Software Protection Survey 
Author Message
 Software Protection Survey

Our company is in the process of releasing a system that will help you
protect your software from piracy and help you manage your customer
licensing.

Would you participate in a survey to assist us in providing the right
product to meet your needs?

We realise your time is valuable, so we're giving you the opportunity
to win a prize, just for participating.

If you would like a product that properly protects your software,
please complete our survey at http://www.*-*-*.com/

Many thanks.

(BTW, this is a genuine survey, not dressed-up advertising or hit
generation.)


Root Software Pty Ltd



Sun, 19 Sep 2004 10:34:51 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey


Quote:
> Our company is in the process of releasing a system that will help you
> protect your software from piracy and help you manage your customer
> licensing.

comp.lang.c and comp.lang.c++ are newsgroups for programmers, not managers,
so must of us realize how worthless this sort of software is and how easily
it is bypassed.

Quote:
>(BTW, this is a genuine survey, not dressed-up advertising or hit

generation.)

It is spam. You're advertising your products on newsgroups where
adverti{*filter*}ts are not acceptable nor appreciated. Who cares if you are
doing it with a survey?

-Daniel



Sun, 19 Sep 2004 12:49:45 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey
I couldn't agree with you more. However, I would like to see any arguments
he/she has. My opinion is, why put money in a piece of {*filter*}of protection
software (don't take it personal, in my eyes all software that protects
software from so called illegal use is crap) that's gonna be cracked
anyways. The only thing it does is make the end product more expensive. The
more expensive the end product the more likely it will be cracked. It's a
really simple concept.....

Please enlighten me as to why you people keep on trying to protect your
software. It costs billions, and where has it get you so far? Exactly... NO
WHERE. And that's the only place it'll ever be. The only thing it does is
creating more (worthless) industry and ripping the end-user off.

Regards



Quote:


> > Our company is in the process of releasing a system that will help you
> > protect your software from piracy and help you manage your customer
> > licensing.

> comp.lang.c and comp.lang.c++ are newsgroups for programmers, not
managers,
> so must of us realize how worthless this sort of software is and how
easily
> it is bypassed.

> >(BTW, this is a genuine survey, not dressed-up advertising or hit
> generation.)

> It is spam. You're advertising your products on newsgroups where
> adverti{*filter*}ts are not acceptable nor appreciated. Who cares if you are
> doing it with a survey?

> -Daniel



Sun, 19 Sep 2004 14:47:14 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey

Quote:

> Our company is in the process of releasing a system that will help you
> protect your software from piracy and help you manage your customer
> licensing.

May your yak milk turn sour and hold drowned rats {*filter*}d in
dongles.

--

   Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
   (Remove "XXXX" from reply address. yahoo works unmodified)



Sun, 19 Sep 2004 14:55:43 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey

Quote:
> comp.lang.c and comp.lang.c++ are newsgroups for programmers, not managers,
> so must of us realize how worthless this sort of software is and how easily
> it is bypassed.

I've been programming every day of my life for the last 24 years.
Were you even born by 1978?  So, do I qualify as a programmer?

Quote:
> It is spam. You're advertising your products on newsgroups where
> adverti{*filter*}ts are not acceptable nor appreciated. Who cares if you are
> doing it with a survey?

Daniel, I wonder what has made you so cynical?

I genuinely want collect information about whether people are
interested in a good Software Protection System.

You're not interested, that's fine.

We don't have a product yet, so it can hardly be advertising.  You can
participate anonymously.

If you have a different suggestion about how I can obtain information
prior to spending hundreds of hours developing a product, please let
me know.

I'd love to hear how I can go about this without asking for feedback
from fellow professionals.

Sure, I don't want to upset anyone by posts in inappropriate places,
but I just don't see what other way to go about it.

It's easy to criticise.  Do you have an alternative?



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 05:42:45 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey

Quote:
> I couldn't agree with you more. However, I would like to see any arguments
> he/she has. My opinion is, why put money in a piece of {*filter*}of protection
> software (don't take it personal, in my eyes all software that protects
> software from so called illegal use is crap) that's gonna be cracked
> anyways

Check out the excellent and lively discussion held by the professional
community at Code Project, regarding my survey:
http://www.*-*-*.com/

Of course, you wouldn't pay money for {*filter*}software.  I don't (except
when forced too - e.g. MS applications and Windows).

