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soundmodel
KVRian
 
641 posts since 28 May, 2010, from Finland

Postby soundmodel; Wed May 23, 2018 12:36 am Community effort to replace iLok?

So just an idea that I got today, when I yet again realized that I hate that technological companies can have power over people in such way that they can profit from it.

I don't think Pace/iLok for example has any technical reason for asking those transfer fees. Rather I think they ask them purely out of greed.

So that made me think that would some people perhaps be interested in designing and conceiving a community-led alternative copy protection to iLok? Like a GNU iLok? That's ideally costless, or if it costs (e.g. server costs), then it'd figure out a more ethical way to cover those costs. Primarily, the initiative ought not to look to profit in such unethical manner like transfer fees, but still offer copy protection to developers.

---

Ideally of course one'd not need copy protection at all, but judging by the amount of companies and products that go the iLok path, then I think many developers want to use copy protection of some kind. So that's why a project of offering a pro-community alternative would be better than expecting devs to go without copy protection at all.
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Touch The Universe
KVRAF
 
3223 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Postby Touch The Universe; Wed May 23, 2018 12:46 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

I should probably stay out of discussions like these, but just want to chime in here about pace's character - the same company who do not waive ilok transfer fees, year after year, in part of the charity auction! All the other devs are donating entirely free, yet pace begrudges maybe a dozen or so transfer fees of 25 each, in plain site of public. All the other companies waive the fees, give free licenses, but them pace still steps in demanding 25 dollars per transfer. They don't seem to care if its bad publicity! On character, this is important information. I refuse supporting them, an alternative would be nice, at this point, it's partly also on the developers themselves choosing such a rotten selfish system to begin with in the vain pursuit of curbing piracy (it doesn't work - it's a sad ironic story), but alas, no other options.
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Miles1981
KVRian
 
1334 posts since 26 Apr, 2004, from UK

Postby Miles1981; Wed May 23, 2018 1:59 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

They also have a monopoly because of ProTools, don't they?
soundmodel
KVRian
 
641 posts since 28 May, 2010, from Finland

Postby soundmodel; Wed May 23, 2018 2:09 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

Miles1981 wrote:They also have a monopoly because of ProTools, don't they?


But Pro Tools is also its own closed platform, which some people boycott separate of iLok.

But I wonder if e.g. Reaper was inspired by the "closedness" and unethical money making practices of Pro Tools?
soundmodel
KVRian
 
641 posts since 28 May, 2010, from Finland

Postby soundmodel; Wed May 23, 2018 2:19 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

Anyways, for anyone interested. I could perhaps setup a Bitbucket or something for researching this topic.

Please PM me if you're interested in joining.

It doesn't have to be a complicated project. Just something that works.

---

https://bitbucket.org/communityilok/

(it will obviously not be public, once the team is fixed, since the nature of crypto apps requires some secrecy)
Last edited by soundmodel on Wed May 23, 2018 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
soundmodel
KVRian
 
641 posts since 28 May, 2010, from Finland

Postby soundmodel; Wed May 23, 2018 2:38 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

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alexpander
KVRist
 
50 posts since 8 May, 2018

Postby alexpander; Wed May 23, 2018 2:57 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

soundmodel wrote:So just an idea that I got today, when I yet again realized that I hate that technological companies can have power over people in such way that they can profit from it.

I don't think Pace/iLok for example has any technical reason for asking those transfer fees. Rather I think they ask them purely out of greed.

So that made me think that would some people perhaps be interested in designing and conceiving a community-led alternative copy protection to iLok? Like a GNU iLok? That's ideally costless, or if it costs (e.g. server costs), then it'd figure out a more ethical way to cover those costs. Primarily, the initiative ought not to look to profit in such unethical manner like transfer fees, but still offer copy protection to developers.

---

Ideally of course one'd not need copy protection at all, but judging by the amount of companies and products that go the iLok path, then I think many developers want to use copy protection of some kind. So that's why a project of offering a pro-community alternative would be better than expecting devs to go without copy protection at all.


It's as blue-eyed and naive as suggesting that nobody just uses pirated copies anymore. Case solved.
I believe that iLok has survived exactly for the monetary reason. Nobody has power over you. Just don't buy if something doesn't suit you. This is the easiest way to show a company what's going on.

