Top 5 Factors When Picking Copy Protection Software
2012-03-23 John Poulson
Anytime you add a 3rd party component into your overall product stack you need to be thoughtful before you decide. Copy protection software is no different: it's something you will rely on to protect your valuable IP and it's also something that will touch the user's experience of your product.
My top 5 factors when choosing copy protection software for your company:
First of all, find out if it really provides actual copy protection. Some solutions pretend they can protect your software, but in reality they are doing very little to prevent piracy. By that I mean that any reasonable hacker can crack the protection without breaking a sweat. One way to check is to look for cracked copies of their customer's products on the Internet.
What platforms does it support? If you are on the Mac OS, and the tools don't support Lion, what are you going to do? Look for a vendor who has a track record of supporting many different platforms, and providing support for new platform releases immediately after they are available.
How easy is the implementation? Do you have to do everything with API calls? Does it support your programming language of choice? Can you develop your application outside the copy protection software and add the protection after development is finished?
What license options are allowed or--perhaps more importantly--excluded? Does the system allow for virtual machine (VM) use in legitimate instances while blocking VM usage to circumvent licensing restrictions? Does it support new licensing models like pay per use, pay per feature, pay per function?
Can the vendor give you a seamless choice between software activation (cheap and simple) and hardware keys (better security)?
Sr. Account Manager
John went to work back in 1987 for what arguably might be the first company in the world to offer a way of protecting software with hardware. This company developed a "back-plane" device to protect a proprietary operating system for a Data General computer. He has since worked for several software security / licensing companies and beginning in 1999, with Wibu-Systems. He has seen the technology move from simple laser holes burned into 5-1/4" floppy disks to the innovative, sophisticated, encryption based smart card technology, first introduced to the world in the CodeMeter platform.