* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!

Links:

» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)

Moderators:

Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Protection Software needed now that Armadillo is discontinued

I started new c++ project for windows and I need protection software.
I used Armadillo but now it is discontinued so no good idea to start using it again since no new update will be released for it.

Any recommendation for good other protection software?

I also would like to check online key activation service so if you have recommendation that would be grate
Not Now Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
I'm sure Wyatt will be along any minute now to give you some advice. ;0)
Andy Brice Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
What happened to Armadillo? Too much trouble keeping up with crackers? Seems the crackers had whole competitions devoted to taking down each new release.

Googling, I find that "About a third of leprosy cases each year in the United States are a result of contact with infected armadillos."

Wow!
Scott Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
http://www.siliconrealms.com/

"Starting on January 1, 2013, Software Passport terminated all sales for the Software Passport product lineup. Beginning on July 1, 2014, we will be removing the Software Passport website. In the near future, Software Passport will not be supported."

OK, was the maker of Armadillo acquired by Digital River who then shut it down for some reason?

"Armadillo is SoftwarePassport's Digital Rights Management and Theft Prevention Engine that is actively maintained and enhanced by Digital River."

I wonder if this is a case where Big Corp buys Small Company, fires all the staff, and then cash cows it into obsolescence (man that was hard to spell correctly), which for this sort of product would happen quickly without constant maintenance by security experts with a lot of experience.

http://www.siliconrealms.com/about.php

"Digital River acquired Silicon Realms in 2003. After the acquisition the Armadillo DRM application was enhanced and the name changed to SoftwarePassport"

OK, so I was right they were acquired. Can't find any articles about what really happened, and they don't explain it on their site, so it must be something they don't want discussed.

2007 discussion of their discontinuation of the free version: http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?biz.5.486539.19

Discussion on their own board suggesting Digital River didn't explain to the Armadillo main developer either what was going on, and he states that DR has explicitly refused to sell him back the source code to continue on his own.

http://forum.siliconrealms.com/lofiversion/index.php/t5716.html
Scott Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
Maybe they will offer a "cloud protection suite" as everything is a webapp now and desktop is dead[tm]? ;)
Jeremy Morassi Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
DR is a company that customers often complain about.

http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Digital+River

http://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.digitalriver.com

This sort of record can sometimes suggest ethical problems in management or owners.

The statements by the guy who works on the software are not indicative of a normal situation. Not only won't they sell him the code back, but they are intent on enforcing his noncompete.

To expand this a bit, never ever sign a noncompete, unless they agree to pay you more than 100% your salary for each year that you are not allowed to work.
Scott Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
"...intent on enforcing his noncompete..."

Hi Scott,

While it may be a pedantic (and moot) point they can't stop you from working. The only way they can 'enforce' a non-compete (or restraint of trade) clause is by taking you to court.

Even if they do, this does not mean that they will automatically win as restraint clauses are prima-facie void. That is, they are on face value unenforceable - it is then up to the plaintiff to prove that the restraint is fair and reasonable and should be enforced. What is deemed to be 'fair and reasonable' will depend on the specific terms of the contract.

All the best -
Marcus from London Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
I don't know the situation where you are in the UK, but back in the US, non-competes are enforceable in nearly every state, and this  backed by case law.

Even in the case of often cited case of California, which is known to be the most restrictive against noncompetes, having banned them a few years ago (NOT since 1872 as is claimed on some web sites), it doesn't cover all cases. For example, if you are a principal at a firm that is acquired, your non-compete is definitely enforceable in California.

In the case of DR, they have a long history of filing lawsuits against those that displease them and they have told this employee, who might have been part of an acquisition (and thus possibly a principal), that they intend to enforce it.

He can fight it if he wants. If he does it will be suicide for him, contrary to your claims that it's no big deal and don't worry about it.
Scott Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
I often see advice on the web along the lines of "oh that contract is not enforceable, so go ahead and sign it, it's no big deal."

This internet advice is nearly always wrong from a legal standpoint, and is absolutely always wrong from a practical standpoint.

Anyone who signs a contract term they disagree with because they believe it's not enforceable is the world's biggest fool.
Scott Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
AFAIK no compete clauses are oid throughout the EU as they are anti-competitive (duh) and thus not in the consumer interest
Drummer Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
oid = void
Drummer Send private email
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
 
You all ignored my question :)

Any recommendation for good other protection software?

I also would like to check online key activation service so if you have recommendation that would be grate
Not Now Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2014
 
 
Thanks Drummer - you've  just highlighted how important juridiction is in these matters

Sorry 'Not Now'; we were just waiting for Wyatt to chime in. :)


"never ever sign a noncompete, unless they agree to pay you more than 100% your salary for each year that you are not allowed to work"

I'd also contend that is would be foolish for anyone to demand terms under the false assumption they can be enforced.
Marcus from London Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2014
 
 
Is that the bat signal I see?


>> "Any recommendation for good other protection software?"

Yes, LimeLM: http://wyday.com/limelm/

I'm the founder of the company that makes it (and other software). So I might be a bit biased.

