Selling encrypted scripts (protected source code)


#1

Hello,

I had this question in my mind since long ago which was one of the main reasons I never started selling any of my work and coding scripts to sell on CC, mainly due to warez sites releasing nulled/free CC files.
I wanted to know if we can sell source code encrypted scripts with proper one use only license system.
Ofcourse it will depend on a buyer whether to buy or not but its the only proper way I feel for a coder to sell his work with peace of mind that it wont be distributed on warez sites for free, who will even buy it if it gets distributed openly like that which is a general thing now a days for CC products.

Example :-
A made a script, I use ioncube to encode it and include a license key system.
That way only a legit buyer who has one time use key will be able to use my script, the key will lock his server/domain in my license system and so he cant distribute it to others since they wont have license key to use (unique). And since source code will be encrypted, they cant remove the licensing system code or use my code for their own work.

I really donot feel like selling any of my scripts or codes here unless I can do atleast that much to protect my code.

Can anyone answer if its allowed ?


#2

I cannot answer if this is allowed or not.
But in my opinion it won’t sell. Many scripts especially CC need small adjustments in the code and if the source cannot be changed I think nobody want’s to buy it.

Just my two cents :slight_smile:


#3
ceasar said

I cannot answer if this is allowed or not.
But in my opinion it won’t sell. Many scripts especially CC need small adjustments in the code and if the source cannot be changed I think nobody want’s to buy it.

Just my two cents :slight_smile:

As I said, if it depends on buyer whether to buy or not, thats something different. I am not much worried about sales as long as I can have peace of mind it wont be nulled or distributed for free.
What I wanted to know is whether a seller can do it or not.

Also, as long as its small change and the seller allows it, I think it wont be a problem, since I have seen many users asking for adjustments via comments anyway.


#4

I have seen an encrypted WordPress plugin in the market. One of my clients was using it. It needs license to be activated on each domain.


#5

Who wants to buy encrypted code? The easiest way to deal with the warez site is to send DMCA’s reports, and get over it. Encrypted code won’t help you to deal with warez sites. Also selling a 20$ product which requires a 3rd party app to decode the script (which also needs a license as far as I remember) wouldn’t be a viable option in my opinion.


#6
codenegar said

I have seen an encrypted WordPress plugin in the market. One of my clients was using it. It needs license to be activated on each domain.

Yes yes thats what I am talking about, that way someone who buys it cannot distribute it freely (unless and ofc with a extended license) and as long as hes a legit buyer, I dont feel any reason why the seller wont provide small changes or support he may need for it.

Pricop said

Who wants to buy encrypted code? The easiest way to deal with the warez site is to send DMCA’s reports, and get over it. Encrypted code won’t help you to deal with warez sites. Also selling a 20$ product which requires a 3rd party app to decode the script (which also needs a license as far as I remember) wouldn’t be a viable option in my opinion.

Big game companies and such cannot do much against warez sites, what makes you think anyone would even care about a invididual’s DMCA about a little php script worth $5-10 ? There is no DMCA or such way to go against distribution for such small cases.

Encrypted code will do help deal with it as I mentioned as well as the guy above you mentioned, using license system so that a buyer cannot use same license key on more than one server or domain at once.
And what 3rd party decoded are you talking about ? Most webhosts now a days include source-guardian, ioncube, zend etc by default in their installs, not to mention their loaders can be included within the php code itself to decode it, no hassle for a user. Licensing system and backend is seller’s headache, buyer has nothing to do with it.

Thats why good and big scripts like WHMCS, hostbill, etc. are able to continue their sales and development since they follow same scenario. I donot have any problem in doing so, but again, what I want to know is whether CC allows it since I couldnt find any direct info regarding that.


#7

I am currently struggling with a same problem. I am pretty low finding that this thread was not answered. Staff at envato must should reply onto this.

I have submitted an Online Product Design Customizer tool on CodeCanyon last week where we kept 5 files encrypted as they were containing some of the scripts/functions those are work research of years and specialty of our firm.

Let me give you some idea about what this "Online Product Deisign Tool" looks like and does:

Many of you must have seen or bought some t-shirts from customink.com or spreadshirts.com. So you must have used their DESIGN STUDIO (DIY tool). Our plugin is does the same. Here is how ours look: http://theemon.com/o/OnlineProductDesigner/jQueryTool/LivePreview/

We have made this in HTML5, jQuery, Fabric JS & JASON with PHP. This product contains highly researched canvas & svg functions as well as a famous PRINT READY VECTOR OUTPUT FILE feature. We have been selling this software from to customer since 2008 for more than 4.5K USD per website. Now the market has got many companies doing this so price has dropped still we lead the industry being a most experience company as made most number of CUSTOM PRODUCT Design software for customers for their custom requirements.

We have seen CodeCanyon platform and decided to make a version for CodeCanyon as it has a mass users there. But from last 1 week i am actually going through a hard time getting my item accepted. I have gone frustrated telling revierwer that howcum i can give my years of research work open. PRINT READY VECTOR OUTPUT FILE is something which research 100s of hours to achive. There are many items out there on CODECANYON for PRODUCT DESIGNER SOFTWARE but none of them work perfect for the MOST IMPORTANT Part i.e. PRINTING on a PRODUCT. Our thing is actually made right for the DTG machines so you can simply command your computer by opening PDF to PRINT this and it will be PRINTED on T-SHIRT exactly as it was designer in Online Product Designer Tool.

