Software Escrow Service?

We’re creating a special version of our software, branded with another company’s name, for which they are paying us. They’d like us to put the source code and other project resources in escrow, so that in the worst case scenario (me dying…), they can keep their version of the software going.

Have you experience with doing this? Do you know a firm or individual that I can trust with this?

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Hello Steve,

we did this a year back in a really simple way. We burned a couple of discs with the final source code and deposit it with a local lawyer. This lawyer has also crafted an agreement (signed by both parties) on which conditions the source code will be released (death, bankruptcy,…).

This did work well and was not that costly at all. The lawyer get’s a small amount of money every year for this service though.

Hope this helps!

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Did briefly discuss this with a customer a few years ago but never proceeded with it.

One thing that was discussed was to ensure that they always had access to latest source code so constantly burning CD’s and sending somewhere would have been a chore.

I had a client ask for this a few years ago, and I made them happy by making them a collaborator on the github repo. That satisfied all their concerns, even with the understanding that a developer would need to actually retrieve the code.

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We looked into this years ago before SaaS became more popular and suddenly enterprise customers stopped asking for escrow. We never actually implemented this as we preferred not to (and customers didn’t want to pay the high extra costs we would have charged). I believe this service was the one we would have used back then if we had implemented this, and my understanding is that it’s one of the major source code escrow services.

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Sounds clunky.

Would you be better coding an export/backup feature that lets users have access to their data if they need it?