License / Registration key enabled software

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Thu Sep 28 02:19:37 CEST 2006

Mike Playle <usenet at> writes:

> License keys exist to make it easier for honest users to remain
> honest.

What doubletalk. If usage restrictions were in *any* way what end users
wanted, they'd choose software that has it over software that does

Usage restrictions serve *no* want of the end user.

> For instance a customer might want to buy a license to use your
> software on up to 5 machines at once, but still have the software
> installed on every machine in the company.

This need is adequately served by not imposing usage restrictions. Any
effective imposition of usage restrictions is hostile to the wants of
the user.

If usage restrictions are brought into the picture, it is to serve the
wants of someone else, *not* the end user. It is disingenuous to
suggest otherwise.

> License systems like FlexLM can work here, to make it easier for
> them to ensure that they comply with the terms of the license.

This is describing a want of the copyright holder, *not* the end user.

> Forget about the people who'll crack your software. Ask yourself
> whether a license key scheme offers anything to the people who won't
> try to crack it. If it does, then actually implementing the scheme
> becomes trivial; if it doesn't, then leave it out, because it won't
> help against crackers.

Very sound advice, I agree entirely.

 \             "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the |
  `\                                   precipitate."  -- Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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