Software Licensing Advice Needed

17 replies
I am about to release a WordPress Plugin and I need advice and suggestions on a reasonably price PHP licensing Solution that's not too complicated to install and operate.

I would like to keep the cost below $200 if possible. I would prefer something automated and server based that works with most of the common payment processors and sites like JVZoo, FSO, DigiResults, etc.

I've looked at several already such as IonCube, ZEND and CodeLock. IonCube and ZEND are expensive from what I can tell. CodeLock looks good but I went on their site ready to buy and for CodeTracker v 2.7 it said currently unavailable due to being in beta with no indication of when it will be released for sale.

I plan to start selling my plugin by the end of March 2013, so I have to move on this soon.
#advice #licensing #needed #software
  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    A fellow warrior offered a licensing system last year for word press plugins and themes that was to me reasonably priced. I have not used it or talked to anyone who has but if you want to check it out see this url:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...p-license.html

    note:not an affiliate link and I do not have a comment one way or the other on the product....
    Good luck,
    --Jack
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by buffnstuff View Post

    I've looked at several already such as IonCube, ZEND and CodeLock. IonCube and ZEND are expensive from what I can tell.
    IonCube is the industry standard solution for a reason. Zend isn't much better, and I found it harder to use. I'd say bite the bullet and go for IonCube.
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    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author mpettigr
      You might like to check out PHPMyLicense...it can encode and licenses your scripts. Its also very easy to use and it has a built in shopping cart.

      Also, it automatically deactivates licenses where the customer makes a chargeback or you make a refund.

      We use it ourselves. Here it is and you can try out the demo: PHPMyLicense License Manager

      Best Wishes,

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author buffnstuff
        Thank you so much. I was just looking at it and waiting for the demo. AWESOME!

        Originally Posted by mpettigr View Post

        You might like to check out PHPMyLicense...it can encode and licenses your scripts. Its also very easy to use and it has a built in shopping cart.

        Also, it automatically deactivates licenses where the customer makes a chargeback or you make a refund.

        We use it ourselves. Here it is and you can try out the demo: PHPMyLicense License Manager

        Best Wishes,

        Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
        Originally Posted by mpettigr View Post

        You might like to check out PHPMyLicense...it can encode and licenses your scripts. Its also very easy to use and it has a built in shopping cart.

        Also, it automatically deactivates licenses where the customer makes a chargeback or you make a refund.

        We use it ourselves. Here it is and you can try out the demo: PHPMyLicense License Manager

        Best Wishes,

        Mike
        Man I was all set on using this product until I did a quick view of the demo... then my heart sunk when I saw it used eval(gzinflate(base64_decode($string)); which is a VERY easy PHP encoding process to decode. So easy in fact that a web site allows a novice user to enter the "encrypted" code into to the site and outputs the decrypted (unprotected) content in seconds.

        I guess it goes to show you really can't cut corners and really need to stick to the high priced ionCube and Zend Encoders.
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        • Profile picture of the author buffnstuff
          I feel you man, but guess what? You can do the same thing with IonCube and ZEND. Check it out here:

          Download Ioncube Decoder V2 | Ioncube Decoder

          and here:

          http://www.showmycode.com/

          I have come to the conclusion there is no 100% safe encryption scheme out there when it comes to PHP code. Because it is a scripting language and open source it's likely that it will always be easy to hack.

          At least I like the PHPMyLicense product because it's a one stop solution of licensing, encryption and delivery all rolled into one solution. I decided to give it the nod.

          A determined thief will ALWAYS find a way to get your stuff if they want it. This should keep the basically honest people that way.

          I sincerely appreciate everyone who commented and offered their ideas and suggestions.

          Best wishes to all,

          Steve

          Originally Posted by Brian Tayler View Post

          Man I was all set on using this product until I did a quick view of the demo... then my heart sunk when I saw it used eval(gzinflate(base64_decode()); which is a VERY easy PHP encoding process to decode. So easy in fact that a web site allows a novice user to enter the "encrypted" code into to the site and outputs the decrypted (unprotected) content in seconds.

          I guess it goes to show you really can't cut corners and really need to stick to the high priced ionCube and Zend Encoders.
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    • Profile picture of the author buffnstuff
      I understand about IonCube but the issue is the user's host must support IonCube, and this is a limiting factor and the same with ZEND. But thank you for the response.

