Wibu-Systems Blog

Venture capital getting scarce; what to do?

Posted by John Browne on Jan 13, 2011 8:29:00 AM

Dow Jones reported yesterday that funding for venture funds hit a seven-year low in 2010, as more and more limited partners (LPs), scared by the poor returns over the last 10 years, looked elsewhere for their portfolios.

In the 90's the fad was to build your tech company with OPM (other people's money) and then cash out. VCs were practically throwing term sheets wrapped around a rock through corporate windows to get deal flow.

Those days are gone, probably forever. ISVs that are looking to grow their companies will have to find other sources of capital instead of spending their days wooing the ever-shrinking pool of venture capitalists.

What has this got to do with software protection and licensing? Consider that in 2009 (according to the BSA) over $50B of stolen piracy went into use. For the sake of argument, assume that half of that would never have been purchased legitimately. That still leaves $25,000,000,000 of lost revenue to ISVs. Try to get a check THAT big from your friendly neighborhood VC.

How can you get some of that? Simple:

  1. Introduce your product to high-risk foreign markets protected by a CodeMeter CmStick. This gives you complete security against piracy and opens up markets maybe you were reluctant to enter because of high piracy rates. China has lots of money, but also has high piracy rates. Entering the Chinese market with a CmStick-protected opens up new revenue streams without interfering with your ability to sleep at night.
  2. Protect your products that are getting stolen now with a CodeMeter CmStick. For low-risk markets, use CodeMeterAct for software-based activations. This gives you a single method to license and protect your products with strong, scalable security against piracy.

Both of these methods will increase revenue due to lower piracy rates and simplified license management. Use the additional money for reinvestment into your company to grow without the dilution of outside investment.

For more information, request a free CodeMeter evaluation kit today!

Topics: CodeMeter, Anti-piracy, dongles, software piracy, Evangelism

Why lock software?

Posted by John Browne on Dec 21, 2010 11:29:00 AM

I keep my car locked and use a key to unlock it. The same key allows it to start and run. It probably wouldn't last long parked downtown if it didn't need a key to drive it away.

My house has a key; so does my mailbox. People lock their cars, boats, airplanes, houses, safe-deposit boxes, storage lockers, bathroom doors, gun cabinets, gym lockers, even suitcases. My computer has a lock so when I'm not around no one can snoop on it. I've seen keys on band saws, lawn mowers, tractors, and back hoes.

So why all the fuss about locking software?

Locking programs or data is easy: you just encrypt it. We all use encryption all the time, we just don't think about it. Anytime your browser says "https" instead of plain old "http" you're running an encrypted session. When you encrypt software, it can't be run without decryption, and the only way to decrypt is with the right key.

The key can be stored in a file on your computer, or it can be stored in a separate device (usually called a dongle). Dongles are inherently more secure for key storage than files (also known as machine binding) for lots of really technical reasons.

AxProtector from Wibu-Systems can encrypt an executable (lock it) in just a couple of minutes. You don't need to make any source code changes. And then that executable is completely useless without the right key. Just like my car is merely a roadblock without the right key.

Topics: CodeMeter, software copy protection, AxProtector, FAQ, Evangelism