The Legal Side Of Software

As easy as it is to discuss the technological points of any piece of software, it's always useful to know the
legal situation with any piece of technology. This is no different with software; many people might already be aware of Software as a Service and how it works but if you don't, it's worth repeating.

This is especially important in areas where you rely on certain software for work purposes, where you need it to be in working order. Here you can read about the SaaS method as well as escrow protection and how it helps.

What is SaaS?

SaaS or Software as a Service is basically the model in which you don't own the software, instead having purchased a licence. Even with a physical disk, you only own a licence of the full product; this is why you enter an end user agreement before using or installing such software.

As such, the provider of your product has a legal responsibility to provide a working product. It is where the product fails to work or not perform in the way it should, that you might come into some disagreement with the provider.

In these situations, there is often little you can do, as a licence holder, since you can't access a product (the source codes for the software) you don't own. It is in these times where having an escrow service already established can become highly useful.

Using Escrow

In such disagreements it can be highly useful and effective to utilise escrow services. By holding the software is escrow or looking into verification services, the provider is essentially putting the disagreement out of their hands, which can prevent any prolonged discussions. An escrow company will provide a neutral perspective based entirely on legal standings. Since they have the relevant product in escrow, they also have the power to hand over the code if needed, which would then allow you to fix or resolve any issues yourself; it may also result in you owning the product as well rather than just holding a licence.

In other words, this is similar to any other form of escrow, by providing a clear answer both sides can accept. As such, when you highly rely on certain software, it helps to have this escrow service already established, rather than waiting for a potential accident to happen.

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