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Why isn't software made impossible to copy ?

 
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JBL47
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: Why isn't software made impossible to copy ? Reply with quote

Sorry if this is the wrong page to ask this...

If the GPS companies don't want their maps copied and resold then why don't they make it impossible for them to be copied in the first place ? Original buyer purchases and installs new maps on device and then original software locks (Mission Impossible style self destruct !). Surely a lock could also be installed in the workings of the actual GPS unit so maps couldn't be copied from it.
Or am I missing something here ????
It just seems so simple.

Cheers

4jbl7
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may simple but it's not. If it were then the issue wouldn't exist!

You can take some steps but ultimately there is a limit and there will always be someone ready to crack any protection.
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Frabble
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Or am I missing something here ????
Yes.

Take the situation of some Garmin maps that are installed onto a PC and downloaded to the unit. Some units do not have enough memory for the complete map and so you only load the area of interest - this means you must be able to do multiple map transfers.
What happens if you need to replace the PC and you've only been allowed to do a single installation?
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PaulB2005
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the case of Garmin maps, the code that comes with the DVD is locked to the first Sat Nav it's used with and not the PC.
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Frabble
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I know Garmin uses unlock codes tied to a unit so that maps can be viewed. The question was for the OP should the software be locked.
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JBL47
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frabble wrote:
Yes, I know Garmin uses unlock codes tied to a unit so that maps can be viewed. The question was for the OP should the software be locked.


Thanks for those pointers. Let me change tack slightly.
So to my simple, non-tech' mind, then would it not be in the manufacturer's interest to 'key' the device so that it could only work with software with the same 'key' for it ? Garmin recognise the serial number of my satnav when I update the software so I would have thought that if they are the only source for the map data then if that is coded to the serial number of the satnav...problem solved ! Map only works with this unit as it recognises the serial no'.
But I don't suppose it is that simple is it Confused

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JBL47
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PaulB2005
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order to do this each map would have to be uniquely encoded at purchase. With downloads this may be possible but with DVD it would be prohibitively slow and expensive.

Secondly it's still wouldn't take long for someone to work out where the unique code is and what it is. Then using a number of serial numbers and their respective unlock key the algorithm for generating the codes could be worked out and a KeyGen (Key Generator) could be made to create new keys for units just by typing in the serial number of the unit. The unlock key could then be put into someone else's map and used for free on another unit.

Similar practises already happen now.

The problem is there is a trade off between the amount of money lost through piracy and the amount of money you spend on locking the maps down to counter piracy.
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aj2052
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You also have to bear in mind customer reluctance to buy keyed software, and i dont mean for piracy sake, the area I used to find a problem is PLC programming software which used to transfer a key to the PC I had a laptop stolen and PCs go down and thus unable to retrieve the key back to the install disk and although still had original disks the software was rendered useless and therefore having to repurchase at considerable cost, the annoying part being that the software was specific to each manufacture and couldnt be used with others, the other point being that it has to be on writable material and thus copyable.
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TranceraUK
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: cracked Reply with quote

Any software that can be protected/locked can be reversed in the right hands.

Carl
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robertn
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to understand this issue in more detail, I highly recommend the books by Bruce Schneier, 'Secrets and Lies', and 'Beyond Fear'.
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