copy protection

Byron Turner byront at
Sun Jan 9 20:33:41 EST 2005

Indeed a loss of only 1/3 doesn't sound too bad, but this was a special 
case with great support from the instructor and direct sales to the 
students with a discount..  It is also a very short term class leaving 
little time for copying between students.  I have great fear of what 
will happen in a normal class.  I'm considering disabling the software 
after a period of time (2 days to 2 weeks) if the user doesn't 
register, but how would I distinguish a purchaser from pirate?  I've 
had ideas but I'm sure their are gaping holes in them, hence, I'm 
looking for ideas.


"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an 
advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against 
despots. What is it? Distrust."

-- Demosthenes

On Jan 9, 2005, at 11:37 AM, Gordon Webster wrote:

> 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 :-)
> Best
> Gordon
> --- 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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