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Thread: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

  1. #1
    heatblazer is offline Senior Member
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    Default Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    Hello,
    I`ve been wondering how to make a copyright protection for a jar file? OK... I know that "jar" has some sealing mechanism, but I was wondering if it`s possible to make some kind of expiration time? Kind of getting current date, start counting days then after, say, 10 days it disables the functionalites....But my ideas came with a serialized file or just some hidden file... The bad is, that the file can be find and modified.. so this falls. My final idea was to make some kind of connection to my host site, retrieve a key from it or report the usage to it, or read a file from it... then expires... but what if there is no network :( So... any good suggestions?

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    jim829 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    You can try to incorporate something in the executable code itself. But I'm an open source kind of guy.

    Regards,
    Jim
    Last edited by jim829; 06-03-2013 at 01:31 PM.
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    kjkrum's Avatar
    kjkrum is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    This is a technologically intractible problem. That's why people keep trying to solve it with legislation.
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    heatblazer is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    I am open source guy, but I intend to sell that program, so, if I don`t have some security mechanism, it`s like I give a present. No stopping from reselling it. OK... but that means 1-2 months total waste of time for me. So, I should rely on the support in the end...

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    pbrockway2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    My final idea was to make some kind of connection to my host site, retrieve a key from it or report the usage to it, or read a file from it... then expires... but what if there is no network :(
    My (limited) understanding is that this is the way to go. Anything else would boil down to files placed on the enemy's (aka user's) computer and they would be subject to reverse engineering.

    And, yes, the user is screwed if there is no network. Another nice trick is to check for hardware identity and stop the enemy/user from deploying your software on multiple devices. Again, if they replace their computer with another or if their computer dies, they lose.

    Basically once you begin to view the user as enemy it seems both logical and reasonable to inflict any random imposition on them you like. But, of course, most of us are users much more than we are vendors. And, as users, we know just how we would respond to your software (well, I know how I would respond any way:).

    For programs aimed at any reasonable sized audience, proprietary software is beginning to suck technically because of the difficulties of enforcing the propriety claim. And my belief is that the suckage will only increase with time.

    This is a technologically intractible problem. That's why people keep trying to solve it with legislation.
    "Legislation" consists of a bunch of people saying "Aye" or raising their hands or performing some similar ritual act. The idea that such behaviour has any chance of solving technical problems is ... quaint at best. Nowadays, magicians are entertainers. And even priests have to reconcile themselves to the fact that the earth moves. But we continue to believe that our "representatives" are endowed with some power ("teh mandate") which makes their secular rituals effective.

    Actually the legislators (like their shaman and priestly forebears) rely on some body of "enforcers" who can provide the muscle behind their legislation. And they view their electorate as the vendor views their user: as enemy. Software and information is under constant "threat" from the sinful actions of those who would eat of the tree of knowledge.

    We shouldn't underestimate the vicious zealousy with which they apply their laws. Just as we should never forget Aaron Swartz or Jeremy Hammond or whoever they are eyeing up to be next on their sacrificial alter.

    But neither should we overestimate their effectiveness in the long term.
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    heatblazer is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    Thank you for the complete walktrough. Did`t came with the hardware match idea... it`s nice :) If it`s possible to match a HDD, which I suppose, won`t change as often as RAM, videos or CPUs, I might come with a good defense against schemes. But your idea still brings me a question, how that will protect the software? I must still create a hidden file somewhere or else, how can I recognize the official first boot? Besides, I don`t want you all to think I am some nazi. I am alone, self-taught Java, work with no team and I am doing all alone. So, I don`t want some lame ass to sell my program and benefit on my efforts, and your help that you showed me for a number of threads. Besides, it`s an accountant, warehouse, human resources program, and these "users" will pay and will "resell" it if they can :(

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    Default Re: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    Quote Originally Posted by heatblazer View Post
    I am open source guy, but I intend to sell that program, so, if I don`t have some security mechanism, it`s like I give a present. No stopping from reselling it. OK... but that means 1-2 months total waste of time for me. So, I should rely on the support in the end...
    Welcome to the same exact problem encountered by every software developer through the history of trying to sell software products.

    This problem doesn't have an easy solution- think of how easy it is to pirate Microsoft products, despite their billions of dollars invested in anti-piracy measures. People are going to be able to get at your product no matter what you do.

    There has already been some great advice in this thread, so I won't repeat it, but you might also want to think about how much of a problem this really is. A lot of people spend a lot of time worrying about anti-piracy measures, before they've written a single line of code. I don't mean that to be an insult to you or your product, but I see a lot of "cart before horse" type questions like this. It seems a bit counter-intuitive to start worrying about *preventing* people from using your product before you even have people who want to use it in the first place.

    So my solution is to hold off on worrying about piracy. Create your product. Be a good merchant: people hate DRM and schemes meant to prevent piracy but more often than not get in the way of real users. If people like your product, they'll be more likely to pay for additional features.
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    Default Re: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    I found out that people are less inclined to give away (or resell) copies of your software if it is branded for their particular company; a few logos of their company here and there (including the splash screen and about box) is enough.

    kind regards,

    Jos
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    heatblazer is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    Thanks, KevinWorkman, I`ll stick to this advice. Indeed modules and support is longer term for benefit.

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    heatblazer is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Copyright protection for Java jar programs?

    Thanks, JosAH, that is smart too.

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