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Author Topic: How to protect my App in Trial Mode 1days 3days 1 week?No Onguard  (Read 1390 times)

440bx

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Re: How to protect my App in Trial Mode 1days 3days 1 week?No Onguard
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2020, 06:59:59 pm »
Honestly, there is absolutely no point in putting in any effort to copy-secure your program.
I definitely have a tendency to agree with that, at the same time, if the program is targeted to non-technical users, copy-protection will stop those users from making copies and, since they are non-technical they usually don't know where to go get the crack if one exists for it.

IOW, copy protection should not be thought of as something that will prevent everyone from making a copy of the program, only a hurdle that is effective against non-technical users.

Because of that, I think copy protection schemes should be kept simple.   Simple or complicated will stop non-technical users but, will definitely not stop a technically savvy user.  On the contrary, the more sophisticated the copy protection scheme is, the more motivated the technically savvy user will be to break it.

IOW, sophisticated copy protection scheme are completely counter productive because they literally invite being nullified.  Simple schemes are too boring to deal with, a little snack for noobies... it's youtube time! :)


FPC v3.0.4 and Lazarus 1.8.2 on Windows 7 64bit.

Warfley

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Re: How to protect my App in Trial Mode 1days 3days 1 week?No Onguard
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2020, 07:26:45 pm »
My program works on a year-license and without it, I would have at least some percentage of users who wouldn't pay.
Sure I'm not arguing against no copy protection, I just think that there is no point in having a really sophisticated one. In the case of the trail version, if you write to a hidden file (of course the file should not be bloody obvious), to find that file needs some debugging of your application. As soon as this is the case you have successfully prevented 80%-90% of all copy approaches.

The rest of the effort you can put in may increase that number to 95%-99%, which I think is not worth it considering the time it takes to develop a sophisticated copy protection scheme.

In your case, such a license model is of course a little bit different, here you need an authentification server of similars. But even there I would go the most simple route, i.e. simply asking a server if a given serial is valid (and in offline mode use the local time to check against some hidden file containing a license timestamp).

And not to forgett that there is also the case of people who will simply not use a software at all if it has (a too good) copy protection. A great example for this is Photoshop (or in fact all Adobe products) which are known to be easy to crack (older versions simply required a line in the hosts file to block access to their authentification Servers). This was known to Adobe, but they never changed it, because this way many (young) people started using Photoshop (over the competition like GIMP), got familiar with it, and started buying it later onwards (especially with the Creative Cloud nowadays, you can get regular updates you don't get when cracking).
And also sometimes to sophisticated anti copy mechanisms can deny the service of your application. During the late 2000s, there was a trend in video games to have "always online" as security measure. The problem here, as I was living in a region with terrible network access, that simply meant I couldn't play these games as well, and overall this protection hurt the game publishers more than the piracy did.

What I'm trying to say, of course copy protection is needed in many cases, the usual way to go is the simplest approach that fulfills your demands. If someone really wants to crack something you won't stop him, but your goal should always be the 80%-90% that will fail on even the small hurdle

rvk

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Re: How to protect my App in Trial Mode 1days 3days 1 week?No Onguard
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2020, 07:53:02 pm »
Sure I'm not arguing against no copy protection, I just think that there is no point in having a really sophisticated one.
Ah, ok. I agree with you there. A sophisticated protection won't stop real hackers and such protection wouldn't be needed for the simple user.
The protection should match the (majority) user(s) you want to stop (knowing how more sophisticated you get, how more sophisticated the user will be and how more useless such prevention will be anyway).

And not to forgett that there is also the case of people who will simply not use a software at all if it has (a too good) copy protection. A great example for this is Photoshop (or in fact all Adobe products) which are known to be easy to crack (older versions simply required a line in the hosts file to block access to their authentification Servers). This was known to Adobe, but they never changed it, because this way many (young) people started using Photoshop (over the competition like GIMP), got familiar with it, and started buying it later onwards (especially with the Creative Cloud nowadays, you can get regular updates you don't get when cracking).
True. For popular software, protection might even stand in your way. Just "Let is spread" :)
And for your program in a niche market... your protection should never be too intrusive. It must never stand in it's way of using the software legitimately.

 

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