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Copy Protection

Posted on 2000-03-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I am a software developer.I have developed a software in Visual Foxpro and copied it on CD. How can I make my CD copy protected.
 
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Question by:sanjumishra
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11 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 2582473
Make a registration program and code that requires communication with YOU to completely work

*I buy the software
*Run a program which examines certain hardware and creates, in essence a serial number of the system (I've seen the NIC MAC address used), perhaps a combination of MEMORY, Disk size, and CPU speed at the time of installation.  
*Then require the user to call you and give you that code.
*You in turn give them a registration code for that serial number

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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 2585124
> How can I make my CD copy protected?

Add "nag" screens into the software,
which pop-up every 5 minutes, and
include instructions on how to "register" the software, and thus how to bypass the "nag" screens.

Or, insert some show-stopping "bugs" into the software, so that they have to contact you to get an updated, pre-registered-to-their-name/address bug-free copy of the software.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:j2
ID: 2585185
sanj: Most game manufacturers licence copy protection software for about $500.000 and it still get copied. Unless you are willing to spend megabucks just to delay the copy process with a week or so, there is no such thing as "copy protection".
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Accepted Solution

by:
mmadi10699 earned 10 total points
ID: 2585317
I don't believe you can effectly prevent a CD from being copied by a burner, so, here are a few suggestions.

There are companies that sell devices r 'Dongles' that can be attached to the user's parallel port. The manufactures can be found in the the back of PC Magazine.   You include in your software a call to a subroutine that verifies that piece of hardware. If it exists, the program works, if not, then the program closes.

These devices can be anoying to the user as well as possibly preventing certain parallel port devices from working properly.

You could also lease the program on a quarterly or yearly basis, and write your program to stop working on a certain day (plus a grace period)

You could hard-code a user name in the software so that any reports or correspondence from that softare lists the original user's name in critical locations.  Such as return address or Invoice name.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:j2
ID: 2585329
and also the entire program will have to be written in conjuction with the dongle for the protection to work. And it still takes nothing more then a few hours to remove the dongle protection of a sophisticated package. Much less on a "home brew". And the developer kit for (for instance) Sentinel costs a few thousand dollars last i checked.

Program leases is also suseptible to reverse engineering, unless you polymorph the code, which is not an easy feat to say the least.

The same goes for hard coding user name, it can still be reverse engineered unless it is very well done.

I think yo umust just accept the fact that your software will be pirated.
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Expert Comment

by:mmadi10699
ID: 2585371
To J2,

The idea, I guess, is to keep them honest.  Make it as dificult as possible to prevent stealing.  Most users won't know about reverse engineering.

Mike  
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:j2
ID: 2585380
In most cases "no protection" is usually the best protection.. since when some people see a copy protection its like a "Hey, i can bypass that"-sign :)
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 2592292
> In most cases "no protection" is usually the best protection..
> since when some people see ...,
> it's like a "Hey, i can bypass that"-sign.

So, are you saying that you don't lock your front-door, or lock your car,
since doing so would "challenge" those people to enter your home/vehicle ??

Do you keep your money under your mattress, or do you "lock" it in a bank-vault?
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:j2
ID: 2592731
Stick to the topic will you. We were discussing software not physical items.

But we can reverse the question, i have NEVER had in my possession a pirated piece of software.. have you?  If you have, do you also steal your food / cars / apartments?

As i said, lets stick to the topic.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:vikiing
ID: 2597290
>>there is no such thing as "copy protection".

J2 is right: there's no "copy protection", this is, you have no way to disable the copy of any media, including CD's, HD's, diskettes and/or tapes.

What you can do is to try to obtain a "digital fingerprint" of the machine and embed it into your program. When program starts, it read the fingerprint and compares it against what is embedded into itself. If figerprints differ, program refuses to work.

Of course, it's much more easier to get a fingerprint from a machine in real mode (i.e.: under pure DOS) than under protected mode; keep in mind you have to go into deep innards of machine and/or op.sys. to dive, but you always have some things to use.

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LVL 3

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by:vikiing
ID: 2619600
Knock knock... ¿anyone there?
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