Quote:

> Please enlighten me as to why you people keep on trying to protect your
> software. It costs billions, and where has it get you so far? Exactly... NO
> WHERE. And that's the only place it'll ever be. The only thing it does is
> creating more (worthless) industry and ripping the end-user off.

The logic that says "this cannot be done perfectly, therefore we
shouldn't bother trying" is flawed.  I won't even try to argue that
it's flawed.  It's axiomatic that just about everything people create,
including all software, is flawed.

But I still reckon it's possible to protect software in a way that
cannot be easily cracked.  If you want a challenge, try cracking Ed
For Windows (www.getsoft.com).  They have a very early cut of our
Software Protection System (much lower quality that what we're
currently proposing to produce).

Why do we try to protect our software?  Because we have to pay bills.
We're not rich.  Maybe you are.  If I was rich I'd write lots of
software for free and give it to anyone who wanted it.

If I was paid to do the same, but some rich patron (or university),
that's fine too.

But I have mortgage, car payments, food to eat, etc.etc.etc.

If I spend 4 years, 365 days per year, without pay, writing a product,
and then give it away, who's going to pay the bills for me?

Does that make sense?

I have a question for you: why, assuming you do, spend hours writing
professional quality software (again, assuming your software is
professional quality), unpaid, and then give it away?

Are you rich?  Does someone pay you to do this?  Do they know they are
paying you do it?



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 05:54:05 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey

Quote:


> > Our company is in the process of releasing a system that will help you
> > protect your software from piracy and help you manage your customer
> > licensing.

> May your yak milk turn sour and hold drowned rats {*filter*}d in
> dongles.

Very colourful.

My turn...

May your software and your work never be stolen.  May you always get
paid fairly for the work you do.  May you always have the
acknowledgement from your peers for the quality of work you perform.

May your software be free from bugs and your time unwasted by thieves
who value nothing.

May you retire in grace and peace knowing that your life has been
spent in honest work and improving the quality of life for others.



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 05:58:05 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey


Quote:
> Our company is in the process of releasing a system that will help you
> protect your software from piracy and help you manage your customer
> licensing.

> Would you participate in a survey to assist us in providing the right
> product to meet your needs?

> We realise your time is valuable, so we're giving you the opportunity
> to win a prize, just for participating.

> If you would like a product that properly protects your software,
> please complete our survey at http://dev.rootsoftware.com

Please, do not vandalize this group. You are considerably off-topic here.
The most proper way to start writing to a news group is to read it for a
while and have a look at the FAQ for the group. Please, pay special
attention to
netiquette --http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/how-to-post.html. We do
make great efforts to retain this group highly professional.
You have written that you have been programming every day of your life for
the last 24 years. But it does not suppose you are allowed to be rude.

--
With regards,
Michael Kochetkov.



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 06:12:46 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey

Quote:

>> I couldn't agree with you more. However, I would like to see any arguments
>> he/she has. My opinion is, why put money in a piece of {*filter*}of protection
>> software (don't take it personal, in my eyes all software that protects
>> software from so called illegal use is crap) that's gonna be cracked
>> anyways

>Check out the excellent and lively discussion held by the professional
>community at Code Project,

I'm sure there's a great discussion there. However /here/ its not
regarded as appropriate. This group discusses programming in ISO C,
not copy protection.

And for what its worth, copy protection is in my view bad, stupid and
pointless. The result is that people stop buying your S/W because its
too painful to maintain.

All your arguments by the way are specious. Just because my code aint
copy-protected doesn't mean i don't get paid for it. What on earth
makes you think that? When I work professionally I'm on either a wage,
ie I get paid by the year, or I'm contracted ie I'm paid by the job.
Either way I get paid.

--
Mark McIntyre
CLC FAQ < http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~scs/C-faq/top.html>



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 06:33:49 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey


Quote:
>> comp.lang.c and comp.lang.c++ are newsgroups for programmers, not
>> managers, so must of us realize how worthless this sort of software
>> is and how easily it is bypassed.

> I've been programming every day of my life for the last 24 years.
> Were you even born by 1978?  So, do I qualify as a programmer?

Here's a direct quote from your survey, under "What features do you want?":

"Cracker proof. The Protection System must prevent crackers from gaining
and/or publishing unauthorized access to my product."