As far as what you need to look for in a licensing solution, this is a good place to start: http://wyday.com/limelm/features/why/

Most of it is general information that you can use to compare licensing solutions and their claims (you'll find lots of dubious claims out there). A good rule of thumb, as you've just seen with Armadillo, you should probably avoid licensing solutions that are too good to be true (super cheap or dubious abilities).
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Thursday, June 12, 2014
 
 
I'm a happy user of http://www.softactivate.com activation. It works together with payment processors (paypal fastspring shareit,...) and has a webbased dashboard to the activation database. Price is very low compared to what you get.
Mark Uildriks Send private email
Friday, June 13, 2014
 
 
Hi Wyatt

1)What are the advantages of your solution comparing to Winlicense:
http://www.oreans.com/winlicense.php
and comparing to
http://www.softactivate.com/


2) How hard it is to strip out your protection from my exe comparing to latest version of armadillo and comparing to Winlicense with their virtual machine option and comparing softactivate.

I.E all you explain about activation on your website is useless if it is easy to strip down the layer of your software from my exe.
Not Now Send private email
Friday, June 13, 2014
 
 
>> "I.E all you explain about activation on your website is useless if it is easy to strip down the layer of your software from my exe."


Remember when I said watch out for dubious claims? "Anti-cracking", "anti-reverse engineering", and "in-memory VMs" are some of the dubious claims I was talking about. Short answer: they can all be cracked easily (and often there are tools that automate the removal of that junk).

See: http://wyday.com/limelm/features/why/#snake-oil



>> "2) How hard it is to strip out your protection from my exe comparing to latest version of armadillo and comparing to Winlicense with their virtual machine option and comparing softactivate."

Equally easy. Around 5 to 10 minutes for someone with moderate skill and/or the ability to use google.

The point of licensing isn't to prevent crackers. The point of licensing is to increase your revenue by preventing casual piracy (using serials over and over again). There is real money to be made by stopping casual piracy.


>> "1)What are the advantages of your solution comparing to [X, Y, Z]?"

This article covers it pretty well: http://wyday.com/limelm/features/why/

Put simply: ease of use, proper design, and features that are actually useful for 2014 and beyond (for starters the ability to detect, limit, and license for individual virtual machine instances: http://wyday.com/limelm/help/vm-hypervisor-licensing/ ).

And if you just want to play around with it to see if we work for you, you can do it for free: https://wyday.com/limelm/signup/free/
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Saturday, June 14, 2014
 
 
You wrote:
The point of licensing isn't to prevent crackers. The point of licensing is to increase your revenue by preventing casual piracy (using serials over and over again). There is real money to be made by stopping casual piracy.


That is not true since if crackers strip your protection from my exe and upload the stripped exe to the internet then no need for keys and no need for activations.
The exe will not even go to your server.
It will still think it is in trial mode or worst - registered.
Not Now Send private email
Saturday, June 14, 2014
 
 
>> "That is not true [...]"

Yes, it's empirically true.


>> "if crackers strip your protection from my exe and upload the stripped exe to the internet then no need for keys and no need for activations."

There's a few things you're misunderstanding:

1. Everything (yes, everything) can be cracked easily.

2. Crackers don't buy, and customers don't crack.

3. You can remove cracked versions of your app using DMCA notifications. Firstly to nuke them from Google & Bing, and secondly to remove them from a majority of the "filesharing" sites.
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Saturday, June 14, 2014
 
 
I use Armadillo, but I don't see a reason why to change the software protector right now.

By the way there is another quite popular software protector: VMProtect.

http://vmprotect.com

I would choose them last time, but they don't support "short license keys" I like.
MatrixFailure Send private email
Sunday, June 15, 2014
 
 
>> "Any recommendation for good other protection software?"

Check Secure License Manager from http://www.simplemode.com

 I am affiliated with Simple Mode Technologies.
axum Send private email
Monday, June 23, 2014
 
 
wyatt hi.
I read this in  vmprotect.com site
“Virtualization” protection method

Virtualization is the process of translating executable code into instructions of a virtual machine with the different architecture, that is unknown to a potential cracker. Virtualized parts of the code are executed by the interpreter (virtual machine) without being converted into native machine code. Generally, the reengineering of virtualized code requires the study of virtual machine architecture first, then it requires the creation of a disassembler that understands that architecture. Both processes are quite time-consuming and stops a great deal of crackers. Each time you protect the application, VMProtect generates a completely different set of virtual machines, so even if a cracker finally understand an architecture of the particular virtual machine, he has to start from the very beginning for the second protected procedure of the same file.


This sounds very promising no?
To crack the protected software the cracker should know 'another architecture '
Not Now Send private email
Thursday, June 26, 2014
 
 
It's not another architecture. It's exactly the same architecture with a 1-to-1 mapping of instructions. Apps "protected" by VMProtect have been cracked and VMProtect itself has been cracked. So that should tell you about their magical abilities.

Let me blunt: it's snake oil.
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Thursday, June 26, 2014
 
 
>To crack the protected software the cracker should know 'another architecture '

Wouldn't it be easier to crack the VM? Once they have cracked the VM will they have access to all applications protected in this way? I don't think there is any 'silver bullet' when it comes to protection. Also, the tougher the protection, the more kudos crackers get for breaking it.

Also running in a VM is likely to hit performance.
Andy Brice Send private email
Monday, June 30, 2014
 
 
As of the date of this post, vmprotect.com doesn't exist.  Maybe just temporarily down, but it's not there.
PSB136 Send private email
Sunday, July 06, 2014
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz