Piracy

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Piracy

Dan Friedman
Greetings!

Has anyone come up with a decent way to deal with piracy?  I'm getting ready
to release a commercial application and wondered if there is anyway to stop
someone from just giving it to a friend.

[I would like my application to function off-line.  So, doing a look-up via
the web is out.]

Any thoughts, ideas or solutions out there?

Thank you in advance,
Dan

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Re: Piracy

Paul Salyers
I have a near perfect "registering code" that SoftSeven uses.

no 2 computers uses the same "key"

Interested reply back.

At 11:39 AM 6/13/2005, you wrote:

>Greetings!
>
>Has anyone come up with a decent way to deal with piracy?  I'm getting ready
>to release a commercial application and wondered if there is anyway to stop
>someone from just giving it to a friend.
>
>[I would like my application to function off-line.  So, doing a look-up via
>the web is out.]
>
>Any thoughts, ideas or solutions out there?
>
>Thank you in advance,
>Dan
>
>_______________________________________________
>use-revolution mailing list
>[hidden email]
>http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-revolution

Paul Salyers
PS1 - Senior Rep.
[hidden email]
Http://ps1.SoftSeven.org
(918) 465-7426 -- Cell
(918) 967-1013 -- Home


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Re: Piracy

Dan Shafer
In reply to this post by Dan Friedman
Dan....

(Great name)

I think the most convenient and accepted manner is to require users  
to register the product, issue a serial number, and then store that  
serial number someplace where your program can locate it but it isn't  
part of the program itself or necessarily obvious for the user to  
copy if they try to share the program illegally.

Your program on launch would check for that file and perhaps validate  
it against an algorithm. If it doesn't find the file or the serial  
number is invalid for some reason, then you ask the user to register  
the program.

I know there are some schemes for generating serial numbers that  
drive algorithmically off the user's name or email address. Those are  
a bit more secure, probably, but they might be unnecessarily cumbersome.

Andre is of course ultimately correct; there is no foolproof way to  
prevent piracy. The best you can hope for is to make it sufficiently  
difficult or inconvenient when compared to the price of your product  
that potential pirates just don't see it being worth it to rip you off.

On Jun 13, 2005, at 9:39 AM, Dan Friedman wrote:

> Greetings!
>
> Has anyone come up with a decent way to deal with piracy?  I'm  
> getting ready
> to release a commercial application and wondered if there is anyway  
> to stop
> someone from just giving it to a friend.
>
> [I would like my application to function off-line.  So, doing a  
> look-up via
> the web is out.]
>
> Any thoughts, ideas or solutions out there?
>
> Thank you in advance,
> Dan
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-revolution
>
>



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dan Shafer, Co-Chair
RevConWest '05
June 17-18, 2005, Monterey, California
http://www.altuit.com/webs/altuit/RevConWest

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Re: Piracy

Paul Looney-2
In reply to this post by Dan Friedman
Dan,
     There is no foolproof way.
     If the price of the product warrants it, you can hardwire the user's
name/company onto the opening splash screen:
     "Licensed to XYZ"
     "© 2005 by Me, all rights reserved."
Paul Looney
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Re: Piracy

Robert J. Earp
In reply to this post by Dan Friedman
Finally, something I can offer some advice to !!

Dan I agree with the sentiments of the other respondees to your
question, but you've gotta do something to slow down some of the
pirates, don't you ?

We don't do many shrink wrapped apps, but recently I was talked into
producing a custom wine labelling thang that was going to be sold
on-line (down-loadable) and in stores (via CD).  We used a scheme that
seems to have had some success for us over the years, without putting
too much hassle on the customers, although it's far from "NATO" secure!!

We use embedded code to get the drive serial number the app is loaded on
(running from) and scramble it via an algorithm to generate a "challenge
key", which we then ask the customer for when registering the product.  
We then have a little app in-house that generates the unlock key from
the challenge key, this app is also a database that keeps track of whom
has got what keys.  If it's a downloaded copy we know who purchased it
and will log the challenge and resulting unlock keys in case somebody
"looses" their unlock key.  With the CD version we print a randomly
generated CD Key label (stuck /*inside */the case) and ask the customers
for that, along with their challenge key, before we will issue an unlock
key.  The CD Key also gets logged in the db along with customer details.

We only sell CD's to distributors and have no idea who the end customer
is until they call us for an unlock key, so in essence, the CD Key is
proof of purchase of the CD.

