View Full Version : Copy Protection?
18th May 2001, 12:04
I have a client that wishes to distribute an installer for his screensaver software that has Copy Protection and I was wondering if NSIS supports any of the following types:
* Self Destructing Installer
- Has a run limit of 1 and then dies completely)
* Web Based "Turn-Key" installer
- requires user to register online (within installer)
before install and also has the above feature
* Custom ActiveX or DLL additions
- to the installer that will allow us to use one
or more of the above from a custom made OCX or DLL
Well anyways... thanx for your time..
18th May 2001, 13:14
As far as I know, NSIS doesn't support these functions.
18th May 2001, 14:55
Ok... thanks... know of any (free) that do???
its kind of urgent and I have searched everywhere...
18th May 2001, 16:04
A self-destructing installer for a screensaver? Very strange. Anyway you could pack a second installer inside the first, have the first installer install to temp and start the second when it closes. The second could delete the first on it's way out, but I'm not sure if that's what you'd want because the second installer would sit in temp until something bumps it out.
If the screensaver runs through the standard Windows interface, I'm not sure why a self-destructing installer is necessary, because you could just move the .scr (and/or .exe) around manually.
I realize it's what the client wants, but I can't help but voice my strong dislike of Turn-Key Installers. Not everyone can get on the internet all the time. I find it extremely frustrating when I can't install something I want to use because it is trying to go on-line (Microsofts' IE installer). If you do find an installer that supports this, please make sure that it can go through a proxy.
Finally, NSIS does do ActiveX registration, I just don't know how you'd put it to use in NSIS. Maybe write a little VB program to call the OCX and run it from within the installer.
18th May 2001, 19:41
self destructing setup!? .. what is that, lol .. if i set the saver up i can copy it anywhere i want, as it is in the windows directory after setup, like gonzotek said.
well if you really want to do such things _with NSIS_
do it like that:
1. write a string/bin/whatever into the registry and let the installer check for it, so the next time the installer runs it will find the string and terminate action, very simple.
2. on my page you can find a function to install a screensaver with nsis.
btw: there is no unique/save copy-protection and i am sure you won't find one. in 2001 when you release a program you have to cope with that.
19th May 2001, 02:03
Thanks for info!
The software they are trying to protect is actually a set of custom screensavers, and I can understand why they want to protect their intellectual property from being passed around as a freebie, especially when you consider how much it cost them to build it (ie: Software Licensing, Design Staff, Time, Hosting). Each screensaver would have cost them close to AUD$1000.00 to build.
These screensavers actually require an installer for the engine that they are using (they're built in flash).
At present I am trying to build application in VB to stick into the install... I have no idea on how to do it... but I am goin to have a hack it anyways.
Thanks again and God Bless
19th May 2001, 02:31
why that complicated?
just make an installer and put it in a password protected zip (or use an other free installer which has password protection support (like InnoSetup (one of the best installers i know))).
you can't be sure that noone else gets it.
someone is going to use it sometime and every protection will be gone, and so it will be copyable with or without your protection.
if your client doesn't want anyone to get it, he shouldn't release it, i think that doesn't depend on the setup.
btw: the VB idea is not that good, i think you know why
19th May 2001, 03:59
I agree with you about VB... He already has password/serial protection in mind, just that he wants to see if there are any other more secure options or on the fly solutions that personalise the installer to the customer (bit silly considering the amount of projected purchases we are looking at).
I have already tried several different Patch based copy protection softwares (like Armadillo and PC Guard) and their a bit complicated and don't work the way we want.
Oh... well I guess I will have to let him down softly ;)
Thanks for all ya help guys...
19th May 2001, 14:20
You might want to stress to your client that "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar". If a product works well and installs easily and, maybe, puts up nag screens (or is "limited" in some other way), then I am much more likely to download it and try it and buy it than one which is difficult to install.
And Yazno is right about no protection being perfect, but if it is reasonably difficult to get around the protection and reasonably EASY to register, then you can just "write off" the theives as people who wouldn't have purchased if they could have anyway (CHEAPSKATES)
19th May 2001, 14:40
Hehe... tis true about that... and I have discussed it with him yesterday night, and I think I have talked him into a basic level of copy protection.
Users Name and Serial combo...
This is much simpler and I think that he may go for it, because this is starting to get urgent...
9th December 2004, 10:20
any recommendation/ideas to where to store a serial.
registry, filesystem, ressource entry of executable?
Apart can NSIS modify ressource entries in exe dll files on install?
9th December 2004, 10:33
a) Alot of programs (inc. big games etc) use the Registry to store keys.
b) Not that I know of but you can call a program that can do that with nsExec::Exec.
9th December 2004, 13:57
first, you can do everything with nsis.
second, the installer is able to delete itself while running :)
third, a 100% copy protection is not available on any computer system, since there are always abilities to crack them.
delete the exec may be worked around by restore it with restoring tools or simply by start it write-protected.
key in registry or any file entry may be worked around by delete it.
software can't be copy protected 100% :)
but every 99% trick is doable with nsis.
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