Even if we made PRINT READY VECTOR OUTPUT generation functional ENCRYPTED the whole other source code is open and people are able to extend the functionalists which is why CODECANYON says that SOURCE CODE must be open.

I seriously need staff reply and community to help me get out of this. I am feeling stressed right now.


Vikash


#8

You are not allowed to submit encrypted files, every single file has to be unencrypted otherwise it is against the terms.


#9

Hey guys I feel your pain and can hopefully offer a little help regarding these issues.

Speaking as an Author:

Protecting your digital assets is a big concern for everyone. There is no way to guarantee your code doesn’t end up elsewhere. If there was a way, “big companies” would have found it by now. Whether software is sold here, independently or elsewhere - the odds of dealing with such situations should be known. Everyone should also be aware that there isn’t a golden answer to insuring your code isn’t stolen, cracked, copied, distributed etc.

Unfortunately, this is an aspect of selling digital assets, anywhere.
However… this does not mean you should not combat the situation in full force.

You should actively seek out cases and deal with them appropriately using DMCA notices. Targeting hosting companies will usually have faster results - and may sometimes result in entire websites being downed. It is an ongoing battle to protect your assets, but the whole idea is to take them down as fast as they go up - minimizing availability of your assets.

In some cases this takes a LOT of notices - which means a LOT of time. I’ve opted to pay a 3rd party company to do just this. Within a month I saw a noticeable increase in sales across the board. Again, there are periods of time that some are available, but the wheels are already in motion for a takedown.

Placing a ton of barriers on your code is not the answer. I’ve read a lot of forum threads regarding this topic over the years, and while some very creative ideas have popped up - I’ve yet to see one that covers all bases. Encryption, ofuscation, verification checks, etc - should probably all just be considered speed-bumps on the road to getting at your source… and speed-bumps to maintaining quality code.

Speaking as a Reviewer:

The Envato Markets are based around community - and a place for everyone to learn, including buyers. Some buyers may be purchasing your item to see the source - which is exactly why all source files are required to be in readable format.

The live preview of your item is allowed, and encouraged, to be obfuscated and otherwise encrypted with an encryptor of your choosing. The entire source code provided in the submission archive, including all of the PHP, JavaScript and CSS code, will need to be open, unencrypted and human readable.

The item, and all advertised sub-modules and features, needs to be functional right out of the box without user intervention. Items aren’t permitted to ask the user for a purchase key or license code to unlock the item or part of it. License keys are still allowed to create buyer specific support systems and forums.

Hopefully this info helps.


#10
Crusader12 said

The item, and all advertised sub-modules and features, needs to be functional right out of the box without user intervention.

That is a wishful thinking and not possible. Many applications require the user to do some configuration, e.g. the mysql data, site specific values and more. Your thinking might work for WordPress plugins but surely not for a complex standalone software.

Crusader12 said

Items aren’t permitted to ask the user for a purchase key or license code to unlock the item or part of it. License keys are still allowed to create buyer specific support systems and forums.

Hopefully this info helps.

Can you show me where this is located in the TOS? Are you really going to tell me that I am not allowed to use the envato API to verify the purchase code?

It’s ridiculous how the Envato team does not even know the TOS themselves and keep spreading around false information.

Authors ARE permitted to check the purchase code if they want to.


#11

Hi Gewora,

I cannot locate this information in the knowledge base at this time, but I’ve alerted Envato Support of this matter and this will hopefully be resolved soon. However, I can tell you that this policy is not new and that authors are not permitted to check purchase codes in order to activate / grant access to a purchased item. As stated earlier though, verification can be used in external support forums.

“The item, and all advertised sub-modules and features, needs to be functional right out of the box without user intervention.”

This refers to activating the product with a key, etc. which is not permitted. Yes, some user setup / configuration will be required - but it cannot include verifying the purchase. This is something we check for here and on ThemeForest.

Another staff member will be along shortly to address locating this information in the knowledge base for you.


#12

It is not even funny anymore. Everyone tells you something different. Even the reviewers told me that it is allowed to verfify the purchase code within the application setup. Why shouldn’t it?

Fact is that there is no such term in the TOS, and i honestly do not care what your knowledge base says, easy as that.


#13
Gewora said

It is not even funny anymore. Everyone tells you something different. Even the reviewers told me that it is allowed to verfify the purchase code within the application setup. Why shouldn’t it?

Fact is that there is no such term in the TOS, and i honestly do not care what your knowledge base says, easy as that.

Have to agree. I’ve been told it’s OK and have done this in my applications, though right now I am actually in the works of removing purchase code verification for ease of use.


#14

You can verify the code but you can’t block functionality that is dependant on it, except automatic updates (which are not mandatory, so it’s up to you how you make that happen if you wish to). Can’t encrypt the code but you can minify it I think. If you provide some way to access the unminified files for devs. That’s what I’d do.


#15

If i’m not wrong, many WordPress addon authors requires item purchase codes to activate there plugins ?


#16
abhimanyusharma003 said

If i’m not wrong, many WordPress addon authors requires item purchase codes to activate there plugins ?

Not only WordPress developers but also CodeCanyon PHP developers. That is totally legit according to the TOS. It does not matter what the knowledge base or the staff is saying, the only thing that counts are the TOS.


#17