License / Registration key enabled software

Hendrik van Rooyen mail at
Fri Sep 29 07:58:57 CEST 2006

 "Steve Holden" <steve at> Wrote:

> Sybren Stuvel wrote:
> > Mike Playle enlightened us with:
> >
> >>Imagine you're an IT manager for a medium-to-large company who wants
> >>to use some expensive piece of software. You talk to the vendor and
> >>buy a licence to use the software on up to 5 machines at once, but
> >>you don't know who in the company will want to use it, so for
> >>convenience you want to install it on every PC in the building.
> >>
> >>Having installed it all over the shop, how can you be sure that only
> >>5 people are using it at any one time?
> >
> >
> > Write the software in such a way that it needs a certificate on a
> > smartcard, then supply the company with five smartcards.
> >

And 500 smart card readers - can I quote for the job?

> And you guarantee that the contents of the smartcard is only used by one
> user at a time by building a licensing system for the smartcards?
> regards
>   Steve

Yes - this is the point - it makes a simple implementation increasingly complex
and paranoid - and is a large part of the cost that makes the software
expensive - the other part is called greed...

- Hendrik

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