One great challenge that software developers grapple with is protecting their software against piracy. As a developer, piracy denies you revenue on the software that you have spent thousands of dollars and effort in developing.
This has lead to most developers incorporating special protection programs into the copy of the software they sell to the end user. Such programs prevent the user from duplicating the software thereby ensuring copy protection.
Watermarking is the most recently researched method of software protection in which a secret message is inserted within the data of the software. This is a very strong software protection technique because such a watermark can only be easily accessed by someone in possession of a secret key used for the building of the watermark.
The primary objective of protecting software is to prevent the end user from copying and sharing that particular software, which is a violation of the copyright. Software developers add copy protection to prevent this from happening. To identify the protection software, it will require you to download a program that can search for it in the internet.
The basics of software security protection are laid both directly and indirectly by contract, design law, copyright, patent law, passing off, trade secrets and law of confidence.
Ideas are not protected by the intellectual property rights. Instead, this right protects ideas in their recorded, expressed or implemented forms. In the computer software context, copyright protects a source code in the form in which it appears on the hard copy and its composed forms.
Intellectual property rights only protect ideas that are confidential and are bound to remain so. In the software industry, intellectual property rights are protected by the software licenses which give consumers permission to use particular software. The terms and conditions for using software usually rely on the nature of the license.
Commercial software licenses are usually issued in exchange for a sum of money and its use may be limited in a number of ways. This may be in terms of number of copies the licensee can use or the geographical radius within which the license can be used.
Here are some of the benefits of software protection
i. Protection of the investment
Software applications can cost thousands of dollars to come up with. Illegally duplicating and distributing such software denies the developer the revenue he deserves from his investment. The primary purpose of protecting software is to ensure that no copies of your software are distributed without a written agreement. This is a great boost to small businesses whose ideas are protected from the greed of the large corporations.
ii. Not readily accessible
Software protection can be difficult to acquire, more so if you have not included all the relevant information about your software application. This ensures that only unique software applications are granted legal protection. This makes protected software more protected and in good standing with consumers.
iii. Greater protection
Combining software patent with copyrights can greatly protect you during a court case by providing provisions for statutory and attorney fees.