IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

> Hydrogenaudio Forum Rules

- No Warez. This includes warez links, cracks and/or requests for help in getting illegal software or copyrighted music tracks!
- No Spamming or Trolling on the boards, this includes useless posts, trying to only increase post count or trying to deliberately create a flame war.
- No Hateful or Disrespectful posts. This includes: bashing, name-calling or insults directed at a board member.
- Click here for complete Hydrogenaudio Terms of Service

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Why product activation is bad idea: Quartz Audio
Sanchez Ploplops...
post Jul 3 2012, 00:00
Post #1





Group: Members
Posts: 2
Joined: 2-July 12
Member No.: 101138



Just say no to software that calls for online product activation, kids! I feel bad for any musician who got stuck in the same situation as the author.

Digital Sound Planet goes out of business, leaving customers without unlock keys

This post has been edited by Sanchez Ploplopski: Jul 3 2012, 00:01
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
uart
post Jul 4 2012, 08:41
Post #2





Group: Members
Posts: 810
Joined: 23-November 04
Member No.: 18295



Yeah, I haven't had this issue with any music related software, but many years ago I did get stung with some full priced software that I couldn't use (for long) and have had a definite aversion to "activation ware" ever since.

This was was back in the days of DOS believe it or not. The software was the very first title that I ever bought on CD (that new fangle technology) instead of floppy. As with your case, I had no idea that it needed activation when I bought it, but when I got it home and tried to install it the installer gave me a code and a phone number to ring before I could continue. I was like WTF because I'd never seen anything like it before. It was actually a human operator that took my call, entered my registration details (mandatory) and then gave me a response code to generated one I'd given. I thought it was all very intrusive and was pretty pissed off to tell the truth.

Fast forward 12 months and I had to re-install everything after a HDD crash, what to you reckon, that phone number was no longer connected and I was locked out of the software I'd payed full price for. Grrrrr!
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Ethan Winer
post Jul 4 2012, 20:31
Post #3





Group: Members
Posts: 248
Joined: 12-May 09
From: New Milford, CT
Member No.: 69730



QUOTE (Sanchez Ploplopski @ Jul 2 2012, 19:00) *
Just say no to software that calls for online product activation, kids!

No kidding, I've been railing against such forms of copy protection for many years. This article is from 1999:

Copy Protection: The Audio Industry's Dirty Little Secret

--Ethan


--------------------
I believe in Truth, Justice, and the Scientific Method
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Dynamic
post Jul 5 2012, 09:06
Post #4





Group: Members
Posts: 832
Joined: 17-September 06
Member No.: 35307



Good article, Ethan. It shows that in this case the OP might feel forced to use a cracked 'warez' version if one exists, which might or might not be virus-free, after being mis-sold the original legitimate product by a now-defunct company or to lose all that work. Neither option feels good.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
2Bdecided
post Jul 5 2012, 10:07
Post #5


ReplayGain developer


Group: Developer
Posts: 5364
Joined: 5-November 01
From: Yorkshire, UK
Member No.: 409



You could argue that such product activation is fine - the failure is that the company should put the software (or at least the activation procedure) into Escrow or similar, so that in the event of the company's demise, a third party can pick it up and maintain the service, or users can access it directly and freely.

It's not as if a company going out of business is a totally unexpected event that's not happened during the last century.


In the commercial world, it's quite common for company B to buy limited access to software from company A (e.g. a specific binary for a specific OS), but require company A to put the source code in Escrow for release to company B in the event that company A goes out of business. It's the only way some smaller companies can sell bespoke software.


I don't expect normal consumers to get into this kind of thing - but maybe some kind of industry quality scheme/mark for software, part of which involves this, would be a good thing.

If my livelihood rested on income from software I had written, I'd want to protect it in every way possible. Of course everything of value will get hacked, and it's a constant game of cat and mouse - but raising the bar to make piracy harder means more paying customers (as long as you're not doing it in a way to drive them away!). The idea that you'll make more money by trusting people to be honest, or giving the software away and asking for donations, is wrong IME.

Cheers,
David.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
skamp
post Jul 5 2012, 10:18
Post #6





Group: Developer
Posts: 1454
Joined: 4-May 04
From: France
Member No.: 13875



QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 5 2012, 11:07) *
raising the bar to make piracy harder means more paying customers


Not really. Raising the bar means maybe more time before your software gets hacked. All it takes is one guy to hack your software, for everyone else to be able to pirate it. Blu-ray raised the bar, but I'm pretty sure it gets pirated now just as much as DVD-Video did.


