Protect spreadsheets from piracy

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Protect spreadsheets from piracy

Postby krabban » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:51 pm

Thought to start selling my spreadsheet and wondering if anyone has tips on how to protect spreadsheets from piracy? Can't find any additions, are there any other ways?
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Re: Protect spreadsheets from piracy

Postby jrkrideau » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:16 pm

krabban wrote:Thought to start selling my spreadsheet and wondering if anyone has tips on how to protect spreadsheets from piracy? Can't find any additions, are there any other ways?


Basically you cannot. All anyone has to do is do a Save As.
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Re: Protect spreadsheets from piracy

Postby keme » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:33 pm

These are two sensible approaches:
  • Publish your work freely, and ask people to pay if they find it useful.
    This constitutes very little work and requires zero investment, your product will advertise itself more or less, and you have minimal control of who uses it. With this approach, a "no responsibility" disclaimer is reasonable. You can protect it from some forms of piracy (trojan insertion, where you get the blame) by making CRC checksums for your files. I do not know a good way to protect against other forms of piracy (other people copying freely, perhaps even posting it as their own work) in this kind of business model.
  • Translate your model to a professional programming language, compile it to an executable with a licensing solution embedded. Sell a licensed product.
    This will be a considerably greater workload (development, sales, accounting, after-sales support), and requires buying into some licensing software (unless you can make that for yourself). You have the level of control you want over who is using your product.
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Re: Protect spreadsheets from piracy

Postby krabban » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:40 am

keme wrote:These are two sensible approaches:
  • Publish your work freely, and ask people to pay if they find it useful.
    This constitutes very little work and requires zero investment, your product will advertise itself more or less, and you have minimal control of who uses it. With this approach, a "no responsibility" disclaimer is reasonable. You can protect it from some forms of piracy (trojan insertion, where you get the blame) by making CRC checksums for your files. I do not know a good way to protect against other forms of piracy (other people copying freely, perhaps even posting it as their own work) in this kind of business model.
  • Translate your model to a professional programming language, compile it to an executable with a licensing solution embedded. Sell a licensed product.
    This will be a considerably greater workload (development, sales, accounting, after-sales support), and requires buying into some licensing software (unless you can make that for yourself). You have the level of control you want over who is using your product.


Okay so there is no easy solution to protect against piracy. Saw that Excell had some solution with product keys. Well I notice with © and hope it is respected by most.
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