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Old 09-10-2019, 10:23 PM   #1
Nonlinear
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Default Simple serial number implementation in iPlug?

Can someone explain how serial numbers are typically implemented for basic plugin protection - and how it can be done in iPlug?

For example, my eCommerce provider can generate a unique serial number for each order. I want the delivered plugin to be disabled until the purchaser enters that serial number which is then stored with/in the plugin (i.e., "ID marked").

Are there direct means to do this in iPlug (file read/write functions) or does it require "outboard" coding?
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:06 AM   #2
bozmillar
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You're going to need to do your own. Or you can go 3rd party and use something like iLok.

The registration I have on mine is pretty much pretend security. The real benefit is that the demo version and the full version are the same plugin, so I don't have to compile two separate versions to have a demo. Security is an afterthought.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:57 AM   #3
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You're going to need to do your own. Or you can go 3rd party and use something like iLok.

The registration I have on mine is pretty much pretend security. The real benefit is that the demo version and the full version are the same plugin, so I don't have to compile two separate versions to have a demo. Security is an afterthought.
Thank you for the info.

Security is a real problem for sure. Two days after I release my plugins they are all over warez sites, etc.

After reading through the giant 21+ page post on KVR about the subject I concluded it was a waste of time to try and implement security means - so I basically have nothing which is also a huge mistake. I tried the "after the fact" services like Tracksaur/Linkbusters. They remove a lot of links but they can't remove ALL so I'm not sure it really helps (yet their service itself is an ongoing expense).

I am using the required Pace signing on my AAX plugins - which I know for a fact stopped at least one hacker (he told me!) but their system is very expensive and a lot of users don't like it.

So, what to do? I don't need "Fort Knox" but I do need SOMETHING that is both simple and economical. Or is even that a waste of time?
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
Thank you for the info.

Security is a real problem for sure. Two days after I release my plugins they are all over warez sites, etc.

After reading through the giant 21+ page post on KVR about the subject I concluded it was a waste of time to try and implement security means - so I basically have nothing which is also a huge mistake. I tried the "after the fact" services like Tracksaur/Linkbusters. They remove a lot of links but they can't remove ALL so I'm not sure it really helps (yet their service itself is an ongoing expense).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonlinear View Post
I am using the required Pace signing on my AAX plugins - which I know for a fact stopped at least one hacker (he told me!) but their system is very expensive and a lot of users don't like it.
That doesn't prevent people from stealing your plugin, it just prevents people from making changes to the plugin after it's compiled. It's just a way to confirm that the plugin you are installing is identical to the plugin that was compiled. It's virus security, not developer security.

Quote:
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So, what to do? I don't need "Fort Knox" but I do need SOMETHING that is both simple and economical. Or is even that a waste of time?
It depends on what your goals are. I can only go off of my own experience and say that I have been able to support myself and my family (5 kids) just fine on the income I get from creating plugins. Even when I sold plugins that had zero form of protection, I sold enough to justify continuing. The serial number system I use now is purely for convenience on my end and has almost nothing to do with actual security.

Contrariwise, I have heard from other developers (soundtoys, slate) that when their security got broken into, they saw an immediate drop in sales. So maybe I'm missing out on millions of dollars because of my lack of security? I have no way of knowing without actually going through and putting real security on my plugins. But personally, I'd rather spend my time making new plugins than spending time on security, because I enjoy making plugins.

I think it really depends on what your goals are. My goals do not include growing some sort of plugin empire. My goals are basically to be able to make cool stuff and not worry too much about having the funds or time to do it. I've been doing this for 6 years now, and I've been able to meet my goals on that front. We'll see what happens in 3 years though.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:48 PM   #5
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That doesn't prevent people from stealing your plugin, it just prevents people from making changes to the plugin after it's compiled. It's just a way to confirm that the plugin you are installing is identical to the plugin that was compiled. It's virus security, not developer security.
Yes, I understand. HOWEVER what I've seen on most warez sites is that the file they post is considerable bigger than my original - which indicates to me that it has been altered, probably to include malware of some sort. If I can use signing as a means to stop THAT then it will also stop that piracy path, yes?
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:03 PM   #6
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I would guess that stolen plugins being ripe with malware would be a good deterrent for people to avoid cracked software.

Again, I have no actual evidence for this, so I may be way off, but I see 3 camps of people:

1) People who will never steal software. You don't need to worry about this group because they will buy it if they want it. Copy protection, or lack thereof, will not sway their decision.

2) People who will always get free versions of everything they can. You don't need to worry about this group because they will never buy your stuff. Copy protection, or lack thereof, will not convince them to buy your stuff.

3) People who only get free when it's more convenient.This is the only group for which copy protection has any effect. Sometimes they don't buy software because they don't have enough money, but would if they had it. Sometimes they don't buy software because the copy protection makes it harder to use. Sometimes they don't buy software because a friend gave it to them and it just works. But it really comes down to how much time and effort you are willing to put in to get that group to give you money for your plugins.

I personally think that anyone who is serious about recording is going to eventually get to the point where they buy the software they use regularly, so if they are in group 3, eventually they will grow out of it or stop recording and move onto something else. I want to make sure that I'm a brand that they recognize when they graduate from group 3 to group 1.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:42 PM   #7
Nonlinear
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Originally Posted by bozmillar View Post
I would guess that stolen plugins being ripe with malware would be a good deterrent for people to avoid cracked software.

Again, I have no actual evidence for this, so I may be way off, but I see 3 camps of people:

1) People who will never steal software. You don't need to worry about this group because they will buy it if they want it. Copy protection, or lack thereof, will not sway their decision.

2) People who will always get free versions of everything they can. You don't need to worry about this group because they will never buy your stuff. Copy protection, or lack thereof, will not convince them to buy your stuff.

3) People who only get free when it's more convenient.This is the only group for which copy protection has any effect. Sometimes they don't buy software because they don't have enough money, but would if they had it. Sometimes they don't buy software because the copy protection makes it harder to use. Sometimes they don't buy software because a friend gave it to them and it just works. But it really comes down to how much time and effort you are willing to put in to get that group to give you money for your plugins.

I personally think that anyone who is serious about recording is going to eventually get to the point where they buy the software they use regularly, so if they are in group 3, eventually they will grow out of it or stop recording and move onto something else. I want to make sure that I'm a brand that they recognize when they graduate from group 3 to group 1.
Yes, and there is a 4th camp - people who download an illegal version of your plugin, complain it doesn't work right (because it's been crippled in some way) and then badmouth your plugins on the internet.

So piracy should not be ignored, IMO. It's bad for business no matter what.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:48 PM   #8
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The only experience I can go off is my own, and ignoring piracy has served me pretty well.
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