[Haskell-cafe] Software Deployment and Distribution - WAS Re: CUFP mailing list

MightyByte mightybyte at gmail.com
Mon Mar 22 18:45:10 EDT 2010

Fundamentally, Software Copy Protection (as well as DRM) is an
unsolvable problem.  It's basically like saying that you want to give
someone something and not give it to them at the same time.  With
physical products there are physical properties that you can use to
accomplish some aspects of this.  But with information products and
the possibility of essentially zero-cost copying you don't have these
physical constraints to help you.

Copy Protection (CP) and DRM advocates have tried to use cryptography
to solve this problem.  The idea being that cryptography lets you hide
information from people, so it should be able to help with this
problem.  Encryption allows Alice and Bob to communicate secretly
without Eve, Mallet, etc from being able to read their communication.
This is all predicated on the idea that Alice and Bob trust each
other.  (I'm only going to reveal my secrets to you if I trust that
you're not going to publish them for others to read.)  The problem
that CP (Alice) is up against is that Bob and Eve are the same person!

If you can't trust the person to whom you're sending something, then
the only secure solution is not to send it to them.  This can be done
by delivering software that simply doesn't have certain capabilities.
You typically can't just disable the capabilities in your software.
You have to ensure that the code implementing those capabilities is
not present.

Software as a service is another solution to this problem.

On Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 6:09 PM, Erik de Castro Lopo
<mle+hs at mega-nerd.com> wrote:
> Günther Schmidt wrote:
>> I've written a commercial Desktop application in Haskell for the Win32
>> platform.
>> The one thing missing is Software Copy Protection, ie. a software
>> licensing mechanism. When I google for "Software Copy Protection" I get
>> a lot of results, commercial products themselves, which is fine, but I
>> can't tell which ones are any good or worth their money.
>> I've never seriously done C#, VB or whatever people mainly write Win32
>> apps in, so I don't know any mailing lista or forums where I could ask
>> this question. This list has pretty much been the only list I used for
>> more than 2 years now.
>> I've never seen a similar issued raised here before so I thought the
>> CUFP mailing list is a better place for this.
>> Can anybody here recommend a good software for this then? I do not want
>> to code it myself and would prefer a ready to use solution, it it's not
>> free that fine too.
> Well that certainly is an unusual question.
> There are large companies like Apple, the RIAA and the MPAA who have put
> large amounts of time, money and effort into copy protection schemes only
> to have them broken, sometimes in as little as a day or two.
> In addition, by the time you have a copy control mechanism that is
> partially effective your users may find the experience so painful that
> using cracked copies is easier. There is a common theme here:
>    http://i.imgur.com/GxzeV.jpg
>    http://www.bradcolbow.com/archive.php/?p=205
>    http://xkcd.com/488/
> Erik
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Erik de Castro Lopo
> http://www.mega-nerd.com/
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