--------------------
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
2Bdecided
post Jul 5 2012, 11:36
Post #7


ReplayGain developer


Group: Developer
Posts: 5364
Joined: 5-November 01
From: Yorkshire, UK
Member No.: 409



QUOTE (skamp @ Jul 5 2012, 10:18) *
QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 5 2012, 11:07) *
raising the bar to make piracy harder means more paying customers


Not really. Raising the bar means maybe more time before your software gets hacked.
So anyone who wants to use it during that time has to buy it - so that's more paying customers - result!
QUOTE
All it takes is one guy to hack your software, for everyone else to be able to pirate it.
True. Though it's rarely so black-and-white in practice. Is the pirate version safe to acquire and/or use? Is it the latest version compatible with my HW/OS? Is there functionality missing? Is it buggy? Is there wanted functionality that requires communication with the original software author's website?

Anyway, all it takes is one guy to break the lock on my house and all my possessions are gone. But I still have a lock on my house.

QUOTE
Blu-ray raised the bar, but I'm pretty sure it gets pirated now just as much as DVD-Video did.
Probably. But the protection did its job for some time, and this is protection that's linked to a format and specific hardware. cat-and-mouse is harder to play with hardware (though BluRay tries to offer various features to do this). You've got far greater flexibility when protecting software.


People assume everything will get hacked. Maybe. But some things are superseded before they're hacked, which is more than good enough.

Cheers,
David.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
LithosZA
post Jul 5 2012, 14:00
Post #8





Group: Members
Posts: 202
Joined: 26-February 11
Member No.: 88525



Another (unrelated to audio) example is Diablo 3. When you play the single player game most of the actions only happen on the server.
If Blizzard does not exist anymore in the far future then Diablo 3 will not be playable anymore. Cracks wont help and only server emulators would make the game playable.
The only way to make the game playable again would be to release the server software to the people who bought the game. I doubt that Blizzard would do this.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
cliveb
post Jul 5 2012, 14:51
Post #9


WaveRepair developer


Group: Developer
Posts: 855
Joined: 28-July 04
Member No.: 15845



QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 5 2012, 10:07) *
If my livelihood rested on income from software I had written, I'd want to protect it in every way possible. Of course everything of value will get hacked, and it's a constant game of cat and mouse - but raising the bar to make piracy harder means more paying customers (as long as you're not doing it in a way to drive them away!). The idea that you'll make more money by trusting people to be honest, or giving the software away and asking for donations, is wrong IME.

My livelihood doesn't (and never has) relied on the software I sell (it's strictly a side-project) so perhaps my take on this is not representative.

I started out assuming that unless I protected my software I'd make no sales at all. And so it does require an unlock key. But it wasn't long before 100% accurate pirate key generators started appearing. I considered changing the keygen algorithm, but I reasoned that the new algorithm would get cracked pretty quickly anyway. So I decided it wasn't worth the bother. If anyone wants to unlock my software without paying, they can do it easily.

But here's the point: unless my memory is failing me, the peak rate of sales came after all those pirate key generators appeared. So the premise that the existence of hacked versions will decrease income seems false in my own case. Perhaps I'm lucky and the typical user for the type of software I was offering is just honest. Or perhaps it was cheap enough that people felt happy to pay.

As a result of this, I did consider converting it to genuine shareware - where the program doesn't need unlocking and users are free to send a donation if they wish. Apart from anything else, it would free me from the task of maintaining a key generation system that has to be integrated with PayPal and ShareIt. Quite frankly the only reason I did not do this was that it would be a betrayal of the existing users who had already paid. (I know if I bought some software only to find a short while later that payment was optional, I might feel a bit miffed).
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
uart
post Jul 5 2012, 15:57
Post #10





Group: Members
Posts: 810
Joined: 23-November 04
Member No.: 18295



QUOTE (cliveb @ Jul 5 2012, 06:51) *
But here's the point: unless my memory is failing me, the peak rate of sales came after all those pirate key generators appeared. So the premise that the existence of hacked versions will decrease income seems false in my own case. Perhaps I'm lucky and the typical user for the type of software I was offering is just honest. Or perhaps it was cheap enough that people felt happy to pay.

That certainly is surprising to me Clive. Perhaps the appearance of keygens resulted your software getting lots of "hits" on warez sites/search_engines, and thus getting a much wider audience. Maybe it was just a relatively small percent, but of a much larger group, that resulted in your increased sales? I guess it could be some percent (perhaps small) of the "warez crowd" that really are happy to pay, but only after they're used the software and decided that it genuinely was useful to them.

This post has been edited by uart: Jul 5 2012, 16:00
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
DonP
post Jul 5 2012, 17:00
Post #11





Group: Members (Donating)
Posts: 1477
Joined: 11-February 03
From: Vermont
Member No.: 4955



QUOTE (skamp @ Jul 5 2012, 05:18) *
Not really. Raising the bar means maybe more time before your software gets hacked. All it takes is one guy to hack your software, for everyone else to be able to pirate it. Blu-ray raised the bar, but I'm pretty sure it gets pirated now just as much as DVD-Video did.


