Python obfuscation

Yu-Xi Lim yuxi at
Wed Nov 9 21:08:15 CET 2005

Steve Holden wrote:
> Before adding complex protection mechanisms to your code you first need 
> some code worth protecting, which is to say it should have some novel 
> features or represent a lot of work that offers useful integrated 
> functionality for a task or a skill area.
> Most inquiries of this nature appear to fall at that first hurdle.
> There are things you can do, but I'm always keenly aware that very few 
> users of a program have both the skills and the inclination to rip off 
> the code even when the source is distributed as part of the product. 
> Personally I've never bothered with obfuscation, and prefer to rely on 
> copyright when I deliver code to customers.

As you said, if you have some novel features, you will need obfuscation. 
Copyright doesn't protect the process and patents may take a while. In 
the meanwhile, good obfuscation is reasonable protection, imho.

But I think you failed to note that it may not be a novel feature or 
useful functionality. In fact, it might be the opposite: a function the 
users want removed. A typical example would be a shareware registration 
or nag screen. When the users have to start paying, they might then feel 
inclied to "rip off the code", or in this case, rip out the code.

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