Selling Python Software

John J. Lee jjl at pobox.com
Wed Nov 5 16:22:08 CET 2003


Alex Martelli <aleax at aleax.it> writes:

> John J. Lee wrote:
[...]
> > Though information is indeed always incomplete, it seems a good bet
> > that war3zd00dz are not an issue for a consultant being hired by a
> > company to write a 1000 line program.  Do you disagree?
[...]
> we weren't talking about somebody being _hired_, but rather
> wanting to sell what they independently came up with the idea
> of developing -- there's a difference!  And yes, it wouldn't

Right.  Substitute "a consultant selling a not-widely-distributed 1000
line program to a company" in what I said, though, and I think it's
still a good bet.


> be the first time that a company deliberately exploits the warez
> "circuit" to get programs cracked -- look around and you'll see
> it's definitely NOT just games and the like that end up there.

Oh sure, but don't the vast majority tend to be far more widely
distributed than (I imagine, guessing of course) this 1000 line code
is?  Maybe I'm just naive.


[...about decompilation: recovering source-like code from compiled code...]
> > valuable names).  Certainly that's impossible with optimising
> > compilers (I should have stated this much more strongly in my last
> > message, of course -- there's no "may" or "guessing" involved there,
> > unlike the Python case, where I don't know the answer).
> 
> If you think you do, "you're in denial".  Check out:
> 
> http://www.program-transformation.org/twiki/bin/view/Transform/DecompilationPossible
> http://boomerang.sourceforge.net/
> http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/~cristina/dcc.html#dcc
[...]

OK, OK, not impossible if you have knowledge of the way compilers
actually do things (and, sigh... security is always about 'cheating',
isn't it).  Still, even given that, the sample input / output on the
second two pages, though impressive, appear to show that doing it in
practice is far from a solved problem (assuming this is representative
of the state of the art).  One would expect that it's far harder to do
this with optimised languages than with Python -- true?


John




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