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  • Protect your Skins from ReDistribution

    Hello,

    I am currently starting to do my own commercial vb skins, I am worried about the distribution of my skins freely between different vb users.

    The question, is there any software, or any procedure that we I could use to prevent the free redistribution of the templates?

    Thanks,
    Wassouf

  • #2
    Nope. Anyone who knows how how to right click, and has their eyesight, can get your skin. Even if you disable right clicking, a person can use the View menu in their browser to view the page source, and get the URLs to images and such.
    ~ Life isn't always fair, but you can be. ~

    Comment


    • #3
      encrypt the content

      When I did work for one of the big template houses we use to do demos that included a fully working template they could publish on their server which we then set to expire the site after a week.

      The way to do it is to encrypt a portion of the template that harbors the code designating it for a specific domain.

      I'll write an article on it now on my blog because I have seen your request in countless forums so I'll share what I've got.

      view the article on my blog located www.jaredritchey.com this afternoon.

      ~ Jared
      http://www.jaredritchey.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Did you somehow encrypt every image so that during the trial period a person couldn't simply save gradients and button sets, etc., to their hard drives? How did you stop color picker software from telling someone the exact RGB or hex?
        ~ Life isn't always fair, but you can be. ~

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Wassouf View Post
          Hello,

          I am currently starting to do my own commercial vb skins, I am worried about the distribution of my skins freely between different vb users.

          The question, is there any software, or any procedure that we I could use to prevent the free redistribution of the templates?

          Thanks,
          Wassouf
          There is no way you can protect your copyrighted material from getting stolen. This is fact of life, it happens. How you deal with it is another story. You could for example hire a company like PirateReports.com. You can ask them to contact the site owner and/or hosting company to stop using your copyrighted style (or purchase a license for it) via a DMCA notification.

          Some people consider getting their style stolen as 'yay, I did something right, it is good enough to get pirated'. Of course, this does not mean you could condone or tolerate it.

          You can apply tricks to trace back which customer distributed your style, or include some unique copyright notice you could 'google' for to find people running your style.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ok I've updated my blog and drafted the first part of the tutorials and I'll write a subsequent tutorial on locking per domain. As mentioned I've been able to use timlocks in things like dynamic JPG images (which are essentially PHP saved as a JPG file) and I've used it in advertising blocks, demo's of templates and other small snippets.

            Keep in mind that if you are not clever in what to encrypt you could harm the search engine friendliness of the project.

            ~ Jared
            Last edited by php4ever; Mon 2 Apr '07, 9:36am.
            http://www.jaredritchey.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              I almost forgot about this thread until something today reminded me to go through and clean out my saved bookmarks.

              I remember you asking about how to protect your code from would be pirates. We all know there is NO totally effective way for the determined but you can through a curve ball easily enough.

              YES IT WORKS WITH VBULLETIN
              I tested a way to license or require a domain key in order for a theme to work and I managed to get it to work today.

              What I did is this. I travel the web posting snippets where I think people will use them and maybe a little wording just to see myself write. (which I suck at) and the domain lock is actually quite similar to my timelock method.

              I made a post on DaniWeb (A vBulletin site none the less) located here called Getting Paid by time locking.

              The difference between the two methods is this and its as short and sweet as I can make it.

              You replace the time lock code with the domain lock code also posted in that snippet collection and you simply encrypt a small portion of REQUIRED areas of your theme. Does it work, yep, I encrypted some stock vBulletin code to only work on my vbulletin theme design install and then went to one of my clients vBulletin sites and tried to make it work and the notification popped up exactly as I expected.

              Now when you read that post on DaniWeb PLEASE IGNORE MY RANT. I get to typing and its impossible to shut me up.

              Best Regards;

              ~ Jared Ritchey
              http://www.jaredritchey.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Wassouf View Post
                Hello,

                I am currently starting to do my own commercial vb skins, I am worried about the distribution of my skins freely between different vb users.

                The question, is there any software, or any procedure that we I could use to prevent the free redistribution of the templates?

                Thanks,
                Wassouf
                When there is a commercial product involved, there is always someone who will try to get it for free.

                You are inevitably going to lose some sales because of some of the scam artists out there, you just have to know how to take action when you catch them.

                Good luck.

                Comment


                • #9
                  bfoot045 I agree but steps can be made to minimize the loss. I'll post some of our other little solutions later.

                  ~ Jared
                  http://www.jaredritchey.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Update

                    Update; I've got a new tool I'm publishing for this and I'll make it available free here.

                    ~ Jared
                    http://www.jaredritchey.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Even with the most elaborate tools and what not. Nobody can prevent someone from taking a screen capture of what's on the monitor. Nor is there's any mean to prevent someone from downloading any image on a web site.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Floris View Post
                        Even with the most elaborate tools and what not. Nobody can prevent someone from taking a screen capture of what's on the monitor. Nor is there's any mean to prevent someone from downloading any image on a web site.
                        This is exactly what I was thinking while reading this thread.

                        I seen that add on at vb.org of not allowing right click to steal images and it's like "they'd just screenshot and get it anyway".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Recently it has been brought to my attention that someone was reselling my style and has even rebranded it .. I've followed up with an upset email to their web master and today I received the apology and when I went to their site the site was taken down.

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                          • #14
                            There are ways of protecting your works without encrypting a required file. But if I told you all how, people would start using the same methods and figure out mine
                            Dean Clatworthy - Web Developer/Designer

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dean C View Post
                              There are ways of protecting your works without encrypting a required file. But if I told you all how, people would start using the same methods and figure out mine
                              In this case I could confirm it was my work, because the person was a customer and downloaded the .zip, and the .zip files are marked. Upon build they tag a random .gif file with the customer's hash in hex. So it was a matter of finding the right .gif file and comparing the hex code. And then get the hash to match my customer database's hash to see who it was. Which cross matched with the name of the admin on the web site. My style has 3 ways to be traced back to the source who distributed it. And has worked so far. But I accept piracy as part of doing things. I am 'idle active' about it. But when they take my work and sell it commercially I get upset and am then willing to take legal steps. Thankfully in this case we could resolve it as mature people.

                              Comment

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