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Setting licenses free vs. locking them down


Typically, we elaborate on techniques that make managing licenses and entitlements a seamless journey for ISVs and their customers. However, there are special conditions that may present themselves during the license lifecycle when you want to take deliberate actions aimed at locking down your licenses swiftly and permanently. Let’s see what these scenarios may be:

  • You realize that a hacker is attacking your software; with unlimited time on his side to perpetrate reverse engineering and analysis, he may gain some ground; when you put a limit on the number of attempts he can try, you may save not only your intellectual property which is being targeted, but your entire business.
  • A CmDongle containing a valid license goes missing; whether it was lost or stolen, or the customer is actually trying to mislead you to get a new license for free, you can lock down the license associated with the dongle before shipping a new one, just to make sure that, in case the old dongle resurfaces one day, you still have only a single active license in the field.
  • A CmActLicense is no longer accessible; whether the computer really needed software or hardware maintenance and the customer could not disable the license before the crash, or the customer is cheating on you, you have the means to lock down the license and protect yourself should the license ever become active again online.

There are multiple avenues to lock licenses down. Join us to discover them all and be ready to apply them when needed.

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CodeMeter offers the unique ability in the global market to lock licenses down:

  • For the first use case listed above, you can opt for AxProtector, which is enabled by default, and needs just one click to activate the feature that will come to your rescue.
  • When hardware or software based licenses are compromised because a dongle went missing or a soft-license is no longer accessible, you still have a one-click option with CodeMeter License Central, which is preset by default. If you don’t have a CodeMeter License Central installation or your customer is permanently offline, you can also use CodeMeter API; in both cases, you can create and distribute a software update that includes a blacklist of the compromised CmDongles and CmActLicenses; upon installing the new version of your software, the license that was reported as compromised to the ISV is locked down, whether the customer goes online or stays offline after performing the update from a DVD or USB memory stick. The lock-down can also be set to occur several days after the update to make sure there is no immediate correlation between the two actions.

For accidental cases of license lock-downs, CodeMeter naturally also includes a way to remove locks at any time.

During this new live session, we are going to identify the circumstances under which License Lock-Downs are your best ally and learn how to enforce them:

  • Use Cases for License Lock-Downs
    • Reverse Engineering
    • Lost CmDongles
    • Broken CmActLicenses
  • Technical Foundations
    • Firm Access Counter
  • Implementation of License Lock-Downs
    • Using CodeMeter Protection Suite
    • Using CodeMeter License Central
    • Using CodeMeter Core API
  • Removing the License Lock
  • Live Demonstration

As usual, you should expect the best – a thriving license-based business – then plan for the worst – hurdles on your way to success – and prepare your defensive measures.