Ethics and costs, that's where delusion begins. Millennial much?
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pekbro
KVRAF
 
1797 posts since 29 Sep, 2010, from Maui

Postby pekbro; Wed May 23, 2018 3:08 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

I think it pretty unrealistic to believe you could possibly understand a developers
rational for choosing iLok sufficiently to provide an attractive and viable alternative
for them. There are already plenty of alternatives, yet many continue to choose
PACE. I suspect if you were to actually come up with a system that meets all their
requirements, it would be practically identical to PACE anyway, just without all
the evil and fees. E.g. not a particularly viable business model without some
deep pockets to sustain it.
soundmodel
KVRian
 
641 posts since 28 May, 2010, from Finland

Postby soundmodel; Wed May 23, 2018 3:11 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

pekbro wrote:I think it pretty unrealistic to believe you could possibly understand a developers
rational for choosing iLok sufficiently to provide an attractive and viable alternative
for them. There are already plenty of alternatives, yet many continue to choose
PACE. I suspect if you were to actually come up with a system that meets all their
requirements, it would be practically identical to PACE anyway, just without all
the evil and fees. E.g. not a particularly viable business model without some
deep pockets to sustain it.


But I framed the problem to counter the fees. So that's the goal.

Something that I can quickly think:

-running the system is low-cost enough to be paid by the managers themselves
-one could ask developers to pay some initial fee per product that they want to get listed, which would only be used to cover server costs. That is, the license management "company" doesn't do profit.

I still think having a "non-profit" manage such system would be fairer.

Also, since iLok isn't "bullet proof", then I don't understand why it'd be difficult to develop an alternative. As written in the stackexchange post, all protection methods have some drawbacks. So using them is about compromises.
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ATN69
KVRAF
 
1730 posts since 5 Oct, 2015, from Swedish / Living in Hong Kong

Postby ATN69; Wed May 23, 2018 4:42 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

As far as I understand every developer choose what ever copy protection they want to use and there are so many customers out there that doesn't use iLok. Somehow it must work for those developers who doesn't use iLok so I don't see why iLok would be the most attractive option since many users are allergic to iLok. I don't work as a developer so I don't know all details but I can't believe iLok is free for the developer either.

Pure logic thinking also makes me believe that companies like Pace/iLok can even be trouble for the developers because if Pace/iLok make any changes to their software all developers using iLok would potentially have to rework and update their products as well.

I don't go out on internet actively looking for cracked software but I can't remember seeing any cracked U-he synth, just as an example. Maybe I am wrong on this point.
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Chaotikmind
KVRist
 
63 posts since 26 Sep, 2005, from France

Postby Chaotikmind; Wed May 23, 2018 4:45 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

soundmodel wrote:Also, since iLok isn't "bullet proof", then I don't understand why it'd be difficult to develop an alternative. As written in the stackexchange post, all protection methods have some drawbacks. So using them is about compromises.


There is nothing difficult if you can devote enough time to do it, but is it worth it at the end?

Considering ilok probably has quite an elaborate software protection layer, i'm in real doubt you can mimic that without spending some really high amount of time (or end up with something that will be cracked in 10 minutes, to your liking).
soundmodel
KVRian
 
641 posts since 28 May, 2010, from Finland

Postby soundmodel; Wed May 23, 2018 5:04 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

This project ought to obviously start from gauging how viable or worthwhile it is. Before commiting to developing it. That is, is it worthwhile to attempt to "free" people that use audio plug-ins from companies who slightly exploit them.

I found that perhaps it could utilize:

https://www.gnupg.org

So then it seems to me that the only thing required is to set up some sort of database server and the code for handling queries.
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alexpander
KVRist
 
50 posts since 8 May, 2018

Postby alexpander; Wed May 23, 2018 5:36 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

What are your thoughts on companies which don't use iLok but also charge transfer fees for example:
U-He, FXpansion, Plugin Alliance, Melda, VSL, Tone 2, Sonnox (additional to the iLok fee), Sonic Charge, Vengeance, Waves, …
How "unethical" are companies that forbid reselling licenses?
soundmodel
KVRian
 
641 posts since 28 May, 2010, from Finland

Postby soundmodel; Wed May 23, 2018 6:00 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

alexpander wrote:What are your thoughts on companies which don't use iLok but also charge transfer fees for example:
U-He, FXpansion, Plugin Alliance, Melda, VSL, Tone 2, Sonnox (additional to the iLok fee), Sonic Charge, Vengeance, Waves, …
How "unethical" are companies that forbid reselling licenses?


Compared to non-immaterial companies, for a software company to ask fees for "an action that barely requires any effort" it's as comical as having to pay for a glass of water in a bar (even when using the tap isn't that complicated and every bar has a tap).

It could be that they're just profiting from people's inadequecy with technology. Since the non-technical laymen have no options than obey.
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alexpander
KVRist
 
50 posts since 8 May, 2018

Postby alexpander; Wed May 23, 2018 6:19 am Re: Community effort to replace iLok?

I think you miss that one of the main reasons for a transfer fee is also the fact that you lose a potential new customer. In addition, you have to pay employees who provide support for the new owner. Simply put: one sold, two or even three times the support effort. The administrative burden of managing and protecting customer data can also mean high administrative costs, depending on how many hundreds or thousands of licenses are in circulation.
This all isn’t going away by itself, but usually has to be checked manually. And there are costs again.
Would you take over this management for a company free of charge?
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