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has anyone any idea about copyright at all????
There are loads of ways to protect your stuff. The problem is that it
is simply not possible to make it work. If someone wants to copy your
stuff, they will find a way. Look at the millions of dollars that the
music industry, movie industry and video game industry pay to make their
stuff copy-proof. Then go to your friendly torrent tracker site and see
how much good it has done them. All most copy protection does is
inconvenience your paying customers by making them need to register
things, while the pirates just make a patched version without the
inconveniences. It is a very fine line to walk, since the more
"protected" a program is, the more inconvenient it will be for the
That said, there are 2 different parts to your question:
1) The downloadable version
2) The DVD version
The way your question was worded requires that each copy of the program
will have its own unique serial number. As far as option 1, the online
version, that is possible with a server-side PHP script.
Basically, you can have your downloadable program as a zip file. In
this zip are the actual program and a text file. The text file has the
serial number (or a hash that can be un-encrypted to make the serial
number). There are plenty of xtras to encode this text file in various
ways, my favourite would be to make it a straight text file, but encrypt
it with BuddyAPI (baEncryptFile). So, when the program runs, it
unencrypts this file, then reads the serial number, then re-encrypts it.
This is done so quickly that no one will be able to grab it in the
middle of the process to find out what is in the unencrypted version.
Anyway, it can then check in the registry or an ini file or something if
the serial number has been entered, and if not ask for it. Then, we
need to make it so it is not usable if copied onto another computer. To
do that, I would use BuddyAPI again (You'll need the registered version
to use all of the commands I would use, though you can use one of the
free xtras to do many of the same things). You can take the reg code in
the text file and perform some operation based on the local computer,
say the hard drive's serial number (which you can retrieve with
baDiskInfo). Of course this has the downside of failing to work for a
legit user whose hard drive crashes... they will not be able to
reinstall it on a new drive.
So now, we have a serial number that is unique to the user's computer.
They will need to call you (or you can set up a website to do this
automatically) to give you their code and you can tell them the serial
number that works with it). You will need to write a keygen to unencode
their code and make a working serial for the program. So they now have a
serial that works and enter it into the program.
That would in turn set a global variable. The message on the stage
saying that you need to register it can have a script like this:
global gRegistered --this is set to 1 if it has been registered, 0 if not
on beginSprite me
if (gRegistered) then sprite(me.spriteNum).blend=0
That will make it invisible if it has been registered.
Now the tricky part is that the encrypted text file needs to be
different for each zip archive, and that is where the server-side script
comes in. I don't know enough PHP myself to write this script, but I
know PHP is capable of doing it. When the download process is started,
it will take your program and make the text file with a random
registration number, then zip them up and send them to the downloaders
That takes care of the online version. The DVD version is totally
different. Unless you are going to make each DVD by hand with a
different text file, this approach won't work. If you are going to
mass-duplicate all the DVDs, then they will all be identical, so you'll
need a different approach. Look at the current content protection
schemes, and pick the one you like.
There are also xtras out there that purport to protect your content,
checkout www.updatestage.com and the Mile High Table O'Products. I have
never used them, but they may work as well or better as what I've
outlined. Just beware that the more secure you make it, the more
annoying it will be to your paying customers (and yes, I am repeating
this for a good reason). I know I hate it when programs put files all
over my hard drive, edit my registry and otherwise try to prevent
copying in annoying ways.
Thanks Mike, this is the start that I need.
I understand what you're saying about security. I always quote the pyramids ... they weren't secure either!
I also don't want to make my stuff too frustrating ... I will hold back a bit.