service as the software can be checked before being handed over or whenever the agency deems it necessary.

If a software problem does impact on the end user, or the software provided doesn’t meet the required specifications, the escrow agency also arbitrates on legal matters. It can decide who has violated the terms of the agreement and can award the code to the end user if it decides the provider has broken the agreement. Having this type of insurance makes sense when most of what we do depends on reliable software.