More copy protection...

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.
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Zaphod (giancarlo)
KVRAF
2464 posts since 23 Jun, 2006

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:33 am

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BlitBit
KVRist
277 posts since 28 Nov, 2013 from Germany

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:34 am

Vertion wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:01 am
whyterabbyt wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:52 am
Vertion wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:21 am
whyterabbyt wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:14 am
Vertion wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:18 pm
I aaked my husband regarding your question, and he wrote this to me:
it used to be him that posted with this account, right? he's the 'infinite file compression' guy?
This is my account, not his.
So he was posting under your account about infinite file compression?
No. I posted it. I often share his ideas on my account. He has studied data compression specifically the pigeon hole principle. I believed it was worth sharing on KVR as I found it very interesting.
Please tell me that the reference to the pigeon hole principle means that your husband (or you) has now an understanding why infinite data compression is not possible.

If not then please be aware that the size of the decompression algorithm also needs to be taken into account when talking about the efficiency of a compression algorithm. If that wasn't the case you could give me a file and I would provide you a "decompressor" that will produce that file from no input (infinite compression) because it would simply spit out the data of the file which was included in the executable during compilation.

frizzbee
KVRist
246 posts since 11 Jan, 2015

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:00 am

sure infinite data compression is possible. but it's not practicable in a useful context. that's a difference.

Vertion
KVRian
616 posts since 29 Oct, 2016

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:45 pm

frizzbee wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:00 am
sure infinite data compression is possible. but it's not practicable in a useful context. that's a difference.
Correct. Even though there is a way to circumvent the pigeonhole principle it is wildly impractical to utilize.
:) SLH :)

User avatar
Urs
u-he
23930 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:02 am

Zaphod (giancarlo) wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:56 am
No no, you are getting me wrong here
Fair enough; sorry if I was very direct.

I just don't like the narrative. After all, it took four or five teams to wade through our binaries until - after 10 years of identical code - one team stumbled upon a way to swap a single byte to circumvent our protection. Needless to say, using a binary compare, a symbol table and a glance at the source, it took me a coffee break or two to deploy a counter attack. And still, all recent cracks swap the same byte, again and again, without them running the most simple tests to see if it still works. I think they accidentally went lucky, and now it's over until they stumble upon something else.

I have to be fair though. All teams prior to this one were riddled with vanity. Exactly like you say, they needed to be first and they sought admiration. All our copy protection ever had to do was check what they fill in for "demo mode". So they filled in "ASSIGN11" or "Team Air" or "R | 2 | R". All I ever needed to do was check that string. They never found out where and how I do it, and that was the easiest way to defeat them.

ENV1
KVRAF
2554 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:31 am

But Urs, and dont get me wrong now, your plugins dont even HAVE to be cracked because anyone who wants to share them can simply buy a key from you.

(In other words why bother messing with the binaries if the developer himself (i.e. you) is more than willing to hand over a flawless solution on a silver platter in exchange for a couple of bucks?)

Im sure some are doing it just for the sport, and those are most likely the guys that you see out in the open. (I.e. the hackers and crackers stuff.) But im sure the real 'smart' ones will just pool their resources in order to get licenses to the plugins they want and then share them among each other quietly because it obviously isnt in their interest to let the whole world know about it. This means youll never even know when each member of a group of 10 buys 1 plugin each and then shares it with the other 9 because obviously they wont tell you. Consequently you will have no reason to blacklist any of these keys either because as far as you are aware there is nothing illegitimate going on. Thus your 'copy protection' will be utterly defeated, and all it cost them was the price for a plugin. And you wont even know about it.

Vertion
KVRian
616 posts since 29 Oct, 2016

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:48 am

Everyone here knows Urs is extremely intelligent. He is one of the top leaders in this market and people love his products. He brings the quality and value to the market and is very generous. Obviously he is aware that there are going to be freeloaders, but common usage brings habit and validates the fact that more and more people like his products. Photoshop was once lax about copy protection and only required a serial, and everyone used it back then, and the market boomed for them. It was when Adobe tightened it’s grip that the party was over and their market constricted. Apple computers given to schools created many more customers in their future market. Jobs was very smart. Those who use Uhe’s products often enough will eventually make a choice to pay for it based on their own moral fiber, character, and financial situation. There comes a feeling of satisfaction with ownership with legtimate purchase,an internal validation of completion. Some say: As above, so below. The more freeloaders, the more paying customers, all you need is a small fence to seperate them, and he does that perfectly. He walks the line of balance. I think he is a genius. I still think he should make a new plugin format and DAW. :-)
:) SLH :)

quikquak
KVRian
588 posts since 6 Aug, 2005 from England

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:10 am

Says the "authorised pope" :hihi:

Soundplex
KVRist
228 posts since 22 Sep, 2015

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:20 am

ENV1 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:31 am
But Urs, and dont get me wrong now, your plugins dont even HAVE to be cracked because anyone who wants to share them can simply buy a key from you.

