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licensing work

I am developing a small desktop product (actually I should call it a mini tool, not a product) that I want to sell for a low price via a downloadable version from a website. I want to build some form of licensing mechanism where when the user submits her e-mail address before the submit (and the credit card page), I want to send the license to that address.

The technical challenge I see is that how do I make sure that they don’t use the same license key at multiple locations/PCs? Also, is there are reference licensing mechanism built into a java component that I can study to develop my own?
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Have your installer check on the server if the code has already been activated, or have it inform the user to go to the site and punch in a code (containing a hash of something system unique like the C drive serial number) to get a reply, and validate that reply in the installer.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Search through the posts and you will find many discussions along these lines. You need to search BOS & JOS, not just DOS.
Neville Franks Send private email
Sunday, July 02, 2006
"how do I make sure that they don’t use the same license key at multiple locations/PCs?"

Strictly speaking, you cannot, unless each copy of the software "phone home" or contacts your server to determine if it is valid.

As Neville mentions, a lot of technical solutions have been proposed and experimented with. Feel free to search for the details. I would also like you to consider whether you really want to enforce single computer usage.

I personally believe that in the long run, trying to solve this problem through code is uneconomical and ultimately futile. As an example, even Microsoft is having problems getting Windows Genuine Advantage working properly.

If you plan to charge a lot of money for your software (and subsequently can afford to pay for the customer support), go for it.  Otherwise you should consider alternatives such as site licensing or selling the software for cheap and making your money through support calls.
Monday, July 03, 2006

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