At this point, I'd say "not yet," if only because most computers still don't come with blue ray drives. For that matter, most people I know still don't have high def TV's but get the old standard signal from their cable or sat company.


Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
dhromed
post Jul 5 2012, 17:22
Post #12





Group: Members
Posts: 1339
Joined: 16-February 08
From: NL
Member No.: 51347



QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 5 2012, 11:07) *
raising the bar to make piracy harder means more paying customers (as long as you're not doing it in a way to drive them away!). The idea that you'll make more money by trusting people to be honest, or giving the software away and asking for donations, is wrong IME.


You don't make more money by raising the bar for piracy.

You make money by lowering the bar to buying.

eg. iTunes, Steam, Bandcamp, Humble Bundle.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
2Bdecided
post Jul 5 2012, 17:38
Post #13


ReplayGain developer


Group: Developer
Posts: 5364
Joined: 5-November 01
From: Yorkshire, UK
Member No.: 409



QUOTE (dhromed @ Jul 5 2012, 17:22) *
You make money by lowering the bar to buying.
I've rarely found paying for software on-line to be a challenge. (Except some of it costs more than I want to pay, and sometimes more than I can pay).


I think software authors should be free to use activation etc if they wish. But some form of protection for consumers could be put in place, to avoid the bad situations described in this thread. That's quite a realistic aim IMO. Wishing all forms of restriction away is not (again, IMO).

Cheers,
David.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Jul 5 2012, 17:39
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Ethan Winer
post Jul 5 2012, 19:32
Post #14





Group: Members
Posts: 248
Joined: 12-May 09
From: New Milford, CT
Member No.: 69730



QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 5 2012, 05:07) *
the failure is that the company should put the software (or at least the activation procedure) into Escrow or similar, so that in the event of the company's demise, a third party can pick it up and maintain the service, or users can access it directly and freely.

Yes!

--Ethan


--------------------
I believe in Truth, Justice, and the Scientific Method
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
AshenTech
post Oct 19 2012, 17:50
Post #15





Group: Members
Posts: 79
Joined: 11-November 08
Member No.: 62144



2Bdecided: drm and activation do not lead to more sales, they actually have been shown to drive people to other products and warez.

"pirates" have in many studies been shown to buy more music, videos and software then those who claim to no use p2p.

I know a good number of small app developers who gained alot of sales after their stuff showed up on warez/p2p sites, one of them went postal when he saw his app on tpb, tried to get it taken down, threatened them, even tried to get a lawyer to sue them(not kidding) the really funny part......about 2 months later he realised sales for his app had jumped over 500% and he was getting donations on some little freeware tools he had......he contacted some of the people and they admitted they found the app on p2p and liked it so they bought it....

funny enough, hes decided next major update he will go the true shareware rout and possibly just offer donation option and pay plugins/addons for stuff people request.

i mention this because many apps are heavily shared on p2p but still make a good amount of money for their creators.

adobe try and stop copyright infringement of their products by various means, but they never look at why home users and students would "pirate" it rather then buy.......PRICE....i can tell you, most students i know cant afford to buy adobes full creative suit.....but they need it for class, and the student versions, funny enough at times are missing features the classes require..(wtf)

I can understand the high price for commercial use, but for personal use......nobody i know is gonna fork out that kinda money....(and dont get me started on how gimp really isnt a direct alternative to ps.....gimps good for some stuff but its not ps....)

bah, my point is, DRM and Activation do not help sales, they help companies selling DRM and Activation solutions.....I once worked for a game devlopment company in what would now be called the IT dept......they had reps from DRM companies in and out of there trying to sell them drm schemes at least 2x a week.....

the thing was the tech support dept didnt want to use drm again because it lead to a massive number of support requests for various reasons.....like secrom thinking windvd is "Drive emulation software"

the developers didnt want drm because it lead to bugs they had to fix.

management only bought into drm because of the false claims by drm companies that it would stop or slow "piracy".......and even when that turned out to not be true, they kept going.....because the reps insisted it was working and...why would they lie....

in the end, drm sucks, it just pisses off your customers/potential customers.....I have no problem with online games needing accounts to go online, or apps that use the net needing you to create an acct for their online functions to work.....but i shouldnt have to rely on a company staying in business to activate my software and i shouldnt have to crack software i paid for.

some examples of games I own but had to crack due to drm related issues.

Spore
Bioshock
call of juarez


i could list others, but, i own many games that due to drm issues(like drm servers being offline or activation limits) I have ended up cracking......

I shouldnt have to do that......and its a big part of why me, myself, wont buy some companies products.....

Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 23rd December 2014 - 05:44