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District of Delaware's Access to Source Code Standard

The United States District Court for the District of Delaware has taken the unusual step of publishing a Default Standard for Access to Source Code. This protocol governs how parties can access the source code of another party's software absent an agreement between them. There are eight key principles:

1. The code is inspected on a stand-alone computer.

2. The stand-alone computer is supplied by the owner of the source code.

3. The stand-alone computer is given to an independent escrow agent.

4. Only the requesting party's outside counsel and two of its experts can access the stand-alone computer.

5. The source code cannot be printed or copied.

6. The provider must supply a manifest of every file and its MD5 checksum.

7. Software must allow the source code to be searched and analyzed.

8. If there is an issue of missing files, build script, compilers, and assemblers needed to rebuild the application from the code must be provided.

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