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312 posts since 30 Apr, 2006, from lancaster, pa

Postby random_id; Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:09 am Cracked

So, I released my first plugin for sale on Tuesday. After I saw a ton of traffic on my website from weird places, I realized that I had been cracked. My plugin uses a pretty simple keygen file that unlocks some additional features on the same plugin DLL.

The price is low ($11.76), and as of today I have only sold one copy. Between the one sale and my beta test group, I only have 3 keygen files in existence.

My question is, is it worth any sort of effort on my part to do anything about it? I knew this was going to happen, and I knew that whatever protection I use would be cracked eventually. I have tried to read every thread on KVR related to copy protection and the answer seems to be that it will inevitably be cracked, or someone will post their key file, or someone will post the unlocked DLL, etc.

My gut reaction is to just let it be. Hopefully, some of the people that use the cracked plugin will make some YouTube videos, etc. and drive some more people to my site. What does everyone else do?

3020 posts since 10 Sep, 2003, from Karlskoga, Stockholm, Sweden

Postby Crackbaby; Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:18 am

Oh man :(
I advice everyone to take a look at this plugin (clipshifter 2) .. it's pretty amazing :)

Is it the demo version that's been cracked? Because i know i haven't cracked it/shared license, and i don't think Dean has either. Could it be that 1 customer?
It takes a while to spread the word of new plugins so that's probably why you haven't sold more. Or maybe they're enjoying the free version for now.

I know you put a lot of hard work and creativity into this plugin so im really sorry to hear this :(
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776 posts since 3 Nov, 2006, from Poland

Postby PALU; Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:33 am

Oh... It's sad... Maybe the translation of the polish review will cheer you up.

It goes like this :)

Clip Shifter is a creative signal clipper. It's creative - meaning that you can set the minimum and maximum threshold levels and the shape of the clipping - from rounded to hard clipped. There are more differences from other clippers - Clip Shifter has an adjustable attack time, automated release time, adjustable harmonic content and antialias filtering with 3 different options. The way it works changes dynamically according to the shape and level of incoming audio signal - it's based on transient analysis. Really interesting and worth checking.
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560 posts since 6 Nov, 2011, from The Netherlands

Postby solidtrax; Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:41 am

How sad is that. I don't understand why people chose to use cracked software, but when we are talking about a plugin that is so extremely cheap, it makes me even more confused. Don't they understand that buying plugins help the developer to continue development, provide bug fixes if needed, make more amazing plugins, support future platforms, etc.. And let's not forget, a developer also deserves to earn money to buy food, clothes, a place to live and maybe have some fun time too, if that is not to much to ask for?

Cracks destroy developers.. it's a shame!
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312 posts since 30 Apr, 2006, from lancaster, pa

Postby random_id; Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:45 am

Crackbaby wrote:Is it the demo version that's been cracked? Because i know i haven't cracked it/shared license, and i don't think Dean has either. Could it be that 1 customer?

No, I certainly don't think it was you guys or the person who bought it. The cracked version doesn't need a key file, so I don't think it has anything to do with a shared key file. My knowledge of cracking is limited, but I believe people can look through the code and find places that lock/unlock functionality.

I guess I am just sharing my frustration and using this thread as my therapist (I say as a former Psychologist). I knew it would be cracked. I also believe that whatever kind of copy protection I used would be cracked, or someone would post their key file, etc. I also think that cracking must be fun, and the people that do it must feel good after they crack something...and finally, I think that the people that download and collect cracked software are probably not going to pay for it anyhow.

Oh well, thanks for letting me vent. I guess I should be proud knowing that someone took the time to crack my stuff. Maybe it is flattery?
519 posts since 18 Jul, 2007, from Netherlands

Postby obiwanjacobi; Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:18 am

I think 'being cracked' is the biggest compliment you can get. Someone found your plugin worth the effort of cracking.

Don't panic, just relax.
Work on your next version and up the security a bit.
Also work on your web site, it looks like someone just downloaded a non-signed version of it?

Grtx, Marc Jacobi.
180 posts since 6 Aug, 2009, from UK

Postby cytone; Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:39 am

Having got into app development over the last year I have now experienced the amount of time, hard work and sleepless nights producing something. To crack software I would think you need a reasonable proficiency in programming so they must at least understand the amount of work that goes into these products and have to be morally bankrupt to deprive the owner the rewards of their hard work.
Sorry to hear your situation.
827 posts since 9 Aug, 2004, from Berlin

Postby Mokafix; Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:10 am

Hi, sorry to hear your situation.
This is typical unfortunately.
I personally gave up on doing my plugins and do not plan to get back to it, mainly because of piracy.

Some bits of advices that come up to my mind :
- freaking out once it happens will not do you any good; I cannot imagine you relaxing about it, but try to let it pass.
- trying to find where and who it leaked from will drive you nuts and put you in a bad vibe mode. Probably better avoid it.

In the end of the day, communication is probably the best and most positive tool to "lower" the harm for next release. Easier for huge companies than for smaller companies.
But having a positive, honest, informative, helpful presence online, be it on your website, blog, forums, social networks, etc. can probably help a lot.
763 posts since 23 Jun, 2002, from Huddersfield, UK

Postby hibrasil; Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:12 am

I've been annoyed by this too, my plug-in was cracked almost immediately. I think one thing that can delay them and maybe, if you're lucky, stop them noticing you, is to not release the demo version straight away, and don't build the demo version with the potential to have all the capabilities of the full version available if it is patched.
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339 posts since 17 Sep, 2007, from Planet Thanet

Postby resynthesis; Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:17 am

Depending on the protection method, cracking can be pretty easy. In a simple case it may just be a matter of looking for jump instructions followed by bypassing the jump that sets up the protection. Obviously this could be carried out in a matter of minutes rather than hours, unfortunately.
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2498 posts since 1 Dec, 2004, from Sydney, Australia

Postby dalor; Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:22 am

Been there many years ago for much cheaper products, still got cracked and spread all over the web. I know how you must feel, sorry hear that. It's never a bad idea to have a plan B option if the development career fails (just in case), to keep yourself safe and your mind at peace.
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312 posts since 30 Apr, 2006, from lancaster, pa

Postby random_id; Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:45 am

Thankfully, I am not overly discouraged enough to consider stopping. I have had a blast learning how to program and make my first plugin. I also have many ideas for future plugs, so I'll keep going.
I think I will just let everything go and not worry too much. My main goal with sales was to accrue enough money to get a used Mac so I can compile OSX versions (I also saved up some other money, so I am not disillusioned by the prospect of getting hundreds of dollars from the sale of my plugin).

I appreciate everyone's' support. Maybe my next plugin should have two separate builds (i.e. free and paid), but isn't is just a matter of time before someone leaks the paid version?
1056 posts since 11 Aug, 2004, from Marcoussis, France

Postby Ivan_C; Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:51 am

Have a look to this thread (I like a lot Urs' messages about his protection scheme)

Last edited by Ivan_C on Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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7222 posts since 20 Nov, 2003, from Lost and Spaced

Postby osiris; Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:51 am

Is this a SM creation? If so, did you use their copy protection? If possible, I'd use a 3rd party one next time.
Sorry to hear about this. It's ridiculous someone would crack an $11 plugin.
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3511 posts since 17 Jul, 2002

Postby discoDSP; Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:53 am

I feel your frustration :(

Cracking always happen, no matter how cheap your products is.

Bypassing any copy protection will happen too.
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