Protect, sign my code etc.

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.
MiniM
KVRer
1 posts since 8 Nov, 2018

Post Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:01 pm

I made some plugs in C++, I think humbly original in certain features.
My problem is that I want to publish them for Mac and PC, but although I do not plan to charge for them, I would not want anyone to steal my work.
(I read some troubling things somewhere.)
I understand that it is difficult to obtain something by decompiling a binary and take some precaution obfuscating etc, but I would like to sign them in some way.

Any advice?

Is this possible and free?

davidguda
KVRian
505 posts since 28 Feb, 2011 from Sweden

Re: Protect, sign my code etc.

Post Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:47 pm

Not sure how signing it would help. You could perhaps stop them from being run with a debugger though. I know for example softube is doing that with their stuff but I don't know how it's done.
David Guda gudaaudio.com

User avatar
BertKoor
KVRAF
10719 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Protect, sign my code etc.

Post Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:54 pm

Regarding theft of intellectual property: it's far easier to steal the basic idea. Implementations are trivial compared to designing behaviour. And behaviour of software can be studied.

As long as you have not created something alike dynamic nonlinear convolution, imho it's not very likely it creates much interest in pirate-minded colleagues.

I'n a firm believer in open source software. Worst that can happen is someone else is better able to monetize it than me. Well, tough luck for me then and power to them.

Code signing afaik only helps your users to have more certainty about who is the manufacturer and the binaries haven't been tampered with.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

User avatar
vortico
KVRist
189 posts since 19 Jul, 2008

Re: Protect, sign my code etc.

Post Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:01 pm

Signing has nothing to do with anti-piracy. If someone wants to change some machine instructions, they can simply remove the signature, and it would still run on their computer, although it wouldn't say "Signed by MiniM".

What you're probably looking for is program code encryption.

But I'm unclear of what you're asking. You want to produce freeware, but you're concerned about people stealing your work. This would imply that the "people" you're concerned about aren't your users but other developers. Are you concerned that someone will repackage and resell your software? Or that someone will decompile your code and use the algorithms in their own software? In either case, I believe that legal measures are more effective and air-tight than technical measures.
VCV Rack open-source virtual modular synthesizer

User avatar
Vokbuz
KVRer
22 posts since 24 Aug, 2014

Re: Protect, sign my code etc.

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:28 am

You can try to protect the code from reverse engineering (without any result guaranteed) but not the general idea. If there is something really unique the only way to protect it from stealing or copying is to get a patent (or other legal form of ownership) on these features.
Last edited by Vokbuz on Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
BertKoor
KVRAF
10719 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Protect, sign my code etc.

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:29 am

BertKoor wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:54 pm
I'n a firm believer in open source software. Worst that can happen is someone else is better able to monetize it than me. Well, tough luck for me then and power to them.
Here's a nice license to consider: https://dbad-license.org

I look at it this way: as said, worse that can happen is someone else makes more money with it than me. So they gain. But does that also mean I really lost something? Have I endured damage, lost sales? If their marketing is better than mine, then it's my marketing skills than I need to work on.
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

User avatar
vortico
KVRist
189 posts since 19 Jul, 2008

Re: Protect, sign my code etc.

Post Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:21 pm

BertKoor wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:29 am
Here's a nice license to consider: https://dbad-license.org
It goes without saying, but that is not a valid license. It's legally equivalent to omitting a license file entirely.
VCV Rack open-source virtual modular synthesizer

User avatar
BertKoor
KVRAF
10719 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Protect, sign my code etc.

Post Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:44 am

Who cares about legal? As if I ever could find out about breaches and bring them to court. The power of the spell it casts to subjects morality is very strong. So if nothing can be enforced, why state it in the first place?
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

User avatar
vortico
KVRist
189 posts since 19 Jul, 2008

Re: Protect, sign my code etc.

Post Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:34 am

Legality is the entire point of open-source software. Collaboration, review, derivatives, and all of open-source's benefits only come after users can be assured that the software's creator cannot sue them. Software without a valid open-source license is called closed-source. It's totally okay to release software like that, but don't be misled that you are releasing open-source software. Luckily, there are foundations that can certify whether a license is valid and open-source, like https://opensource.org/.

Apologies for getting sidetracked. This is not the topic of this thread.
VCV Rack open-source virtual modular synthesizer

Return to “DSP and Plug-in Development”