If you're trying to say you can provide such a product, and you've been
programming for 24 years, you're either really slow to learn or you've just
decided to be completely dishonest.

Do you think such a thing is possible? Can you name a client-side software
protection scheme that's been out for at least a year which hasn't been
cracked?

If Discreet can't protect 3DSMax, if Adobe can't protect Photoshop, if
Microsoft can't even keep Windows XP from being pirated, are we supposed to
believe that the gurus over at at Root Software are going to magically come
up with a better solution?

Quote:
>> It is spam. You're advertising your products on newsgroups where
>> adverti{*filter*}ts are not acceptable nor appreciated. Who cares if you
>> are doing it with a survey?

> Daniel, I wonder what has made you so cynical?

> I genuinely want collect information about whether people are
> interested in a good Software Protection System.

> You're not interested, that's fine.

> We don't have a product yet, so it can hardly be advertising.  You can
> participate anonymously.

.. and I suppose trailers for movies aren't advertising because they're
not out yet?  You're advertising your company, your services, your
potential product. You're collecting marketing information. You're
collecting addresses for further advertising purposes.

You're advertising. Sorry if you don't want to believe it.

Quote:
> If you have a different suggestion about how I can obtain information
> prior to spending hundreds of hours developing a product, please let
> me know.
> I'd love to hear how I can go about this without asking for feedback
> from fellow professionals.

comp.lang.c is for discussion of the ISO C programming language. It
isn't for you to try to get free marketing information. If you have
nothing to say about the C programming language, you shouldn't post
here.

Quote:
> Sure, I don't want to upset anyone by posts in inappropriate places,
> but I just don't see what other way to go about it.
> It's easy to criticise.  Do you have an alternative?

No. Don't post your spam here.

-Daniel



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 06:42:24 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey


Quote:
> But I still reckon it's possible to protect software in a way that
> cannot be easily cracked.  If you want a challenge, try cracking Ed
> For Windows (www.getsoft.com).  They have a very early cut of our
> Software Protection System (much lower quality that what we're
> currently proposing to produce)

Right, and I suppose you're waiving Soft As It Get's rights under the DMCA
to allow me to try to crack it without breaking the law and getting sued?

-Daniel



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 06:56:17 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey


Quote:


>> But I still reckon it's possible to protect software in a way that
>> cannot be easily cracked.  If you want a challenge, try cracking Ed
>> For Windows (www.getsoft.com).  They have a very early cut of our
>> Software Protection System (much lower quality that what we're
>> currently proposing to produce)

> Right, and I suppose you're waiving Soft As It Get's rights under the
> DMCA to allow me to try to crack it without breaking the law and
> getting sued?

From Ed for Windows' license agreement:

"D. You may not decompile, disassemble, extract or otherwise reverse
engineer any of the Software or create derivative works of it. You shall
not have the right to obtain or use any source code for the Software, nor
copy, reproduce, or distribute the Software except as provided above.  You
agree not to rent, lease, or loan the Software, nor use the Software to
render time sharing of service bureau services. You may not make any
commercial use of the Software code except as expressly permitted under
this Agreement."

So, you're also suggesting we break your own client's license agreement?

-Daniel



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 07:00:13 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey



Quote:

>> > Our company is in the process of releasing a system that will help you
>> > protect your software from piracy and help you manage your customer
>> > licensing.

>> May your yak milk turn sour and hold drowned rats {*filter*}d in
>> dongles.

> Very colourful.

> My turn...

[snip]

Quote:
> May your software be free from bugs and your time unwasted by thieves
> who value nothing.

> May you retire in grace and peace knowing that your life has been
> spent in honest work and improving the quality of life for others.

May your posts always be topical and in the correct newsgroup.

May your spam always be answered by a thousand naive managers with dollar
signs in their eyes.

-Daniel



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 07:02:52 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey
[Dreadfully OT - Mind followups]


Quote:

>Of course, you wouldn't pay money for {*filter*}software.  I don't (except
>when forced too - e.g. MS applications and Windows).

Of course, since people do pay money for software when they aren't
forced to, this means that people *will* pay money for good software.
In that case, why not put effort into making your software good enough
that people will be willing to pay for it instead of putting effort into
making your software enough of a pain to use that people won't copy it?

