Make users be interested to buy your theme/plugin legally. License and verification.

Hi everyone! I’ve been exploring the possibilities to protect the code from stealing/nulling for a while and have run on a couple of limitations:

  • Selling the themes/plugins we provide a pure code that has all of the logic available for hacking. We also can’t uglify/encode it according to the Envato terms;
  • Also, we can’t restrict code use even if the purchase code of the item is verified. The customer should get the described functionality with no extra checkings. So mostly purchase code is used to get auto-updates and exclusive support.

After all the idea I have is to make users of your code want to have a license. Here is how I see this:

For example, you have a plugin providing specific functionality with a lot of settings and options. Some of them might be very useful but optional, namely without them plugin provides everything described in its specifications and docs. In this case, you don’t limit the customer about these extra possibilities case he even didn’t know about them at the moment of the plugin buying.

But then the user has the plugin which works as described (and works great hopefully) but sees the functionality can be extended much probably he will buy a license even if he had a not legal copy of the plugin.

From the technical part, I see it can be implemented this way:
The plugin has the extra functionality within but has no handle to try it. While the license activation the customer’s site gets a special response to place in the DB and to be used by the plugin. For example, there might be described extra settings/options for showing in the admin part. Hardly someone will have the pleasure to find and spread this DB data. For sure it’s possible but pretty boring.

So my question is: do you see any terms limitations of this approach using?