I developped softwares for a thinny market and I know all the energy and the pain it require for gaining a couple of dollars.
May a suggest a way to increase the sample and software sales and limit the problem of piracy.
First of all, as already mentioned, crackers will always find a manner to bypass technologic inventions that aim to protect software. The most sophisticated tool improving copy protection will lead on more challenging to break up the padlock. It is a never ending story because the last word always belongs to the hacker.
But the issue could disappear if we introduce the notion of humanware in the debate.
Two parts are concerned in the problem of piracy, developper and hacker. But there is a third part which could help the developper to limit the spread of illegal copies. We talk about the music composer which, if we agree, has the ultimate goal of be listened by the most people as possible.
Once upon a time,
Imagine a freeware (for instance WaterMark Reader), reading Mp3, wav files, etc... and telling a fan that the 10 seconds score\'s extract he loves has been composed with GOS and QL brass. An better, WM Reader also tell him that GigaStudio and Sonar has been used in the making of the score.
But the fan wants to know who is the great composer of this score. Fortunatly WM Reader has the URL address inscribed for each WaterMark\'s product and thus, links the fan to the Web site of, let say, GigaStudio. Great deal, WM Reader is also a free advertisement for GigaStudio and increases the traffic on his Web Site.
At this point one of the three situations will arise :
The GigaStudio Database got the registered number sent by WM Reader and found the name of John Doe. Great deal, John gave is Web Site and Email addresses when he registered is copy and the fan is linked to his Web Site. Lucky man, WM Reader sent also the Web Site address and oddly the two Web Sites addresses name does not match. John is automatically awared by an Email.
The Database did not find the registered number. Lucky man, WM Reader sent also the title of the score to the Database and the technicians will soon deploy the armada to find who\'s the poor guy forgot to register his copy. Finally the John Doe\'s Web Site (containing the John\'s Email address) is found. John is reminded to register his copy and also to leave his Web Site and Email adresses for free advertisement.
The Database found the name of Jim Blow upon this registered number. Oddly, James composed 62 scores since the last three months! The Database contains those 62 titles and Web Site addresses. Soon, the technicians will deploy the armada to find who are those bad guys using illegal copies. Finally they discovered 35 composers. They offered to bad guys to register a valid copy of GigaStudio. Lucky men, they can leave their Web Site and Email addresses. When registrated the Database will point the title of their score to the valid registered number and they will have free advertisement.
I call all of this humanware because two parts, developper and composer, get a positive reinforcement in acting for the interest of the
other part. The other part hacker will now be replaced by the fan part who has decided to compose music since he knows wich software
and samples are involved in the making of a score. And finally, the day that sales increases, many new developpers will offer new products and the competition will lower prices.
About the WM Reader, with an established protocol on how the watermarks should be formatted, the humanware thing should work.
I hope to have translated my thought enough clearly.