9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 10, 2011 1:27 PM by 3DTOPO

    Patent or copyright for plugin

    minimum99 Level 1

      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?

        • 1. Re: Patent or copyright for plugin
          btemp Level 2

          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....

          • 2. Re: Patent or copyright for plugin
            Brendon Cheves

            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.



            • 3. Re: Patent or copyright for plugin
              A. Patterson Level 4

              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.

              • 4. Re: Patent or copyright for plugin
                minimum99 Level 1

                Hi, so how do I protect the plugin? Is there software that I can use to package the plugin with some protection?

                What do you guys use to do this?





                • 5. Re: Patent or copyright for plugin
                  Brendon Cheves Level 1

                  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.



                  • 6. Re: Patent or copyright for plugin
                    btemp Level 2

                    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.

                    • 7. Re: Patent or copyright for plugin

                      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.

                      • 8. Re: Patent or copyright for plugin
                        minimum99 Level 1

                        Thank you for sharing.

                        In Windows how does your plugin gets the computer UUID?

                        Anyway, having the customer enter the UUID at the time of purchase and the plugin validates the UUID stored in your web server may save you from custom build your plugin for each customer.

                        • 9. Re: Patent or copyright for plugin
                          3DTOPO Level 2

                          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.