copy protection

Gordon Webster gwalias-rev at
Sun Jan 9 14:37:10 EST 2005

Dear Byron

First off, I would say that 22 out of a class of 33
isn't bad at all - if most students had decided to
share a copy of your software and work together in
pairs, you might have expected only 50% (or even less
if they worked together in larger study groups).

I have polled this list about software protection
issues and have received some great advice from people
who've obviously thought about it a great deal more
than I have. I'll bet the essence of the advice you'll
get will revolve around the question of how much time
you'll want to spend to net that extra 30% of
non-payers instead of spending that time improving
your software (or developing your next product).

If you are interested, I have experimented in rev, to
see what kinds of metrics I can extract that can
uniquely identify a user's computer. One obvious
approach for Windows is to use the serial number of
the user's Windows distribution which can be extracted
from the registry. This would mean that a thieved copy
would not run on another students computer unless they
had also cloned the Windows OS as well (or tinkered
with the registry which is dangerous and a deterrent
for most). I am not that familiar with the MAC OS, but
I imagine there is some similar registration code that
identifies a user's OS license. In your case, you
would have to provide an authorization code for each
of your users, but for 70 people it is feasible.

I am curious to know what people do for distributions
to larger numbers of people. Perhaps some of the gurus
on this list would be willing to share their expertise
for the current generation of newbs like myself - this
topic affects us all as rev developers and I would
love to know what approaches people are using (Kee, I
still owe you an email about this, I apologise for not
having gotten back to you - I haven't forgotten :-)



--- Byron Turner <byront at> wrote:

> This week we got the results of the first adoption
> of our flagship 
> product Created Equal: Sex and Gender.  The
> professor is using it as a 
> text in a class of 33.  Only 22 students bought it. 
> While a couple 
> students are sharing materials, the rest I fear is
> theft.  In 2 weeks 
> it will be used in another class of 70-100.  Any
> suggestions about how 
> to go about copy protecting our product.  (It ships
> on 2 CDs or a 
> single DVD in case that's relevant)
> Byron
> H. L. Mencken:
> As democracy is perfected, the office of president
> represents, more and 
> more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some
> great and glorious 
> day the plain folks of the land will reach their
> heart's desire at last 
> and the White House will be adorned by a downright
> moron.
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> use-revolution at

:::::::::: Gordon Webster ::::::::::

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