OT: copy protection / licensing for Mac?

Chipp Walters chipp at chipp.com
Tue Aug 12 00:30:30 EDT 2008

I believe most of us who develop commercial apps have our own spin on
how to do this best-- and are certainly reluctant to share our
techniques in an open list such as this.

That said, for me there are a number of issues which go into design

First of all, it's important to know pirates won't buy your software,
no matter what. So, you don't 'lose' a sale when someone pirates your

That said, the honor system doesn't work either. Asking or reminding
someone to consider purchasing your app just doesn't work anymore.

So for me, the goal is to create a copy protection system which allows
users to try my product to see if they like it, but doesn't turn them
into pirates. So, it must either disable itself or severely limit it's
core functions enough to create a threshold where they will pay to
enable them again.

For our own products, we have one other goal, and that is to create a
one person-one license as opposed to a one person-one computer
agreement. This enables our users to use the same regcode on their
desktop and laptop, either Mac or PC.

We tie their valid PayPal email address to their registration code,
and if they really want to give out their regcode to others, then
they'll be sending out their email address with it.

I believe this type of license is most customer friendly and doesn't
require us to use MACaddresses or other hardware specific solutions
which are less customer friendly and require more hours of customer


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