extreme newbie

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Sat Jun 18 18:05:59 CEST 2005


cpunerd4 wrote:
> even so,
> crackers have a harder time getting into compiled programs rather than
> intepreted languages. I know hiding the code won't stop all crackers
> but it will stop some of the casual theifs won't it? It's not so much
> that they could steal code, it's that they could alter it and release
> it somewere else and make their own money off it.

Roughly speaking, if your code is so valuable, there's very little you 
can do to stop if from being used in this way, except for keeping it 
inside a secured "network appliance" which prevents all access (though 
even then the box itself can be stolen, so you have to allow access only 
through the internet in that case).

Furthermore, protecting you from someone else making money off a copy of 
your program is basically what licenses are for, and if you have noticed 
they don't protect even Microsoft (see, for example, entire governments 
like the Indonesian government, which has mass-pirated Microsoft 
software for a long time).

On the other hand, while a license isn't a guarantee of much, it does 
make it easier to go after violators in a court and sue them for 
damages.  And if you think your software is really worth the efforts you 
are envisioning to protect it, you should be prepared to go after people 
in court when they violate your license, not trying to prevent them from 
copying it in the first place (which is basically impossible, except see 
my first point again ;-).

My main suggestion to you is this.  Many people with several decades 
more experience than you used to feel exactly as you do (I did!), and 
have now, after years of developing and selling commercial software, 
changed their view of the whole issue drastically.  Learn from others' 
mistakes and don't waste your time worrying about this "stealing code" 
thing... put your efforts into developing really useful, valuable 
software, and the world will beat a path to your door to give you money 
(see Google, for example), and while a few people might be trying to 
profit from your efforts without your permission, you'll either be in a 
good position to ignore them or sue them, as you will....

-Peter



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