Selling Python Software

Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters mertz at
Tue Nov 4 05:20:33 CET 2003

jjl at (John J. Lee) wrote previously:
|consumer app here, but a 1000 line Python program written by a
|consultant for a company.  Companies are not "warez doodz", and tend
|to be driven by money.  The source (or something closely related to
|it, like a decompiled Python program) may be significantly more
|valuable to them than the executable.

To my mind, distributing a .pyc to clients is plenty of protection.  I
admit that if you send the .py script itself, it's fairly easy for them
to "accidentally" copy it or alter it in a way your contract doesn't
allow.  Basically completely effortless, which makes cheating perhaps a
tad too tempting.

But decomiling a .pyc takes some work.  Not a LOT of work mind you.  But
enough that a boss has to ASSIGN a programmer the job of creating the
decompiled version.  In other words, a client who will decompile a .pyc
has some actual malice in their intent to violate your license (assuming
that's what the license says).  The lack of ambiguity gets you precisely
to the point where contracts and laws are the right framework for
protecting copyright.

Yours, Lulu...

Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food from the bellies
of the hungry; books from the hands of the uneducated; technology from the
underdeveloped; and putting advocates of freedom in prisons.  Intellectual
property is to the 21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.

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