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      IonCube is the industry standard solution for a reason. Zend isn't much better, and I found it harder to use. I'd say bite the bullet and go for IonCube.
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      • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
        Have a look at Andrew Hunter's Activate WP. I own the software and if you're looking to licence WordPress products, it's about the simplest I found to use and administer. Works with any payment processor. (no aff)

        You also don't need ionCube, there are simpler encoder programs. Although, keep in mind that you're going to sacrifice some security with these.
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        • Profile picture of the author buffnstuff
          I'm checking it out now. Thank you.

          Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

          Have a look at Andrew Hunter's Activate WP. I own the software and if you're looking to licence WordPress products, it's about the simplest I found to use and administer. Works with any payment processor. (no aff)

          You also don't need ionCube, there are simpler encoder programs. Although, keep in mind that you're going to sacrifice some security with these.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    I don't know some of the systems mentioned as I wrote my own.

    One word of advice - users don't like licensing that requires software to phone home as they're concerned about what will happen if you go AWOL.

    Cheers,

    Neil
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    • Profile picture of the author buffnstuff
      There are 2 different licensing modes with PHPMyLicense. One to maintain communication with the server and the other is self contained. This is the method I chose, although I have no plans of going AWOL anytime soon, I hope.

      Fortunately I have partners involved in these endeavors so if I cash in my chips or whatever, the software will still continue on without me.

      Originally Posted by Neil Morgan View Post

      I don't know some of the systems mentioned as I wrote my own.

      One word of advice - users don't like licensing that requires software to phone home as they're concerned about what will happen if you go AWOL.

      Cheers,

      Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Cool. It's a common pre-sale question so have that answer ready!

    Cheers,

    Neil
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    Easy email marketing automation without moving your lists.

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  • Profile picture of the author BeechHill
    Ioncube compiles PHP source code to bytecode, loosing the original in the process. The decrypters online are junk for cracking ioncube. Ever wonder why a lot of them are free? You have to be really adept to extract the opcodes from the encrypted source. You then could rebuild the source code again loosing all comments and formatting, but even then it's unlikely to work if it was properly obfuscated in the first place.

    Simpler encryption solutions are a different story. It really all depends on the value of your product as to how hard you want to make the pirates work.
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    • Profile picture of the author buffnstuff
      Granted that may be true...I'm not out to try and crack anyone's code using the decompilers / decoders I referenced. However the hitch with IonCube other than the big price tag, is the fact that the end user's web host has to be IonCube compatible or the program will not run.

      HostGator and Blue Host I know are, but there are many others that aren't. I don't want to limit my user base with this incompatibility and therefore have a higher refund rate due to it. Or dealing with unnecessary support issues.

      So I'm willing to sacrifice some security for the sake of compatibility and ease of use.

      Originally Posted by BeechHill View Post

      Ioncube compiles PHP source code to bytecode, loosing the original in the process. The decrypters online are junk for cracking ioncube. Ever wonder why a lot of them are free? You have to be really adept to extract the opcodes from the encrypted source. You then could rebuild the source code again loosing all comments and formatting, but even then it's unlikely to work if it was properly obfuscated in the first place.

      Simpler encryption solutions are a different story. It really all depends on the value of your product as to how hard you want to make the pirates work.
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      • Profile picture of the author ProEFI
        Originally Posted by buffnstuff View Post

        Granted that may be true...I'm not out to try and crack anyone's code using the decompilers / decoders I referenced. However the hitch with IonCube other than the big price tag, is the fact that the end user's web host has to be IonCube compatible or the program will not run.

        HostGator and Blue Host I know are, but there are many others that aren't. I don't want to limit my user base with this incompatibility and therefore have a higher refund rate due to it. Or dealing with unnecessary support issues.

        So I'm willing to sacrifice some security for the sake of compatibility and ease of use.
        Hey Bill,
        You may want to consider Zencrypt.com. I've used it as a low cost alternative to iconcube for some of my other products. It only cost $50.

        BTW, I'm the owner of Activate WP so hit me up if you have any questions.

        Regards,
        Andrew
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