Quote:
>> Please enlighten me as to why you people keep on trying to protect your
>> software. It costs billions, and where has it get you so far? Exactly... NO
>> WHERE. And that's the only place it'll ever be. The only thing it does is
>> creating more (worthless) industry and ripping the end-user off.

>The logic that says "this cannot be done perfectly, therefore we
>shouldn't bother trying" is flawed.  I won't even try to argue that
>it's flawed.  It's axiomatic that just about everything people create,
>including all software, is flawed.

This is not, however, the logic that applies here.  It is prohibitively
expensive to create any kind of copy protection that can't be worked
around by any idiot who knows how to use a de{*filter*}; instead of putting
effort into making a program depend on every byte of the binary image and
storing and running entire chunks of code on tamper-proof hardware[1]
that you have complete control over with only the results going to the
user's computer, the effort is better put into making a product that
people who pay for software are willing to pay for.

Quote:
>But I still reckon it's possible to protect software in a way that
>cannot be easily cracked.  If you want a challenge, try cracking Ed
>For Windows (www.getsoft.com).  They have a very early cut of our
>Software Protection System (much lower quality that what we're
>currently proposing to produce).

I have neither the time nor the motivation to do so, but I would be
extremely surprised if the process doesn't go something like this:
1. Get protected software
2. Run protected software under de{*filter*}
3. Find copy protection code
4. Replace first few bytes of copy protection code with jump past copy
    protection code
5. Enjoy no-longer-protected software

Quote:
>Why do we try to protect our software?  Because we have to pay bills.

Funny, I pay my bills by writing software that my employer sells with
minimal protection, and the money comes from people who think that what
the software does is worth paying for.

Quote:
>If I spend 4 years, 365 days per year, without pay, writing a product,
>and then give it away, who's going to pay the bills for me?

>Does that make sense?

Not really.  If you had asked instead:
``If I spend 4 years, 365 days per year, writing a product, and then
sell it without copy protection to people who are honest enough to pay
for a legal copy of the software, instead of making life difficult for
the honest users so that I can make the people who would be unlikely
to pay for it anyways spend an extra half hour with their de{*filter*}s,
who's going to pay the bills for me?''
*that* would make sense, but in this case the answer is obvious:  The
honest people who want software that isn't a pain to use because of
copy protection.

Quote:
>I have a question for you: why, assuming you do, spend hours writing
>professional quality software (again, assuming your software is
>professional quality), unpaid, and then give it away?

>Are you rich?  Does someone pay you to do this?  Do they know they are
>paying you do it?

Anyone who writes software aimed at the general public is aware that not
every user of their software pays for it, if that's what you're asking.
This does not, of course, mean that nobody pays for it.
Personally, I wouldn't trust somebody who doesn't understand that
distinction to protect any software I wrote even if I did think the
software needed protection.

dave

[1] Free clue:  Once a product has been delivered to end users, such a
    thing ceases to exist.

--

This is Usenet, a global network for distributing spam, MP3's, {*filter*} and
flames, with a tiny sprinkling of useful technical information here and
there in places like comp.lang.c.          --Kaz Kylheku in comp.lang.c



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 06:52:30 GMT  
 Software Protection Survey

Quote:
> Please, do not vandalize this group. You are considerably off-topic here.
> The most proper way to start writing to a news group is to read it for a
> while and have a look at the FAQ for the group. Please, pay special
> attention to
> netiquette --http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/how-to-post.html. We do
> make great efforts to retain this group highly professional.
> You have written that you have been programming every day of your life for
> the last 24 years. But it does not suppose you are allowed to be rude.

No intention to vandalize.  However, I do need to collect information from
software professionals before I invest the time and money in a new product.

Can you suggest a better way to contact software professionals? I'd be happy
to try it.

No one has suggested another way.

OK!  I get the message: I have no intention of being rude or upsetting
(reasonable) people.

So, in penance for offending so many, I'll hang around this group for the
next few days and help people out where I can.

And, if you're thinking "why I don't I do that all the time?", I would if I
had time.

Russell

PS    I did checkout the how-to-post.html, and while I am a little
off-topic, I decided, after discussions with other professionals, that this
is important enough of an issue that it would be interesting to people in
these groups.



Mon, 20 Sep 2004 07:27:42 GMT  
 
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