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Patent or copyright for plugin

Feb 27, 2011 3:51 PM

Hi everyone, I have just completed my first AI Plugin. I want to protect my plugin from software piracy (as much as possible), anyone know of a good way to do this? Also I want to get it either patented or copyrighted, which or both you think I should get?

How much does a patent cost if I do it myself?

 
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    Feb 28, 2011 6:20 AM   in reply to minimum99

    I think the way copyright works, it is already copyrighted just because you created it. Patents are a different issue, and I think Adobe might have some legal rights there....

     
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    Mar 2, 2011 4:22 PM   in reply to minimum99

    I wouldn't put any effort into piracy protection. No matter what you do, pirates will steal your software if they really want it. Besides, piracy isn't really a lost sale anyway. It's just one more user that will be talking about your product.

     

    Brendon

     
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    Mar 3, 2011 6:43 AM   in reply to Brendon Cheves

    I've always subscribed to Nintendo's philosophy on piracy. Like you Brendon, they realize that anyone who really wants to pirate will do so. The key is to make it hard enough to pirate that honest customers don't feel like suckers for paying for the product.

     
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    Mar 4, 2011 9:24 AM   in reply to minimum99

    Do you ask the user for a serial number? You can distribute your plug-in in demo mode so that it doesn't matter who copies it. Then, only enable your main features when someone puts in their serial number. You can store the serial number encrypted in the Illustrator preferences file or your own file. Also, using this method you don't have to worry about password protected zip or dmg files which users really get annoyed with.

     

    Brendon

     
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    Mar 6, 2011 6:57 AM   in reply to Brendon Cheves

    Illustrator plugins are such small fish that if you just require a payment to download the files, they will probably never even make it onto the sharing websites. Think about how many people will actually be using your plugin, compared to how many people use other software that is heavily pirated. You probably don't really have anything to worry about.

     
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    Mar 6, 2011 9:43 AM   in reply to btemp

    A seat for my plugins costs as much as small car, so I hardware key my plugins.

     

    I issue a custom build with the UUID of the machine it is built for. It will only run on the machine with the matching UUID.

     

    I also have a demo version that I can enable/disable by adding/removing a key on my webserver.

     

    I am sure either method could be hacked with enough work, but frankly my clients are not the hacker types.

     
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    Mar 10, 2011 1:27 PM   in reply to minimum99

    No problem.

     

    I am not sure about Windows - but I use the ioreg utility on Mac OS X. I suspect there has to be a way to get a UUID for a machine in Windows too. This is how I get it on Mac OS X:

     

    ioreg -rd1 -c IOPlatformExpertDevice | awk '/IOPlatformUUID/ { print $3; }'

     

    That could also work, but I prefer to send the plugin with the UUID hardcoded, and I don't have to do it very often.

     
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