...
Thanks, that's the point I was looking for. Just getting a keyfile from someone, blocking the DAW with a firewall to ensure no homecalling is happening and done. Adding some sort of machine ID could be a small hurdle but once they found out how it's generated, it's over again.

quikquak
KVRian
588 posts since 6 Aug, 2005 from England

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:33 am

You could 'phone home' and see if a key is being used at the same time in different locations. Microsoft Word is not allowed in the same house to be on different computers, but I think plug-ins should be a little less strict.
Then of course a cracker would find your internet search and just NOP it out.
I might deter the "I'll just give a copy to my friends" idea of the buyer though?
Last edited by quikquak on Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
whyterabbyt
Beware the Quoth
27629 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:06 am

quikquak wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:10 am
Says the "authorised pope" :hihi:
At least it doesnt say 'authorised pope's wife, and the husband for whom she speaks in the first person" :shrug:
"The bearer of this signature is a genuine and authorised pope."

deastman
KVRAF
7249 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:51 am

Soundplex wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:20 am
Thanks, that's the point I was looking for. Just getting a keyfile from someone, blocking the DAW with a firewall to ensure no homecalling is happening and done. Adding some sort of machine ID could be a small hurdle but once they found out how it's generated, it's over again.
Just one problem with that- you aren’t factoring in human nature. One a legit user (or a “legit” user with a stolen credit card) buys a license and shares it with a friend, there is no controlling the spread of that license. They share it with a friend who shares it with a friend who shares it with two friends and suddenly it’s all over the place and gets blacklisted. The next time that original purchaser downloads an update with some great new features, they’ll find their serial number invalid. Sure, in theory what you’re describing can work in small groups for a limited period of time, but it isn’t how software gets spread across the globe.
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

ENV1
KVRAF
2554 posts since 31 Aug, 2011

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:56 am

Soundplex wrote:
ENV1 wrote: But Urs, and dont get me wrong now, your plugins dont even HAVE to be cracked because anyone who wants to share them can simply buy a key from you.
Thanks, that's the point I was looking for. Just getting a keyfile from someone, blocking the DAW with a firewall to ensure no homecalling is happening and done. Adding some sort of machine ID could be a small hurdle but once they found out how it's generated, it's over again.
As far as i know, and im sure Urs will correct me if im wrong, u-he plugins dont ever 'phone home', i.e. they are only serial number protected and thats it.

And just to be clear, i absolutely applaud him for doing it that way because it allows his users (im not one of them) to use their software whenever they want, wherever they want, independent of a 3rd party. (Which is what i prefer myself as well, so kudos from me.) The thing is only that there is not much actual protection to speak of, because like i said, if 10 people get together and buy 1 plugin each he will sustain a (theoretical) 90% revenue hit and never even know about it. Now scale that up to a 100 people, a 1000 people, and that may be just 1 country. Now take 10 countries, 20 countries, you get the scene.

At any rate, i guess what im trying to say is that it is relatively easy to get away with murder here, i.e. all the hacking and cracking of Urs' plugins is pretty much pointless because all that people need to do is team-up with a few pals and they can practically rob him blind without him being any the wiser. And that, at least to me, seems to be a far greater problem than some half-cracked binaries posted on the internet.

Soundplex
KVRist
228 posts since 22 Sep, 2015

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:10 am

deastman wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:51 am
Soundplex wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:20 am
Thanks, that's the point I was looking for. Just getting a keyfile from someone, blocking the DAW with a firewall to ensure no homecalling is happening and done. Adding some sort of machine ID could be a small hurdle but once they found out how it's generated, it's over again.
Just one problem with that- you aren’t factoring in human nature. One a legit user (or a “legit” user with a stolen credit card) buys a license and shares it with a friend, there is no controlling the spread of that license. They share it with a friend who shares it with a friend who shares it with two friends and suddenly it’s all over the place and gets blacklisted. The next time that original purchaser downloads an update with some great new features, they’ll find their serial number invalid. Sure, in theory what you’re describing can work in small groups for a limited period of time, but it isn’t how software gets spread across the globe.
That's fair enough. I indeed didn't think of human behavior :lol:

User avatar
Urs
u-he
23930 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: More copy protection...

Post Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:32 am

ENV1 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:56 am
they can practically rob him blind
Some do. Most don't. We'll keep doing what we do as long as it stays that way.

(it's the same with watermarked copies, or any unintrusive kind of copyright-trying-to-enforcement)

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