Perl Vs Python
vinko at cprsig.cl
Thu Feb 27 23:58:17 CET 2003
On Fri, Feb 28, 2003 at 07:57:49AM +1000, Derek Thomson wrote:
> It's fairly simple logic: In the end, anyone can get your IP as you just
> *gave* it to them! Legal barriers against such theft are the only way in
> the end. Why do you think all software comes with licenses that forbid
> such theft? If compiling were perfect for protection, that wouldn't be
> needed. Sure, obfuscation (like shipping only the bytecode), may stop
> the casual reader, but if you've got something worth stealing then
> obviously the tiny bit of effort required to read it is worth putting in.
That is true, but legal barriers are certainly not enough, either. Just look
at the warez scene...
This reminds me of a certain software which came with a propietary
scripting language to extend its functionality. It came with a
'encrypt()' function supposed to encrypt the code for distributing the
scripts. The marvelous encryption system was to add or substract a
certain number from the ASCII code of each character! That is certainly
worse encryption than bytecode, but all people I knew to use the
software (it was not a tool commonly used by CS experts, not even CS
fans :) ) didn't know how to read the 'encrypted' scripts. I'm sure
they don't even know now, so, for almost all practical purposes, that
ridiculous encryption worked.
What I'm trying to say is that even it's certainly not enough (as there
is no solution to the theft issue) every bit of obfuscation helps if you're
interested in protecting your IP, if just to reduce the number of
The argument of 'just say no to obfuscation because a lot of people
know how to deobfuscate it' is comparable to: 'let's leave all doors open
because there are lots of people who know how to open them anyway'.
Of course the world would be better if no one cared about that, and
everything was OS, but that's for another flame war :-)
Vinko Vrsalovic <el[|- at -|]vinko.cl>
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