An added benefit for us is that by keeping track of who is using the s/w
allows us to contact them should there be an update.  Of course we
/*never */have bugs, so that's not a problem ;-)

We feel that the casual pirate will think twice before trying to get  a
new unlock key from us, although we fully expect to allow people to move
drives/PC's by giving them a limited number of unlock keys.

I'd willingly let you have a copy of the code/stacks (minus the
encryption algorithm !!) but unfortunately it's written in Perl.  We did
have a version written in ToolBook OpenScript some time ago, so it can
be done in a script-based language with no problem.

HTH, Bob...

> Has anyone come up with a decent way to deal with piracy?  I'm getting
> ready to release a commercial application and wondered if there is
> anyway to stop someone from just giving it to a friend. [I would like
> my application to function off-line.  So, doing a look-up via the web
> is out.] Any thoughts, ideas or solutions out there? Thank you in
> advance, Dan



--
Robert J. Earp - Ashford Training Technologies*
*18059 21A Avenue, South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. V3S 9V7
T:(1)604 541 1662 Cel:(1)604 612 6688 F:(1)604 541 1686


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Re: Piracy

mikey-2
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.



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Re: Piracy

Chipp Walters
In reply to this post by Robert J. Earp
Hi Robert et al.

I think there are two factors you must consider.

1) Price
How much are you going to charge for the app? If it's under $150, then
simple schemes should work. IMO, most people who want to rip you off,
will. What you want is to 'nudge' users from the free/demo/trial version
to the 'paid for' version.

2) License type
This is actually step-in-step with price. Just about all of Altuit's
products are licensed to USERS, not COMPUTERS. I believe this is a much
fairer license, and one I would rather use as a consumer. Robert, you
and others have tried to create a regCode tied to hardware. While this
is fine for high priced software, IMO, it hurts only your paying
customers. Say a hard disk goes out, or a motherboard, then they can't
install your product. Say they buy a new machine and donate the old one
to the needy. They can no longer install/use your product. Say they have
a desktop and a laptop, they can only install it on one. This type of
license is more 'customer friendly' while also encouraging sales.

I know you can offer them 'multiple keys'-- like MS Office does. Still,
it is a pain to be a paying customer and ask for a new key, or know you
only have 3 of them.

If someone wants to steal your software, they will. But making it
'harder' on paying customers, IMO, is not good business. Just my 2 cents.

best,

Chipp

Robert J. Earp wrote:

> We use embedded code to get the drive serial number the app is loaded on
> (running from) and scramble it via an algorithm to generate a "challenge
> key", which we then ask the customer for when registering the product.  
> We then have a little app in-house that generates the unlock key from
> the challenge key, this app is also a database that keeps track of whom
> has got what keys.  If it's a downloaded copy we know who purchased it
> and will log the challenge and resulting unlock keys in case somebody
> "looses" their unlock key.  


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Re: Piracy

Richard Gaskin
Chipp Walters wrote:
> If someone wants to steal your software, they will. But making it
> 'harder' on paying customers, IMO, is not good business. Just my 2 cents.

Agreed wholeheartedly.

While it's essential to provide at least a level of effort that prevents
temptation of otherwise-paying customers, those who will not pay will
never pay.

The level of effort used by the major software vendors (relatively
simple reg scheme, sometimes with phone-home) is probably adequate for
most products; beyond that, investing in security starts moving toward
negative returns quickly.

It's usually far more profitable to put that time into feature
development and marketing, rather than letting a group of malcontent
Russian teenagers steer your companies priorities. :)

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  __________________________________________________
  Rev tools and more: http://www.fourthworld.com/rev
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Re: Piracy

kee nethery
In reply to this post by Dan Friedman
The software authors who make the most money focus more time on  
getting people to use their software and getting their friends to use  
their software than the time they spend preventing people from using  
their software.

That said, you have to profile your typical customer. If you produce  
a game that is used by the younger crowd (action shoot'em up), you'll  
need lots of protection because breaking protections and sharing  
codes is part of the game for them. If you produce a game for the  
older crowd (solitaire, poker), they just want to play the game to  
it's fullest and make sure they can get updates and support, they  
don't typically share keys.

Some of the more successful software has had some of the lamest  
protection because their user base (the one that is going to pay)  
values the connection to the developer that paying gets them.

Kee Nethery


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