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#1 Duckington  Icon User is offline

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Selling your software?

Posted 23 October 2011 - 05:22 AM

Hi,

I've been working on a bit of software that I am hoping eventually to be able to sell to companies, but I was wondering what - if any - would be the best way to go about preventing people from just copying the software and using it for free elsewhere.

Obviously, the first thing I thought about was having some kind of validation that checks my database to see if it's a valid copy, but then they could just remove that check from the code very easily.

I know you can convert the source to a binary format as well - though not sure how - but I don't know how helpful that would be, or how easy it is to get it back to it's plain text format.

Basically, does anyone have any experience in this? How did you go about it?


Thanks.

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Replies To: Selling your software?

#2 rpgmaker  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:01 AM

You posted it in the wrong place.

Software meaning its vb or c not php ??
Posted it in wrong place.

And you need serial keys. And get your software to connect to your server to veri each key and if there are 2 of each keys stop them using the software . Pretty easy.
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#3 Duckington  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:28 AM

I'm talking about php, that's why I put it here.

And with php, they could just easily remove that part from the source code, so that it doesn't check anything.
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#4 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:47 AM

You want to obfuscate your code. There are many options available. Here's one. Do a search on php code obfuscation for more.
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#5 Duckington  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 23 October 2011 - 07:42 AM

View PostCTphpnwb, on 23 October 2011 - 07:47 AM, said:

You want to obfuscate your code. There are many options available. Here's one. Do a search on php code obfuscation for more.



I'm hesitant to use that approach, as it means they can't make any changes or customizations, etc... if they wanted to.
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#6 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 23 October 2011 - 07:55 AM

If they can make changes they can do anything they want.
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#7 Duckington  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:52 AM

So what do all these companies who sell software do then? I can't imagine they all use this obscuration method, leaving their clients with no ability to customise the software themselves. Or do they just have a lawyer on standby in case someone starts using it without buying it.. ?

:/
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#8 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 23 October 2011 - 12:40 PM

You can put in some methods for things like license keys, however they can be disabled by somebody who knows a little about PHP. As for obfuscation, we had a topic about that awhile ago and the majority said that they would never buy obfuscated code.
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#9 Duckington  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:18 AM

View Postcreativecoding, on 23 October 2011 - 01:40 PM, said:

You can put in some methods for things like license keys, however they can be disabled by somebody who knows a little about PHP. As for obfuscation, we had a topic about that awhile ago and the majority said that they would never buy obfuscated code.



Exactly, so what do companies actually do then? Since people are not likely to buy their software if it's obfuscated, do they just leave it as it is and have a lawyer on standby or something?

I've never worked for a company that does anything like that, so i have no idea..
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#10 codeprada  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:28 PM

View PostDuckington, on 23 October 2011 - 10:42 AM, said:

View PostCTphpnwb, on 23 October 2011 - 07:47 AM, said:

You want to obfuscate your code. There are many options available. Here's one. Do a search on php code obfuscation for more.



I'm hesitant to use that approach, as it means they can't make any changes or customizations, etc... if they wanted to.

Obfuscation is still an option. If a user wants to customize certain aspects or features then you must store the information in a separate file, possibly XML, or database if needs be. This won't require the code to be changed since it's functionality won't need to be altered.
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#11 calvinthedestroyer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:53 PM

You can Show them the Obfuscation code and let them know that they will be Buying the NON-Obfuscation code. Since you are the programmer you can control both versions.
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#12 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:59 PM

Generally, my feeling is that if they hire me to do the job it's because they either don't have the expertise or they don't have the time. If they don't have the expertise then almost anything I write will be unreadable to them. If they do have the expertise and if they suddenly get the time then they can read my code and do what ever they want, obfuscated or not.

I like to get paid a good price for the work I've done so that I won't worry about what they'll do with it later. If they bought it, they can do what they want with it. If I've done a good job they'll probably call me to make the changes anyway!
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#13 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Selling your software?

Posted 24 October 2011 - 08:36 PM

I don't do anything to keep companies from altering code. When I code I do what I am paid for. After that the company can burn their servers for all I care. Or they can throw it online for the world to download. It isn't up to me because I was only paid to write it.

However for writing code that gets sold to the public you want to use registration keys. You'll need to have a server online that can validate whom is using the software & code a back end system to not allow those whom don't authenticate with your purchased keys.

If you are going to sell code the public you must accept the fact that people will steal it. Not if, how maybe, they will. There is no 'off' switch that can magically be flipped that forces everyone to play by the rules.
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