The Institute of Analysts and Programmers (IAP) has warned that investment in software development may be wasted unless sourcecode is protected.
If software developers go bust, any sourcecode could go down the pan too, according to IAP director general Mike Ryan. He urged companies to appoint a neutral agent to safeguard code in the event of disaster.
The IAP, which has 3,000 members, has appointed UK information storage company Datavault to be its official escrow agent. Ryan said that in an emergency, customers would be able to get hold of vital sourcecodes.
?Software producers know that when they entrust their code to Datavault their rights will be protected and that the IAP is there to see fair play,? said Ryan.
He added: ?We see this as an essential service, not only for IAP members and their clients, but for everyone concerned with the storage of electronic data.? The majority of escrow services suppliers can provide a standard agreement or draw up specific contracts. Clients can also write their own escrow agreements for almost any kind of product where proprietary information must be protected.
Datavault IT director, Andrew Price, said: ?We've heard of companies that are left without support or information on their software when its designers go out of business. There is no saying what might end up in the rubbish bin once the receivers are called in.?
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