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SubjectRe: Copy protection of the floppies
On Tuesday 25 November 2003 13:37, Nick wrote:
>Hardware dongles. You need to be a bit creative but it can be done.
> Say on save of the file output it to the hardware dongle with
> encrypts it with your private key, then on load of the file it gets
> decrypted with the public key, which is available, or some similar
> scheme.
> Nick

This "thread" has finally pulled my trigger, rant mode on.

Fugedaboutit. The last piece of dongle protected software I tangled
with was an A-B Roll video editor for the amiga. The life of the
parallel port dongle was about 9 months because they damaged the
chips in it so badly in grinding off the identifications.

When the 3rd dongle died, and we found the outfit had been sold to
somebody else, and it was discovered they didn't have any more
dongles, and furthermore they weren't even sure we had rights to the
fscking software! We screwed around with them for about 6 months and
I finally gave them the choice of seeing us in court or finding a
dongle. They got in the car and drove something like 400 miles one
way to get the last dongle in existance off the authors home machine
and sent it to us overnight. They must have finally gotten the
message that we were at the breaking point of being pissed and
somebody was gonna bleed.

Frankly, we felt as if we had the right to make somebody bleed, color
(red or green) optional since the software was part of a $25,000
dollar video editing package (that wasn't the video tape recorders,
just the software and networking hardware, we had another $50,000 in
broadcast quality VCR's in that system) that we had paid around $2000
just for updates of since we'ed bought it 2 years before this little
rodeo started.

In the meantime we finally made good on our threat to send it out to
the hackers (we told them that was one of our options and I think
thats what got them to put the key in the switch and drive), and had
a clean, no dongle required, version of it back in about 36 hours.
And believe it or not, there is honor among the hackers who broke
that for us, no copy was ever released into the wild. And they did
it just to prove they could, no charge folks! Sometime later yet,
they (RVS) wanted a copy of the one we had broken. I left it to
TPTB, but I think they were told to go pound sand just for being the
ass-holes they had proved themselves to be.

Do you want to put your 'clients' thru that? I think not if you want
to sleep well at night.

We, as users, are normally pretty honest. We screwed around with
those jokers at RVS for 6 months before we did what we had to do, and
I think that was 5 months and 23 days too long considering it was the
production heart of a television station at the time. That lack of a
dongle for 6 months cost us about $125,000 in lost production
revenues because our main editing suite was down.

It boils down to trusting your clients. Most of us, if we need your
software to do something that cannot be done any other way, will be
glad to honor your rights to that software as long as it is actively
supported even if its do almost nothing updates just to keep the cash
cow coming fresh. We fully understand that one needs a 'stream' of
revenue for long term support.

OTOH, if the support goes away because you who originally asked the
question no longer have a quarter to call somebody who cares, and its
still the only thing that does that job, and your so-called
protection methods get in the way, then you can fully expect that
they will be rendered null and void. Call it piracy, whatever,
welcome to how the real world works. class 101.

Bottom line is treat us right, we'll treat you right.

End of rant...


Cheers, Gene
AMD K6-III@500mhz 320M
Athlon1600XP@1400mhz 512M
99.27% setiathome rank, not too shabby for a WV hillbilly attornies please note, additions to this message
by Gene Heskett are:
Copyright 2003 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

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